1 Curiosity


My heart pumps fear through my veins,

bringing me anguish and pains.

Why must I be the curious one?

The one who can’t let the deed be done.

I must follow the noises to the basement,

where something is making an awful statement.

A voice called to me from my rumpled bed.

The sound echoed endlessly in my head.

I descend the stairs to the darkness below.

The noises combine to form a loud bellow.

A hiss hits my ear as claws rake my arm.

​My silly cat thinks I mean him some harm.

I offer soothing words but he wants to flee

just as the door shuts and locks behind me.

The light bulb goes out leaving me in the dark.

Do I now hear a dog’s whimper and shrill bark?

Chills taunt me as I go down the dark stairs,

following the whimpering and stray hairs.

Feathers float in front of me.

I don’t know what this can be.

I step on something squishy and soft.

I find a light and hold it aloft.

I lift my foot and the tail retreats

to the chair where it has hidden treats.

With the bright lantern held high,

I search for the source of a sigh.

My neighbor sits with her panting pals

of the furry sort in guys and gals.

“Am I also welcome to the party?”

I ask the pig-tailed girl, laughing hearty.

She replies, “Of course, you are, my dear neighbor,”

A point she refuses to belabor.

I join the circle on the floor,

as the cats and dogs eat some more.

Cake and cookies for all the guests,

even ones who have been great pests.

My black cat joins in with tail held high,

sniffing at the desserts and brown pie.

At least this story has a happy ending.

No one wants another tale to be pending.


Follow The Lights

candles hallway moving


Follow The Lights to “THE DEAD GAME”
Follow the lights to the house of glass.
There will be much splendor in the grass.
Lights in the trees as far as the eye could see.
A more decadent event there could not be.
Champagne will be flowing until the wee hours.
Come with me and dance with the pretty flowers.
This room full of guests gives me a chill.
Maybe we should leave I’ve had my fill.
Eyes are following us in the room.
They will be upon us all too soon.
The guests are not what they appear.
Beneath they are just bones and hair.




A party at End House.

A surprise party for us.

It’s dark inside.

And deserted.

Look at the curving staircase.

Creepy gargoyle stand guard.

Look over there.

Candles light the way.

Down the long hallway.

Let’s follow them.

A door to the basement.

The door slams shut behind us.

And locks.

The stairs are slippery.

Why are my feet are wet?

We’re standing in cold water.

What’s that noise?

Machines creaking.

Cages are descending.

They have pointy edges.

Circular saws sweep across the water.








Follow the gargoyles to their master.

Follow the staircase to its source.

Take me down under 

To the darkness in us all.


Beneath End House lies the answers

To questions asked from times gone by.

The unearthly dungeons and mazes

Will lead our way through hell and beyond.


I know others have gone before me

To the place deep in the earth.

The door will open for me

And no other before or after.


Hell has unleashed its prized possessions

To torment the innocent and needy.

Even with their human bodies

They cannot hide forever from my wrath.






Down we go to the nether reaches of End House.

Where darkness is an ever-changing display.

Of traps, cages, and deep water.

Mazes to confound the curious.

Bottomless pits for the adventurous.

And wild animals for the animal lover.

Will we ever see the light of day?

The house is alive and is winning the game.





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Creepy, creepy, scary.

This can become hairy.

The house is haunted and dark.

I came on a simple lark.

But now that I’m here,

I’m frozen with fear.

A party is to be held for us all,

But to evil creatures we might just fall.

Down to the basement we go,

This is silly even I know.

Saws are swinging up ahead,

Looking to chop off a head.

Traps are falling from the low ceiling.

My wet feet are losing all feeling.

We are standing in a pool

And I feel like a big fool.

We should have gone when we had a chance.

The creatures will make us sing and dance.

The Dead have a morbid sense of humor.

Should have listened to every rumor.

Goodbye to one and all.

I see the bouncing ball.





Pray for us tonight
As we enter the house.
Candles light the way
Through the heavy darkness.
Our hearts beat as one
While the front door slams shut.
We’re locked in this sham,
A party held for none.
Gargoyles grin at us
From their posts on the stairs.
Candles lead upstairs
And down to the basement.
We must get out now,
Time is at a standstill.

THE DEAD GAME — The Journey into Hell and Beyond

Face to face.
Eye to eye.
A growl.
A  whimper.

The whimper belongs to me.
I’m David,
One of the invited to the party
at the deserted End House.

Too many obstacles.
Too many ways to die.
Circular saws and sharp cages.
Wild animals stalking their prey.

We must find a way out.
Tom and Edward had fled through a doorway
And vanished for good.
Half our group is exploring upstairs.

My group is trapped in the basement,
Which is filling rapidly with water.
Three closed doors wait for us.
I can hear the animals behind door #3.

Whom to trust?
Who are my friends?
Are some of them my enemies?
I must be careful.

Louise is trembling with fear.
Mike is determined to find a way out.
He doesn’t care about Louise
Or anyone else.

The dark room of animals is small and creepy.
Tigers are leaving their cages.
There’s the door knob.
It’s moving.

Maybe someone is trying to save us.
“Hey guys, I’m checking out the door.”
It’s stuck and the door is too heavy.
“Come on and help me open it.”

Between the three of us,
We finally open the door.
Time to escape.

A long and slippery staircase
Down to the beach and rocks.
Creatures are flying at us,
Trying to knock us into the ocean.

What could possibly happen next?




How does a simple invitation to a party
Become the catalyst for The Dead’s games?

We arrive at End House in our party clothes,
Not suspecting the horrors that lie in wait.
The door bell gongs through the empty rooms
As a cold wind pushes us inside.

Candlelight flickers down the right hallway
And up the gargoyle-protected staircase.
We stand huddled together in fear,
Afraid to take another step into the unknown.

Two groups search the house for the missing host,
But no signs of a party can be found.
The empty rooms yield no people,
Only the smell of fear and the dying.

My group trudges down the basement stairs.
All too soon we are trapped behind the locked door.
The basement floor is filling with water.
What was once dry is now wet and cold.

Clanging noises fill the thick air around us,
Revealing cages with sharp metal spikes.
They descend from the ceiling by chains,
Converging on Edward who’s trapped in the pool.

Tim screams in despair over his roommate
And jumps into the dark water to save his friend.
He falls face first into the black water
As circular saws descend to join the game.

Edward dodges the deadly devices,
Bringing Tim to safety on the opposite side.
They disappear through a doorway
That quickly dissolves back into the stone wall.

I refuse to play this game any longer.
I must escape from this so-called party.
I will try one of the three new doors
That have appeared on the opposite wall.

The third door yields a round bricked tower 
With a gated opening at the top.
I slowly climb the sharp bricks,
Using my hands and feet to pull myself up.

A loud noise comes from above.
The gate is crashing down to one side.
Of course, it’s the side that I’m clinging to.
I close my eyes and say a quick prayer.

The heavy gate somehow misses me,
Loosening dozens of bricks on its way down.
I could’ve been swatted like an ant,
But for some reason I’ve been spared. 

Mike refuses to check any more doors
After the one he checks yields a bottomless pit.
It’s all left to David to open the last door
To find a possible escape from this hell hole

Our games have just begun.





The Haunted Mansion Awaits?
The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a psychological thriller set in the small town of Oasis, Florida where Linda Bennett and her friends embark on a haunted house expedition. Her clique of entrepreneurs include Todd Morrison, a roguish fellow who easily navigates among the different factions within the community. Only Linda perceives the fact that Todd and the enigmatic Father John may know something more about the town than meets the eye, and the traumatic events to follow serve to confirm her darkest fears.

The author raises the bar in the Stephen King haunted house genre by combining an illusory backdrop to the standard demon-filled storyline. We are introduced to the evil Wolf, whose Dead subculture threatens to overwhelm those who trespass upon their perimeters. Yet Leist weaves an element of surrealism into the tapestry, creating scenes where each area of the property and room in End House appears to lead into a different dimension. Walls that reach into the sky and floors that lead into the netherworld are just some of the enhancements that Leist has built onto End House, and Wolf and his vampires arrive just as the protagonists appear to teeter on the brink of madness. It is rare when the environment is nearly as overwhelming as the evil that lurks within, but Leist has clearly made this happen in this page-turner.

This is an intriguing spin on the supernatural genre, definitely something to curl up with on book night. The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a well-crafted novel you won’t want to miss.