The beast he calls to me. Gnawing about far below.
It spells voracious hunger. Of defense I little know.
Scraping out of need; I struggle to resist.
“I am too young you fiend,”
“…but this you shouldn’t miss.”
Vile whisper through the crack manipulates my head,
“I’d like to taste the young…. sweet, succulently fed.
Your peaches and cream skin. A place lips and teeth can run”
A growl from his throat slips.
I scowl, “This for you so characteristically fun.”
“What give you to me in exchange?”
I reply a restraining of my voice.
A strength I do not know.
I’ve changed with little choice.
“I can the rest set free. Upon my word, I’ll leave.
When I am happy, well, and sated. I promise I will flee.”
My family at liberty from this nightly terror. What I could not think.
What happens had I made an error?
For who would trust a beast who feasts on others’ fears?
But bravely I trod on, thinking not of memories dear.
“You will wait then beast. While I do prepare. For my final hour, I’ll dress in finest fare.
The gown in which I’m dressed. Of beauty I’ll be proud. When you take my life, wrap me in crimson’s shroud.”
Joan of Arc awakened as a dream. She a flaming star.
To death’s halls marching as one it seemed. Taking from life’s chalice, one courage filled draught.
So easily it slips. A golden fragrant drop which hangs upon my lips.
He snarled. I grabbed his snout,
“This will be civilized.”
Pleasure struck a laugh that I could only but despise.
“for me this sense it is quite new.” He said between his teeth.
The smile that it drew he’d wish that he could keep.
I licked gold from her lips. She bit into my neck.
I tore her fragrant arm. Never renting crimson, lest I forget.
She ripped open my belly, spat out balls of flesh and fur.
I realized before her gold and velvet, I was a miserable cur.
“I will this not to end,” of course he’d want his way.
“Were we to continue a price you’d have to pay.”
He snarled of foulish pleasure.
“and your promise beast will it ensue?”
“I’ve never kept a promise. I assure you that is true.”
“Then I will finish what you started. Your promise will be won.
Here’s a revelation I’m no longer a mere woman.”
Fire leaped into her eyes, swords unveiled and forged of steel.
I’d failed to see her disguise. She brandished some foul light.
I should have known somehow, as she carved me with delight.
The floorboards gave a howl. They folded pulled me down.
Into my lake as ghoul, I’d forever, never drown.
What happened on that night. I never will forget.
A turning tide when crimson replaced the soul I’d let.
~ Leslie Moon
© Copyright 2013 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved.
Heed the Tale Weaver: The one-year anniversary of the Damned draws to a close…but the celebration of the Damned shall never end. The winner of our comment contest shall be named May 21; your package of ghoulish goodies awaits. In the meantime, revel weekly in our angst and taint. We thank you, Damned Nation, for together we shall redefine horror. Now, go Damn yourself…
29 thoughts on “Beast Below”
Innocence spent for the beast / what remains???
That would be the beginning of a new story wouldn’t it?
Wow…what an intriguing write…very engaging.
Thanks Charles / kinda changed mid-stream from my original. No hero no heroine
Very interesting, Leslie. There’s so much going on in this poem that it took a few read for me to catch what I interpret the gist of it to be. Is it simply the imagination of a young girl conquering her fear? Or is she mastering the beast to protect others from the fear it feasts upon while they sleep? Does the beast heed only to lull her into a false sense of security, intending all the while to betray its promise in the end? Of course it does, it tells her so, she has no choice but to slay it. Lovely metaphor used in this piece, Leslie, and the near sing-song rhythm that bleeds through at times lulls the reader into believing it isn’t as dark a poem as it is. If I’ve interpreted this correctly – and I am anything but a poet so please forgive me if I have not – to gain peace, she must learn to destroy her fear and looses her innocence along the way.
The poem is beautifully woven and keeps the reader off balance, not knowing what will become of her until the end. ;}
Nina – the one thing I like about poetry is that each person can easily read in between the lines and that’s what they are supposed to do. It should lend enough direction for the imagination but not so much that the meaning is a resounding sound.
For you the girl may be very young and experiencing a dream, for someone else a woman of 80 could be captive of a dream, or a woman could have the ability to change based on the threat. Each of those is true.
I will not tell you the inspiration of the poem here but it will be mentioned tomorrow in a post on my blog
Thanks for your peering deep into the message
All I could think at the end of that was “sucker…!”
But what of her will she be worse for the wear?
Out, out damned Beast!
Great poetic tale – but who got eaten,
The Lady or the Beast
There was carnage from both who knows????
Great strokes from your magic quill, Leslie! It takes magic to run full circle with emotions. You reached deep into your hat and created much more than mere slight of hand.
Ahh you are a magician as you pull from one of my other posts about sleight of hand
you are a master of conjuring words
carved with delight! makes me purrr
the fur flies…
That’s beastly as the tables turn you wonder what next???
Didn’t see that ending
The ending morphed on me – it was Joan of Arcs fault
she needed a valiant if not watery end
“… as she carved me with delight.”
Loved it Leslie!
Dark and bitter-sweet
Yeah I thought of you when I got the carving knife out…
Not a bad way to go! 😉
hope it’s a henkels
Well, if one is going to carve with delight, it might as well be with a good knife
Like Nina says, there is so much depth here. I will be back to see what else I can uncover, lurking in the poem. As always, a pleasure to read your work, Leslie, especially when its themes touch on human beasts and transformation of sorts…
I’m think esoteric is a good word Thomas
This beauty and beast tale went on a not so merry chase
I think she might still be after it with a carving knife…
looking forward to the book….
Leslie, it takes some wrapping of the mind to get around “Beast Below” and that’s what I love about it. So far, I’ve read it five different times & have come away with five different takes and emotional response. It’s dark yet very eloquent; simple but deceivingly complex.
“Beast Below” is an excellent poem, one readers should delight in as they attempt to unravel it piece by piece.
Thank you for sharing, Leslie!!
nothing trite in it??
Thanks Joe considering most my poetry is pretty simplistic writing in layers is a challenge which I am enjoying. Each of you at Pen inspire me in a different way to write and stretch and go behind the screen
Delightfully twisted and bestial. I love the Joan of Arc reference. Another intriguing tale with depth and mystery. Thanks, Leslie!
Tyr – thanks. This really ends in a mystery as nothing is as it was and all has changed. Originally I was going to have the beast finish off the girl, go against a promise (beasts dont keep those silly things) and go after the next in line rather I now have a woman that the others wont recognize and probably wont be safe with.