There beneath the skeletal moon, its face ablaze with pale, blue fire laid a spire of a ruin, its towers taunting the very heavens above. Its yawning gates beckoning me to enter. My fear silenced by the cries of curiosity as I crossed the forbidden threshold.
Stepping into the womb of night, my eyes were bathed in blindness, the chill air seeping into my very bones. To my right, velvet drapes adorned a monolithic window, like a pair of demonic wings. Viscid tears poured down the dark walls in thick droplets.
I came upon a long hall lined by an endless row of candles on tall wrought iron staffs. Their disembodied flame shining like pearls in a sea of blackness, their ghostly light exposing framed faces, painted with melancholy. Their deep, hollow eyes following each trembling step I take. There were men with terror-stricken faces, men with sullen expressions, their deep wrinkles revealed like the scars of time. There was other things, spawns of some chimerical design. Things with large obsidian eyes, others with withered lips that exposed their rotting teeth, frozen in a hideous smile. But most were ineffable abominations that I could not comprehend.
At last the hall opened up into a colossal domed chamber, and at its zenith hung an enormous chandelier aglow with some hidden inner light. Enraptured by its resplendence I began to hear an eerie voice of music fill the heavy air. A nocturne of beauty that slithered up my spine and into my soul with its haunting melody. I stood directly under the great lamp though I do not know how it came to be. An opaque mist swept through the room, breaking into many nebulous shapes of all variety, solidifying into faint human bodies. Their spectral forms swirling and twirling about me in a perpetual dance. Shadows of a long, forgotten past.
All of a sudden a sharp cackle severed the lovely cadence, tearing me from my reverie. The crowd continuing their slow dance, lost in their own fantasy. I stared in the direction from where the hideous laughter erupted; there in the gloom stood a looming shadow on the very edge of darkness. The shadow then emerged as a whole, like some demonic statue. It stood motionless, its features illuminated in the soft gilded candlelight.
On its head was a rusted crown. Its jewels missing like broken teeth. Tentacles of damp, disheveled hair clamped about its skull like an opalescent egg. Its filthy robes dangling off its haggard frame like strands of broken web. Only its sunken deep-set eyes were blazing with life. Its contorted mouth pulled back in a painfully grotesque grin as it said in a low, creaky voice, “Hello, old friend.” And with horrific clarity, I realized that that forsaken creature was me.
© SD 2013