This is my entry into Crazyword's May 2015 Fairy Tale Contest. My subject is Sleeping Beauty.
Update: This poem was listed as runner-up in the winning circle! Thank you to Crazyword for the listing. You can read more about this here.
The moon was full in the sky,
All children, men and women were in their beds,
When the strange traveler came to town,
Wearing a crown of roses on her head.
The traveler wore a dark red cape,
Uncommon for the times,
A black dress that buttoned in back,
Two wine-red boots that rose to thigh,
A burgundy ribbon in her long black hair,
A silver necklace at her nape,
That housed a ruby stone beyond compare,
Of any found in the Emerald Cape.
On her wrists she wore silver cuffs,
On her ears hung two shards of claret glass,
Her eyes were brown and filled with lust,
On her neck were three bite wounds from the past,
Like the wolves of frost and snow,
Her teeth were bared and sharp,
As she gazed upon the town below,
With ill intent in her gluttonous heart.
Though much prey rest below,
Sleeping in their mortal homes,
The traveler thought them weak to hunt,
And journeyed to the church above.
Her target was a holy man,
Who only followed God’s command.
She aimed to spill his sacred blood,
Among others of his brotherhood,
So her name would be immortalized,
Among the brethren of her kind,
For so conflicted would be a monk,
With everlasting demon soul,
Feeding on the blood of men,
That used to pay his churches’ toll,
Who had no choice but to thrive,
With the creatures of the night,
That every time God’s word he spoke,
He’d bring himself eternal woe.
The woman quickly made her way,
Up the churches’ stony path,
Until she reached the humble quarters,
Of the monk and gazed inside at last.
There she saw a flickering candle,
Burning tall and bright,
And the pious man beside his bed,
Reading scriptures into the night.
His features were fair,
His dress was modest,
He wore only a pair of russet pants,
His chest was bare,
Save his greatest treasure,
A silver cross that hung around his neck.
The woman made her presence known,
And walked through the wall of the good monk’s home.
The man did not divert his gaze,
When he asked the pale-skinned traveler,
“What business do you have,
In the town church at this hour?”
The woman frowned and coolly replied,
“That should be obvious to anyone with half a mind.”
The man’s green eyes did not leave the bible,
They followed the psalms left to right;
And this cut into the black heart of the woman,
Like a jagged, sharp-edged knife.
“Well, have you nothing to say, good monk?”
“At least stare me in the eyes,
Before I lead you to,
Your inevitable demise.”
The monk ran his long fingers,
Through his dark brown hair,
And then held up his cross,
Leaving his neckline bare.
“My lady, I would gladly look upon thee,
If there were something worthwhile to see.”
“However, it is the scriptures that captivate me,
So go drown your ambitions in the Adrian Sea.”
The woman’s eyes turned red with anger;
Her fangs grew long in the good monk’s room.
“I have heard of you before this night,
From the dark trees of the wood,
That have tried to tempt you to no avail,
And have thus allowed your kindness to prevail.”
“You are said to be the holiest man in all Europe,
And this is what brings me here tonight.”
“You think you are righteous man, but very soon,
You will become a creature of the night!”
The woman crept toward the man,
Venom dripping from her fangs,
With her arms flailing wildly about,
Like a spider ready to kill its prey.
The man did not let his gaze fall from scripture,
The source of heavens love,
As he chanted ancient verses,
To his lord in heaven above.
The woman crept near the monk,
And pushed his holy book aside,
The pages burned her pearlescent flesh,
Scaring her hands that fateful night.
The man held his cross and chanted hymns,
The woman drew closer and grabbed his neck,
She moved her cold fingers along the cord,
And snapped his last testament in half,
The cross fell and was swatted away,
The man closed his eyes and began to pray,
The woman caressed his face with seductive touch,
The man cried out for heaven’s love,
The woman gave him a fatal kiss,
The man’s body could not resist,
As the woman injected her venomous tongue,
Burning with envy, greed and lust.
The man couldn't pull away,
His body was numb and his eyes half blind,
But he continued to recite,
The scriptures in his mind.
His frail body began to ache,
As the woman’s blood filled his veins,
But the strength of his heart,
Kept all dark thoughts at bay.
She bit his neck and spilled his blood;
It trickled to the floor like a black river.
His thirst became for her blood too,
And he bit her throat under the harvest moon.
Her blood he drank,
It coursed through his soul,
But it did not turn black,
Like her own.
She gave him pleasure and pain,
As she returned to skillfully taking the blood from his veins.
Without control he continued to bite her too,
And in the late evening,
The good monk was subdued.
Her sinister job complete,
The woman held him tenderly,
As a mother treats its newborn babe,
And sealed his wounds carefully,
With the golden crest of Cain.
She grinned to herself and waited there,
Stroking the good monk’s matted hair.
All at once he awoke with a start,
With pale skin and a reborn heart,
That thirsted for blood and his short hair grew,
To his waist where it turned to a darker hue,
Of brown and his eyes turned dark as night,
Though they were still green in the middle around the iris,
And his teeth grew to fangs long and white.
His first breaths were torment,
And he pulled his hair,
With his long white fingers,
When he saw the woman standing there.
“How could you do this to me?”
“I am a man of the lord,
And I can never touch,
My holy relics again!”
“How dare you take my cross from me,
And then my book and decency?”
“You are a monster,
A servant of Cain,
And I never want you,
In my sight again!”
The woman laughed a dark laugh,
That would have turned the purest heart to dust.
“Now you are one of us.”
“There is nothing you can do,
To satisfy your thirst,
Outside of killing the innocent.”
“You may try hunting animals at first,
But it is human blood you will eventually taste.”
“And once you drink mortal blood,
You shall never go back,
For there is no mercy for a man,
With a soul that’s black.”
The man picked up his cross,
Though it burned in his hand,
And told the woman to leave,
With a harsh command.
He cried out the scripture,
Though it burned in his mouth,
Until the woman left his modest house.
When the woman left he threw down the cross;
The burn almost reached his very bone.
He tried to pick up his holy book,
But it burst into flame;
Horror filled his blackened eyes,
As he put it out with his sleeping mat.
He was now the thing,
That he loathed the most;
A brother of Cain,
And no psalm could heal his soul,
From the venomous sins,
That plagued his veins.
His thirst grew wild,
He thrashed about,
He needed blood right then,
Without a doubt.
The beast within was let unleashed,
And he drank the blood of all the priests,
That had taken him in from an early age,
Before the starry night turned to day.
One after another they fell that night;
They could not fight the ravenous monster,
So they all died under the pale moonlight.
When the sun crept over the horizon,
And shone on the monastery below,
The man’s wit returned,
And he saw his blood stained home.
All of the people he had once loved were dead;
A few had been torn to shreds,
Some had been beaten beyond recognition,
And still others had severed heads.
He knew at once that he was to blame,
And he tried to take his life,
But as what happens often in fate’s cruel game,
He found irony in his strife,
For while he could freely murder the innocent,
Nothing could end his heathen life.
He knew that he couldn't stay at his home,
Smeared with blood and sin,
So he burned the church in ceremony,
And then sought to fight the beast within.
He sought the help of a well-known priest,
Whose monastery dwelled in the east.
He begged the priest to seal him away,
So he could not live to kill another day.
The priest knew of one spell,
That eternally bound the creatures of hell,
Though he warned the monk that he would forever sleep,
And that god’s kingdom he would never see.
The monk said it was just as well,
For death would bring him only hell.
The priest solemnly agreed to do the task,
And bound the man with a spell at last.
He lit seven candles big to small,
With one deadly sin inscribed on them all,
Which each represented the monk’s inner beast,
And then laid the poor monk down to sleep.
Then the monk’s body was laid to rest,
In a coffin surrounded by roses and lit incense.
One by one the candles were blown out,
And the spell was completed by a final shout,
Of the priest to God to seal the coffin away,
And the monk’s tomb was shut in the church to stay,
Forever hidden from mortal gaze.
There the monk dreamed for ages,
Of the sins he had committed in the past,
And the years crept by, one by one,
Until his story faded into legend and myth.
A hundred years later,
A woman with scarlet hair,
Journeyed to the monk’s tomb,
With a scroll of prayer.
Her complexion was fair,
Her heart was true,
Her soul shone bright,
Behind eyes of blue.
She opened the door,
To the room unaware,
That the monk from the past,
Was resting there.
She had mistaken the room,
For the church’s basement,
Where she wished to return,
Her scroll to a silver casement.
She whistled a hymn from the morning sermon,
As she lit the candles one by one.
The light revealed a bare room,
Save one broken shelf and a wooden tomb.
Just when she wondered who rested there,
The monk from the past arose from his sleep,
And his gaze fell upon the maiden fair.
“What happened; is this a dream?”
He asked the trembling woman before him.
She shook her head and replied shakily,
“No, this is modern London.”
She then gained the courage to ask,
“Who are you and why are you here?”
The monk mournfully replied,
“I am here because I can never die.”
“The priest, Sir. Mathen, put me under a spell,
So I could never again do the works of hell.”
“I hoped here forever my body would lie,
But now I wish that I could have died.”
“Eternal sleep torments me,
And now heaven’s grace I will never see.”
The fair lady,
Felt pity for the man,
And she caressed his face,
With her gentle hand.
“Oh dear sir,
How sad this is,
To say that you wish,
That you had never lived!”
“What is it that you could have done,
That makes you want to die so much?”
“The lord forgives,
This I know,
So don’t be sad good sir,
The man’s heart was stirred,
And tears came fourth,
For the gentle woman,
Was the only person in one hundred years,
That had tried to reach out to him.
He took her hands in his own,
And drew her slender body close.
“Oh precious thing,
Your words are sweet,
They stir my soul and heart alike.”
“I am deeply moved that you care for me,
But I must live a cursed life,
Because I have killed in cold blood,
And I do not deserve your love.”
Just then the beast within awoke,
And the monk’s eyes turned from green to red,
For he saw the woman’s veins pulsing beneath her flesh,
And sinful thoughts rushed through his head.
He gently pushed the lass aside,
And begged her to run and leave him be,
To suffer alone in solitude,
For the rest of eternity,
For he could not control the monster,
That hid beneath his immortal flesh,
But the girl refused to leave his side,
And took his hands in her own instead.
“Oh, poor creature I will help you battle,
Whatever beast dwells within your tainted heart,
So let me help you and I give you my word,
That my faith in you will never part.”
The monk’s thirst grew wild but he held it back,
As the girl laid her hands upon his chest,
And prayed for his pious soul,
To be released from the icy grip of Cain.
The monk’s body felt weighted down,
And he was forced slowly to the concrete ground,
As the woman with heart brave and true,
Prayed for his soul black and crude.
Then a miracle occurred that day,
That the monk could scarce believe himself,
For an angel appeared before the girl,
And lent her heaven’s help.
The angel sung an ancient song,
That shook the beast within the monk,
And he fell to the floor hastily,
Convulsing from the shock.
The angel with silver robes,
And hair as white as winter snow,
Moved her hands above the good monk’s body,
As quick as they could go.
She smiled at the woman,
Who watched in awestruck wonder,
As she separated the bloodhound from the man,
With a flash of magic thunder.
The beast howled and growled,
And gnawed upon its own front paws,
As the angel sealed it away forevermore,
Beyond the realm of hell’s front door.
The monk gasped his first mortal breath,
That he had taken in one hundred years,
And then he proceeded to weep,
Many joyful tears,
As the angel gave a humble bow,
And then a smile filled with love,
Before returning to God’s kingdom,
In the mystic realm above.
Then the young woman with scarlet hair,
Caught a glimpse of the young monk laying there.
His dark hair had turned to a beautiful blonde,
And his eyes to a frosty mint green,
The color had returned to his skin,
And had turned dark red around his cheeks.
The woman helped the monk off the ground,
And the two gazed in each other’s eyes for the first time.
The young monk stroked the woman’s hair,
And took her hands in his own,
For his happiness was more than he could contain;
The woman smiled warmly,
And gently stroked the young man’s face,
And the monk and priest’s daughter,
Fell in love that day.
The two left the church,
And settled in the countryside,
Where they both worked the land,
And were married in due time.
The monk loved the woman,
Who had saved his mortal life,
And the priest’s daughter,
I must admit, made a lovely wife.
Both were blessed,
Though both had sinned,
And were given never ending life.
As for the she beast,
Who had cursed the monk,
Five hundred years ago,
In a town in Northern Ireland,
Before the autumn leaves turned to snow,
The monk found her and all her kin,
Sealed away in unmarked tombs,
That his lovely wife had traced,
And they both later exhumed.
On a faded scroll,
Placed upon the she beast’s grave,
Were the words, “For my friend,”
Left without a date or name.
Some say it was the souls of the priests,
That the monk had killed long ago,
Who finally found their peace,
By sealing the evil in the ground below,
Still others say it was the angel,
Who helped the pious man,
By banishing all the evil spirits,
To cursed and untouched lands.
But this I will leave up to you to decide,
Because the true message of this tale,
Is that where evil is present,
Good will always prevail.