With time comes hunger, thirst and weariness,
and all of these must be addressed.
So when our man came to a hill
on which there stood a grey stone spire
he hastened to it, full of hope,
and knocked upon the door.
From within there answered him
a voice that rang with honeyed tones,
and when the door swung wide open
his eyes lit up with ill delight.
Perfection smiled her lovely smile
and beckoned him to enter in.
“Hungry? Thirsty? In need of a bed?”
Another smile. Her eyes met his.
He nods in answer, mind on other, different things.
“I’ll bring you bread, some honeyed milk,
a place I’ll set before the fire, for you to rest.”
The food is good, the drink is fine,
the company pleasant as our man dines.
His plate’s soon bare, his glass soon drained.
She stands to clear away his things.
His hand reaches, and covers hers,
“May I not stay with you tonight?” he asks.
She laughs and walks away.
He sits beside the fire, awaiting her return.
“A rug for cover, a pillow for your head,”
she laid them gently down before him,
“Is there anything else you need?”
“Just you,” his hand outstretched.
She laughed again and shook her head.
“If you could know what I’d been through–”
he starts but quickly is cut off.
“I know of it, and much, much worse.
All those who come upon this land
have seen, by their own hand, command,
or apathy, what pain and harm
and violence can be visited by man.”
Here, he spoke again,
“What words are these to say to me,
a guest within your home?
I’ve been through hell and worse, my girl,
and only now can rest.
So come lie here below me.”
“You filthy beast,” a hateful scowl,
“How dare you ask for that?
I take you in and shelter you
and bring you food and drink,
so you decide to recompense
with vulgarness and brass.”
“You wicked temptress,” he replied,
“you’ve been all smiles, laughs and winks,
since first I did arrive.
And now you turn and say to me
that all I’m worth is bread and milk,
a rug and pillow by the hearth,
that when I ask for company,
you sneer at me, raise your voice,
and call me wicked names.”
“When I show kindness, you assume
it’s want that’s in my acts?
When I play hostess well and good,
You think I play the whore?
I’ll let you stay ‘til morning breaks,
but after that you’re gone.
Now you sleep here, whilst I retire,
and no more talk of your desires.”
Our man’s face darkened at these words.
He dragged himself to lie beside
the fire that burnt still warm and bright,
but in his soul he wanted heat
that it would not provide.
The night came down, the stars came out.
The fire was embers, soft and red,
which glinted in our hero’s eyes
as evil thoughts passed through his head.
He rose, so quiet, soft and slow
to take the knife from by the bread
and head upstairs to find his host.
Slowly sliding forth the door,
knife in hand, an oath he swore,
“you should not have denied me whore!”
She wakes and screams. His knife goes deep.
Her blood spills out upon the sheets.
With morning sun, and new day’s breeze
he sits beside her on the bed.
He doesn’t weep, feels no remorse.
His hands are stained with lust and hate,
like many times before.