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(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

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Zorga's Gate

It was damp and cold at the office
Where he’d been caught up, working late,
He’d almost finished a gothic
For the collection, ‘Zorga’s Gate’,
The lights had fused and the heat was off
When a chill swept through the air,
Just as he typed that final word
On the screen, that word - ‘Despair! ’

He’d written ‘The Pillars of Zorga’s Gate
Rise out of the mist out there,
So only fools and unearthly ghouls
Will gather and stand and stare,
The gates are sticky with blood and gore
From the many who came and tried,
To answer the sign, ‘You’re welcome here! ’
‘Til they found that the gates had lied.’

He shivered once at the heartlessness
He’d woven into the plot,
When the evil Baron of Darkness
Turned the key in the dungeon lock,
Then blood flowed down the computer screen
With a font that reeked of hate:
‘You dare to reveal the mysteries
At the back of Zorga’s Gate? ’

Jack sat up straight in his chair in shock,
Peered warily round the room,
He sensed a muttering babble there
From somewhere deep in the gloom,
Then slowly the keyboard typed his name
In white, and the screen was black,
‘Wherever you’re coming from, my friend,
You’ll never be going back! ’

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up
And a chill ran down his spine,
‘Somebody’s playing a stupid trick, ’
He said, ‘I’ll get the swine! ’
He went to type a reply, but by
The time that he hit the key,
The screen switched off, the computer locked
And a voice said, ‘Come with me! ’

He fumbled around in the darkness
Staggered once, and he almost fell,
Touched a wall that was damp and cold
And he thought, ‘I can’t be well! ’
He found himself on the battlements
Of a castle, cold and grim,
Where the wind howled yet at the parapet
And the thunderclouds rolled in.

A figure was standing behind him
Wearing a hood and a flowing cape,
He turned and backed to the battlements
With his mouth and his jaws agape,
‘I have your Jocelyn bound in chain
Awaiting her sad demise,
I told her I’d only cut her throat
In front of your mortal eyes! ’

He prodded Jack in the small of his back
And along a winding stair,
The stone was old, and covered in mould,
And led to a dungeon there,
She lay, fast chained to the dungeon wall
In a bright red party gown,
Jack cried, ‘My God! What’s happening? ’
And she said, ‘You let me down! ’

‘You let the Baron of Darkness out
When you typed the word ‘Despair! ’
And now he’s going to kill us both
For the tale that you tried to share.
He’s kept the secret of Zorga’s Gate
Since Zog and the demons came,
And now that you’ve let the secret out
He says you’re the one to blame! ’

The shadow stood in the doorway
With a scimitar raised on high,
While Jack cried, ‘Wait! It’s not too late,
I’ll press the ‘delete’, I’ll try! ’
And there was the cursor, blinking fast
At the end of the word ‘Despair! ’
It took a second to backspace that
And it suddenly wasn’t there.

Jocelyn walked through the office door
In a bright red party gown,
She said, ‘Don’t tell, you fell asleep! ’
He looked at her with a frown.
He’s never written a gothic since
And never will work back late,
But sits with a tome in his padlocked home
Since messing with Zorga’s Gate!

27 July 2013

Submitted: Saturday, July 27, 2013
Edited: Monday, July 29, 2013


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