David Lewis Paget
Necronicon - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The house behind the trees lay still,
A monster, in its sleep,
The shutters fell in tatters, lay
In shards there, at its feet.
The paint had gone, one hundred years
Since proud, it gleamed on high,
The Keep, the Tower, Necronicon
Had seemed to sweep the sky!
But deep within its weathered gloom
A heart beat, faintly heard,
Some dim and evil echo that
The world outside had purged,
The door swung on a single hinge
And vegetation lay
Across the rotting carpets that
Had served it, yesterday!
While in some dim-lit parlour
Sat an old man in a chair,
Surrounded by the ghosts of those
Who were no longer there.
He sat beguiled by phantoms who
Assailed him in the gloom,
While memories of women, spat,
Rained curses on his tomb.
But in an upper bedroom sat
A girl who longed to play,
Who'd lost her parents, and her home,
Had shrugged, but come to stay.
Her grandfather, the only sire
This pampered girl had got,
She sat before the cobwebbed glass,
And plotted, this Charlotte!
She had the evil eye of him
Who sat down in that chair,
For blood is blood, and evil is
The product of despair,
Her mother disappeared when she
Was no more than a child,
And she had worn her father down,
By inches, running wild!
The old man laid the law down,
Sat her, facing down his stare,
She had the arrogance of youth
And shrugged, she didn't care,
She took his money, wasted it
And didn't pay a bill,
The larder soon was empty and
The power was cut, as well.
She spent her nights out clubbing,
Met an older man, like her,
They whispered in the corners
And they plotted by the stair,
She took him to Necronicon
The old man faded fast,
'Beware, Charlotte', he muttered,
Or you may well be the last! '
'This house has shared in horrors
That you couldn't even dream,
I've tried to keep its secrets, but
The very rafters scream,
The cellar is a blasphemy
I'll pay for in the fire,
For pleasures sought in youth are terrors
Age does not desire.'
They poisoned him that very night,
And scampered round the hall,
Uncovered hoards of jewellery,
Of notes, and coins of gold,
Went down into that cellar of
Necronicon, the Tower,
And saw the boxes, side by side,
Each padlocked in that bower.
Five boxes, just like coffins but
Made simply, out of deal,
The fifth was lying empty, like
A box without a seal,
Her roguish friend grinned hugely
Smashed each padlock with an axe,
And she had giggled as he struck,
Egged on his crude attacks!
They opened up the first in line
And shrank against the wall,
The body of a woman lay
Quite naked, overall,
She'd torn the hair from out her head
And gripped it in her fright,
For this corpse lay in terror there
In her eternal night!
The second casket opened up
Revealed another girl,
She'd been quite shapely in her time,
She wore a single pearl,
Her fingers, ripped and torn they were
And bloodied, as she'd scraped,
In desperation at the lid
Before her soul escaped.
The third lid they threw open and
She screamed, this surly child,
She hung against the wall, and peered
Could not be reconciled.
'I know that face, my cousin
Who was sent to Canada,
We never heard from her again,
I thought she'd married there! '
The fourth box they approached with dread,
And lifted up the lid,
Her roguish friend drew back a pace,
His face, from her, he hid.
'My mother, ' sobbed the grey Charlotte,
And fell into a swoon.
'I wondered why he'd wanted her, '
He said, 'that day, in June! '
Charlotte woke up inside a box,
The fifth that lay down there,
He'd fixed the padlock firmly, whispered low
So she could hear:
'A man once paid me well to spike
Your mother's gin and lime,
I didn't know she'd end up here...
Believe me... It's a crime! '
'I have no option now, you see,
But you'll be safe in there,
You won't get out to tell on me,
And frankly, I don't care!
Some men like necrophilia,
Dead bodies on the mat,
I'll promise you at least one thing,
You will be spared of that! '
Charlotte lay still and waited 'til
All sounds of him were gone,
He'd left her clothed within that box
And now she squirmed around,
Her mobile phone was in her skirt
She phoned, and listened well:
'This number disconnected, you
Have failed to pay your bill! '
15 November 2009
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