House of Dark Dreams

C.J. Carter-Stephenson

Originally published in Back Roads, Issue 3, reprinted in Dark Metre, Issue 21.

This is the road to the lonely cabin,
Bending, wending like a meandering river.
This is the road to untold evil,
Paved in stone, christened in blood.
Beyond a ditch, it enters a wood,
Where leafless trees pierce the sky
Like the gnarled fingers of a coven's hands
Poised to protect some sinister secret.
There are unholy places within this wood.
Not just the cabin, but also a lake -
Stagnant expanse of gloomy green water,
Always in shadow, murky, mysterious;
Cold cradle for the battered bodies
Of twenty or more hapless victims.

The listless lake is a fitting vista
For the fount that feeds its foul corruption -
A wooden cabin, small and grim
Dressed in a mantle of dilapidation.
The walls are rotting, the veranda sagging,
The windows hide behind battered boards.
Not a sound disturbs the eerie quiet,
And one thing alone hints at life -
The smoke billowing from the crooked chimney
Like a stream of spirits bent on escape.
Until the stillness is suddenly shattered
By the movement of the cabin door.
Inch by inch it edges open,
To the creaky shrieking of its rusty hinges.

Behind the door, a man awaits,
Menacing, malevolent in the lack-lustre light.
Tall and broad, but clearly deformed;
A titan among humans if he's human at all.
The stench of death hangs thick in the air,
The walls of the hall are splattered with blood.
A whimpering girl hurtles out -
Naked, trembling, with panic in her eyes -
But the hand of the man is faster than she,
Dragging her back and closing the door.
There is a freeway not far away,
Where cars flash past, dreary and mundane.
Yet, nobody hears her symphony of screams;
The world is oblivious to this house of dark dreams.

Poetry Divider.

The right of C. J. Carter-Stephenson to be identified as the writer of this poem has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author, or a license permitting restricted copying.