The Light

moor night

I again climbed the stairs up into the spire

Then opened the door that is held shut by wire

I slid to the window and peered as before

Looked North cross the massive, thick, foul, Crosswinds Moor

I scanned the horizon through windy dark night

Till I saw it again, a sick yellowish light

I took notes and I muttered, referred to my map

Then was startled by light and a loud thunderclap

Sprang to my feet, near tumbled down stair

Quickly retreated, I was not wanted there

The next morning came and I was pleased to see

Sipping tea over breakfast, Lizbeth smiled at me

My dearest of friends had the run our our home

So sayeth my Uncle, we ate and we roamed

An orphan was I in his sprawling estate

My parents in India had met their fate

We secreted away to the grand oaken hall

I showed Liz my maps and told her all

The lights on the horizon that made no good sense

The map of the moor, calculated distance

It was not in a place where any home stood

She agreed with me then that a quest would be good

We fashioned a list of supplies we would need

Clothing to find, torches, such we might need

We went to my Uncle, for he had once explored

Silence was deafening, then he spoke one firm word

“No.” Was his response, he shook his grey mane

Gathered our maps and notes, ushered us away

Three long weeks after December rolled in

Uncle  and his old pals were well into the gin

they spouted tall tales of adventures long past

They sat by the fire, slipped away we at last

Having not much daylight as solstice was nigh

We trudged using compass, sun low in the sky

Bundled like Eskimos, staves in our hands

A rope tied between for we knew not the lands

We trudged to the North, to source of the ill coloured light

We planned to be back well before fall of night

We stopped for a break at the game keepers shack

We marvelled how quickly the sky turned to black

I started a fire as a storm boiled outside

The keeper away, we began to confide

It was mutually felt something odd was amiss

We silently ate and then with a loud hiss

The door was flung open and with whisky soaked stumble

The game keeper arrived, near frozen, a tumble

We explained our quest and he smiled and he said

“Make yourselves at home master, now’s I’m off to bed…”

“..I’ve seen yon light for many a year and ye wont find the source, no ye wont.”

He muttered, wrapped up in a blanket, closed his eyes, and said, “Don’t”

So we supped and we whispered, looked out at the storm, and at midnight it stopped as if frozen

We looked out the northernmost window and saw our path for us had nowbeen now chosen

Assembled our gear, borrowed some of his things, bundled up and stepped into the snow

Moved round the old cottage, the clouds flying West while North was the way we would go

Unused to his snowshoes, we made our best effort and finally came to move well

‘tward distant light that outshon solstice moon and that held us both under its spell

The creaking and crunching from down underfoot was the only sound other than wind

We paused only twice in an hour or so, for a pull of fresh water we’d skinned

Traversing the snow covered, thankfully frozen, Crosswinds Moor, we crested a hill

To the right and left a thick wood cut on in, a barrow before us did spill

The light from a lantern held ‘loft by a spirit of a man dressed in old Roman clothes

It blinded our eyes yet we trudged on toward it, no control of our limbs, no sounds rose

from our lips though we both at once wanted to scream as Latin words pelted our ears

What had we discovered but a wraith who sucked strength from our soundless utterance of fear

Tendrils and wisps of unnamable source lifted both Liz and I off of the ground

The Wraith spoke in spell, the snow whipped in vortex, we spun rapidly round and around

To the top of the barrow, his ancient raised tomb, we were dropped down as he floated by

His visage a withered old man with black holes, where one would expected to see eyes

We were held tight to the ground as wisps drew about, he spoke more venomous sound

He opened his mouth, thrice the size it should be then with anger he spun full around

From the trees came a voice that boomed like a cannon, said “Not on this eve shall ye feed!”

As a man dressed in red burst forth from the wood on a sledge drawn by elk with great speed

It was Father Christmas! For real and for true! He yelled, cracking his whip in the air!

“No child under my watch be taken tonight you foul beast, get ye back in your lair!”

White crackling light shot forth from the whip and the wraith with a whirl and a scream

was sucked back into the barrow with fantasmal haste, the snow where he’d been, turned to steam

We ran to our savior, he held us both tight and then produced blankets and drink

We spoke of our ordeal and he smiled as we did, his eyes bright and his cheeks rosy pink

Then he turned round the sledge and took a circuitous route telling tales of the things he had seen

And the good that exists and the evil there too, hidden silent in places he’d been

We were dropped near our homes and he bade us goodbye as we waved a farewell from the door

We gave him a promise to be good as we age and never be scared to explore

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