The Shades Of Sin

Whenever the wind is blustery
And buffets the chamber door,
I find Elaine, curling in fear
Down on the hallway floor.
She cries, calls suddenly out to me,
‘Do you hear the shades of sin?
I know that it's got it in for me,
You're never to let it in.'

‘Never to let what in? ' I say,
‘It's only the southern wind,
Blowing in turgid sudden gusts,
To rattle the panelling.'
‘It's ever much more, ' Elaine replied,
‘I've seen it up in the trees,
Just like a flight of monster bats
To beat me down to my knees.'

As if in reply, a mighty gust
Blew in the chamber door,
In came a flurry of autumn leaves
That settled, down on the floor.
But with it a cold and clammy darkness
Seemed to enter the room,
An awesome sight in the fading light
It huddled there in the gloom.

It came in the shape of a giant cape,
A hood of enormous size,
And peering out from the hood, no doubt,
A pairing of bloodshot eyes.
I heard a bubbling in its throat
A babble of rasping sounds,
‘It's time to come for the deed you've done,
You're due in the devil's grounds.'

Elaine lay whimpering in the hall,
She lay there, hiding her eyes,
‘I didn't think you would find me out, '
She muttered, to my surprise.
‘What was the awful thing you did,
You never told me before.'
‘I poisoned her drink, then ran and hid,
When she fell down on the floor.'

A bony hand reached out from the cape
And seized Elaine by the throat,
She fought and struggled, tried to escape
Then screamed, in a long, high note.
‘You can't be late for your nuptials, '
The beast had growled in return,
‘You'll soon be wed to a demon, who
Will take you to hell, to burn.'

I watched it pull Elaine to her feet,
Then drag her out through the door,
The monster bats were up in the trees,
But she lay dead on the floor.
Whenever I hear the southern wind
Come beat on the door outside,
I think of the times that I have sinned,
And shudder, how Elaine died.

5 August 2017

by David Lewis Paget

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