A Spectre at the Party

His mansion gleamed with a thousand lamps,

A thousand carriages at his gates,

Crystal glasses in unison clinked,

Fur and leather and gold cufflinks.

Strings of pearls amidst giggles and heels,

Lavish gowns swept the floor,

His table laden with elaborate meals-

The Mayor’s soiree, opulence galore.

With hearths and halls and secrets many,

The Mayor’s mansion- a giant edifice,

Several storeys above the ground,

Just as many below the surface.

A hundred men at the Sire’s bidding,

Had scrubbed each room that morning,

Save for the chambers underground,

Which to curious eyes, remained unseen.

Lavenders and voices and perfumed silk,

The evening alive and echoing through the house,

Kindled a rustle at the cells underneath,

And the spectre of a great old seigneur was roused.

Still in his robes of sapphire and gold,

The lord, once a fencer, now pale and old,

Held captive after a violent row,

And thrown into the dungeon half a century ago.

He smelled the smell of food and dance,

Sunken eyes springing to life,

He advanced to the doorway, as though in a trance,

Flooded with memories of when he was alive.

Of ballroom dancers and drinking bouts,

Of a table laden with freshly baked cakes,

As the spectre walked through the corridors,

He gasped at the finery, his dead heart ached.

An instant of silence, and they broke out in screams,

Running and tripping over boots and shawls,

Pallid with fear, chairs upturned,

Some had spotted the ghost in the hall.

Standing by a pillar he watched them dance,

His face gleamed with vicarious glee.

All he wanted was warm bread,

And a little wine to wet his throat,

A chair by the fireside,

To recount cheerful anecdotes.

But alas! The guests shrieked and scrammed,

Leaving behind a coat or two,

In shock and dread and haste alike,

Nobody bade the Mayor adieu.

Puzzled and hurt, the ghost of the Lord,

Pacing quietly through the marbled hall,

Stumbled upon a gilded mirror,

And his walk came to an abrupt halt.

Bones for shoulders where his blue robes hung,

A skull in place of a human head,

The Lord appalled at his own reflection,

Now realising why the guests had fled.

Gravely saddened, the Lord glanced,

At the scented and well lit room once more,

In great despair the spectre

Retired to his underabode.

Via Discover Prompts: Hidden
https://wordpress.com/discover-wordpress/2020/04/26/discover-prompts-day-26-hidden/ 

A Haircut for the Lady

“Won’t you suggest a makeover, miss?”,

I looked into her terrified eyes,

Pallid and shaking, the stylist

Nodded only once, in agreement.

No, she didn’t turn to stone.

“They don’t bite”, I admired my wild tresses

Hissing in every size, sleek and lively.

“I prefer woody scents, full of mystery”,

A green bottle of sweet smelling shampoo, and some fancy conditioner-

The stylist was as efficient as an ant before winters.

Lather. Massage. Rinse. Dry.

She grew increasingly comfortable with a head full of snakes.

“Your hair is extraordinary”, her fingers awestruck but,

“Cut off these living locks?”, her voice laced with worry.

“Well it’s just a trim, and…hair grows back.

Oh, and, colour it red.”

The next few minutes of swift scissors moving

Through my hair, brushes and bits of aluminium foil.

The white tiled floor now red with blood,

Or dye if you insist.

“Did you get this from your mother?”,

She struggled to clean the squirming mess,

“A punishment for rape, really.”

Think I saw a small flash of sorry in her eyes,

But I didn’t look up lest it was only my imagination.

“And ma’am…”, “Just Medusa.”,

“You’re all set.”, I saw her smile,

Holding a mirror against my bouncy mass of red.

“Warm winter fashion, would you say?”, My fingers caressing

The now groomed reptiles.

Walking over to the counter,

I tipped the young stylist despite service charges being

Already included in an exorbitant bill amount.

At least she gave me a haircut in a thousand years.

[An imaginary account featuring Medusa from Greek mythology. Her claim of being punished for rape is the reference to Poseidon seducing Medusa in the temple of Athena and Athena punishing the once beautiful Medusa with snakes for hair and poor skin.

P.S- Both the poem and the graphics belong to the author of this blog]

Cyberstein

They’re out!

They’re coming to get you.

Who you never considered fearing,

Dormant in the invisible strands of a spider web that spreads beyond horizons.

You had carelessly tossed them aside.

It’s a modern retelling of Frankenstein.

You bred them relentlessly,

Marvelled at your creations so fine.

Steeped in pride, nobody considered tightening the shackles.

They probably waited for years on end,

Patiently grew in figures and strength,

To avenge an objectification, however unintended.

What if-

You ran up and down all day

Heavy resounding footsteps mingling with chaos and dirt on the streets.

Followed by soundless ones, but heavier than the prey.

You pleaded with those formless monsters,

You pleaded with you! Quarters and halves of your identity spread everywhere on the world wide web.

Parts you had built in haste. For an incognito adventure or a half hour debauchery in a knotted corner of the Internet.

Or simply because your parents were too strict.

Half names, code names, strategically written biodata

Alongwith a stock-photo, and sometimes the effort saved for later.

Those very selves which you had created recklessly, half complete, half true-

Are out armoured, in search of you.

What if-

They have revenge burning in their non eyes, seeking an explanation for their non-identity.

How about an image of them creeping up behind you, piling one on top of another

Like eerie shadows growing against a whitewashed wall?

Sucking out vital information, including your credit card numbers,

Or cutting out pieces of your skin to fill up the void you had saved for later.

On a journey of becoming you, what you had deprived you from,

All this while.

And if you’re reading this now from the comfort your couch,

Smirking at the pages, “This is just sci-fi!”

Well I’d be steadfast and say,

“Nightmares still cause insomnia.”