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When The Ten Bells Toll

Contributed by puppy_dog_eyes on Wednesday, 27th July 2016 @ 01:26:53 PM in AEST
Topic: StoryPoetry

Pay heed, spoke the teller, the tale I spake this winters eve for those of you gathered in
Stowed here again the raking fingers of the storm
Is a book unfinished, chapters more yet to ink upon this tortured page
Those who fear indeed be wise men, scuttle to your homes
Melt behind doors, protected from ill
Pray for thy brethren, who gladly usher the curse upon them
Those who welcome the demons of the night as unfamiliar friends
When the wind begins to sing her lullaby in long dark alleyways
Better to be housed in warm chamber than turned out from tavern in crescent moonlight
Do not linger in the pit of night when cold breath plumes like chimney smoke
And the shadows of damned souls seep from every dim corner

One raised his lantern high and peered across the black city streets
Scoffing at the memories of the tale just told, one clear fact still lodged in the mind
When the ten bells toll as the messenger of death, the soul taker comes to reap once more
Half glanced pocket watch confirmed fear was folly
Quarter to the midnight hour gave comfort to remnants of doubt
Sea air salted incoming breath as the wind whipped the clapper of the old harbour bell
And waves thrashed the rocks where the caves drank the sea
Galleon masts crisscrossed the white of the moon
Decks groaned to the swirling belly of the deep
This was the time they called the Devils Chill
The dead of night when biting cold snapped breath from the lungs
Footsteps slowed as he turned from shore, up the commanding rise of the hill to home
He stopped, startled briefly by the hoot of unseen owl in the cradle of nearby oak
Then smiled at the folly of allowing the mind to play tricks
Short-lived silence reclaimed the gloom as the old church came into view
Thrusting its monolith skyward, beyond the rooted realm of earth
Heavy bells began to toll, sentinels to time
Casting their message deep into the void
No fumbling in his pocket, he counted each, eight, nine, ten, then no more
Shoulders shrugged against midnight moon-glow
Warning tale forgotten as the traveller strode on

Morning dew had scarcely lifted from the hedgerow when they found him, still and cold
Clinging to the gatepost, pocket watch spilled to the ground reading the hour of 10
Drink was his undoing claimed one of the gathered throng
But the one who knew smiled a knowing smile
Another chapter closed for a never finished book
As the deep red ink within slowly began to dry.

Copyright © puppy_dog_eyes ... [ 2016-07-27 13:26:53]
(Date/Time posted on site)


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Re: When The Ten Bells Toll (User Rating: 1 )
by northernlights on Wednesday, 27th July 2016 @ 03:49:31 PM AEST
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The Devil"s chill, one of the many expressive phrases in this haunting story. I walked down the streets felt the cold icy air and curiosity grew as I wondered what really happened? Next chapter please.

Re: When The Ten Bells Toll (User Rating: 1 )
by softerware on Wednesday, 27th July 2016 @ 07:55:07 PM AEST
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So many descriptive phrases "where the caves drank the sea" is one of my favorites!
You have painted a true horror story..we are so in denial of the supernatural!
This begs a second read to fully flesh out the rich tapestry you have woven. Thank you for honoring your readers with such a well crafted gift. I am honored to read it.

Re: When The Ten Bells Toll (User Rating: 1 )
by hauntedscorp on Thursday, 28th July 2016 @ 08:59:30 AM AEST
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Oooh, what a fascinating read!! That was so dark and captivating. The imagery was bursting at the seams.
Thank you for posting, Steve! Nicely done.


Re: When The Ten Bells Toll (User Rating: 1 )
by Tiny_Tina on Thursday, 11th August 2016 @ 03:21:09 PM AEST
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Like a book I couldn/'/t put down. Bravo!


Re: When The Ten Bells Toll (User Rating: 1 )
by unknown_utopia on Sunday, 28th August 2016 @ 12:12:36 AM AEST
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do not know I missed this flow

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