The Beast

Beast

A ghastly double horned wilderness beast

Laid claim on the swamps and forests to the East

In a cave some said the thing makes its berth

Damp and dank on the cusp of the earth

The mist of the moors gives it freedom to roam

It’s prey, unwary humans straying far from their homes

The stories found me lost in my thoughts

I ventured to see from a distant dark spot

From a gnarled tree I watched, and oh what I saw

Trapped deep within a bloody voracious claw

Mutilated, and still warm, the prize from its kill

The body lay wrecked, he’d eaten his fill

Twas the man’s heart, bemired and dripping

Imbruing the creature with a twisted tendril of crimson

Twas horror like nothing I’d witnessed before

And my insides did churn, upset by the gore

Yet my perch kept me trapped from escaping the place

Unknowing that more evil would be joining the space

Suddenly unseen forces beckoned specters in black

They slid from the shadows, wispy and slack

As the seconds passed, each moment forever

I held tight in my space thinking to be clever

This place I must leave, for my life to spared

I shivered and shook, my raw nerves were so scared

Below the ashen corpse lay still, splayed and bare

A nefarious cavern of emptiness, quite a messy affair

My fear was immense and my sight forever stained

I prayed for its passing and a wish to stay sane

The blackness slid in to finish its will

Consuming the bits that remained from the kill

Unsure how they moved, I froze in my spot

Surviving this long, I vowed not to be caught

My gaze I kept focused hard on the ground

The soil damp with blood, the air carried no sound

As if whispers would come to share a secret escape

Some pathway to follow, unseen by the wraith

When the night erupted with the rattling of chains

Piercing the landscape, sharing the pain

They say the guilt of the fallen sweetens the taste

Those who are wretched cry out in disgrace

Back to the prize lodged in the hand of the beast

Drenched in blackness, the desert of the feast

The specters and darkness gave way to its size

Since everything evil could be read in its eyes

It scanned all directions as if feeling a change

Hideous dark hackles all covered in mange

Lifting its head and searching the sky

My fear again heightened, almost to a cry

When harsh blades of ice were felt in the winds

Bringing cold deep as winter, and deadly as sin

Aged tree limbs bend and bow and weaker ones break

Rotten and eroding while some split like a stake

And the skies rumbled forth and opened their wells

The torrents like teeth, exploded as the fell

For all the fear a mind could dredge up from a dream

Was happening tonight, in these woods, by this stream

As the temperatures fell and in a cloud my breath

I resolved that this night would end with my death

The rain silhouetted my outline in the trees

Only one glance and a meal I would be

Skin, scaly and plated, rippling with strength

Sharp claws and teeth both menacing in length

Oh how my final visions would be

Observances of evil from high in a tree

Scorching earth without fire, malice or mace

A step, then another and it moved at a pace

A pathway to freedom I thought might appear

Yet I waited for hours, still welded with fear

My state was exhaustion, my flesh fully soaked

Cold to the touch, despite my wet cloak

Aching joints stiff and muscles fatigued

I still felt remorse from being intrigued

And with the first rays breaking over the hill

I slowly crept earthward, most quiet with skill

No body, nor bones could I discover below

All blood washed away from the watery flow

“My god!” I cried loudly as if venting my shame

I had watched it but not thought I might be insane

For evidence none, all just in my head

Yet I spent a long night, in a tree, full of dread

Knowing the facts I tried to recall

Who was the man? How did he fall?

From my perch in the tree, I watched the dark way

Yet somehow time stopped and I was lost in a fray

Could the night have been my imagination?

Lost in the burning recess of made up conflagration

Home, yes there I would go

Yet looking around I knew that would be no

For enlightened I was and sad with the blues

As I knew that I had just be tricked in a ruse

My story would be lost, I now knew the cause

My flesh started burning with the pierce of the claws

The tearing was the last earthly feeling I’d know

My body consumed, my soul sent below…

cave of the beast

Additional Readings

A Shadow Suddenly Crossing My Path

The Reaper

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)
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R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

4 thoughts on “The Beast

  • July 1, 2016 at 8:23 PM
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    My gosh! Ralph, this is a chilling verse that held me frozen without stop till the end. Your command of the story and the reader is fantastic. I can vividly imagine Vincent Price reading this aloud to a captive audience. Amazing work.

    Reply
  • July 2, 2016 at 10:06 PM
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    A dark and gritty rendition of gruesome beasts and blood in a chilling story so well told. Love the wordplay and stark imagery Ralph. great work.

    Reply

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