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Gold from the Breakfast Tray: The Masque of the Red Breath

In this latest response to the Bonnywood Manor story prompts, multi-talented Obbverse shares a lyrical but cautionary tale about doing things with candles that perhaps one shouldn’t do. (We’ve all been there, right?) Enjoy.



Last Night.


Hugo approached the final room slowly,

His heartbeat flickering along with the one remaining candle he held aloft,

In the dark corridor his guts grumbled lowly,

His fruitless search for a hidden chamber would have flummoxed Lara Croft.


Perched high on a mist-shrouded mountain top

The old chateau had looked a delightfully romantic place to stay,

A memorable, if unplanned overnight stop,

Now within these walls ‘twould be sweet relief to see a new day.


The room he sought came to light,

Turning the dusty rusted key in the door, it groaned in its cobwebbed lock,

What should have been a welcome sight

Had the rank air of abandonment, Hugo saw with awwwww, then shock.


His nose wrinkled at the ancient stink,

The room filled him with disgust, but what made his hot blood run cold

Was in the cracked mirror above the sink;

A crazed sight no human being would- should- could wish to behold.


In his heart he felt the dread,

He held the candle to his face and felt his fine young face fill with misery,

His red-rimmed eyes, flat and dead

Strained deeply in the darkly reflected shadows, yet there was nothing to see.


His hand went to his tender throat,

He hoped to wake in the morn, put this down to a close shave,

He held to that hope, desperate, remote,

Till his hand came away, bloody and cold, cold as the bloody grave.


How he’d been welcomed by his host,

The Count had celebrated, feted his arrival like a long lost friend,

Hugo had stood for toast after toast,

He recalled swaying, and saying he hoped the night would never end.


But what kind of half-life is it to lurk

In the shadows, in the twilight till another endless day is done?

Hugo is no fan of night work

So he stands, face to the east, yearning, almost burning to see the sun.



Note: If you are interested in playing in our story-time sandbox here at Bonnywood, please feel free to do so, as there are no time limits or actually-enforceable regulations. (Once again, the pertinent click.) Jump in, the water’s fine.

Obbverse’s original post can be found here.

Side note to Obbverse: I think I smell a sequel, one involving Hugo’s twin sister, Hugette, and her penchant for twirling a flaming baton at inappropriate moments…


13 replies »

  1. Thanks for the forum, Brian. Always find the fun stuff here. The Shlock Mock Horror seems to have me in its grip at the moment. But as a passing thought on twin sister Hugette; food for thought there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m always happy to provide the forum. As for Shlock Mock Horror, it just occurred to me that I’ve never really done such here at Bonnywood. You might have just nudged me in a new direction. Brace yourself… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hugette’s thoughts? /What I really Really Want/ Her high school baton Hugette will always treasure,/ Oh, happy high school days as the top cheerleading girl,/ That baton gave her endless hours of practiced pleasure,/ Even now she’s relieved to find she can still give it a whirl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And in an interesting twist, through no true fault of your own, I am reminded of my own mother’s quest to be the featured baton twirler in her high school days. But as her parents were strict Baptists, her dreams were shattered by conservative ideology and social-standing at the local church. Life is cruel…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And here I was thinking he lost his way to the toilet amidst the cobwebby corridors filled with mist. Clearly he FOUND it, but what a twist of an ending. Not only the W.C., but doom also. A moral of the story? If you’ve got a flat tire and you’re a dimwit who didn’t get the spare fixed from the last time, and your girlfriend has the wicked munchies, and it’s raining and all you have in way of umbrellas are soggy newspapers, don’t go to the castle (There’s a light burning in the darkness…something something…aw damn I forgot the lyrics. Que horribel……) and you go towards that light (what’s burning in the fireplace? ) and some old OLD dude who is a sure candidate for the “Men’s Hair Club” answers the door and has elbow sex with some weird looking broad who claims to be his ‘sister’, while singing about time warps and nostalgia – go BACK. Don’t go IN fer f*ck sake. Better yet NEVER APPROACH. Or the host might toast you (literally) and you’ll never escape. Is it Transsexual Transylvania or Dark Shadows???

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am now so completely submerged in memories of midnight movies during my high school years that I am completely incapable of providing even a minimally relevant response to your synopsis of a movie that defined my early attempts at liberation. Check back with me in a bit after I’ve fully belted out the entire soundtrack and taken a jump to the left…


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