I walk in the dark woods.
Soft cries fill my ears.
The same cries of my nightmares.
I know what waits for me in the forest.
Goosebumps riddle my chilled flesh.
The evil one calls to me.
My heart beats to his drum.
He wants me to join him.
He plays for keeps.
I will go now
and face the devil.
THE DEAD GAME
The green waves grow in force.
Digging into the shore.
He rides in on a horse.
Leaving me wanting more.
I open my eyes.
I’m in my own bed.
I can hear soft sighs.
From inside my head.
‘Only a dream,’ I say.
He will make us all pay.
He’ll come for me today.
On this dark and cold day.
The candles on these walls
throw shadows down the halls.
Shadows that float in the air,
horrors that I cannot bear.
Soft sighs follow in their wake,
my insides begin to quake.
Gargoyles stare at us from above,
I’m thrust forward by a hard shove.
Revolving rooms lead us through a maze.
I follow along, lost in a daze.
I ask, “How do we get out of here?”
My hands covering my face in fear.
Am I standing in a flood?
I look down at all the blood.
It flows from the indoor pool.
As you know I’m not a fool.
I’m out of here as quick as can be.
There’s nothing else I want to see.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
Puppet Master 2 (1991)
I wake from a deep sleep.
I look across the room.
To a shelf high up.
A puppet sits there.
Its head pops up.
The head spins around.
It can’t be real.
A wooden puppet can’t be alive.
Then it speaks.
In a deep voice.
“Time to play,” it says.
I run to the door.
It’s standing before me.
Taller than me.
Arms reaching for me.
A gleam in its black eyes.
It can’t be.
But it is.
Off to the gingerbread house, we go
On this fine fall day.
The country road yawns before us,
Pointing the way with pebbled arms.
Shana is laughing up a storm,
Similar to the one building around us.
Swirling gusts lead us by the hand
To a cottage made not by man.
The house floats in a dewy gauze of its own,
Shielded from any attacks or storms.
It glistens and shimmers in the fading light
As we draw closer to its unfailing might.
The front door opens at our approach,
An extended arm our only invitation.
I want to leave but Shana says,
“Linda, let’s see who lives inside.”
Before I could answer she walks in,
Leaving me alone in the dying day.
Pebbles unearth themselves in my direction
Until I’m forced to seek shelter inside.
An older couple wait for us,
Wearing clothes from days long gone.
They show us around their unusual home,
Where rooms are shrines to their grown children.
We are led to the attic to find a lone rocking chair,
Facing the forest and deserted country road.
The woman explains they are The Watchers,
Protecting the town from errant vampires.
My ears are ringing and my heart is pounding
As I listen to her words in disbelief.
She says there’s always a Watcher
Sitting in the rocking chair.
We don’t know whether to believe her story
But the chair begins to rock on its own.
We flee the scene of our worst nightmare,
Determined never to return to this awful place.
Our games have just begun.
THE DEAD GAME
My nightmares haunt me.
They torment me each night.
They follow me,
Giving my heart a fright.
I’ve put my demons in my book
To ease my troubled mind.
Why don’t you take a closer look,
And see what you can find.
THE DEAD GAME
The nightmare of my mind
Crammed with trees and dirt.
A deserted forest of the night,
No visitors or intruders.
Graves mark the spots
Where life once stood.
Now all that is left
Are dark shadows.
Shadows drifting across
The empty space of my mind.