The Old Man on Devil’s Hill

The following poem/short story is something I wrote a couple of years ago when I was feeling in the Halloween spirit! I wanted to share it because it’s one my works I’m most proud of. When it comes to poetry and short stories, I tend to write a little on the dark side, so be forewarned. I’m no Stephen King, but he’s definitely my muse for majority of my writing!

Please enjoy and leave feedback! All criticism, whether negative or positive, is welcomed and appreciated.

 

The Old Man on Devil’s Hill

I was just a young girl when I ran away

And climbed Devil’s hill where I was forbid to play

A dark scary castle stood at its peak

The closer I got the more I felt weak

But onward I went to the castle door

I couldn’t turn back now, of this I was sure

With creaking hinges, the door unsealed

I peeked inside, unsure of what would be revealed

The shadow of an old man appeared before me

His piercing eyes glaring and stormy

A whispered invitation leaked from his hoarse voice

Would you like to come in?” he asked, as if I had a choice

I was drawn into the foyer by an unforeseen might

The door slammed behind me shutting out the night

“Could I offer you a glass of water or a place to sleep?”

The chills in my bones told me he’s company I shouldn’t keep

But, “Yes,” I replied, “I would like to lie down”

I was weary from the long hike here from town

He showed me to the guest chambers and I climbed into the bed

Against my every instinct, on the pillow I laid my head

I was awoken by a laugh, a cackle, a howl

A ringing in my ears and a smell so foul

Terror and fear coursed through my veins

I ran through the castle and out into the rain

I ran and I ran and until I could run no more

Until my feet had reached my family’s door

I paused in hesitation; from the window I saw a light

And holding the candle, a man with hair snow white

“But wait,” I whispered, “This cannot be my father”

I reached for the door, but shouldn’t have bothered

This was my father; he held evidence in his hand

A picture of him and me when he was a younger man

But how could this be I was gone but an hour

I squatted in confusion, I shuddered, I cowered

When I stood before the window, my eyes deceived me

I denied the way my reflection perceived me

I looked to my hands, covered in rotting flesh

I’m a walking corpse never put to rest

In utter bewilderment I dashed out of sight

Stumbling, falling, how did I become such a fright?

Breathless and broken I crouched on the castle porch

The door flung open, the foyer lit by a torch

I gasped at the reality that stood before me

Horned and tailed, the Devil in all his glory

“My child, what is wrong?” he asked through a menacing grin

“What did you do to me?” I cried out again and again

The cackle, the laugh, the howl that awoke me before

Came again from his throat as I desperately clawed the door

My deteriorated body and bloody nubs and fingers

Sank to the ground as the silence between us lingered

“You gave me your soul, you foolish girl!

I own you now, you’re no longer of this world!”


©  Chelsie Cummings 2016

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