The house comes alive.
Snakes slither in cages.
Human-eating plants stand at attention.
Tree limbs grab my arms.
Roots wrap around my legs.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
WHO SITS THERE?
Who sits there in the darkness?
No movement in the blackness.
As still as a fox waiting to pounce.
No hint of a ruffle or a flounce.
A soft sigh can be heard in the air.
Are those slithering snakes in her hair?
Shadows coast along with the circling dust.
The walls trickle with blood or maybe rust.
The ghostly form stands up to meet us.
She can be the hostess to greet us.
A deserted house this seems to be.
She hovers over us like a tree.
We stand alone in this bleak hall.
There won’t be dancing at this ball.
All the candles go dark.
This was a silly lark.
Time to leave this creepy place.
We must quicken our slow pace.
But since this is a horror story.
We won’t be leaving soon with glory.
Trees and bushes fill the conservatory.
Wolf wants to show us what’s hidden inside.
Linda follows him into the bushes.
Her scream curdles my blood.
We run to her to find cages of snakes.
Their tongues slipping in and out of the holes.
Hungry for their next meal.
The trees draw closer to our group.
Lifting up their massive roots to take chase.
Time to leave this sorry example of the macabre.
The Dead like their games a little too much for comfort.
THE DEAD GAME
A green house in Florida.
Greenery and wildlife to the brim.
Trees with life of their own.
Birds unseen but heard.
Grabbing for the next visitor.
Snakes slithering in their cages.
Wings flapping in the next room.
Surprises in store.
And so much more.
Come and join us.
THE DEAD GAME
A path zigzags through the dense foliage
To cages lined up against the back wall.
Wolf takes Linda’s arm to escort her
To the treasure that lies hidden behind.
Snakes slither and hiss in their metal confines,
Reaching through the holes for the unwanted guests.
Linda screams and backs away in horror
Into the safety of Todd’s waiting arms.
Shana stands mesmerized by a tall, tubular flower,
Its mouth straining open wide.
Wolf introduces her to his man-eating plant,
Which leans even closer to take a human bite.
“Are those alligators under the glass floor?”
At Linda’s feet reptiles swim in circles,
Bloody trails of food following in their wake.
Sounds of laughter erupt around them.
Time for them to leave this house of horrors.
OUR GAMES HAVE JUST BEGUN
THE DEAD GAME
THE DEAD GAME — DAY 98
At the back of the room, Shana spotted row after row of cages.“What’s in those cages?”
“Come and look,” said Wolf.
He walked over to Linda, who was cowering in the corner. He bowed to her and gave her a very charming smile. He slipped her arm through his own, to escort her through the overhanging trees and thick greenery. Shana overheard him whispering to Linda, “I’m taking you to my own special place.” Wolf could be very charming and appealing when he wanted to be. And Linda was falling for his ploy; she was following him—as if in a trance.
Wolf leered over his shoulder at Todd, gloating over his ability to lure Linda to his side. Shana noticed that Todd was brimming with anger, but was fighting to hold it in check.
Wolf, still holding Linda’s arm, led them through the tangled trees and shrubbery. The trees seemed to be leaning closer and closer toward them. Shana hurried to follow the others.
The back wall was filled with cages holding large snakes. The snakes coiled and slithered around each other, their tongues slipping in and out while emitting hissing sounds. Shiny heads were slipping through the openings of their cages, attempting to reach the unwelcome intruders. Linda shrieked and backed away in fear. Todd pulled her away from Wolf and told him that they were leaving at once.
They all turned to leave except for Shana—who stood as still as a statue—mesmerized by a huge plant that was bending closer and closer to her. She felt like it was trying to tell her something.
“I would stay away from that plant; it’s a Carnivorous Pitching Plant that will eat anything or anyone within its reach,” said Wolf. He was enjoying her discomfort too much.
Shana backed away…but at the same time couldn’t keep her eyes off the intriguing plant. It was tall with a long, white tube and red spots. It stood watching her. Its large, oval shaped, red-rimmed opening was aimed at her—ready for its next meal.
Wolf continued with his tribute to the man-eating plant. “I have a whole collection of pitching plants that I have imported from South Korea. They keep me safe from intruders. I just have to teach them how to move and attack.”
Shana didn’t know if he was being serious or not. But she believed that he was sick enough to develop his own army of attacking plants.
When she’d jumped back from the plant, she had noticed him smirking at her fear. She hated the man and his know-it-all attitude. She prayed for the day when his plant army learned to hate him and attacked him. Out loud she said, “Let’s visit another room in this fascinating house.” Todd, who was eager to leave the house, shot her an annoyed look. But she just shrugged and turned to follow Wolf to the next room. Todd and Linda had no choice but to tag along behind her.
Wolf said, “I have another surprise waiting for all of you.”
I can just imagine.