And so here we are – the present… more or less. This was written after a pause of several months following the “dreaded seven” set. Why I needed the pause, I cannot say, for I do not know. Lack of a muse, perhaps.
And then this happened…
“A Gamble Most Foul”
Gather ’round, weak minds of green!
Time for a tale, so listen in.
In better times, so long ago,
Not far from here, not far below,
There was a man so proud and glad,
For all he’d ever want, he had.
Had-he all that he desired,
There was one that he admired.
She was a lass of dark curled locks
Pouring like night’s tide across the docks.
Her eyes so wide and black as coal,
Her lips so red, her tongue so cold…
He’d glanced at her for countless years,
As to all she’d brought nothing but tears.
She’d spat her filth in many hearts,
Had broken lads in many parts.
She was a cruel, heartless harlot
Who’d make anyone turn scarlett.
Though he knew the beast so well,
He could not fight, in love he fell.
Blind and deaf, so deep was he;
Bitter harsh mistress was she.
For years and years he stood by her,
Through bloody long and dreadful winter.
Never swayed by his embrace,
Nor the soothing warmth in his spoken grace.
A broken man haunting her side
In the blood she’d spilled and the tears he’d cried.
Out his small window, one day, he glanced
At her and a lad as they merily danced.
Eyes wet as planks in a sank ship,
He swore he’d end fate’s shallow grip.
With dark desire and fearful mind,
Called-he forth the demon kind:
“Guide my way, ye of the shadows,
Put my enemy to the gallows,
Guide my hand in sweet revenge;
In my soul, I pray, entrench.”
Darkness stood before the man
And smiling, speaking it began:
“Your enemies, I’ll gladly end;
Your soul I will, for now, defend.
But know that when our bargain’ due,
I’ll claw my way back up and find you.”
Thus, the mist vanished away
And left a black box on his doorway.
Inside, there was a pitch-black pistol
And two bullets of blood-red crystal.
“One for the whore who made us suffer,
One for the thief who stole us from her.”
With poise in his eyes he began his hunt
For those foolish enough to dare such affront.
As a rabid dog snarls for its prey,
Our broken man reached for his game.
She layed half naked on her white silk bed,
As the man barged in to bring her end.
As she stood in tears, so deathly frightened,
The man’s grasp began to tighten.
As she knew her sudden death was certain,
Lo, her lover appeared behind the curtain.
The man’s aim switched to the other
And pressed hard – it was all over.
Alas, the lover turned to mist
And the demon’s laugh started to hiss.
With eyes as grim as gathering clouds:
“What did you do?!” the man roared loud.
“Just as you asked, my foolish puppet –
Ending your foes, as per our contract.”
The man stood still and empty, drained,
And put the last round through his shallow brain.
The demon did not lie, you see,
For the man became his last enemy.
What of the girl, you ask so boldly –
She lives to this day, still cold, still lonely.
She’s defied misery before;
She’ll do so forevermore.
And so, a question now I beg, pray tell –
What becomes of good men who dwell
In blind and faithful callow zeal
And unthinkable ordeal?
Nothing good, my lost dead friends…
Nothing good until the end.