THE HAUNTER OF THE DARK
(Adapted from a story by H.P. Lovecraft)
Robert Blake lives in Providence, Rhode Island,
And he’s much given to writing science fiction.
From his room he can see an abandoned church,
And that inspires him to do some research.
He discovers the church was once home to a cult,
In which a number of deaths was a result.
Robert enters it thru a window one night.
The sexton is there, but Blake stays out of sight.
In the church’s tower he finds a cryptic box.
He is not deterred by the weird box being locked.
He quietly breaks the lock and opens the hinged lid.
The research he did proves to be misguided.
A black thing with glaring evil eyes rushes by him.
Robert then knows that he has released a demon.
Then the demon wreaks havoc on the city.
Many people are found slaughtered and bloodied.
Citizens call upon priests to lead prayers
To stop this monster and its reign of terror.
Perhaps they work because the mass killings end.
Robert Blake is one of the demon’s victims.
THE OCCUPANT OF THE ROOM
(Adapted from a story by Algernon Blackwood)
His fiancée had broken off their engagement.
This sent him into a sad mental condition,
So Pierre thought to assuage this estrangement,
By taking a quite sudden Alpine vacation.
But when Pierre arrived at the Swiss village,
He learned that its only inn had no room for him.
The porter talked with the clerk in a mixed language,
And then told Pierre: “This is a strange situation.”
He further explained: “A woman has gone hiking,
But she has not yet returned to her room tonight.
You, sir, may have her room if you are willing
To move out, should she return from her hike.”
Pierre eagerly took this last minute offer.
When he saw her room, he wondered if he could rest.
It was eerie to see the many things of hers.
He soon thought: “Might she have fallen to her death?”
This thought prompted other dreadful black thoughts.
His sweetheart, the light of his life, had just left him.
“Is life really worth living, if it’s all for naught?”
The locked closet door increased his frustration.
In anger, he left the room and tracked down the porter.
When he got the closet key, it still wouldn’t open.
When he broke down the door, in horror he saw her.
From her head slant, he saw that her neck was broken.
Her suicide note read: “I am mentally disturbed.
I went to do it in the mountain, but I was fearful,
So I quietly slipped back to my room unobserved.”
Then Pierre Wald thought that life wasn’t so awful.
(Adapted from a story by Guy de Maupassant)
Two friends and I were conversing at a café
When one spoke of a “horrible” accident that day.
A boat struck a submerged log, and three people died.
Then I said the word “horrible” should be clarified.
I said the accident was terrible, but not horrible.
“Terrible” is something that is lamentable,
While “horrible” is something beyond understanding.
Then I gave an example of what I was saying.
I said that in the last war we soldiers were in retreat.
The Prussians knew that we were close to defeat.
Conditions were terrible; we were dying like flies.
Then a soldier said that he had captured a spy.
This so-called spy seemed to be a frail, frightened old man.
He was speechless, and no real proof was at hand.
Despite our captain’s efforts, he was mobbed and killed.
When they riddled his corpse, I saw they were thrilled.
Later it was determined that the “spy” was a woman.
She had a snapshot on her, perhaps of her grandson.
The “horrible,” then is something that’s unnatural,
While “terrible” is something that’s understandable.
Ron Larson is a retired community college history professor (Ph.D.), and one of his hobbies is writing poetry in rhyme. Like that great poet, he has difficulty writing poetry with the net down. In his four years of writing, he has had poems published in such diverse magazines as Aphelion, Tuck, Westward Quarterly, Soul Fountain, Big Pulp, The American Dissident and, of course, The Horror Zine.
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