Bleak and sterile, as empty as a cracked eggshell and equally as fragile.
Feral for all its abandonment, yet sullen in its abandon.
Once shimmering in its vernal warmth at night, now pallid the moonlight falls; there I shall not go nor dance with the devil. Oceans once surrounded us, now we stand and watch as they disappear, parched beds lying face up and sun bleached in their stead. Death waits quietly in the distance, an apparition on a slow approach; His disquieting presence providing comfort to raven and snake alike.
We close the windows against the chilling dark, and wish for no haunting wind to blow through the cracks, to loose its disapproval into our rooms. The fireplace! Yes, the fireplace! A small fire, its protruding warmth and light should keep the stars’ icy fingers at bay—and yet even the flame provides an altar from which dancing shadows preach their fetid homily of loneliness.
No heed to be paid to the raven which may tap, tap, tap upon your window. Its eyes will reflect the folly within the hearth, but their true absence of color is unmistakable. Ask it nothing if it persists, for your soul may wither upon its response.
Death will be ever vigilant even while we sleep with our eyes open; His patience is always rewarded.
Fear Death . . . I do not. He will have me, cloaked in his austere raiment of physical decay, when the bell tolls. I shall know when I am called and I shall not beg, plead, nor pray for his temporary dismissal. This life is through, its cracked shell basking unfruitfully in the cold paleness of midnight.
When asked by the slow, coarse voice, “Do you know for whom the bell tolls?”, I shall not utter my answer, but close my eyes.