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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Edward and the Imp

The last rays of the sun filtered through the windows,giving the room a slightly reddish glow that briefly lit up the dull interior before it sank into the horizon, darkness closing in like a heavy,dark shroud.Little pinpricks of light appeared outside, followed by a cold, round orb, and a tall, pale shadow stepped into view at that very same window, almost hidden by the embroidered curtains surrounding it.
The man withdrew from the curtains with an audible sigh,sat down on his chair, reaching across his desk to the inkwell and the feather held within, preparing to write once more. He’d gotten an idea from the last rays of sunlight, and promptly forgotten it again.
A quick scratch of the head, and dip to the inkwell,and he was back to where he’d begun, swearing under his breath and trying valiantly to remember what it was he’d been trying to write about in the first place. The window, he’d been certain it had had something to do with the window. He took a quick glance outside, nearly dropped the quill when a bright pair of luminous green eyes stared back at him for just an instant, then winked out.
Shaken, and certain he was seeing things,he shook his head to clear it, unsteadily poured himself a small drink out of a clear glass bottle, downed it in one gulp. Nerves, my boy, nerves, he told himself, reaching again for the quill. Something made him turn back to the window, made him look despite every nerve in him screaming the word ‘NO’-and this time the eyes winked at him.
And stayed there for what seemed like an eternity before fading out once more. He started up violently, would have fallen over the chair had the knocking at his door not startled him into some sense of normalcy.”Y-yes?”
“Visitor to see you, sir. Someone from the Post.” Inwardly, he groaned. Another distraction from writing. With a sigh, he allowed the bewhiskered gentleman from the newspaper to be let in, for a time, forgetting the eyes, warmed  by the light of the oil lamp, the old wallpaper on the walls, and the pipe tobacco smell in the room.
“Edward,you know this could be a good career change for you. An editorial post might add some…refinement to your career.”"Perhaps. “He ushered the gentleman out with a relieved sigh, watching the man leave with a grim satisfaction, reaching once again for the decanter on his desk.
A quick swallow, and he once again set about to write, frowning slightly when the lamp began to sputter.The wind rattled the windows, and he rose, crossing the room to close the shutters against it, took a half step, froze.”Not you!” He exclaimed.
The owner of the eyes, a small, grinning creature standing less than a half a foot high sat on the sill, regarding him merrily, spiked tail curled between two spidery hands.
“Hello, Poe, ol boy, see you’re having a bit of trouble. “Poe sat down heavily. “Not until you showed up, I wasn’t.” The toothy grin got wider, unnervingly so, and he found his hair standing on edge. “Go away, I’ll do just fine on my own now, thank you.”
“Impy say you play you play, i am not going away…”with that he vanished, save for his eyes, which regarded Poe in a slightly sinister manner before fading off with the rest of him. Completely nonplussed and at a loss for what to do next, he rose, threw on his hat and cloak, headed out for the city, needing to be around noise, someplace, anywhere but there.
Dawn found him back in his own bed, bleary eyed but none the worse for wear. He’d gotten some sleep,that he was sure of, and wondered if the night before had all been a dream. Climbing out of bed, he wandered into his study and found a neatly stacked set of papers on his desk. Riffling through, he was shocked to find it was a story, written in his had, and signed by him, although he had no recollection of writing it.
Memory came rushing back, and he threw the papers into the fire with a cry, backing away from the desk. He bumped into something solid, spun around and found the small creature standing there with that same grin, although this time the hands were held out to him as if in a hug.
“Edgar lad, after all that hard work, this? I take it you no longer need my employ?”"I never wanted your employment in the first place, you creature!”
At this the grin grew enormous. “Then we are done. Now for my payment.” The grip on his arm was too strong, and Poe felt himself being pulled one way, then another, but could not cry out or fight. Oddly enough, in the midst of all of it, he heard the harsh cry of a raven off in the distance….
Bright sunlight and the sound of his name woke Edgar Allen Poe from a troubled dream. He sat up in alarm, checking himself to see that all was in order before leaping out of bed, still in his nightdress,feeling the welcome roughness of the floor under his feet. His cook watched the thin man fly past with some surprise and not a little wonder, but put it up to his changing moods, went on about her work.
He sat down at his desk, relieved to see there was no printed papers there, dipped quill in ink, began to write furiously, the title of his poem remaining   famous and the most well known of all his works centuries after he himself had passed on.
This, my friend, is the tale of Edgar allen Poe, and the poem known simply as the Raven.
The imp? I don’t know what ever happened to him, he seemed a cheerful enough fellow. Perhaps one day if you see a pair of yellow or green eyes smiling out at you from your window you can ask him about old Edgar for me. That is, if you aren’t too busy running like hell…..

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