Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Drama, Science-Fiction
by JeryLyn Harrington
I was sitting by my phone, waiting for the call,
I was listening to the stereo when the sound came from the hall.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up real stiff,
When the second sound came from the hall, like rocks falling from a cliff.
I rose from my chair, starting to walk from the room towards the hall door,
When I saw the shadowed outlines pass and counted their number. There were four.
I stood still as the clock struck midnight,
The room changing before my eyes as they opened in fright.
I wanted to run, but my feet were stuck to the floor,
Not remembering movements as they had just moments before.
The clock finished the twelfth chime and on the final stroke,
Came the low, eerie voice, I turned slowly as it spoke.
“My name is Midnight Madness,
For some a terrible sight to behold,”
Before the next words left the ugly, female apparition’s lips,
Its total image changed to beauty, from its head to its feet and ending at its fingertips.
“But for others, a wondrous sight.
For those, endless pleasures untold.”
Its voice, with these last words, softened with sweet enticement as it glided across the floor,
Motioning for me to follow as it glided through the opened door.
My feet remembered their movements; I followed close behind,
The apparition’s beauty imprinted in the corridors of my mind.
The apparition’s movements took her to the bottom of the warped stairs,
But, before I could join her there, she turned to me and stared.
Her graceful arm raised, her slender, curved finger pointed,
My eyes followed her finger to a figure bent over as if double-jointed.
Her soft, sweet voice entered into my mind,
Her lips never moved. Was it a sign of some kind?
Her words echoed through the furrowed valleys of my brain,
Bringing tears to my eyes with its ugly change.
“Behold yourself, look and listen to the sight before your eyes,
Dry your cheap, wasted tears, for now, is not the time to cry.”
The bent figure that had been hidden in the darkness, struggled forward into the light,
My eyes opened wide as its face, my face, greeted me. I cried out in fright.
I stumbled backwards, my eyes fixed, as it struggled forward to follow me,
Its voice was mine, only younger. How could this be?
The words were painful with the memories they recalled,
My retreating feet taking me backwards down the crooked hall.
“Look at me, sir. Behold yourself from a lad to a teen.
Look at our bent, ugly body caused from pain by you. Did you have to be such a nasty little fiend?
Remember, as only you can, those that touched our wicked hand,
But, now, their lives lay broken at our feet in a shattered, useless, golden band.”
With the ugly, bent creature’s words spoken, I looked down,
My face creased with a painful, wrinkled frown.
At the bent figure’s feet lay wealth in the form of shattered gold,
Useless to me with the memories that lay hidden in its many folds.
My mind numbed with fear at the familiar face that greeted me from within,
How many of those familiar faces had I at one time called friend?
I moved backwards down the warped hall,
My feet stumbling on the warped boards, making me fall.
I raised myself up on my bruised knees,
My eyes focused to see what was in front of me.
The ugly, bent figure that had been there, just moments before,
Was, now, gone as I rose running for the door.
The doorknob greeted the fingers of my hand at the end of the hall,
But, before I could turn it, my body flew backwards, answering an unspoken call.
I lay winded, my eyes closed tight,
Not wanting to see what would be in my line of sight.
So slowly my eyes opened with no will of their own,
The graceful figure that greeted them was well known.
My body righted, helped by an unseen hand,
Numbed by an unknown fear, I felt like a boy, less of a man.
Midnight Madness looked at me with eyes that turned from blue to gold,
She turned, gliding up the warped stairs, her graceful figure sure and bold.
At the top, she, again, turned to me and, with an unfriendly smile, motioned for me to ascend,
The unseen hand pushed from behind, my feet stumbling forward, when would all this end?
Seconds later, but what seemed years, I stood before Midnight Madness with a greater fear,
I fell to my knees, covering my eyes; her lovely face was changing as she came near.
What had once been beauty was now mar,
From her forehead across the bridge of her nose and ending at the cheek was a bright, opened, bleeding scar.
I felt the ugly, painful voice as it entered into my numbed mind,
Its command, open your eyes, was simple, its familiarity, one of a kind.
My eyes opened, still, through no will of their own,
The sight they beheld, making me moan.
There on the floor before me grew a pool of warm, steaming blood,
Its surface widening with the steady drip from above.
I looked up, not really wanting to see the sight that would be there,
As the life’s blood dripped from the pale, lovely chin, all I could do was stare.
My eyes went ever upward, searching her once beautiful face.
The once beautiful, golden eyes were growing pale, losing their enchanting grace.
What had once been golden beauty that penetrated the soul,
Was drained of all its golden color, the depths hidden. What had been gold was, now, white and cold.
Her hands reached out and, with un-sighted ease,
Touched my shoulders, spinning me around, so that I could see.
Before me and leaning against the wall,
Stood the figure of a man who could be me and just as tall.
I felt her gentle fingers grip and pull me to my feet,
She pushed me gently forward, her ugly, harsh voice saying to my mind, “This stranger you must meet.”
My feet moved forward through no command of mine,
Each step taking me closer, till, at last, the figure reached out taking my hand as horror froze my mind.
The hand was rotting, pusy flesh, clinging to the bones,
I reeled backwards as light shown the hideous face and, there could be no mistake, it was my own.
I turned from the hideous sight, prepared to run,
When Midnight Madness blocked my flight, her ugly, harsh voice saying, “What? And miss all this fun.”
With her harsh words spoken, my flight ended, no escape to make me free,
As, once more, she approached, turned me and from the approaching, rotting figure I could not flee.
The figure stopped, extending it rotting flesh and bony hands,
How could my own mind ever have perceived this rotting thing as me as a man?
From the top of its head to the tips of its toes,
It stood covered with gold as its bony hands reached out for me, their movements bold.
It opened its mouth, the lower lip falling away,
Its voice was mine, but changed in a horrible, ugly way.
“Behold me, sir. Look very close at me
Am I not magnificent with all my gold for others to see?”
It bent its rotting figure forward and with its gold encrusted, bony, rotting fingers, pulled me to my feet,
I closed my eyes where I stood, not wanting our eyes to meet.
The voice came, again, more horribly ugly in its tone,
The words speaking truth, my mouth opened in a horrible, painful moan.
“You started young to collect all this wealth to hold,
And, using other’s life blood, you are, now, frightened because you find it all so cold?”
My eyes opened wide with the question it had asked,
Not seeing its face, but once familiar figures of men and women from my past.
The figures that passed became a count untold to me in numbers,
Their faces so familiar, recounting each of my life’s selfish, spiteful blunders.
My own life, suddenly, became very precious to me,
I turned to run from all the familiar figures, my only thought was to flee.
I froze in my haste as my feet were lifted from the floor,
I was pushed upwards through the attic’s opened door.
I continued, slowly, upwards till the attic door closed with a bang,
My mind closing itself off from my body’s sudden, physical pain.
I took a deep breath before I looked around,
All the stuff encountered was familiar, but one thing to be found.
The figure stood with its back to me,
It was looking out the attic’s window. I wondered what it could see.
The figure stood motionless, clothed in a monk’s cloak,
A sickle in its bony hand, my mind numbed as it turned and spoke.
The bony hand that gripped the sickle did not belong to the face,
The face belongs to Midnight Madness, her white, cold eyes pulling me forward in a slow, painful haste.
“This night you summoned, beckoning me to appear,
I come as you summoned. Now, is the time that you face your real fear.”
What was left of the lovely flesh of her face fell away,
The true figure before me, making me dizzy, making me sway.
I fell forward onto my knees,
My mind not believing what my eyes could see.
My face contorted with a horrible frown,
I screamed in silence, death stood before me, staring down.
I felt the pain, again, my body growing cold, remembering the earlier taste of a wine so sweet,
And, the cruel words spoken to the woman in a moment of cruel, possessive heat.
The woman’s face became clear, like a figure etched in crystal for me,
She had said she loved another, had wanted to go away from me, and had wanted to be free.
I had defeated my rival for her as I had others in the past,
I had taken untold, cruel pleasure as I watched him fall, breathing his last.
My memories ended when death’s harsh words entered my mind,
The voice so different, like no other kind.
“Behold yourself and see. Your cruel ways have finally caught you up,
The poison that you drank was more than enough from your deceiver’s cup.”
Death’s bony finger pointed to a figure with no face,
Its body, worm ridden, lying in a casket’s wooden embrace.
I picked up a pole that lay near me on the floor,
Hitting at death’s head, escaping and running to the attic’s door.
Down the stairs I ran in great haste,
Meeting the other me’s in the hallway with their hateful, rotting waste.
Down the stairway and into the room where I should be,
I found the near lifeless body sitting in the chair, knowing that it was me.
Within moments, all was as it had been before,
As I sat in the chair, staring at the darkness outside the door.
My breathing was painful, very hard for me,
My life’s force was ending, bringing what would be.
The music on the stereo was coming to an end,
My phone call had been wasted; nowhere did I have a friend.
As the last breath left my, now, chilled body, I saw the figure of death enter the door for me,
Its harsh, but now familiar voice saying, “Come. It is time for us to leave.”