{Christmas Feature/Exclusive Fiction (A Poem)} The Gifting Man: Richard Bell

The Gifting Man

A Poem By Richard Bell

Hear the dark’s detuned lament
A children’s toy that’s almost spent
Beyond the silver crested moor
Behind the tree line regiment
The blazing star that mothers us
With rictus grin and madness dust
A nightmare scene as snowflakes spark
In brooding air, on torrid gusts

Around the world believing eyes
Are tightly shut upon this night
For he with sleigh and children’s hopes
Is charged with a frenetic flight
What calls to him, the gifting man?
What shines a beacon’s here I am?
That in the forest’s tangled depths
A light as soft as bleating lamb

A call to him the gifting man
Deceiving with its horrid plan
Waiting for his craft to land
Waiting for the gifting man

Leafless limbs and stalking eyes
Are all that is not petrified
The fungus, weed and briar ghouls
They’re death but made to look alive
Demonic faces clothe the trees
Voices echo, “look for me”
Where shadow’s black are conjured things
And devilry shall live and breathe

The crotal bells, in songs, revered
Around the necks of his reindeer
Jingle his arrival
As the sleigh descends through clawing trees
And like a Venus flytrap’s snare
The forest moves to keep him there
St Nicholas in ermine fur
Isn’t used to being scared

The moon retreats behind the clouds
That trail across a star-strewn shroud
Something dark is coming now
Something terrible and proud

Santa Claus, in blackness, drowned
His carriage gone, his deer lay down
The lists and presents all about
His thumping heart the only sound
And two by two the yellow flares
Eyes of wolves, igniting, stare
A shape that stands two saplings high
And green fire lit the stagnant air

The shadows black had ganged to form
A creature made from all who’d ever mourned

“I am Meg DeTurleygoode, Empress of the eaves
I listen to the secrets that they keep inside their sleeves
I listen to the lies they tell when saying they believe
But belief for them is seeing and they’re easily deceived
So I tricked an honest child
To call for you across the miles
Your list of names, the undeserved
Unruly, spoiled and thus reviled
I call to them by name and deed
To leave their greedy reverie
Be rotten fruit on bough and branch
The children hanging on my trees

The naughty list in night’s eternity.”

With each name she calls aloud
A blackened apple is endowed
Across the forest’s angered brow
Until the trees are bent and bowed

The gifting man, his sleigh, his deer
Shambles out all spent of cheer
His reason to be here, now gone
The world is plain and filled with fear
But what is this, a light now shines?
Into the air his carriage climbs
A single name, a single gift
Could Christmas spirit be just fine?
Across the lands above the smoke
A blazing star the heavens stoke
And in a stable’s scant surround
There is light and love and hope

So children with your high demands
There’s something you don’t understand
You must give in order to receive
A visit from the gifting man

Lest Meg calls out your name
and you are damned.

Richard Bell

Richard Bell is a poet and writer with a passion for the horror genre. He has work published by Weasel Press, Carmen Online Theatre, Night Gallery, The Horrorzine and the Fragments of Fear series on YouTube, under the name Rick Nightmare.

He lives in a sleepy hamlet in Northern England with his family and galloping insomnia.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rick_nightmare

YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCReROBHUlnIY_66Qur4DqRQ

Website: https://richardbellhorror.wordpress.com

HorrrorZine: http://www.thehorrorzine.com/Poetry/Jan2016/RichardBell/RichardBell

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