Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Terror

The Terror walks unbidden through the pathways of your mind
Scant hours of drunken stupor are the sole release you find.
So drink you down a cask of wine and savor every drop
With sure and certain knowledge that The Terror will not stop.

Inscriptions offered warnings ere you breached the treasure room.
They warned of retribution to defilers. But from whom?
You hauled away the gemstones and the relics with no fear
Dismissing all the portents with a condescending sneer.

Wend your memory backwards to the horrid stab of pain as
The Terror, for the first time, raked Its claws across your brain
And spoke to you a language, dead for half a million years,
And touched within your deepest core the fount of all your fears.

Return the plundered treasures was the message It conveyed
It spoke of consequences if Its words were not obeyed.
The price for disobedience explained to you in full
The Terror would most surely shred and feast upon your soul.

You thought the combination of the wine and light of day
 was proof to stop Its evil or, at least, keep it at bay.
But did you, in your desperate fear, have reason to believe
Escape from such a foulness was that easy to achieve?

The builders of the temple chose their Guardian with care
A daemon they had captured while quite young and unaware
That while they paid in blood and kept It fed most faithfully
They failed to warn the daemon they would never set It free.

For thrice a thousand years the daemon did as it was told
And vanquished every enemy the priests had, young and old.
But years moved on and priests grew old and died of time and age
And as each worshipper passed on, it fed the creature's rage.

Then came the time that none remained to set The Servant free
And doomed It to be prisoned there for all eternity.
That is until your foolish deed released It to roam free
And fed Its thirst for vengeance with your precious sanity.

And so you boxed the plunder up and flew back to the land
From whence it had been carried off by your uncaring hand.
You hired the guides to take you to the site of your offense
In hopes that by so doing you could make your recompense.

But sands are ever shifting in the deserts barren waste
And so they had consumed and swallowed up the cursed place
And no amount of searching would reveal the prize you sought
Your doom was sealed with no chance that your freedom could be bought.

The Terror would not hear your feeble efforts to explain.
It only carved a pathway ever deeper in your brain.
Its phantom claws and hellish teeth assaulting you at will
And yet not granting any peace by going for the kill.

The Terror warned you only had 'til next the moon was full
To do as it demanded or to forfeit up your soul.
And knowing you could never meet Its single great demand
You settled in your chair and kept a glass clutched in your hand.

So start in on the brandy now or try a bit of port.
Drink every drop of liquor for your time is growing short
Consuming that much alcohol may help you face the fear
As the moon grows ever fuller at this autumn time of year.

This poem was originally written for a contest my wife Lisa McCourt Hollar was running on  It never got finished for that contest or for a year or two afterwards. It has now been recycled as a contest entry for the Halloween Short Fiction & Poetry Contest sponsored by DarkMedia City


  1. Vivid and thought provoking. I love it. Tells you of my warped brain

  2. How ingenious! Loved this. Good luck with the contest, I'll root for you!

  3. You do horror well, and this one has a grand scope and style to it which is quite striking. It makes me want to play with the setting and concepts. Nicely done!