When the phone rings,
far later than is decent for one to ring,
wipe the sleep from your eyes,
and answer it.
The rain will be heavy upon your bedroom window,
and lightning flashes will illuminate the old Oak that scratches the roof.
They will say, “it must be you,”
and they’re right you know.
Upon arrival at the shadow-draped manor house,
which lies next to Happy Acres,
the abandoned mental hospital,
built on the bones of a thousand murdered souls,
enter at your leisure and ignore the face in the attic window.
It’s always there and she’s not waiting for you anyway.
The door will be open and will shut when it’s good and ready,
usually just as you pass.
Try not to look any of the oil paintings in the eyes, you won’t like what you find there.
If you happen to find a hand-mirror,
dust it off and put it in your pocket.
Find the library,
stoke the fire and pull the second book in from the right, four shelves up.
Descend the stairs.
Remove one of the burning torches along the wall as you go, you’ll want that as well.
When you reach the catacombs,
take the narrow path to the left,
yes, the one through the crypt.
Do not follow footprints or shadows or lights and NEVER EVER go towards the sound of weeping in the dark.
After what seems like a day in the dusty, echoing below,
you should find of all things, a carnival wagon.
Place the hand mirror you hopefully found on the chair inside, and say, “for you to see the truth.”
Then, were I you,
I would run,
but not back the way you came,
you can never go back that way regardless of the circumstances.
head towards the sound of running water.
When you find the old, forgotten drain,
push against it with all your strength,
it should give way.
Once outside the stone walls,
take a breath and relax,
but not for too long.
You have made it to the Ebon Wood beyond,
and now might be in some real danger.
© 2011 James L. Carey