One hot and very quiet afternoon
I reached the limit of a certain road
And saw the place so long romanticised:
The dwelling of the demonologist.
The sounds of knocking cut into the silence.
No one appeared to be at home. I looked
Around, observing with respect the signs
Of Danger set about a normal scene
Of spacious house with small connected office.
No mourning dove called out her ghostly moan;
Instead, a child next-door glanced at me.
Nothing seemed portending but those signs
Whose metaphysical intent could not
Be grasped unless one knew their owner's work
It was not dogs that strangers had to fear
But what are called depraved demonic spirits,
Those fallen angels, Bible-witnessed, which,
He said, tormented man by taking shape
As eerie swirling masses, black as ink.
Were they lurking even now behind
This door? If so, how very odd our world;
For only half an hour before, in town,
I had enjoyed a ''thick-shake float'' and watched
The smiling sweaty children come and go
With ice-cold drinks against the summer warmth;
American normality embodied.
Yet, standing here, between the door and windless
Encroaching woods which stood behind my back,
Quite another landscape came to mind,
(Recalling ancient Endor, Saul's undoing).
I knew what he affirmed. Could it be true?
He said he had the facts to prove his case.
Do fierce inhuman spirits, living essense
Of scalding hatred, flit about this place
Because he rankled them repeatedly
By formal exorcisms deftly done?
It's strange that those whose names no mortal lips
Should speak except in dire necessity,
Who brought possession when Jerusalme
Was young, should still exist today, at large;
Must one accept all this on trust, or leave
The hearth of supernatural religion?
Neither, some might say. But I recalled
His words and tapes and photographs. No wonder,
Then (thinking of the various shapes they take;
Deceptive freaks---perverse, sadistic, lewd
I grew uneasy standing there alone.
Upon reflection, solace came to me.
Protection does exist against such beings:
A shining fence is built around our race
Through which no sombre toads or sable masses
May hop or drift except by occult summons;
A cordon sanitaire, seraphic work.
''They shall not pass'' must be the general rule
Or long ago had seen the end of us.
I left that place. No work for me to do.
Demonology is not my field,
Though is has its use. He showed me this.
It sets the captive free; evicts the others,
Sending them to sulk in dark abodes.
Author Edward W O'Brien Jr.
Edward W O'Brien Jr. he wrote essays and short fictions between 1988 - 1998 fanzines called Crypt Of Cthulhu, Fungi, Tales Of Lovecraftian Horror. In 1999 he write fiction for the magazine called ''Pulp Fiction Stories''
And his final work, short fiction called ''The Lady of the Barrens'' in 2002
AUTHOR'S OTHER WORK
1990 - Short Fiction
The Unpleasantness at Marlowe's
1992 - Short Fiction
1993 - Short Fiction
Flawed Blossom and Withered Leaf
1997 - Short Fiction
The Statement of Adrian Steiger
1998 - Short Fiction
Those They Mourn
1999 - Short Fiction
The Lady of the Barrens
2002 - Short Fiction