The Midnight Chime is a verse story by Tragic Rabbit. The story itself, with all words and characters, belongs to TR.
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On a night close with summer heat,
I found an unknown companion
Awaiting bare atop my sheets.
While I had never met him
Nor invited to my bed,
What his gaze did not make welcome
His dark beauty did instead.
Uncertain but desirous,
I approached the bed with care,
Then stroked my hand across his skin
And through his silken hair.
He seemed far more than willing
Though strangely glancing at the clock;
I saw no harm in just proceeding
For my resolve was hard as rock.
I removed my evening clothing
Without looking from his face;
Now bare, I lay beside him
And eased into his embrace.
Though unwilling to command;
So he smiled gently up at me
Then reached out with his hand.
He encased all my attention
In hands as hot as flame;
I arched my back in anguish,
In pleasure, called Gods name.
My heart was like a rabbit
Beating frantic in my chest;
As he caressed my courage,
I was the one possessed.
I resisted first entreaty
But scarce managed to delay
The urge to immolation
That no patience can defray.
He wrapped his legs around me
And offered up respite,
Sweating, I soon sheathed my sword
In a baldrick hot and tight.
As I thrust inside the furnace
And stared wild into his eyes,
I was his captured servant
With all that that implies.
I leant down to kiss the lips
That did part to take my tongue;
His flesh, a treat of muscled silk,
So handsome, strong and young.
I closed my eyes and, groaning,
Rushed up helpless to the peak;
Would have, again, cried out to God
Could I use my throat to speak.
I battered at his porches,
A mindless animal in heat;
My need was overwhelming
And allowed me no retreat.
At last, I reached crescendo
With a sound more scream than groan,
And collapsed upon him, gasping,
Shorn of all the strength I own.
I lay across his gorgeous flesh
While I wondered at the luck
That brought to me this Adonis
Before the twelfth hour had struck.
At last, more calm, I raised myself
Up on shaking arms now weak,
For I noticed that he`d gone still
And had, as yet, to speak.
As my eyes began to open,
I heard loud the midnight chime,
And gazed down upon my lover,
Into the face Id thought sublime.
What alchemy hast the clock wrought,
Oh, what dreadful magic curse?
For his face that watches silent
Is more fitted to a hearse!
A skin-wrapped skull regards me,
His eyes lit with flickering flame;
No trace of former beauty
In this mummy he became.
I shrieked and tried to free myself
From his claw-like bony grasp,
But his fingers, they clung tighter
And I could not undo their clasp.
In my panic, I was crying,
And begging to be released,
But he, silent, held me closer
Until all my struggles ceased.
Panting, fearful, I looked down
And then froze at what I saw:
For that awful face held sorrow,
Though his arms did not withdraw.
He stared at me and slowly
A bloody tear escaped his eye;
I was struck dumb, astonished
That such a thing as he could cry.
His withered jaws were moving,
As if un-used to the act;
He seemed on the brink of speaking-
I knew not how to react.
My terror did not lessen
But was now tempered with concern;
What was this thing I'd coupled with
And what now was I to learn?
He watched me and now somehow
This thing seemed far less a threat;
And after all, I told myself,
He'd not truly harmed me yet.
A sound came from his dry throat,
Much more like a cough than speech,
A sputtering and painful groan
Ending in a high-pitched screech.
His eyes, they were imploring,
As if desperate to convey
Some urgent, special secret,
Did not his wasted flesh betray.
Meanwhile, he kept me hugged close
And my skin tingled with dread
At this awful proximity
To some Thing so surely dead.
My eyes closed in confusion,
And I held my breath as well,
Though as I did, I realized
He gave off no graveyard smell.
He spoke my name then softly,
I jerked back with shock and fear;
His stick-like arms then drew me back,
And held me close and near.
My heart was racing frantic
And my breath came fast and deep,
But gazing in his shriveled face
Once again, I saw him weep.
He spoke my name a second time
And I bid my heart to calm;
I slowly gained a strained control
And strove to show outward aplomb.
My countenance is ghastly, said he,
And more fitting to the grave;
This I know far better than you
For it is I who am death`s slave.
I went to speak in answer
But he shook his head, then said,
I am more cursed than any ghost
And have been eight decades dead.
I died here in this very room
You occupy as summer guest;
I shot my faithless, lifelong love,
Then put a bullet through my breast.
On that long-ago hot August night,
I found him with another;
Forgiveness never crossed my mind
For he was beneath my brother.
My wicked sibling fled the room,
As my one true love expired;
He cursed me with his dying breath,
His last words hate-filled and dire.
He died just before I killed myself,
But I had not understood
That by taking both our lives that way,
His death-door curse had truly stood.
He went on to whatever peace
Awaits a belov-ed who lies,
But I was left a corpse aware
Forever trapped in my demise.
Always would I walk this room,
Seeking for his replacement;
Offering in lust and love
As my penance and debasement.
For all men will crave my dead flesh
When it takes on the look of life,
But I am cursed to show myself,
And cut illusion like a knife.
Each time I think to find surcease,
The curs-ed clock sounds midnight chimes;
Lovers scream and flee my bed,
And each one pays me for my crimes.
Long years have I offered myself,
To strangers I cannot possess;
My lonely search will never end
Til with faithful love I am blessed.
I gave my heart unwisely, then
Took it back, more unwisely still;
Betrayed, I thought to end it all
But broken hearts are hard to kill.
In the hour before midnight
I am free to share in passion;
To breath alive for a brief time
And to love in my own fashion.
You are not the first handsome man
To lay spent upon my chest;
But only you were moved by tears,
And could pity what you detest.
I ask that you think well of me
And forget my true appearance,
I only want to give you joy
And reward your perseverance.
If you forgive this night's trespass
I will come again tomorrow
Encased in the flesh you enjoyed
In that one hour I may borrow.
Can you then look at me with lust?
And accept a monstrous lover?
If you could be my constant love,
We might counter-curse discover.
I offer love, an hour a time,
But forever and unending;
For what is time to such as I-
Lonely years are easy spending.
I was considered beautiful,
And worth impassioned wooing,
It was only my misplaced trust
That was my dead-ly undoing.
More pleasure can be had with me
Than from a mere mortal man,
And even more, I still can love,
Just as I could when this began.
If these are things you could value,
If you are willing to attempt,
My undead life might be less harsh,
And need no other man to tempt.
And if nothing else should move you,
Know this, my fine-looking friend,
I felt a difference in your heart
But know not what it portends.
There did he cease his speaking
And only stared at me, intent;
The sadness in his horrid eyes
Lent credence to his lament.
I lay against this dreadful thing,
Yet no true fear was in my breast,
For I had heard enough to know
What tame intentions he possessed.
My own death was not at issue,
This corpse did not threaten me;
Indeed, his plight was pitiful
And itself a guarantee.
That he was cursed, I could accept,
That his hour was true, I had seen;
That I might mitigate the curse
Seemed a trifle less routine.
Yet looking down upon his face,
I recalled his lovely features;
It seemed a awful curse indeed
To reduce him to this creature.
He watched me without blinking,
So anxious but yet restrained;
I realized he posed no threat,
Though I could never have explained.
Could not have told another man
Why this curs-ed corpse seemed kind,
Something in his forthright mien
Struck me charming and refined.
What kind of man in life was he,
To be this courteous in death?
So unlike ghosts in nightmare tales,
He was no dread, deadly Macbeth.
At last I spoke answer aloud,
My voice a whisper in the night;
I saw him hold his breath-less breath,
As if anticipating blight.
If what you say is true, I said,
You`ll resume the flesh you borrow;
I ask that you please share my bed
And will look for you tomorrow.
Still in his arms, I smiled at him,
Looking into that skull-like face,
Searching for the slightest hint
Of what prompted my first embrace.
For a moment there, he flickered,
And I saw his beauty return;
As it did, I placed a soft kiss
To erase his fear-ful concern.
He smiled up at me lazily,
And then the illusion faltered;
Even so, I knew sudden peace
That no curse-born change could alter.
He left me then, I know not how,
For my exhausted eyes had closed,
Though not before I 'd time to think
Of the strange thing he had proposed.
When I awoke, I thought Id dreamed
For surely such things were untrue;
Though when night fell, I watched the clock
As if my day were not yet through.
When the clock did chime eleven,
I walked naked toward the bed,
And the feeling through my body
It was anything but dread.
And there he was, atop the sheet:
The light upon his smooth bare skin,
His black hair spreading like a fan,
And wearing nothing but a grin.
I laughed aloud at wicked fates
That bring bedfellows together,
But could wish for no sweeter sight
Nor no fairer bird of feather.
I leapt into the bed with him,
And clasped him close to me;
Careless of what midnight would bring
For now, this hour was key.
He took my hand and kissed me,
And looked close into my eyes;
He said, lover, are you certain?
You have seen my other guise.
Your curse is terrible, I said,
But you are here now and alive;
Let us share what joys we can
Before the midnight chimes arrive.
I drew his hand to my firm need
And kissed him all the while;
The scent of him like summer nights,
And love lived in his shy smile.
I drew my tongue on down his chest
And then continued further south,
I heard him gasp and groan aloud
When I took him into my mouth.
His taste was light and luscious,
His nectar sought release;
His breath was ragged, gasping,
As he begged me not to cease.
But I had another longing
And pulled him over onto me;
My lover caught on quickly
And seemed happy to agree.
I wrapped myself around him
As he had done the night before,
And with his slender fingers
My hot depths did he explore.
I groaned low and called out aloud
When he touched me deep inside,
My need for him began to build
Until it could not be denied.
I pulled him nearer to me,
My hand an urgent guide;
I placed him where I needed
And then felt him slip inside.
He began with gentle movement
But I soon begged for something more;
He paused to lean down and kiss me
And then our needs were in rapport.
He pounded at my temple,
My legs wound around him tight;
His thrusts were filled with power
And he gave me no respite.
The pure pleasure that he gave me
Was more than I had ever known;
My passion spilled out between us
As my lover began to moan.
He reached the dizzy pinnacle
While I watched him from below:
Dark hair fell across his eyes
And his handsome face did glow.
His stiff saber pierced me faster,
As his lunges sped their pace;
He arched his back and cried out,
And then went limp in my embrace.
While I held him close against me,
And as I closed my eyes to sleep,
I heard the chimes at midnight
But my dreaming drew me deep.
In dreams, I walked beside him
Under starry midnight skies;
No chimes rang out between us,
And no need for dire goodbyes.
When I awoke, the sun spilled out
Across me and my tousled bed,
But the feel of flesh beside me
Struck my waking heart with dread.
Resolute, I turned to him,
Well determined to endure
The price for midnight passion
Yet was shaken and unsure.
Did not want to see my flower
Reduced to a graveyard bloom;
Did not want to see the horror
Cruel midnight made him assume.
I closed my eyes to ward off
What I knew that I would see;
Until I heard his sweet voice
Call good morning out to me.
My eyes went wide and startled,
For his voice was still his own,
And then I gasped in mazement
For his beauty had not flown!
His form was still beguiling,
And his face was handsome yet
His body still enticing-
Not a Thing to bring regret.
He laughed at my expression,
And kissed me upon my cheek;
I stared at him, astonished
Simply unable to speak.
What of your ghost existence,
What of your cruel death and curse?
Asked I when I had breath,
How are such fell things reversed?
He stared at me so solemn,
That I dreaded his response,
I struggled hard to maintain
An apparent nonchalance.
Oh, love, he sighed and told me,
You know not what you did,
Your willingness and wanting
Were where my solution hid.
I did not know the outcome,
I knew only of my pain;
But you were willing lover
So the midnight curse is slain.
When last night's chimes were sounding
I saw you succumb to sleep;
I was glad to see your going
For your fear would make me weep.
I awaited my night horror,
For the grave to call to me;
But the chimes had finally ended
And what I still was, you see.
I drew him close and kissed him
And he responded to my touch;
I thrilled to know my midnight love
Was no more condemned to such.
Strange enough to find love
With the compass of your lust;
But stranger still to form men
From bodies made of dust.
His life had re-ignited
When the curse released his bones;
Now we claim more happiness
Than near any other owns.
And from that morning forward
Through the years of our long lives,
We`ll be everlasting faithful
Until our final hour arrives.
The Midnight Chime is a verse story by Tragic Rabbit. The story itself, with all words and characters, belongs to TR. If you see this story somewhere you do not think it belongs, please let him know, as it might constitute a copyright infringement. Also, please drop a line if you enjoyed this or any other story. TR always loves to hear from readers! If you enjoyed this story, read more TR work by visiting:
Email list for readers- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TragicRabbit/
Email Tragic Rabbit- email@example.com
TR Website- http://www.tragicrabbit.org/
(Read the short story Some Enchanted Evening and the poem Ghost Kisses for more spectral romance)