Trees stare down at me,
dark and ominous
from the edges of this dusty path I walk down.
It must be evening, approaching night
because they cast spider web shadows
with their boney branches
under the overcast sky
I reach the end of the road to find a looming castle.
It appears empty, left, forgotten.
A gnawing curiosity drives me
to the huge wooden doors.
I heave one open crawling into the
cold, deep, darkness.
Endless hallways in every direction
with windows letting in stark moonlight.
The place is damp and frozen with stone.
Fear seeps through the dead walls into my soul,
but there’s no turning back.
I choose the path straight ahead,
a large staircase winding around the walls.
Each step is now muted with the deep
red carpet covering the stairs.
I hold the smooth banister and
peek around the corner to the next floor up.
The second floor is much like the first,
but more closed off,
Startled, I spin to a clatter behind me.
On the steps below are two guards staring up.
Menacing stances equipped with burnished spears.
I cannot see much under their helmets,
but I am quick to notice their white boney wrists.
I spin back up the stairs and
set off to the left to be met by two more guards.
One of these two is missing a helmet
And I am revealed the complete horrible truth.
Empty eye sockets and glistening teeth.
The smoothness of his skull glowing in the moonlight.
For a moment I am stuck with fear,
my small body grounded.
They begin to lunge forward and
I flip around to run the opposite way,
hardly missing the claws of a skeleton.
I run straight,
Trying not to look back.
I can’t help it.
I glance over my shoulder to see four chasing me,
and more joining in from the staircase.
Silver armor clanking up and down, brandishing spears
My world becomes bright,
and bright again as I pass the stacks of windows.
This reminds me of long car rides,
I wish I could close my eyes
And wake up there
Far away from here
Far away from harm.
I can’t run forever, my lungs burn for oxygen
My body telling me to stop.
I feel as if I have been running for hours,
The empty hallways never end,
They flip and turn,
Always revealing a new path.
I spot a door cracked open,
I rush inside and slam it shut behind me, locking it quickly.
The room is small and lit dimly with candles.
I see no way out.
The pounding on the door begins
I sink to the icy floor in defeat,
Sucking air in and out of my lungs.
I finally close my eyes.
On the opposite wall lies a small grate,
maybe my only escape.
I pry the grate from the wall in desperation and shove it to the side.
Crawling into the small tunnel is easy, I fit perfectly.
My heart leaps as I hear a loud CLANG
the door has been breached.
With my last glance back I see a guards face,
glaring down the tunnel at me.
They are too big to fit, about twice my size.
I continue forward until I reach the source of the light.
A glowing red gem, encompassed by a sparkling skull.
I feel drawn to the power of the light,
yearning to know what it is.
I reach out to touch it and am suddenly shaking
As the floor rumbles and rotates like a revolving door.
I find myself in a large room.
At first I notice the many candles,
until my sight wanders further.
I see the giant stairs,
At the top is a throne,
stone like everything else but fixed with jewels around the edges.
The resting place for a glaring queen.
She wears a giant black dress,
So long is flows down the steps.
Her beautiful crown has spikes sharp enough to kill.
I stand facing her with the crystal skull in my arms,