Sit before the Tale Weaver.

Through this open sash wafts the spice of golden autumn, yet lulled into complacency dare be not.  A harbinger, this essence, of sinister entities soon to stalk the sanctity of your threshold.  Hastened your pulse, and so should it be.  For in due time the graveyards beyond shall be born once more.  My skeletal hand now take, and open your dormant senses to such truths as only the Tale Weaver can reveal.  Yes.  Yessss.  One foot fore the other; step now from my tenebrous haunt.

Behold my playground!  Behold the majesty of rot neath your apprehensive feet, these glorious, rusted arches serving as gateways for the dead.  Across the chilled flesh of your cheek doth flit moonlight embers, or so your consciousness should have you believe.  Tis the fingers of lost souls caressing your countenance, mourning the shell of humanity you now possess.  This wayward wind aches under the weight of their listless repose; cease the shuddering of your limbs and heed their moans!  As you are now so once were they; for what they are now so soon shall you be.  Death, perhaps for you, is final, yet for these entities only in death do they flourish.

Cautious, ever cautious should you step tween the ever-sentient monuments and moss crusted sepulchers; their domain you tread.  Respect these hallowed grounds, respect this kingdom of decay, for to the purveyors of putrefaction tis their crown jewel.  The swirling mist; it jerks at your wrist, starving and desperate for your attention.  Yes, ignorant one, tis the dead!  They watch us…watch you…their doleful eyes shimmering tween the slender silvered cobwebs of the tombsTheir tendrils seek you, enamored with the stink of humanity, and in slow solitaire turns do they wish to dance at your side, their darkened cathedral of sorrow echoing with the strained chords of the damned.

The pathways, the hills, teeming with specters of eras long gone; this necropolis of the horrific busying itself for its grandest day — All Hallows Eve — so bear witness the blessings of death these hapless beings do perceive.  In turn, treasure your own worthless existence and end your common grievances, lest you return, doomed and fated to roam deeper chasms of despair than you can possibly comprehend.

Your attention…drawn to the small clearing just yonder.  Investigate you may; the ghouls I shall restrain whilst you stride tween the jagged teeth of plot and stone.  Yet you turn to me, confusion etched deep into your brow.  Aye, tis what you believe it to be…here the obscure sorrow more profound than anywhere else…here the cloying agony more suffocating than anywhere else…here the tiny monuments adorned with docile lambs, yet greater in stature than anywhere else…the final resting place for the young souls given no choice tween exemption and sin.

Dare not judge me, for your God I am not and do not wish to be.  Even I cannot fathom the laws of what you call fate; aye, nor abide by its rules if I could.  But these younglings I do watch from the distance, ever mindful of their misplaced light in this land so very lost.

You hear her, do you not?  The long, drawn mewls of agony and torturous sobbings of a heart long since raped; tis the guardian of these younglings, there…there…tattered wings draped in black strands over the faceless, nameless tombstone upon which she perches.  Yes…she…the dark angel for these beacons of light.

Gaze upon her grotesque beauty, this devourer of purity, yet your head turn from her tears.  Her anguish respect.  Protects these younglings at all costs and yet mourns her greatest loss, this dark angel does.  I speak of a soul abandoned by its Maker; a soul denied entry by equal parts Heaven and Hell.  A soul delivered from the abyss, cast back to the abyss.  For eternity has the dark angel brooded upon her cold throne of shattered dreams, compassionately embracing the young that seek comfort at her thorn laced feet whilst inconsolable her own charred essence bleeds dry.  For eternity agonizing over the light left unclaimed as her own.

The dark angel seethes – such is the price of unsatiated grief.  Mouth jagged, a twisted hole of silent fury; swarthy locks entombing stricken face.  Yearning, yearning for the sunbeam she may never hold.  Beautiful, wondrous and macabrely awful…the dark angel bemoans what is beyond even my capacity.

Leave now.  I command – leave now!  Across unholy crypts do run with tail tween legs, and pray your ragged breath not be stolen by the ghouls at your heels.  No longer I offer protection; no longer your welcome honored in our sanctuary of desolation.  For on this Stygian night the abomination I am becomes something wholly else; only on this Stygian night do I ignore my own sentence of perpetual condemnation and become something other than the insidious being you loathe.  Into these debased arms do I lift the dark angel and remove her from her watch.  On this endless night of Stygian nights, protector I become.  Upon my lap I lay her wicked head down, my sweet angel of depravity, and so she will mourn.  And hold her evermore, until all that remains of us is the rot tween our bones.

Until next I summon you, be gone.

So the Tale Weaver speaks.

~ Joseph A. Pinto as the Tale Weaver

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

As a proud participant in this years Coffin Hop 2012 blog tour, I’m giving away an e-copy of my novel Flowers for Evelene, plus a print copy of Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity featuring my story Memorial.

If you’d like to be one of the winners of my give away, please leave a comment on this post, and on November 1st, two random recipients will be chosen.

Don’t forget to visit the rest of the Coffin Hoppers at!

58 thoughts on “Grieve

  1. Exquisite use of vocabulary, evoking a lovely delirium of mood and setting. It has been too long since I laid my eyes on quality Gothic prose….and I am not easily enticed.


    1. Hello Lady Axe, thank you very much for stopping by & commenting. I appreciate your kind words; when I channel the “Tale Weaver” & write in his/its voice, that is the prose that comes forth. It is not for everyone…but I’d like to think its done with an eloquent madness of sorts. And the Tale Weaver always carries an ominous message…

      You may enjoy my other posts in this vein: ‘The Vampire I See’ and ‘Beast’


  2. This is a beautiful piece of writing. I love the Tale Weaver’s voice – always so profound. Your tale of traveling through a graveyard and trespassing on the protector of lost souls is exquisite. The prose is spot-on, delivering a massive punch with minimal wording. An excellent yarn, as always Joe! One of my favorites from the Tale Weaver… then again, it seems they all will be.

    And so perfect for the season too! ;}


    1. Hi Nina! I appreciate your thoughts & the time to read my post, of course! 🙂 Yes, I don’t know exactly where the Tale Weaver’s voice comes from, but he doesn’t rest until I get every last bit of his prose out. There is extreme sadness in this one; the Tale Weaver took me to places even I wasn’t expecting, and he opened my eyes to a great many things. There is much occurring in this piece, and if I need to point it out then I’m afraid readers aren’t reading carefully enough.


  3. Joseph – this piece wrings me dry
    part of me wanted to scream, running in retreat yet was a frozen captive watching the forlorn drama


    1. Well Leslie, it affected you just as I hoped…

      Thank you very much. This piece was something of poetry within itself. I think you of all people can appreciate that 🙂

      I appreciate your kind words!


  4. Oh I do so love reading the Tale Weaver and the frightening messages he delivers. This was absolutely numbing, Joe! Your prose left me enraptured, reading with bated breath. Chills danced along my spine as I drank in the macabre scenery and the exquisite brand of suffering the Weaver shared. This was nothing short of amazing! It’s going to take a long time to shake the image of the seething dark angel and her condemning protector. Bravo!


    1. Hey Adri! 🙂 Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I, too was shaken as I wrote this…the image of the Tale Weaver actually finding it within himself to comfort a grieving lost soul…there is much going on in this post. I have to admit, reflecting upon it, too painfully tragic for my taste. But once I write it, I don’t take it back


  5. Very dramatic, Mr. Pinto! I felt as though it should have been acted, or at least read as a monologue on stage. There is something decidedly creepy about this harbinger spirit, as though it always has been, and always will be. Ritualistic and ceremonial. Very unsettling, and worthy of the Most Damned!


    1. Thanks very much, Tom! The Tale Weaver has been quite cantankerous as of late…and there’s no telling what he’ll do…or share…once I allow him to roam the land. He certainly shared something quite unique this week. Even I was taken aback.


  6. What an undeniable invitation the Tale Weaver has given us into his world! You are a master of prose, Joe. My mind could not consume the tale quickly, enough. Your vocabulary is haunting and exquisite. I was easily lured into the tale.


    1. Hi Kathleen, thank you for taking the time to read ‘Grieve’ & sharing your thoughts, both of which I appreciate! 🙂 Different stories require different prose; I don’t always write in this manner, but when the Tale Weaver ‘channels’ through me, it is his preference. Call him old school, I suppose (just not to his face…then again, not sure if he has a face…just that all knowing, sinister eye of his :P).

      ‘Grieve’ is part story, part statement (again, another trait of the Tale Weaver), and I hope you, as well as others, took from it what I intended. My prose & stories write themselves…I never go by a ‘road map,’ & I hope ‘Grieve’ serves as an example just how beautiful horror can truly be


  7. I have to say that my favorite line is tenebrous haunt. The images that that invokes are just rich in haunt and horror. As is the rest of your piece.


    1. Hey Andy! Your words are much appreciated! Tenebrous haunt…funny thing is, I had a big smile on my face as I wrote that one lol I am very happy that you enjoyed Grieve. Stop by again, my friend. You’re now down with the Damned legion


  8. Lovely and haunting. Is the angel supposed to be a mother figure? I think it works really well–after all, the grief of losing a child at birth is powerful enough, you can see it leaving a psychic scar on the world.


    1. Yes, the dark angel is indeed a mother who has lost her child at birth. Exploring cemeteries as I do, you see a disturbing amount of graves for children, especially from the 17th, 18th century, taken far too young. My post started as my love for cemeteries (in honor of Halloween), and ended with a profound statement (as I always make as I write as ‘The Tale Weaver’… see my other posts if you’d like). The dark angel mourns what she can never have or hold; she views herself as a monster in the world because she cannot bear a child, yet her motherly instincts survive due in part to her “guardianship” of the younglings. The Tale Weaver, in the end, pushes aside his own monstrosity & takes the mantle of protector; more importantly, he provides her the comfort that has evaded her.


  9. This was a delightfully macabre post! I loved the Gothic feel and fantastically creepy vibe to the entire thing. The Tale Weaver certainly has the kind of voice to make you sit down, shut up, and listen. And when he says run… I bet I’ll be running!


    1. Hi L.M.! Thanks so much for commenting on my post 🙂 Yes, if you’ve ever read any of the Tale Weaver’s previous posts, then there’s no arguing he delivers his message quite succinctly. I appreciate the kind words, & I do hope that you’re willing to join us & become part of the Damned legion 🙂


    1. Hi Valerie, thank you for stopping by! Well, I’m going to write down the names of all who comment & place them into a big old hat…and soon enough you may be the lucky winner of a signed novel and/or anthology collection! 🙂


    1. Hey Tim, welcome to the dark side! 🙂 Thank you very much, I appreciate that. Glad you enjoyed ‘Grieve,’ & I hope you stick around for Pen of the Damned’s weekly posts. Look forward to speaking to you again!


  10. Haunting!
    Great piece of prose Joe!
    Hope you are having a FRIGHTFULLY FUN Hop!
    coffinhopping from Wrestling the Muse


  11. I knew I was going to love this piece when I read the phrase, “the spice of golden autumn.” The Tale Weaver has a commanding and heraldic voice, but those children’s graves, that is where the heart is, and the pathos. Thank you for this Halloween slice of prose poetry!



    1. Hi Aniko! Thank you so much! Yes, when the Tale Weaver speaks, you’d best listen! lol He always has a lesson to impart & a darker shade of humanity to reveal. I appreciate your kind words 🙂


  12. I simply adore the Tale Weaver and his unique narrative. This piece was no different, and lived up to all expectations. And, since I am so behind, like so many others who have commented before me, I agree that you are a master at the game of ‘word.’ Bravo, sir!


    1. Thanks, my Wulven brother! Appreciate the kind sentiments, but I strive simply to tell a damned good story; I can’t help it if the Tale Weaver enjoys twisting tongues & minds alike lol 🙂


  13. “Leave now. I command – leave now! ”

    Okay. You don’t gotta tell me twice. I’m a little terrified and wondering how smart it was of me to enter in the first place 🙂

    Enjoyed the piece, brother. Actually struggled a little at first following it (Infant Father Syndrome), but when I read it aloud, you nailed it. As I’ve said before, you have a very distinct, archaic voice.


    1. Hi Paul! Thanks for reading & also the kind comment. I don’t know about me having an archaic voice, though lol It’s just what comes through when good ole’ Mr. Tale Weaver decides he wants to come out and play 😉


      1. Yeah, that’s what I meant. That particular character’s voice is very distinct. And archaic (I had to look it up to make sure I was using it right :)).

        Anyway, if you’re ever looking for an amateur audio recording of one of these pieces for any reason, I’d love to do it. I have a good bit of theatre background, and I think you’d like how it came out. Just a thought completely out of left field for some indeterminate future consideration, but as I said, when I read it aloud, it’s got a great sound to it.

        Hope you’re having a good weekend.


        1. Hi Paul 🙂 Thanks & I think I’d like to discuss that further. I’ve wanted to do such a thing myself; as always, many creative ideas & limited time to accomplish them. The hurricane has also hampered things


  14. Searching, seeking some hidden haunt long lost to me, I roamed the dark rotting reaches yet unrequited; the way unremembered. Alas, I feared in my faltering that forever in this labyrinth I would languish, and so given to grief was I that I sought instead my own grave. It was then, in that moment of utmost misery, that you, oh horrid harbinger, held unto me your skeletal hand. Thus I submitted my soul to you, my sinister sage, and my heart hath never known Hell so Heavenly.
    Thank you Tale Weaver for that journey, and for the inspiration. I love you Damned authors!



      1. I’m going to pretend you meant my comment on Grieve because I feel awesome pretending that. : )
        The Tale Weaver speaks, and one must listen. Is it not so?



        1. Of course I meant your comment, what else could I be referring to? LOL

          When The Tale Weaver speaks, we should ALL listen 😉

          Thank you for supporting Pen of the Damned, Christopher – it does not go unnoticed, or unappreciated!


  15. What a great piece of writing! Great being an understatement, of course! This voice is so commanding. You cannot help but heed the words.

    Thanks for sharing this!!


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