General Poetry posted January 29, 2014

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A story inspired by Poe

All Hallow's Eve

by Mark Valentine

Once upon All Hallow's Evening, none did I plan on receiving,
Thus I stood there disbelieving as urchins clamored at my door.
Urchins clad in strange apparels, holding buckets, bags and barrels,
Too early for Christmas carols - what could they have come here for?
"Speak urchins", I curtly uttered, "Tell me what you've come here for."
"Just candy and nothing more."

A demon, ghost and sprightly fairy trespassed on my sanctuary,
I muttered a quick Hail Mary and hoped this trial would soon be o'er.
Just behind a vampire stood a Reaper with a dark black hood
And crimson eyes that held no good - this one filled my heart with horror.
"Be on your way. I've nothing for you. Go now quickly. Try next door."
Quoth the Reaper, "Don't make us sore."

There they stood out on my landing, asking - practically demanding
That I quickly begin handing over sweets and treats galore.
"You're presence here does much aggrieve me. I'm old and frail you must believe me,
So won't you go right now and leave me
And knock upon some other door?"
But this plea they did ignore.

Their stubborness and stern persistence enervated my resistance,
So in response to their insistence I looked at what I had in store.
Luckily I had some candy lying near the apple brandy
In a snifter I kept handy in my topmost kitchen drawer.
"I will give you some small candies I found in my kitchen drawer,"
Then go away and come no more.

So I gave each one a fudge, but still the urchins wouldn't budge,
They looked as if they bore a grudge. I wondered at this grudge they bore.
"This fudge is less than what we're needing. We have come here trick-or-treating."
"Trick or treat" they kept repeating - said 'til I could stand no more.
"Why won't you just go away now - can't you see I'm old and poor?"
Quoth the urchins, "We want more."

"What? You're wanting bigger portions? I'll not cave to your extortions.
Your mothers should have had abortions, for rotten fruit their labors bore!"
My soul was raging with emotion, my brain awash in wild commotion,
Then suddenly I had a notion that calmed me - soothed me to the core.
"I just remembered one more treat - a special treat that you'll adore,
A treat that's simply to die for"

"I've special candy on my shelf that I'd been saving for myself,
But you can add it to your pelf when you've promised, when you've swore
Upon the eyeballs of your mother that you'll never tell another,
not your sister or your brother, no matter how much they implore,
where you got this golden candy, the mine from whence you took this ore."
Quoth the urchins, "Yeah, yeah sure."

So I gave the kids the candy, went back inside to have some brandy,
Everything was fine and dandy 'til a knock came at my door.
There a man named Sergeant Baker told another cop "You take her",
Seems some kids had met their Maker, a crime that someone must pay for
They took me to a special cell with iron gates and concrete floor.
And here I'll stay forevermore.

After that the rest is blurry, vengeful parents filled with fury,
A judge consulted with a jury, then came out through his chamber door.
He said that I was 'compos mentis' and, showing no signs of repentance,
I merit the most stringent sentence - what all that meant I am not sure.
They moved me to a special row where no-one knocks upon my door.
Who could ask for any more?

And now I sit here in this chair. I wonder why they shaved my hair?
And why do all those people stare like children in a candy store?
But there's a face I recognize, the dark black hood, the crimson eyes,
A face I so once did despise when last he stood outside my door,
Stood there for the longest time refusing withdrawal from my door,
And so he shan't forevermore.

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