Haunted House – 30 Day Halloween Challenge Poem #23


In my youth,

on a dare, I walked up  the crumbling steps to a dilapidated house.

Why?  Because I was bold, fearless, and a little

touched in the head.

I pushed at the door,

The hinges squealed like the tortuous squeals

of pain inflicted a hundredfold.

My two friends stood there in the front yard like tall petrified blades of grass,

looking on, probably wondering how far I would take their dare.

“Go inside,” they said “and say Trick-or-Treat.”

So I had went, to  the dark threshold  to the

mouth of a house, said to have seen murder and mayhem

many years hence.

Then I did cross to the inside.

All was quiet.

Darkness advanced through the windows as

the sun finally set behind the dead trees outside.

Tattered curtains fluttered as the wind flowed

through broken panes of glass.

I was sure time had slowed. I had entered another dimension,

stepped into the netherworld where only ghosts lived.

Yet I felt no fear…only a calm curiosity to see

what might happen next.

Footfalls fell upon the floorboards, almost

skipping as if in play.

A little girl’s laughter filled my ears

as my bag of candy was pulled from my grasp.

“Trick or Treat?”  I asked, already  knowing the

answer to my question was both.

She materialized before me, munching on

a piece candy  she had found in my bag.

I watched, mesmerized as I saw the contents of

the candy go down her throat  through the opaqueness

that encompassed her form.

“No taste” she said sadly to no one.

Her eyes turned dark, reflecting a lonliness

compiled in a century of misery in this dank

forgotten home.

“Take this.” I said, handing her my sword and pirate hat.

“Happy Halloween, for tonight is your night…” I whispered.

She smiled a devlish grin and bowed, returning my

bag  of candy back to me.

“A treat indeed.” she said, laughing

and swinging her pirate sword,

lost in her world of make believe

as she slowly dissolved away.

I smiled a secret smile as I walked

down the steps to my friends,

and began to tell them of

my encounter they would

never really believe.

by Philip Wardlow

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