Number twelve dream (nightwings)

we play Ouija
us dumbasses
it’s a teen night at the manor
the protective parents trusted us
when they wanted to have some fun of their own

you know the drill
just like in the movies
we all join hands around the table
the lights dimmed for atmosphere
slightly drunk, slightly high
giggling at this silly séance
to hide the niggling nervousness

our free hands rest on the pointer
we ask some nutbar questions
the thing begins to move furiously
spelling out gibberish answers
we accuse one another of moving the disc
when, all at once,

a boom and a bellow from the basement

YOU RANG?

the cellar door bangs open
and there’s a harsh croaking laugh from the bottom of the steps
our piefaced smiles are gone, and we stare

COME NOW!

in mechanical unison, we stand
we turn toward the bleak staircase
and, nervous marionettes,
we file, on stilted legs,
downstairs to the calling thing

it is small, maybe two feet,
hunched over like an old man
we cannot see a face
nothing to be afraid of, eh?
but, we get smaller, smaller
like Alice who took the wrong pill

now he is huge
unfolding leathery wings as he straightens up
showing a lascivious leer
licorice-lipped with teeth of black
eyes full of flies
golden wings dripping crimson droplets
that spit into nothingness when they reach the floor

GOLD, OR SOULS!

We are stiff in the silence
as he points to each of us
with those crawling eyes

there’s a popping noise,
and little Beckie’s tooth plinks off the concrete
into his greasy claw
and, released, she collapses to the floor,
having given gold

my sister is next
she is spun around and walks straight-backed
up the stairs
then floats back down, somnambulistic,
bearing Mom and Dad’s Anniversary clock,
gold plated under glass
a plaintive moan escapes her
as she places it at the demon’s feet

its licorice grin widens
as it snaps its ghoulish head towards me

what have I?
what have I?
WHAT HAVE I?

in the blinding light of eight in the morning
I wake
spitting feathers from my mouth
and quieting my rancid heart.

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