by Al Drinkle
Shadows flit over crimson damask like spectral ravens forlornly seeking purchase in limpid pools of blood. Despite its effulgence, my candelabra is a feeble agent against the illimitable dominion of gloom in my chamber. I say chamber, but rightfully it’s a tomb - and one whose oppressiveness acquiesces not to the influence of cheery iridescence, hyacinthine aromatics nor dulcet tones from the phonograph.
The page lies before me with the waxen hue of the grave, wantonly profaned by my quill in an ineffectual attempt to obtain respite from the sepulchral terror that grips me like an iron surcingle. Amidst the black wings of midnight, I contemplate inamoratas past – all beautiful, all deceased. As a creature of compulsions, their expiries were hardly my fault, but fate deems it otherwise and my lunar mortification intensifies as the tiny hours crawl forth and All Hallow’s Eve approaches.
The creaking begins; were it only shifting foundations or subterranean mutterings and not the hideous signifier of impending horror! For just as assuredly as these macabre memories torture my decrepit soul, the spectral apparitions of dead paramours haunt my chamber. Once sultry, now ghastly, these eidolons ascend from Hell as funereal succubi, thirsting not for coition but for blood. Seraphs sob in their phantasmagoric wake… it won’t be long now.
Should I flee, the wraiths pursue. Should I cry out, my tumult is rejoined by pythoness cackling and the druidical masquerade proceeds with hideous aplomb. The only safeguard from my plutonian destiny would be that Grenache-based nepenthe harking from untamed Minervois… but alas, my stocks are long since depleted.
Bathed in sweat and writhing in terror, I submit to the wolfen hunger of vengeful demonesses… the sadistic belles de nuits have returned to serve me my just deserts…