Trekking over Dartmoor
through air heavy, moisture laden;
passing stone farms, long abandoned, ruinous;
bleak hills, heather clad and darkening
within gathering mist that blurs
the boundary between reality and fiction;
our faces strangely luminous, like
those of ghosts - but somehow not.
Such transfiguring disturbs and hastens
the duo of adventurers onward
toward the great mystery, oft sought,
elusive and otherworldly - yet
on hill top, on river bank;
recognisable only by the howling
other than that of dog or fox:
a blood-curdling, long drawn out cry
that spikes terror through the Soul.
Ominous panting nearby.
We break into a run. Padding footfalls follow.
Mist so dense now. Stumbling into rock,
now prickly gorse that plucks
at our clothing. Blood red eyes within
gigantic black dog shape
looms up out of the gloom.
Desperately trying to out run it,
pulses racing, fear all-consuming.
Hope fading, as it's relentless pursuit
drives us onto narrow path
between treacherous bog pools.
Gutteral howl closer now and we run
even faster, lungs almost bursting.
The path turning dark, liquifying
into black ink, flowing from Sir Arthur's pen
as it skims across the page,
defining our fate...
Mentally beseeching him to deliver us
from the frightful curse
of his dark imagination.
Only he can lift it.
Baskerville Hall appears before us.
But nearing means distancing
from all we've sought so long.
Pages flutter in sudden breeze.
The book closes.
Sunlight pierces the gloom.