David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Village of Helsomewhere


The cottage stood at the outer edge
Of the village of Helsomewhere,
It held a slate on the garden gate
That scribbled a ‘Don’t Go There! ’
It housed a cat and a resident bat
And something that moved within,
A thing unseen that was quite unclean
With various types of sin.

The folk that entered the garden gate
Had never gone back there twice,
When asked, they shuddered enough to state
‘It’s something that isn’t nice! ’
The weeds were thick in the garden, and
Had grown right over the path,
And filled with sand by an old wash-stand
The remains of an iron bath.

Nobody walked the bullock track
That led by the old front door,
To go to town, they’d hurry around
A path that was there before,
The cottage stood like an ancient crone
That blighted the village scene,
A pointing finger, pared to the bone
Reminding them what had been.

At night the Moon rose over the ridge
And it cast an evil glow,
Down through the leaves of the eucalypts
To the cottage, far below,
The windows looked like a pair of eyes
As they stared out through the gloom,
While something was rushing around inside
Like a demon in a tomb.

‘Perhaps we ought to have burnt it, ’
Said the senior councilman,
‘It stands alone as our conscience, ’ said
The crusty old farmer, Stan,
‘We have to bleed for our own misdeeds,
Including a lack of care,
Each scream was seen as a nightmare dream
When Lloyd was living there.’

When Lloyd was hosting his dinners for
The girls from a nearby town,
Nobody seemed to question them
For Lloyd was always a clown,
But screams would happen at midnight
And would often be heard at dawn,
When Lloyd was digging his garden patch
By the light of the early morn.

And Lloyd would wave to his neighbours as
They hurried along his way,
Give them a cheery greeting, crack a joke
And say ‘Gidday! ’
They didn’t suspect that evil lay
Inside in that old tin bath,
The one that is filled with sand, and now
Sits there, outside by the path.

One night the villagers crept on out,
And they took it each by turn,
To set a brand to the cottage, then
Stand back to watch it burn,
But something was rushing about inside
In a black and evil cloak,
While screams had seemed to come in a tide
With the dark and acrid smoke.

The embers were floating far and wide
In the haze of a Harvest Moon,
They set up fires in the eucalypts
That rained in the village gloom,
And every cottage went up in smoke
For the villagers’ part, they share
In the deaths of thirteen innocent girls
In the Hell of Helsomewhere!

27 January 2014

Submitted: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Edited: Monday, January 27, 2014

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