adventure

by Rg Gregory

just as the dusk comes hooting
down through the shivering black leaves
of the swinging trees we (the brave ones
swaggering like marshalls through a lynch-mob)
crash-bang our way to the door
of the so-called haunted house

knock knock; kick in a pane of glass
and the dusk hoots louder in our ears
and the swinging trees ride like a mob
with murder in mind; knock knock -
the heavy knocker on the solid door
shaking the house; knock knock
knock knock; louder shaking our brave
bodies the heavy knocker of our hearts

knock knock; knock knock knock

we laugh with a harsh laughter we
have never heard before push and shove
each other in a boisterous fear
lean on heave crash open the door
fall in a heap inside; pick ourselves up
courageous still giggling and bruised.....

shush

find words bounce our voices off the walls....

shush shush

yell catcalls scream shriek roar
batter and shatter.....

shush shush shush

oh shush yourselves

no really; shush
in the air
under the stair
what can we hear
shush

are you getting scared
we knew it
we knew that if we dared....

we can hear noises

noises noises
in an empty house
the sound of our voices
echoes in crevices
rattles in doorways booms
in the hollowness of empty rooms

no that isn't all
that doesn't explain
the tall hooded silence
standing in the hall
or the whispering smell
of dust bristling the floor
scurrying like the dried-up
bones of mice to the hole
in the crumbling wall
something snatches our voices
away from us too quickly
for our voices to be all

nonsense the house is dead
it can't harm us old bricks and wood
you're letting the darkness go to your head
shout if you don't believe us shout
if anybody's there
if anybody's there
you won't get us afraid of you
whoever you are
whoever you are
this is what we think of you
boo boo boo
what's wrong
what's wrong
tell us what's wrong

listen

nothing

no nothing at all
your voices went
but they didn't return
you called
but nothing came back at all
there's something there
swallowing up words
absorbing them into air
heavy waiting alert

(daddy-longlegs pitch on skin
sinister fingers whisper
through the roots of our hair....)

....we're not afraid of you
nothing nobody
we know you're there

what is it at the end of the passage
in the gloom by the still door
eyeing without eyes everything we do
sucking us in with its black stare

you think it's funny don't you
trying to frighten us keeping out of sight
come out here if you're anything; we'll show you

arms move suddenly along the wall
the moon riding hard on foaming clouds
stands solid in the door
and it's not a good moon at all

why did we come
we should have stayed home
but here we are in an evil room
trapped between the witchcraft of an empty house
and the cold hard grin of the moon

i'm going in

you can't

i must

you'll become air
a heavy silence
a dance of dust

there's nothing there
nothing nothing there

he gives a brave laugh
but a laugh drained of blood
and moves down the passage
to the masked door
hesitates and turns
wanting our support
frightened to his heart's core
steps no; is drawn; backwards
into a black space rapidly
dissolving in our misted eyes
we half-hear a short gasp; no more
the moon's grin is louder
as (on his restless clouds)
he bucks about the sky

no one returns to us
and in the morning
(rooted in fear
we could not leave the place
but spent the night
huddled in one big stack
in the frozen hall)
and in the morning
we find not a single trace
of the friend who went
as simply as any word
into thin air

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