Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Light, Christmas Dark Poetry
Trends and Traditions 2016
Compiled and Formatted
Anthony Servante


For Christmas 2016, we welcome Rick Mohl Sr., the jovial spirit of the season, family man and promising poet, Lemmy Rushmore, with his dark tidings that nevertheless bring joy on this occasion, Billie Sue Mosiman, the Star atop our Christmas tree this year, and Jaye Tomas, whose haunting words would give the Krampus pause.This year we add a short piece of Christmas Dark fiction to the poetry. So add Toy Davis to our group of writers. As is our tradition, we alternate dark Christmas verse with light Christmas verse and so on. Thus we begin with Ms. Rowe, who opens the proceedings with a bit of dark poetry.

Rick Mohl Sr.


My name is Ricky Lyn Mohl Sr.-- An aspiring poet.
This is who I am: Fifty-seven years I've lived upon this Earth.
This is what I am: My wife of thirty years, three children of birth.
This is where I am: A city in Washington State you've never heard.
This is why I am: I make that which is beautiful out of words.

Light Poetry

Christmas Came Early

Christmas came early to a little boy, 
It didn't come wrapped, it wasn't a toy.
It wasn't in a box with a ribbon or bow,
But still a gift, the best he would know.

Christmas came early to a little girl,
It wasn't a dress nor earrings of pearl.
Won't be seen under the Christmas tree,
But still it filled her with so much glee.

Christmas came early to a loving wife,
Yet it wasn't breathless but full of life.
There wasn't a card saying to and from,
But here was a gift she knew would come.

Christmas came early to a proud husband,
His gift was to us and now his gift is done.
So it's return to sender, I believe we agree,
Christmas this year to share with family.

Christmas came early to a precious three,
Cannot be bought cause it came for free.
On Christmas eve, a knock at the door,
Here is a gift from which love will pour.

Ricky L. Mohl Sr,
December 23, 2014

Christmas Time

Christmas time is here,
Your money disappears.
Everyone on this Earth,
Spending all their worth.

To the malls, all ye come,
Shopping till you are numb.
Will that be cash today?
Or charge it off your pay?

Spend and spend some more,
Into each and every store.
One of these, two of those,
Is it needed? No one knows.

Soon the money is all gone,
There is no more to call on.
Not one dime to your name,
A Merry Christmas all the same.

And when it's said and done,
In the end it was all in fun.
Because it's all about the joy,
Every man, woman, girl and boy.

Ricky L. Mohl Sr.
December 5, 2104


Lemmy Rushmore

Coming Soon...


A lifelong resident of northern Pennsylvania, Lemmy Rushmore is a mechanic by trade and father of three who occasionally dares dabble in the world of words. He now resides in Roulette PA with his girlfriend of nearly 30 years and his youngest son Zayden. Ranging from emotionally dark to horror, his pieces touch on many topics, but tend to lean more toward the darker side of those things encountered daily. First published in the anthology No Sight for the Saved, which features the superbly dark art of Niall Parkinson, Lemmy's poetry can now be seen in several anthologies including: We are Dust and Shadow, Demonic Possession, Hell II: Citizens/Cellar Door III: Animals, Indiana Horror Review 2014, Bones III, The Grays, In The Trenches, Doorway to Death, JEApers Creepers, Ugly Babies 3, and Toys in the Attic: A Collection of Evil Playthings for which he won the editors choice award. He has released an art and poetry collection through JWK publishing that features nearly 90 of his poems illustrated by Niall Parkinson, titled Between the Walls. Besides finishing up work on a soon to be released poetry collection titled A Trip into Madness that features over 200 poems, Lemmy is also in the beginning stages of putting together a horror anthology with friend and fellow writer/poet D.S. Scott, which will be called A Love That Lingers…

Dark Light Poetry

All One Could Want

my whole world lies asleep
each one tucked in their beds
with Christmas, I’m sure
dancing ‘round in their heads

all the halls have been decked
and the mistletoe hung
the tree stands complete
and the lights have been strung

it’s for Santa they wait
while they’re dreaming away
hoping good things he brings
in that sack, in that sleigh

but I no longer wait
not for Santa, nor sleigh
I have all one could want
and they slumber away…

Merry Christmas

I had seen what he did
and I caught him that night
and I righted the wrong
with each ounce of my might

he was filthy indeed
with no reason to be
but then fate intervened
and it left him to me

wasn’t dressed for the task
but I took to it still
maybe jolly I looked
but it’s blood I would spill

with one swing of the ax
he was flat on his back
and then I paused a bit
while I went for my sack

with my hammer produced
I proceeded to pound
and I sure must admit
that I relished the sound

with his digits reduced
down to no more than stumps
I continued the act
till the flesh flew in clumps

and then back to my bag
I would head in a flash
for the next tool I’d use
on that sniveling trash

for his bits I would go
with some rusty old shears
and I hacked and I hacked
while he drowned in his tears

once I’d seen quite enough
and I’d heard all I could
Merry Christmas I’d say
as it’s back up I stood

I then stomped on his skull
with the heel of my boot
and I painted the snow
just as red as my suit…

Bad Santa

the red suit said one thing
but I read in between
I saw there at the store
he was truly unclean

every kiddie he’d touch
every mommy he’d slap
and he’d beg and he’d plead
please come set on my lap

he would grope and he’d grab
he’d dare fondle and feel
and he’d say to each wish
let me make you a deal

he had one thing in mind
hidden there ‘neath his hat
and that fact became clear
if on his lap they sat

‘pon his whiskey drenched breath
came the half whispered lies
from the devil himself
in a Christmas disguise

but I saw through it all
and I watched as he played
for I knew he’d soon sleep
in the bed that he’d made

as he slipped off to break
I would follow in tow
and with pain as the means
I’d see off he would go

so, no sleigh shall you hear
not a hoof tap, nor bell
because jolly St. Nick
will be burning in Hell…

That One You Call Claus

Not one reindeer will come
Nor will you see his sleigh
For that one you call Claus
Won’t be coming your way

You won’t hear any bells
Nor those hooves upon roof
See your Santa is gone
And this night is your proof

Though your stockings are hung
Though your tree is in place
You’ve but wasted your time
For you shan’t see his face

Though they put cookies out
And they placed the milk too
Not one present shall show
Not for Bobby nor Sue

Seems I hated that guy
Hated him and his suit
So I picked up my gun
And I caught him en route

Gave him two in the chest
And then one in the head
So you better believe
That your Santa is dead

But I didn’t stop there
There was more to be done
I shot this deer then that
To the very last one

With some time left to kill
I then looted his sack
Stuffing this gift then that
In the pack on my back

So no reindeer shall come
Nor will you see his sleigh
Nor will he you called Claus
Soon be coming your way

You won’t hear any bells
Nor those hooves upon roof
See your Santa is gone
And this night is your proof…


Billie Sue Mosiman


Author of more than 60 books on Amazon, Mosiman is a thriller, suspense, and horror novelist, a short fiction writer, and a lover of words. In a diary when she was thirteen years old she wrote, "I want to grow up to be a writer." Her books have been published since 1984 and two of them received an Edgar Award Nomination for best novel and a Bram Stoker Award Nomination for most superior novel. In 2014 THE GREY MATTER received a Nomination for the Kindle Book Award. She has been a regular contributor to a myriad of anthologies and magazines, with more than 200 short stories published. Her work has been in such diverse publications as Horror Show Magazine and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. She taught writing for Writer's Digest and for AOL online, and gave writing workshops locally in Texas. She was an assistant editor at a Houston literary magazine and co-edited several trade paperback anthologies with Martin Greenberg. Her latest work in paperback and Kindle digital is SINISTER-Tales of Dread 2013, a compilation of fourteen new short stories. In December 2014 SINISTER-Tales of Dread 2014 debuted, with 13 new stories.

Recently she sold short fiction to JAMAIS VU, the premier magazine, and the anthologies BETTER WEIRD edited by Paul F. Olson from Cemetery Dance, ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT edited by Annetta Ribken, FRESH FEAR edited by William Cook, WRAPPED IN RED edited by Jennifer Greene, and SOMEONE WICKED and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS edited by Weldon Burge. Her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER, was published by Post Mortem Press in April 2014. February 2016 DM Publishing published FRIGHT MARE-WOMEN WRITE HORROR, an anthology edited by Billie Sue MOSIMAN.

Mosiman was born in Alabama and lives now in Texas on a small ranch.

Her work has been predominately suspense thrillers, with her short fiction being more speculative.

She says of her hobbies, "I love to read (especially on my Kindle), watch old movies, take photographs, and travel."

News of her e-book publications can be found at:
Her Facebook page is:
Find her on Twitter @billiemosiman

Light Poetry

Old Christmas 
Billie Sue Mosiman

In the rouge red flames of castaway firelight 
A country house moves toward slumber 
On Christmas night. 
A cast iron bed is angled across the room from the corner 
And in empty deeper rooms behind the bed 
The cold holds its shoulders high and bare.

Grandpa and Grandma sip perked coffee and rock their 
Thinking of oranges and walnuts they finger 
And slip by handfuls into an old worn stocking. 
Light from the fire warms their toes 
While the grandchild sleeps easy in the iron bed.

She will wake so young and excited, the few presents 
Beneath the tree as mysterious as a rabbit down a hole.

The room cools. 
Grandpa stokes the fire to last the night. 
Before anyone knows a thing the morning comes blaring and 
Into being, the fabulous day. 
The child leaps from bed and falls to the twinkling lights 
under the tree. 
She opens two gifts and only two but those are more than 
She finds a golden hand mirror, a golden comb and brush, 
for her long hair. 
She finds a glass tea set, so precious, so perfect. 
Milky coffee is poured into the pitcher and then the little cup. 
She lifts the cup in tribute to the grandparents.

It’s Christmas. 
Three people, two old and one very young, 
know the world 
Is just as it should be. 
It will always be just as it should be in the castaway firelight.


Jaye Tomas


Jaye Tomas is a scribbler and a poet. Her latest book, "What Lies Beneath" (available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble) was released early this year with gratifying reviews. Her blog, Chimera Poetry, has attracted readers and writers from far and wide. Jaye loves all things bookish, pasta, Halloween, and has a minor obsession with hedgehogs.
Originally from Chicago, she is currently residing in the UK but has begun to cast her eyes in other directions.
She has an annoyingly long list of ways to contact her:

Twitter @JayeTomas1

Dark Poetry

Christmas Presence ~
The sign out front said, SOLD.

It was just one old house in a street of many others. 
But this one was different. 
This one nobody loved
And you could tell.
Not because it was falling apart, no broken windows or banging shutters.
No shredded curtains or splintered stairs leading up to a rotting porch.
But because it looked,
Because it felt,
And you couldn't help hunching your shoulders up around your neck as you passed.
It was just one old house but it wasn't vacant,
oh no
Something lived there....

Many years before the house was unremarkable and caused no chills,
no quickened stride,
no brave whistling to those who went past.
The man and woman who lived there had 2 daughters; 
one of sunny face,
starry eyes and twinkling dimples.
And the other
well, the other...
hard to tell because her face was hidden behind a shock of tangled, midnight hair,
like the pale moon behind a cloud,
with one sooty eye glancing quickly and dropping away heavy lidded.
"A shame." people whispered
"The contrast like night and day."
"Be patient", the woman said, "your time will come..."

Seasons change and appear like genii from a bottle,
and the love a hidden face may conceal
may burn just as hot as a bright noon day smile,
but like any unattended fire,
it can destroy everything in its path...

He never noticed the sooty eyes following him
tracking his movements,
through the school halls,
through the town center,
down the street.
Never noticed the heavy lids squinting down into slits,
as she watched the laughing pair on the porch of her house,
as she listened unseen to their whispers in the front room,
dancing to the same record played over and over.
"Our song.." they sighed...
"Be patient", the woman said, your time will come..."
But assurances were not what the nighttime girl was after.

Snowfall and garlands and the Christmas bells all shined,
the holly and berries and stockings lined up like furry soldiers...
They exchanged glossy wrapped packages.
His a scrapbook with all their favorites,
and hers a heart shaped pendant
of deep, dark onyx.

Later in front of the mirror the young lady was admiring the light playing across the stone
when a rough voice startled her,
"That's mine.
It should be mine.
My color,
my love,
my Christmas present.

Of the daughters disappearance there was never a word of explanation, 
no burial, no transport, no suitcase packed or letter sent.
Of the broken man and woman there was a whirlwind of whispers, 
but the train took them away,
with eyes like ash pits,
and the whirlwind faded with nothing to give it strength.

The house was patient.
The house stayed.
And waited.

Mr Jacob Williams was the name on the deed and the title and other yellowed crispy bits of paper
beloved of accountants and lawyers.
The house bought for a song,
the evasive sellers ignored and he gleefully jaunty over having his own property
because now he felt he was Someone, a fine fellow, a homeowner!

Jacob dragged his sleeping bag and bulging knapsack up the stairs
turned the key in the unwilling lock and sighed in tune with the door as it opened.
No mouse scamper or draft met him
only the stillness and setting sun sifting through dingy windows.
As he ate he made his plans for renovations and parties and grand schemes
and planned his Christmas celebrations for the coming years...
yet without knowing why
began to watch the hour hand tick slowly by...

When the first sliding step was heard he found he was expecting it.
It moved closer,
it was in the room,
and then the whisper...

"What have you brought me?
Where is my present?
Where is mine....where IS MINE....?"

The sun rose on a clear cold Christmas morning,
rose on a silent house,
and on Jacob still in his sleeping bag,
never to tumble out,
stretching to meet the church bells.
His marbled eyes and ivory limbs  
evidence that he had shaken hands with the Reaper,
that he had wrestled with a different kind of angel,
and lost.

The house settled back to wait,
for there will always be another
there will be another
and one day
there will be a present...
The present.
Be patient.
The time will come...
Our time will come.




Toy Davis

Disappearance of Claus
Toy Davis


      Santa felt weak. His time was coming to an end, and he knew it. The children of the world no longer believed in him. Corporations had turned him into a joke.
     His red suit hung loosely on his body. He was wasting away. His home no longer smelt of ginger bread and hot chocolate, it smelt of stall air and mold. Dark shadows painted the corners and hid the insects that had nested here. Rats crawled within the walls.
     His elves no longer made toys. The greed of the children had tainted them. They turned on each other, and eventually they turned on Santa. He now carried a machete on him at all times for protection, but he was becoming weak. He knew it was only a matter of time before he fell victim to their hungry. They would eat him like they ate his beloved reindeers.
     His boots thudded on the wooden floor as he walked to the bedroom. His wife Mrs. Claus sat in a rocking chair. She knitted a cap for a child who no longer believed in them. She had hope, and that hope kept her spark of life glowing bright. She looked the same as she always had. His heart cried out, knowing what he had to do.
     She looked up at him and smiled. “I love you,” she told him.
     His stomach knotted and somehow he managed to keep the vomit down. He had to do this. He was dying, and the elves were waiting to feed. He heard a giggle beneath the window, they were watching now. He forced a smile onto his lips. “I love you too.”
      She looked down at the cap, releasing him for a moment from her stare. He briefly closed his eyes as he deeply inhaled. He knew now was the time, soon he would be too weak to save her.
He brought the machete down onto her head. The yarn and knitting needle dropped to the floor. She hadn’t seen it coming so she didn’t cry out. He pulled the blade free of her skull and stumbled out of the room.
     He dropped to his knees as acidy bale erupted from his mouth. The warm liquid splashed onto his hands as it thickly covered the floor. He pulled himself together and rose to his feet. His wiped his hands on his pants.
     A window broke in another room. The flesh-eating elves were coming. He lit his chimney one last time. The stockings still hung, but now they were covered with dust and cobwebs.
     He sat down in his chair and stared into the flames. He was as old as mankind. He had survived wars, plagues, gunshots and time itself. But he couldn’t survive disbelief. The children’s dreams and wishes gave him strength, without them he could not exist.
     His vision blurred. He was dying. He heard the hate filled giggles as the elves entered the room. Santa had loved them one time before the world’s greed corrupted them, now he feared them. The last spark of life left him and the elves fed.





On December 24th, Christmas Eve 2016, Servante of Darkness readers can receive a free copy of "Urban Graves: 13 Poems from the Machine" by Anthony Servante. Please accept this gift from me to you for visiting my blog. 

Click Here for your gift on December 24th, 2016.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Seventh Shadow
Or: Dead Phoenix 

by Anthony Servante

Your third shadow falls before you 
from the light of yesterday's moon; 
your fourth shadow falls behind you 
from the light of tomorrow's sun. 
Today you are joined by two more shadows:
One moves clockwise as the sun rises and sets; 
one moves counter-clockwise as the moon crosses the sky. 
Your first shadow fell the day you were born
in the harsh bright hospital light.
Your final shadow joins you as the coffin lid shuts
in the strict and formless darkness.
Should you choose cremation, 
the seventh shadow returns to life in ash.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Howard Carlyle - Lemmy Rushmore Collaboration
Poetry of One Horror, Two Points of View

Edited & Formatted by Anthony Servante


Poetry is a lonely place where silent horrors breed from the mind of a solitary writer. Howard Carlyle and Lemmy Rushmore have managed to visit this place together and combine their writing talents to create a singular form of horror rarely found in poetry today--a Collaboration. In the best form of "ironic art" where two opposing forces coalesce into a new form, the Collaboration can be found. Do not mistake these works before you for "mash-ups", the combination of two different songs that harmonize well together. This is not the case here. Here we have one form of poetry that had you not known it were collaborated, you'd have thought it a work from the lonely place of muses and nightmares. Look not for seams, for there are none. To see Lemmy or Howard in this line or that is an illusion. There is only one poet here today. And they are here with us on the Servante of Darkness Blog. 

In Part One, we have three collaborative pieces. The poems utilize the stanza form with a rhyme scheme that is more familiar in festive verse; however, William Wordsworth, the Godfather of Dark Romantic Verse, applied the same style to discuss the themes of death and the supernatural as healthy counterpoints to life and nature. Carlyle and Rushmore deliver a similar take on this dark formula. In Part Two, we have the Epic "The Presence of IT". The hero journeys inward, towards madness, perhaps. This is not the epic of Homer or John Milton; it is the "Ulysses" of James Joyce or "Howl" by Allen Ginsburg. It is neither verse or narrative, but a betrayal of a paranoid mind. Or is it? "IT" traverses the shadow of mind and the illusion of body, mixing one with the other till they are inseparable. Not unlike our collaborators. 

NOTE: I initially intended to edit "The Presence of IT" but chose not to in order to maintain the frame of mind captured by the format and style. You will read it as it was meant to be read, free of polishing or prejudice. 

But enough from your host. Let's meet our poets and immerse ourselves in the image between the mirror and the reflection, where you, the reader, become visitors to the lonely place, for just a spell. 

Anthony Servante


Our Poets:

Howard Carlyle

I live in York in the UK and I'm married with a 12 year old son, so I have to write whenever I get any spare time, which is hardly ever.
I have been writing poetry for over twenty years but it's only over the last couple of years that I have been writing horror/dark poetry. Recently, I've been lucky enough to have some of my poems appear in various anthologies.
Last year I had 3 poems published in an anthology called Doorway to Death and this year I have 2 stories appearing in SPLAT 3. One of my poems will appear in an anthology called Zombies: Zero Hour. I also have a story in one called The End: An Apocalypse Anthology. I have a story and a poem in an anthology called Psycho Path. All these anthologies, which have been run by JEA, are expected to be published soon.
Another poem is in one called Freaks and I have a story that was hand-picked from a website called Short and Scary Stories, in an anthology called Endless Darkness 2.
My aim this year was to get at least one story into print, so when I got more, it was a real surprise.
I have two websites. One features some of my poetry and a few short stories, called and the other is about an abandoned psychiatric hospital where the patients were treated with total disrespect. The web address for that is

I am currently collaborating on a story which I hope will go into print next year, giving me my first book release.

Lemmy Rushmore

A lifelong resident of northern Pennsylvania, Lemmy Rushmore is a mechanic by trade and father of three who occasionally dares dabble in the world of words. He now resides in Roulette PA with his girlfriend of nearly 30 years and his youngest son Zayden. Ranging from emotionally dark to horror, his pieces touch on many topics, but tend to lean more toward the darker side of those things encountered daily. First published in the anthology No Sight for the Saved, which features the superbly dark art of Niall Parkinson, Lemmy's poetry can now be seen in several anthologies including: We are Dust and Shadow, Demonic Possession, Hell II: Citizens/Cellar Door III: Animals, Indiana Horror Review 2014, Bones III, The Grays, In The Trenches, Doorway to Death, JEApers Creepers, Ugly Babies 3, and Toys in the Attic: A Collection of Evil Playthings for which he won the editors choice award. He has released an art and poetry collection through JWK publishing that features nearly 90 of his poems illustrated by Niall Parkinson, titled Between the Walls. Besides finishing up work on a soon to be released poetry collection titled A Trip into Madness that features over 200 poems, Lemmy is also in the beginning stages of putting together a horror anthology with friend and fellow writer/poet D.S. Scott, which will be called A Love That Lingers…

Part One: Three Poems

Your Death is a Must
can't you keep your mouth shut
I'm so sick of your cries
why not see it this way
all alive wilts and dies
why must you wiggle so
can’t you sit your ass still
the more you thrash about
all the more blood you spill
can’t you go with some class
have you no pride at all
how you squeal like a bitch
how you whimper and crawl
with those chains that you drag
quite a racket you make
have some dignity please
soon your last breath you’ll take
you lied and you cheated
you hurt those all around
now it’s this price that you pay
to your guilt you are bound
it’s the life that you led
that has led you to this
did you think all you’ve done
I could simply dismiss
it just don’t work that way
we must reap what we sow
and with all that you’ve done
there’s a debt that you owe
it does no good to fight
nor to stew and to fret
you’ve been tried, you’ve been judged
now your sentence you get
don’t you beg unto me
it won’t help you a drop
would be best for us both
if your pleading would stop
once your skin fades to rot
and your bones turn to dust
you’ll be paid up in full
for your death is a must…

Away It Doth Play
I had happened on it
in an odd antique store
the thing had instant charm
plus a little bit more
had a mystical feel
and a hypnotic hold
like a dusty old book
with a story untold
it had weathered the years
with no visible wear
and with one glance I knew
it had stories to share
it looked expertly built
with precision and care
down to hand carvings done
by a craftsman that’s rare
it was mine and I knew
and I bought it that day
before some other fool
could come buy it away
but beneath the etched lid
‘neath the treats for the eyes
in among all those parts
came a hidden surprise
‘neath that rich luscious stain
and those curves that deceive
there was magic it seems
you must hear to believe
I was schooled the next night
on just how much I’d missed
when that box gave me proof
something else does exist
‘twas a musical box
with a tune to delight
but it played by itself
in the dead of the night
I was startled as first
even scared I must say
but the more I heard it
the more fear went away
I would sit and I'd wait
and I'd watch by myself
till that old music box
would begin on my shelf
it would sit on its own
and away it would sing
as if some ghostly thing
had hand tightened the spring
it was one tune at first
the next night it was three
and then night after night
it kept playing for me
I was baffled it seems
by how untouched it played
even more mesmerized
by the music it made
I was drawn to that box
like a moth to a flame
that thing beckoned to me
till each night passed the same
each and all I’d return
to that spot, to my chair
and I’d bathe in its sounds
as upon it I’d stare
even now as I write
nearly rotting away
I can hear it just there
and away it doth play…

The Haunting Show
This old country estate
Where I’ve come to reside
Has an uneasy feel
Like there’s something inside
When the house should be still
And it’s peace I should know
Form the woodwork they crawl
To start their haunting show
In one room then the next
It’s strange noises I hear
Then much to my surprise
Apparitions appear
Some shout out and some scream
Others pass through the walls
Some rock on in my chair
Others roam through the halls
Some move things on their own
Some throw things for a thrill
Others push and then pull
Some lend merely a chill
Some come calling at night
Some are there through the day
Seems no mercy have they
For such cruel games they play
They’ve all wore at my nerves
And caused my heart to race
But around and around
They continue to chase
Some will cause me to cringe
Others cause me to shake
Till I know deep within
They’re just too much to take
Though I’ve asked them to go
They keep picking at me
Till I’m starting to think
They’ll steal my sanity
Though I thought it was mine
Seems it’s their space instead
But then maybe I’m wrong
And it’s all in my head…

Part Two: The Epic

The Presence of IT

It all started when I was younger. I could sense that something was watching me. When I tried to sleep, either from outside of my bedroom window or from the inside of my wardrobe it would come. I could hear it breathing and sometimes it would even giggle quietly to itself knowing that I would be terrified of something that I could not see. Most nights I would find myself in a fight with my eyelids for fear of what might happen if they were to close but each night, regardless of my struggles, finally they would and that’s when the tapping would begin.

It would always start off very faint, nearly unnoticeable. I would try to dismiss it as nothing more than just a figment of my vivid imagination but the more I tried to dismiss it the louder it would become until it would grow to deafening proportions. It’s as if it was trying to provoke some sort of reaction from me, yet each time I did react in some way it would seem to depart leaving me there in that empty room. Each time it drew from me what it seemed to want it would run off like some scared cat leaving me there in that utter darkness but it would always return to torment me again. It seemed that thing never left for very long and each time it would return it seemed its grudge against me had grown.

As time went by things got worse and worse. It picked at me more and more with each passing minute. With its noises and its departures it bullied me like some schoolyard brute that seemed to find extreme amusement in picking on those weaker than themselves and all the while it went on, weaker is just what I was becoming. I wanted to run form it, I needed to hide from it but it seemed the more I tried to evade and escape the more it followed. It was though it had my scent and was bound and determined to drive me stark raving mad.

Even in the daylight it would make its presence known to me. It would stroke at my hair or present itself as a cold chill upon my skin sometimes even a long, heavy breath in my ear. As scared as I was  and as weary as I had become of it, often I would still try to ignore that unseen thing that seemed to have attached itself to me. Why had this thing chosen me as its object of torment? Why had it chosen me as something, or someone, to taunt in its sick and twisted little game? It seemed to get some great pleasure from pestering me far beyond my tolerance.

There was not enough speed in my feet, not enough strength in my legs or my mind. There was nowhere I could run from it and not a single place I could hide. It seemed to always be one step ahead of me. It seemed to always be right there beside me as if clung to me like some sort of vile and malignant growth. It hounded me constantly and badgered me always as if hell bent on my demise. I grew to hate it almost as much as it seemed to hate me but then again maybe it didn’t hate me. Maybe somewhere deep down inside whatever it was it held some sort of sick love for me or at least for my destruction.

My friends couldn’t see it nor could my beloved family. Hell, I couldn’t even see it. They all knew nothing of it but I did. I knew it was there. I had no idea at all what it was or even what it might possibly want other than to utterly break me but I knew with all I was it was always close by. I knew it walked along with me as I went about the doings of my everyday life just like I knew it was there while I slept, although sleep was becoming all the more difficult to find.

The longer things went on the more its escapades escalated till it got so bad I would walk the streets speaking to something no one could see. I begged and pleaded with my imaginary foe and all the while the masses stared at me in wonderment. I begged for it to stop. I pleaded with it to go but always it stayed and carried on its same shenanigans. The crowds wondered who I spoke to while I wondered if it would ever cease the maddening nonsense that it seemed to enjoy so very much. Not a soul heard the awful things it did to me but I did. I heard them as plain as day and they bothered me so. In my ears those noises rang out crystal clear and they ate at my innards like the screeching of nails upon a classroom chalkboard. No one knew of the terrible things it did to me. They didn’t know it touched me time and time again for no other apparent reason other than to raise my dander but I did. I knew all too well of the tortures I was enduring. As much as I wanted it to go, as much as I needed it to leave that thing, that horrible, horrible thing stayed while instead the sanity that I did wish to hold onto was ever so quickly departing.

It played with me always like a kid would with his favorite toy but the more frequent its visits became the crueler its pranks would become. It would trip me as I walked. It would whisper while I talked. It slapped at me while I sat not bothering a soul. It screamed at me every time I sought silence. Always it would cackle to itself as though utterly amused with itself but its tricks were no treat, at least not to me. I tried to ignore it but it made that impossible. I tried to evade it but I found nowhere I might hide from it. It was everywhere I might be long before I might get there myself.

It was a constant distraction until my only thoughts were those of how to flee from it and what my life might be without it.

My school work suffered just as I myself suffered and normal everyday tasks became undoable feats. I had become its puppet and it yanked at my strings always till I danced like a fool. My parents thought me mad and my teachers thought even worse. It would tickle and I would cuff it away but they never saw its actions, only my reactions. It would speak to me and I would answer back but no one heard what it was saying. They would only catch my reply.

They whispered behind my back about what to do with me while it whispered in my ear of how they all wished to send me away and then always it would giggle. I watched as each one spoke trying to read their lips so I might know what lay in store for me and as I did the paranoia grew within me. I would walk in a room and catch my parents in the middle of a conversation all to watch them cease what they had been doing. They’d just pretend they were never speaking at all but I knew they spoke of me just like I knew they wanted me gone.

I thought several times about ending it all so I might find just an ounce of peace. My mind ran over and over the ideas of what I might do so I might finally be free of all that which tormented me so. Often I thought about closing my eyes tight and stepping off the curb into oncoming traffic or maybe diving head first off the highest structure I could find but each and every time it talked me out of it. Once I even had the noose I would hang from ready and waiting but it talked me out of that too almost like it was the best friend I had ever had but I knew better. I knew deep inside that it was to blame for it all just like I knew with all I was that I couldn’t give it its own way.

Finally I could stand it no more and I reached out to those around me. I couldn’t let them think me mad. I couldn’t let them think it was all me. I finally told them all of the dreadful things that were taking place and of the hideous thing that was bringing them to be. I couldn’t let them go on thinking I’d just lost my grasp on my own sanity or on reality itself so I poured my heart out and spilled it all. I told them all of how I was pestered beyond all belief by something not even I could see. I had to clear the air and try to clear my name but the effort was in vain and the more I spoke the madder they thought I had become.They assured me it couldn’t possibly be so. They assured me that it couldn’t really exist nor could the things I’d described to them ever really happen. They all swore it was all in my head and they all swore they could show me just how to bring it to an end. They all swore they could help me but much to my dismay they have done anything but that.

Instead they talked me into this. Instead all those I loved and all those I thought I could trust placed me here, here in this place constructed to house the mentally deranged and the utterly disturbed.

There are people all around me here but I have never felt so alone in my entire life. This place where I now reside is like nothing I could have ever even imagined existed yet it does and I am here within it. It is my own personal hell. They all claim that here I am with others like myself but these ‘people’ are nothing like me. They know not what I deal with. They have no clue what I’ve been through, what I am still going through. I myself am merely bothered while these ‘people’ they have caged me with are downright nuts and that’s putting it mildly. Troubled I may be but the others here are truly insane to say the least. Some of them scream at the top of their lungs, others just sit alone whispering to themselves in languages only they can understand. Some sit silently, their hands fidgeting endlessly while others bang their heads off the grate covered windows or the nearest wall. They all looked dead behind the eyes—empty shells if you will—just waiting for death to take them, something that would seem almost an escape from this house of madness.

Most days I question whether the so-called doctors in this place are any better than my cage mates.  They claim they are here to help me but they torture me as much as the crazies within these walls. They take turns poking and prodding at my already aching mind, tormenting me as much or even more than it ever could. They’ve medicated me to the point I can no longer differentiate up from down in an attempt to banish the thing they claim never existed, yet it still picks at me when they are not. They subject me to tests that I do not understand and stick me with needles time and again while it laughs and laughs. They claim over and over that it is not now nor ever was real while it continues to show me just how real it really is. When I am not being tormented by them I spend my time locked away in some rubber room or strapped down to some god awful table being tortured by it.

Had I known that it would come to this I would have suffered this thing alone. Gladly I would have suffered with the misery it caused rather than the misery and emptiness of this godforsaken place. It’s almost like the thing inside me has manifested itself into something more, into something real. It has gotten to the point where I have to decide whether I should let it taunt me and accept that this is what was meant to be or just ignore it in the hopes that it will eventually get bored and leave me be. Now I have to ask, how will I be able to cope without this thing that has been with me for so long?

For here in this place there is nothing for me. It seems what I hadn’t lost before I came has been stripped from me. This place has taken from me all that I was, all that I knew, and all I might have one day been. I have no friends here; no family comes to visit me. Here there is nothing, nothing but the cold of these walls and the suffering lent by those held within them. Here I have been robbed of it all, of everything except for it.

It, that thing that has been with me since I was but a child, It, that thing I despised, that I loathed. It has been here by my side for so very long till I can barely imagine a life without it near. Has it become a situation of it not being able to survive without me or of me not being able to survive without it? Am I a part of it or is it a part of me? I’ve grown used to its taunts now almost to the point I’d be disappointed if it no longer tormented me. How would I spend my days, how would I pass the time without it pestering me so? It seems for better or worse we are bound to each other to the point I find some comfort in this love-hate relationship we have. What would happen if it were to suddenly abandon me? I wonder now, here in this place, what would become of me if it were to no longer be?

Copyright © Howard Carlyle 2016. All rights reserved.

Copyright © Lemmy Rushmore 2016. All rights reserved


It's been a pleasure hosting you today, dear readers, for our visit from Howard Carlyle and Lemmy Rushmore. The most pleasant Thanksgiving to you and yours. And the Darkness thanks you.