The burg is silent as the train pulls in.
Crow-feet trees cast fractals on shot-thru violet.
A light, lingering mist slinks around your ankles.
A hill in every distance; cobbled streets.
Although abandoned, you declare tonight
To be a winner. One to find a friend.
The barriers between our own meagre lives
And the Other are, this night, waning.
In the town, scant figures cross your path.
You follow a pale figure, feminine and
Dress’d upon the head with a thorny garland,
Who promises a Good Time awaiting
Down those winding cobbled sideroads.
The figure is gone by the time you reach
A bootleg establishment, where people dance
As if they might rot away in timelapse
Before your eyes. Tho magical, it is almost
Inhuman, how their forms begin to merge.
But there are other warning signs that do not
Take on such an aetherial quality. Take note.
A dance for a ducat, a twirl or two? Nay, nay.
They do not share your city-eyes (nervous
And blinking); more natural and booz’d away
On a mead that has you stuck to your seat.
It’s a long life for some. So drink up.
You’ll only end up howling at the moon
Again anyway, even out here; you can do naught
But wait for the inevitable: a trap of fate.
You sit there, until a man sidles up next to you—
A black hood covering but empty eyes—
Company at last. He puts a hand on your shoulder,
And he whispers: Y’alreet mate?
You’d better watch out tonite.
A. J. Sahnow’s debut horror
novel, The Groop, is out now!