Ancient oaks lined the path.
Spanish moss, grey, a subtle splash
in the dusk, barely lit, torchlight,
fireflies flit on their way to catch
the last rays of sun, to replenish
I pressed on, horrors surely near,
certain the elder ghosts hunted,
hidden inside the oaks, like twisted
dryads, hungry for, feasting on,
the remnants of the day, and this
traveler’s bones. Young and brave,
I stayed the road and reached the end.
Your father’s mansion, dreadful,
expansive. Pillared gates, cathedral
spires, all built with blood and ire.
This night, I wore my best shirt,
the grey one, a button held by wire.
Trousers, threadbare, so unworthy it hurt.
I, the disgrace, dared ask for
But we were young, foolish, and bold.
Moonlight on skin, a stark light in the darkness, my skin matched the glint.
The iron knocker lay cold in my hand. The merest rap, a cacophony, resounded in the manse.
Echoing on and on, it became a
heartbeat for the beast your father built.
In time, the doors swung wide and I
was captured by what dwelled within.
Before me, the most beautiful sight,
my soon-to-be bride, radiant, floating
in a cloud of gossamer white. Your father
fell ignored, there by the door. I was
transfixed by your descent down the
spiral staircase. Your bare feet peeked
from the hem to the floor.
Pale skin… no, fair. Your jet back mane gleamed, yet reflected no light. You looked icy and cold, like the chill of the night, but I knew better, because I felt your flames. You are molten inside, magnetic, pulling in the light, so you can use it more wisely.
My heat rose at the collar. Peasant shirt, sweating through, I could have no other. I would never understand why you chose me, but the gifts you gave, you gave freely. Now I, grey-clad peasant,
like a moth, forever drawn to your light.
But, now I understand why your father
wished me ill. When our fingers touched,
the fires raged, caught the curtains
and reached for the gate. Burn, burn
we must, this is our fate. We’ll burn
away your father’s mansion of hate,
and dance into the ancient oaks
to feed the fireflies for the coming day.
©️ CG Tenpenny, 2018.