THE FOUR

The Death of Harry Crow - Leith Macarthur

Leith was featured in the October 2019 Edition of The Horrorzine Online Magazine

https://thehorrorzine.com/Poetry/Oct2019/LeithMacArthur/LeithMacArthur.html


And from the wreckage he arose
born a charred and twisting thing
Hatred flamed from melting eyes
‘tis whispered death, The Master brings

Behind him now, his smoldering dreams
fused within the earth
A shrieking fate he bears them
a thousand years from birth

His fortress stands upon a hill
Its madness locked within
Chambers stale and reeking
dungeons steeped in sin

The Keep is wrapped in darkness
Green tiles to form its skin
like serpent scales with crimson nails
driven deep within

A shaft of light splits through the night,
pulsing from inside
The Master waits in silence
while a carriage winds the drive

In somber hush the wagon comes
with regret it climbs the hill
A window shade draws slowly
his eye does watch it still

The coachman halts his carriage
a rain begins to pour
he whips his team to ready
and leaves alone The Four

The gothic tomb compels them
It draws them to its core
One by one they sense the tears
the years of death and gore

Outside the whistling wind has gone
frightened from the scene
An owl sits perched in quiet
soon to hear their screams

Quiet draws across the night
in beds, The Four feign sleep
for fear of being taken
of dying in The Keep

Number One has come in awe
a foolish, deathly deed
The Master strikes just once
and leaves him there to bleed

Two is here, he knows not why
perhaps to seek the power
and thus, he dies while searching
this early evening hour

Three does think his faith alone
will see him through the dread
While praying down on bended knee
The Master lops his head

Yet Number Four, he fakes his death
Clutching his healthy heart
he dies before The Master 
well done, Four’s acted part

In the bowels of the beast the furnace glows
a raging, molten fire
The Master does his dragging
four bodies to the mire

Out behind the fortress
the quagmire sucks them down
No trace they’d ever been there
No scream, no cry, no sound

Hissing at the muddy grave
The Master lurches ‘round
He’s heading back to fan the fire
His fate is therein bound

*****

A falling star streaks through the sky
it leaves a ghostly glow
A rumble shakes the mountain
out through the cracks it flows

It oozes ‘cross the dead brown lawns
does threaten bush and limb
The trees cry out in anguish
It’s him, Dear God, It’s HIM!

He walks the grounds, assures himself
his deeds have gone unseen
Retiring to his chamber
he thinks the slate’s wiped clean

Outside the moon now shows its glow
the owl has taken flight
cloud shadows slide by darkly
The house is shut, locked tight

Silence hangs a throttled breath
Quiet lies the fog
The Four still sinking deeper,
deeper in the bog.

Suddenly the silence breaks
The swamp begins to boil!
Bubbling waves of froth and foam
spew grit and filth and oil

A groping hand claws from the bog
a head and body burst!
Upon the ground Four tumbles
trembling from the lurch

Now here Four stands, as quivering steel
he knows what he must do
to end the endless murders
to run the bastard through

He stalks the sleeping mansion
then climbs its wretched walls
He enters through a window
and creeps the stinking halls

Into The Demon’s den Four steals
he crawls next to the bed
Gurgled breathing fills the room
and echoes in his head

He draws his sword, crosses his heart
he feels his courage fade
A moment’s hesitation . . .
then swiftly thrusts the blade!

A thousand times they hear the scream
the townsfolk down below
that Four will hear forever
for he has struck the blow

Countless times the young and pure
had been lost upon that hill
their bodies tossed to the quagmire
Deep and dead there still

Now it is, from this night on
the town shall rest with peace
A valiant heart in purest deed
has finally killed the beast

* *

But they say that on the clearest nights
from inside the mansion’s womb
they hear The Master wailing
clawing at his tomb

They say you can hear the strangest sounds
like hammers chipping bone . . .
as straps and harness loosen
The Master slips the stone