They gather at the asylum and sleep

In blankets woved in waking hours

To dream of darkness, pleasure cruise

The essential time devoured

Though crude, all nude, no shame is here

Her name is known to few

Though black, though coal, through barren souls

She puts herself in view

The black river sings as it runs

A lullabye, at night

The echo of the distant stars

Shakes the walls with fright

Turning and abandoning

The empty lot behind

They gruesomely assimilate

The threads of their designs

She licks her fingers, laughs just once

Then flicks a speck of blood

Into the face of the prisoner

Covered in dry mud

'Why are you here, you warrior

This is no place for you

Here, it's clear, you do not fear

'The sanctions hallowed true

His lips, black and sealed,

Part as if to speak

Then turn to smile, quiet flames

Kindle him, though weak

His words, unheard, are understood,

He's taken down below

His voice, unknown, deals such a blow

The tension starts to grow

Months and years of chanting here

Feels like a day gone by

To the hallowed man with shackled hands

Who in the belly of the bastion sweetly bides

Outside the night is crimsoning

The moon has long since set

The sunlight brings another man

At dawn, the challenge is met

Tower of illusion,

Shadowed maze of pain

Gathered clouds block all light

From touching the silent structure in the rain

Footsteps in the mud sink deep

As he rasps upon the door

A moment later, a great creaking

Spills a maiden from indoors

'Hallo, ma'm, out here you see

A storm, quite unignored

Was wondering, by chance I stance,

'Carry you spare room and board?

A grin revealed the later morrow

As the woman led him in

Cold air as damp as was outside

Chilled the wet hairs on his chin

'Over here, strange sir

a room I have for you

Though lack in comfort, I suggest

'For sup come down quite soon

Exchanged, estranged, and pondering

Changes clothes and combs his hair

Clears his throat and straights his tie

And meanders down the stairs

Flickers lights from down the hall

Cast orange shadows on the wall

From the passage he hears a call

An invite to the evening ball

Patters rain from on the roof

On windows rattles wind and laughter

In the vast adorned chamber

All the witches in black gather

'Welcome sir, to our humble feast

We brought you here to soothe the beast

Play for it a song so sweet

'It lulls away, falls off its feet

'Now wait a minute,

Darkened hostess

Where stands the beast

'Of which you boasted?

'Over yonder, through the hall

drink the punch but dare not stall

For at midnight turns it something fierce

'So before then its heart must be pierced

A glass of pink champagne is poured

The drink is quickly swallowed down

She wipes his lips and ushers him

Through the staring quiet crowd

The faces, hardened, steeple upward

Gather in unison, quite still

They think the same, this timid game

Stands waiting for the kill

As the music fades away he tenses

His arm and hers conjoined

Pulls him, twisting, down below

In deep darkness, shines a point

'Now there you see inside he hides

Don't let him start to speak

Just quickly joust him with the blade

'And bring his heart to me

With a gulp, he turns, she vanishes

And leaves him in the dark

He sighs, holds knife, and stares ahead

And then begins to walk

'What, pray now, waits in store

Beyond this deepest stoney door?

What beast awaits, what deathly fate

'Shakes my soul on this date?

Inside the chamber, dungeon lays

The man shackled and poor

Their eyes meet each others gaze,

The men, the blade, the door

'Art you the beast of which they speak

'Above in ball of zest?

'Yes, tis me, but don't believe

'The venom they attest

'What brought me here I am unsure

Though one thing I see quite clear

When I arrived, taken inside

'They banished me in fear

The two talked long they understood

The plight, the pain inside

The mansion, bastion, death asylum

The bell-less tower chimes

It was quite clear, they both knew

They had somehow to escape

Though storm awaited, neither debated

The peril of their coming fate

'Now look back here, for all these years,

I've dug this hole you see

Waiting for the day someone

'Would take these chains from me

A glint of steel, a spark of blade

Erupted 'tween his palms

Free at last, he jumped and gasped

But finally he calmed

'Now we leave, just follow me

This passage is unknown

Stay quite close,' he lastly spoke

As they pushed through broken stone

After weeks, it seemed, they broke through

Their hands reached for the sky

From the earth they erupted

Like fireworks in the night

The prisoner turned to face

His savior and his friend

But saw instead a witch's head

Pop up from the tunnel's end

'Forgive me, friend, I needed just once

This long journey with you

I could not stand to leave you there

'Encaged all blacked and blue

The man approached and could not speak

He only lowered his hand and smiled

'If I could dance out here with you

'I'd say it all was worth the while