Haunt

A new piece of writing from the mysterious vault of my mind. Have a read and enjoy this ghostly tale.

Haunt

“This pathway was exhausted by hurried pacing.

Sunbeams glistened like shards of sequined cloth over the wooded tree line.

I could see at the crest of the hills behind the forest

the light of dawn breaking through,

providing a wondrous starlight in the snow capped reflections I observed.

It had been long since passing that place.

Spring life, summer heat, and autumn storm

had aged it in its lone foundation.

Even then, in the winter chill,

I could see the metallic decay through the frost.

Planted firm, and yet broken down

in the ragged lawn that adorned the boundaries of that place,

a lone well stood idle.

This proverbial “fountain” had long since lost its fervor to quench.

Still, in its crumbling carapace, its cracked pail and its watery contents

spilled forth in shimmering, icy diamond entrails.

Like a metronome I paced outside the gates.

Each boot making its mark in the snow,

crunching leaves, plowing a melted detour that ended where it began.

A quick glance into the woods revealed

a creeping mist between the trees

that slithered as it slowly trudged over the highland.

Moments passed and my escaping thoughts lead me to finally open that gate.

The pathway to the front door of this aged manor was a short one,

yet with each daunting step

an otherworldly wave of push and pull made the brief trip demanding.

Finally, I reached the ornate door

and with warm breath and a swipe across the windowpane

revealed nothing to a curious scanning eye.

It was then that I, in stifled doubts,

turned the chiseled, decorative door knob.

The rusted iron door screeched

in a shrilling cacophony of echoes through the entryway.

You could tell by its banshee whales

it had not stretched its aging hinges in years.

Inside, among the neatly dispersed décor,

the wintry breeze was biting as it swept through the open entry.

A simple shiver, a turn of gaze, and a push of the door

quickly halted any further wind chill.

The door slammed with an acoustic reverberation

that rang around and around until silence greeted me once more.

In the adjacent room I could see dim streaks of light

entering through cracks in the torn curtains that adorned the windows.

Within each streak, a flurry of dust, twisting and turning in chaos

caused by a wind of fury that had not entered in ages.

Heel-toe, heel-toe, heel-toe

Each step was a stir of echoes

over the neatly lined planks of the wooden floors.

As I ventured further into this manor,

I realized that sound was truly a curse in this forgotten kingdom of stillness.

I came upon a worn down table,

its sheen now a pastoral and splintering eye-sore.

Upon it were several writings now censored in blotches of black,

the result of spilled ink with the consequence of undisclosed thoughts.

Words such as “time” and “tomorrow” made their sparse appearance,

but only one phrase caught my attention,

“The way to dusty death.”

Oh, the irony of such a phrase in this place.

I grimaced at the idea of what the author had in mind so long ago.

I attempted to examine this page further,

peering deeply into the spilled ink,

hoping to read more,

but more was never on the agenda.

No, no, as I lowered the fragile page down toward the table,

to my amazement and darkened wonder there sat a man.

But I am alone, frozen in place, but surely I entered alone.

My heart tremored with adrenaline

as I gazed upon this spectral figure.

He paid no attention, nor turned a stare to me,

but his eyes were coal and his face of stoic concentration.

“Excuse me, good sir.” I managed to speak, “Are you lost?”

His eyes did not turn.

Again, I braved a question, “Sir, can I help you?”

His eyes did not turn.

“Is this your home?”

Oh, but why did I continue to interrogate?

His eyes did not turn.

“If this is not your home, sir, then you are most assuredly trespassing.”

His eye lids twitched, and slowly his eyes narrowed their gaze toward mine.

Oh, what a void, like staring into the abysmal darkness of an ocean trench,

and still he did not speak.

Slowly he reached out his arm and hand

expressing a gesture inviting me to sit.

To my surprise, the chair nearest me pulled back of its own volition.

I cautiously sat down, but not before he had suddenly vanished into nothingness.

Nowhere to be seen.

No sound to be heard.

Yet lain upon the table in front of me,

a single page.

Its message etched in beautiful calligraphy.

“And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.”

A simple smile crept upon me, as I softly whispered, “Macbeth.”

It was then that I understood.

It was then that I left in peace.

Never to return, and never again left to wonder.

Some haunts need no explanation.”

-Mario Bernal