for edgar

stumbling alone on this muddy path, the pregnant moon the only light, heart racing and labored burning breath

i saw something i should not have, a creature feasting, bloody mouth and ragged claws, the personification of death

my gasp have me away, those dread black eyes met mine, the tearing of teeth and the jutting spray of blood

i fell back against the wall, nearly to the ground, the slippery cobblestones treacherous, and the liquor came up in a flood

i ran, cowardice filling me with speed, my footsteps echoing through the empty streets, my cries gone unheard

was it real or a drunken terror, my mind could not find an answer, so i ran at full speed, arms flailing like a mad bird

i collapsed after i don’t know how long, the town a distant sight, scrambling behind a tree i huddled in hope i was hidden

the cry of a whippoorwill made me nearly leap out of skin, a sudden sense of sobriety and the vision of evils forbidden

the drunken vision still haunts me, but it could not have been real, fight or flight, intoxication, and far too much emotion

so i slept beneath the tree and woke up sort of bleary and made my way back to town only to be greeted by a great commotion

a large crowd was gathered and whispering amongst themselves about the half eaten body found, whispers and looks of distrust

panic struck and my nightmare flared back up, i could see the red eyes, the talons and viscera, and the smell of copper and rust

i told the constable my tale, slobbery drunk and unwitting, of the monster and the eating as he stared at me quite unbelieving

but the more that i rambled, as details fleshed out, the more he could see that i meant this story i was frantically weaving

he asked me to join him and retell my tale, the lure of ale and food inticing, we went to the tavern and i told him of the evil creature

he asked many questions i could not answer, my flight and fear erased most details, but not the eyes, that stark crimson feature

that night i stayed in the tavern, imbibing the spirits to erase the memory, afraid of the things that go bump in the night

as i slumped lower on my stool, the silence around me hanging thick, no one speaking of the corpse in the alley of fright

it was then i saw a person outside the window staring in, i recognized the form as the constable from earlier that day

he beckoned for me to come out to him, i wearily stood on wobbly legs stumbled out, he stood in the shadows across the way

he called to me to walk with him as he searched the area, safety in numbers he said, i was filled with terror but drunkenly agreed

as we approached the alley, my knees knocking together, the constable shone his lantern but in his eyes burned a terrible need

he blew out the lantern, and motioned me to silence, i followed his lead and cowered in the corner my heart filled with dread

then a noise came from behind us, we both turned in fright, from out of the shadows the demon rose with eyes of darkest red

with a cackle that sent chills down my spine, and a move faster than human, the constables head went flying beside me

with one sudden bound the demon took flight, i dodged to the left as it came from the right, it moved like blur to fast to see

i tried to get away but my best was not enough, it finally got my, knocked me to the ground, then it landed on my chest

there it perched, talon poised for the kill, i closed my eyes, ready for death, it spoke in rattling whisper “your kind I detest”

as it stared at me mockingly, eyes filled with hate, “time to die foolish mortal” and it readied itself to rip me apart

i made my peace with his and closed my eyes as death came for me, then a sudden shrill scream, i saw a stake through it’s heart

a grizzled old man stood behind it, he stabbed it again and again, when he was done he kicked it to be sure it was truly dead

then he turned and walked away, i tried to call out, to thank him for my life, my voice caught in my throat and nothing was said

after that night i stopped drinking, could barely make myself eat, the nightmares unending as i stopped sleeping

now alone in this hospital i sit, candles always burning, afraid of all shadows, just the bible for reading and my constant weeping

i saw the face of pure evil, of monsters and demons, and my mind was quite shattered my sanity truly up ended

this world of pure torture, this straight jacket well fitted, i speak to the padded walls of old men and the terrors of hell descended

no one believes me, in the light the monster dissolved, they found me in the alley, the constable with his half eaten body beside me

unfit for trial, but not safe out in public they decided, so this home for the deranged my new prison, locked up for all of perpetuity

i begged for sweet death, to rid my mind of the visions, but no one will listen, and the whispers continue their ceaseless calling

so i talk to myself, repeating those two nights of horror, and if i listen closely i hear the sound of leathery wings gently falling

they say when they found me, i had blood on my face, gnawed bones lie beside me, and i sat in the viscera alone for some hours

and when sleep sometimes finds me, a great hunger is all i can recall, of the lengths man will go to hide all the corpses he devours


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