I traveled near
I traveled far
I went to bed
and when I awoke
I was in the land of the Cyrocade.
I saw a sign that read:
“Ahead is the Cyrocade.”
“Beware the Cyrocade, for it is your Doom.”
I thought to myself:
“Should I go on? It appears to be the only way to go, so I must.”
Resigned, I started on to meet my fate.
I walked a short ways until I happened upon a cave,
it was decorated with old tapestries and lit by torches.
The firelight reflecting off the hangings
gave the entire cave
an eerie purple glow.
I went on in and there
sitting on a throne of gold and bones
sat a wild eyed, lanky madman
wearing an odd mask that covered all
but his eyes and mouth.
His grin went from ear to ear
and he stood to greet me, bowing low.
Then he did something peculiar;
He leaped to the ceiling and stood upside down.
“Good gentleman, how are you staying up there?” I asked it.
The Cyrocade grinned again and
I suddenly felt very dizzy
and was overcome with a sense of vertigo.
I realized I was falling to the cave ceiling.
“A duke, a king, an emperor perhaps”
He paused, “but a gentleman I am not and good,
I am never.
And to answer your question,
gravity doesn’t exist, the ground just sucks us to it. It inhales.”
He mimed being pulled to the ground by a mighty breath.
“And exhales.” he said, leaping into the air and unto the ceiling (floor?)
To my relief he came down again without
flipping the cave upright once more.
“Let us feast!” he proclaimed
snapping his fingers.
Odd little men seemed to crawl out of
every crack, crook and crevice in the walls.
They quickly set up a grand table and two large wooden chairs.
Within a blink they were gone.
“What are we having?” I asked.
“Oh you will see soon enough my good friend,” the Cyrocade said
ominously flashing teeth through his grin.
“Perhaps a game to pass the time?” he suggested.
“Hmm,” he tapped his fingers against the wooden table. “Riddles?
No, that is trite. Chess perhaps? I don’t have a board.
Maybe we should just talk.”
I nodded again.
“I bet I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering what is behind my mask!”
I actually wasn’t thinking that at all
but curiosity suddenly struck me.
“Well my foe, all the treasure in the universe couldn’t convince me to remove it
from my face. But I’ll ask anyways, what do you have to offer?”
I fished around in my pocket and found
four coins: three dimes and a nickel.
“That will suffice, now come closer.”
I drew near.
“Now grasp it.”
I put my fingers around the edges of the mask.
“Now pry it off of me.”
I gasped in spite of myself
by what I saw.
It was silly and surreal, my own face but twisted.
Stretched and distorted as seen through a
Even the eyes I recognized as my own
though they gleamed with an alien madness that
was frightening yet familiar.
Was the Cyrocade mocking me?
It howled with laughter as I recoiled in terror.
It slapped the mask from my hands and was quickly upon me.
His strength was overwhelming as it pinned me to the ground.
It’s mouth open wide.
He consumed me.
I traveled near
I traveled far
I went to sleep
And when I awoke
I felt as though nothing happened at all.
I looked at my hands and they seemed normal enough.
I climbed out of bed and
Looked in my mirror.
My face reflected back, my face and nothing more.
Relieved I began my daily routines.
I was the same as always, a normal person.
but a gentleman I am not.
and good? I am never.