Long Hand

Hours wept darkest night,
A plate of sweets lay touching shadows edge.
A tribute of appeasement to fill the bags As packs of hunters came to monster.

The old one crept in the sneaking way,
Eyes darted 'tween crusted shades.
Hearty muscle drowning out the laughter,
Soundless glee passed unheard inside those tormentors…
this year.

This year.

This year again passes through a moment of power.
Darkness grew strong as he pondered a lifetime;
The tribute he once gave,
To creature most cruel and deadly.

No plastic masks, no disfigured sheets,
No candy, no tricks… save those of deadly intent.
No masks, no glee, no childrens' holiday.
None of that for him on his fateful day.

That year he gave his only gift,
Though sole possession survives this world,
He shed that passenger to those beyond,
But then… squandered the years, squandered the prize.

In time borrowed passage would be collected…
…between the moment of power…
with interest.

Snatching from reverie he saw,
Shadows now coveted his treats.

A resounding bolt jumped through his skin,
As his ancient timekeeper announced an end by striking.
Listening, he heard it strike twelve chords, the window now closed, the moment passed.

With smile on hand he unlatched his door,
Stepping outside to collect what was his.
But… something was wrong.

The shadow stretched further,
Stealing the heat, willowing the light.
He knew what and whom now confronted his exposed back.

But, but, but it was midnight – the hour done!
He turned and faced madness.
The horns the hooves, the stormy cloud of breath.
The world went deaf and dumb.

Fall back. Release.

The night grasped his body,
A chill burrowing to marrow,
Then the heat… the burning…

Broken plate, stolen sweets, missing soul… All as it always was.
As ancient timekeeper Clawed forward.

And as all of the lost know, All Hallow's Eve holds its power,
Til clock strikes one past evenings end.