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Old Man Ferdinand


He arrives in town

With a crusty grin

A nasty stare

A curse he swears

Without a care



We poke fun at him

This old man

Who calls himself Ferdinand?



With hunch on back

A limp in the leg



He heads on



Jake and I follow



To the store Ferdinand enters

With not a word

Gathering goods

Bunched in shaky arms

A box tea drops to the floor

To be forgotten

As he heads out the door



We follow



Down the road

Gimps the old man

On his way

A cloud of dust he made



Who is this old man?

Called Ferdinand



Just ahead

The old man fled



Suddenly

He stops



Into woods

We fling ourselves

Behind a tree

So as not to

Be seen



Still as can be

We watch

And see



Slow he turns

To the left

And then the right





He stands

He listens



A curse he mumbles

As he stumbles

Down dirt road

Once more



Out of woods

From once we stood



Around a bend

Gone from sight

This old man

Took to flight



We follow

Once again



THE HOUSE



Old house

That stands by

Slow green river



White paint peeling

On wooden frame

Two stories high

Red brick chimney

Puffing smoke

Stretching to

A late afternoon sky



From woods we watch



He enters



We wait



Stories we tell

Of screams in the night

Not in fun but more in fright



This house by green river

We watch

Trying to hide our shivers



NIGHT FALL



Branches scratch

Twigs snap

We make our way

Curious to see

What makes those screams?





Who is this old man?

That we call Ferdinand



To the back

We sneak our way

Forgotten lock

An open door



We enter



SOUND



Tick tock

An old cuckoo clock



Hanging on a wall

Bird shouts out

Ten quick calls

And that is all



Silence once again



Up ahead



Yellow light

Beckons through

Closed door

Within darken room



We stop and strain

To see each other’s face

Not sure if it is safe



Hands sweat

Hearts race

We move

Each step like a mistake



THE DOOR



Pressing ear

Against the door



Odor

Damp moldy wood

To scared to care

Eager to hear



I listen



Jake's eye peeking

Through hole

Where keys always go



Sudden shock



From Jake’s mouth

A curse came out

And the number two

I think I hear



From our backs

A voice



Eyes widen

Hearts jump

Pants wet



CONFRONTATION



I turn my face

Jake the same

But darkness

Is all that is seen?



SILENCE



A scrape

Flickering light

In corner of the room

Aroma

Smoky sweet

Light out

Darkness once again



ESCAPE



A shove

I stumble

Silence is broken

Feet fast pounding

Upon wooden floors

Cuss words flew

As did Jake from the room



ALONE



Against a wall

I stand pressed

Nape of hair standing stiff



Muscles drawn

Like string on a bow



Tight and ready

For anything that goes



Who is this old man?

They call Ferdinand



REVEALED



Glowing red

Floating in the dark

Candle lit



Pale light shines

To my squinting eyes



NOISE



Heavy steps

Shadow moves

Gravel hard voice I hear

From within this room



"HELLO BOY"



Figure becoming solid

My face pales

From the dread

As the voice echo's within my head



MUTE



Fear frozen

To this site

As an old man

Moves into the light



"No reply" He says

"Can it be that you fear little ole me"



Who is this old man?

That is called Ferdinand



The old man's eyes

Contact mine

Cold and grey

Face

Wrinkled and leathered

Long hooked nose

Pokes on through

Candle light

So very cruel



QUESTIONS



Words spill out

"What you doing here?"

"What your name?"



Fear to shock

Never heard

The old man talk







One step to the left

Turn to run

From out of doorway

Two others come



In wrinkled hands

Candles do float

Faces I see

How can this be?



Not one Ferdinand

But three!!



"HELLO BOY"



Door to my left

Run legs run



Out the door

Heart pounding

In my ears



No light to point

To the sight

Which may lead

Me out in flight



No time to ponder

Find a window

And head out yonder



Stumble pass

This cluttered room

Hand stretched out

Feel my way



STOP!



What did I touch?

That touched me back



"HELLO BOY"



TO JAKE



Stop dead

In my tracks

As I hear a

Scream from my back



I RUN



Find my bike

Pedal hard

Must get help

Not that far

Enter town

On street lit night

Head for those

Sworn to fight



In panic voice

I let out

"HELP PLEASE!"

"THERE'S NOT ONE BUT THREE!"



THE LAW



Sheriff of town

Standing big and sound

Hands on hip

Belly grand and round



“Where have you been!”

He let loose

Walking to me

Strides like a goose



"You must help"

I scream my plea

"Don't you see?"

"More than one"

"Old man, but three"



Sherriff a frown

Tries to clam

My little butt down

Eyes all turn

On this scene

Causing the sheriff

To yell an obscene



Bending down

To one knee

He grabs arms

From me

In stern voice

He says

"Go home Jake"

"Go home!"



DECISION



Struggle free

From hands

That hold me



Fist clinching tight

Run outside

Grab my bike





Head to Ferdinand's

Ready to fight



TO JUNIOR



Boney old hands clamp

Upon arms and legs

Hideous laughter

Echoes about



Struggle and fight

With all my might



Two of three

Dragging me

To a wall

That soon fades

From sight



Eye lids heavy

Limbs go limp



Darkness once again



AWAKEN AND BOUND



Heavy eyes

Open slow

Flickering light

Burning bright



Smells



Stench of old

Musty and mold

Leaving me nothing

To my whereabouts

Or to what may hold



PREDICAMENT



Strapped down tight

To slab of stone

Fear in mind

Chill shaking my bones



In blurred sight

I do see

One at my head

Who giggles and grunts

One at my feet

Who stands quiet and bleak

Voice I hear from one unseen







"Sons of Ferdinand"

"Grab your blades"

"Sharpen them keen"

"Tonight we shall have"

"A RITUAL"



I SCREAM



TO JAKE



Summer bugs

Whiz on past

Pedal hard

Pedal fast



With ache in legs

Breathe all gone

I arrive



At old house

That stands by

Slow green river



With moon on high

Casting long creepy shadow

I peer in

Web laced window

No sound

No movement



I enter



With each step

A creak was let

Wander through rooms

Looking for clues

From ceiling to ground

Nothing has changed

No one to be found



Broken silence

Crash to bang

A person's search

Sounding in vain



I listen



To my left

The noise

Comes louder



Beyond a door

I could hear

An old man's clamor





Slow I go

Hand to knob



Crack the door

Just to see

One old man

Out of three



I rush in



Caught by surprise

One of three

I yell at him



"Where’s Junior!"

This was no plea



He stood as much as

A crooked back could



Neck cracking

As he turns his head

A smile he gives



I scream again

To the whereabouts

Of my good friend



A twist of his head

A stare he gives

To what was a wall

That now turns into

A great long hall



In sour old voice

He says to me

"Come boy”

“Come and see

Your friend

Is there with me"



Mouth open

No words come out

I am amazed

Without a doubt



I follow



PASSAGE



Walls of rock

Crumble as we walk



Old man

Just ahead



He stops



Bending neck

Twist of smile



Blink of light

Blinds my sight



VANISH



Sight returns

I stand confused

End of hall

Old man looms



His voice I hear

Within my head



"Come and see"

It says to me



Sudden feeling

Weightlessness



Walls of hall

Stretching long



As do I

Feeling tall







One step

Two

The corridor flew



STOP!



I stand

Within rounded room



Torch light

Spreads an eerie

Gloom



Orange rock walls

Climb down

Dim light



Three doors stand

Within my sight



There in center

Junior lies



Arms and legs

Stretched out tight

Looking ready

For a sacrifice



No movement



In panic haste

Try an undo

Knots tied

By you know who



"HELLO BOY!"



The words

From my back



Afraid to turn

I have to act



Scramble around

Back to wall

From out of doors

Comes two more



Sick at sight

Of old men

Try with might

To run from them



Caught



I wiggle and worm

Work to be free

Only to knock the

Hat off me



A piercing scream

Comes out of three



All step back

Not knowing

How to react



Sandy blonde hair

That I hardly took care



Resting upon

My shoulder

Long and cut square



Words spoken

By one third



"A girl you be

Your kind

We have no need"



"It is the soul of a boy

That keeps us alive"



"But you be woman

We have no use

Of your line"





Old men

With their stares



One points crooked

Finger at my head



In circles it moves

As did the room

Then darkness descends



AWAKEN



Bound and gaged

I dangled from rope

Ferdinand men

Stand at alter

One at middle

One at head

One at the very end



With a gesture

I watch them start

A ritual which

Junior is part



Daggers raised

Clear and sharp

Descending down

With all their might



BOOM!!



One blade shattered

Bullet through heart

One Ferdinand dead

Two depart



Eyes wide

To the shock

A man stands with

Shotgun in hand



He has the look

Of a young

Ferdinand



Bonds cut

From Junior

And me



Torch he grabs

As we flee



In the corridor

We three run



Up ahead a

A hole of light

That seems in flight



Young man

Takes hold

Words he mumbles



One step two

Once again

The corridor flew



Room of hall

We three stop





With torch in hand

He gives a toss

A box of papers

It rest's atop



Time to leave

He yells at me



Outside we stand

With this young man

Who resembles

That old man

Who we call Ferdinand



Jake with words

Full of fire



“Who are you?

And don’t you

Be a liar!”



Quietly he stands

With shotgun in hand

A Heavy sigh

He expends



Jake holding ground

In that she delivered



I in quivers



A tale he starts

Of how the old

Settled our town

Long ago



They came from

A country

Across the sea



Fleeing for life’s safety

Finding way

To these woods



Decades went by

Your town came alive



Old gave

To new



Fear for life

They took

To flight



To the woods

They found safety



Jake her face

With a frown



I shout out

“We know

About our town!”



SUDDENLY!



Broken silence



Sirens blare

Within the air



We three stand

To watch

Flames stretching

Ever higher



They are close

Who fight the fire

Jake and I

With hometown

Fame



Troublemakers

Is what they claim



Fear or shame

Scared to take

The blame







From behind

Young man calls

"Follow me ya all"

Up the path

In which we

Came

Young man stands



Morning sun

To his back



I turn to Jake

Her to me



Green eyes wide

Smile of a cat



Grabs her hair

And shoves it

Under her hat



Down dirt road

Young man goes



Jake and I follow



Up ahead

Around a bend

A trail of dust

The young man

Sends



Passing a tree

We did not see



Carved sign that sways

That keep townsfolks

At bay

If I had known

I would not have followed

For it said



BACON'S HOLLOW!!





EPILOGUE;

Jake and Junior

Two young teens

Begin an adventure

Once again



Down dirt road

On they go

With strange new fellow

With a question

Like before

Who is this young man?

That looks like

FERDINAND

--Craig S., Adult