The Shadow of the Door Part 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A nightmare in rhyme - don't let that put you off: you've never read anything like this, I promise. It's funny, disgusting, exciting - not my words, but those of numerous publishers who loved it, but couldn't fit it into any of their pigeon holes. I'm not bitter - I understand their problem, but I can only write what I can write. Let me know what you think.

Submitted: February 07, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 07, 2012



The Shadow of the Door

In the middle of the night when you think you hear

monsters in your room and they’re coming quite near

When you’re freezing cold and you’re wide awake

then you’re boiling hot, still you shiver and shake

If you see something dark in the middle of the floor

be careful, never tread on the shadow of the door

For the shadow of the door is a monstrous sight

in the darkness of your room in the middle of the night

Should you climb out of your bed on the way to get a drink

you may never get to see what was lurking by the sink

For the shadow of the door may be waiting there for you

like a hole in time or space, an invitation to fall through

Jimmy Johnson was a boy with a very fertile mind

he would sometimes pick his nose, said it helped him to unwind

Like an adult with a cigarette or glass of beer or gin

but he never ate his bogeys, he just saved them in a tin

It was what his father taught him and his father before him

going back for generations, “Save your bogeys in a tin

You don’t know when you might need them

they could save your life one day

So don’t flick or wipe or chew

or throw a single one away.”

So the house was full of bogeys

each room neatly stacked with tins

By the sofa, on the TV

in the kitchen by the bin

And each tin was neatly labelled

with the owner’s age and name

Plus descriptions of the contents

of which no two were the same

And a list of dates and entries

such as ‘crisp and green and bright,

like a tiny little emerald

from the nostril on the right’

Jimmy Johnson used to listen when he couldn’t sleep at night

for a bogey conversation or a little bogey fight

Of course he never heard one, though he thought sometimes he did

as he lay upon his pillow with his ear against the lid

Then one night as he was dozing off, a voice came to his ear

“Jimmy,” said the quiet voice, “Jimmy. Over here.”

He peered into the darkness, but nothing could he see

“Who’s there,” he whispered, curious. The voice replied, “It’s me.”

Jim thought he should investigate, he clambered out of bed

his feet were full of carpet tiles, his heart was full of dread

He slid a foot towards the sound, the awful whispered name

“Jimmy, Jimmy, over here,” the voice called out again

He tried to climb back into bed; his legs would not obey

they pushed him forward even though he ordered them to stay

And all the house was silent now as all but Jimmy slept

and in the darkness of his room, a deeper darkness crept

“How can this be,” he asked himself, “there’s dark and shade and light.

So how can there be something else, a dark more dark than night?”

But as his feet dragged Jimmy on, defying natural law

he realised, too late, it was the Shadow of the Door

He tried to grab, he tried to hold, but nothing met his hand

he watched his left leg vanish, like a pig in sinking sand

He threw his arms out left and right but still his body fell

his eyes spun like two silver coins, thrown in a wishing well

So now his arms and head were all that showed above the black

and as he sank he wondered if he ever would get back

And would his brother miss him, and would his mum and dad

and was this all an awful dream or had he just been bad?

He shook and shaked and shaked and shook

and shook and shaked some more

his fingers lost their clumsy grip and slithered down the floor

He tried to call out to his dad - too late! His mouth had gone

In vain his eyes looked round for help

but searching , found no one

He sank, he slid, he slithered deep, into the gaping hole

his body doing somersaults, his brain a forward roll

Thus Jimmy entered Shadowland, a fearsome place to be

where monsters eat your brains for lunch and save the rest for tea

In Shadowland the shadows crawl

they slip and slime and sneak

The days fly by like minutes

each minute lasts a week

Everything is upside down, or inside out, or worse

there’s only one dimension and most creatures speak in verse

There’s shadow cats and shadow dogs

and shadow swamps, of course

Where shadow Hippopotami

communicate in Morse

There’s shadow sheep and shadow cows

and shadow butchers’ shops

Where unsuspecting shadow pigs

turn into spare-rib chops

There are shadow creepy-crawlies on the shadow rubbish tips

with smelly strands of slobber hanging from their shadow lips

If you should venture for a stroll along the shadow street

mysterious intestines squelch beneath your shadow feet

Cold and slimy wriggly things slide in between your toes

while nauseating gassy smells drift upwards to your nose

Eerie sounds pervade the air, like hoots and howls and wails

no doubt because the only food is tortoise skin and snails

They eat them raw and half alive

with fork and spoon and scoop

While quite the loudest sound of all

is scream of sheepdog soup

As Jimmy Johnson looked around

this strange unpleasant place

he felt a cold hand slide across

and up and down his face

He felt the fingers in his mouth

he bit!..and then he moaned

he realised, too late alas

the fingers were his own

“Where am I now? Why am I here

this isn’t fair,” he cried

“Don’t worry Jim, it’s just a dream,”

a voice behind him lied

“You’ll wake up in a minute Jim

but meanwhile come with me

I’ll show you round, we’ll have some fun

there’s tons of things to see.”

“If that’s the case,” brave Jimmy said, “then why can’t I see you?”

“Because I am your shadow, lad.” This time it spoke the truth

“Now come along, I’ll show you round this magic wonderland

I’ll have you home for breakfast, if you let me hold your hand

“I’ll be your guide, your satellite, your buddy, your best mate,”

but something in it’s tone of voice made Jimmy hesitate

“Well if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not,” he said

“I’d rather get back to my room and jump back into bed

I’ve been here long enough, I think. It’s time that I went home

my mum and dad will miss me, so I’ll really have to go.”

“You stupid fool,” the shadow laughed

its voice quite cold and clear

I’ll tell you when to come and go. You’re not in charge round here

You’re in the land of shadows now, where different rules apply

and tears are made of cardboard, lad

so don’t pretend to cry

You’ll thank me later, wait and see, you’ll never be the same

so stop your snivelling, lighten up, we’re going to play a game

We’ll take your ribs out, one by one

and put them in a sack

we’ll smash them with a plank of wood

then try and put them back

Or maybe we’ll play hide and seek

we’ll hide your eyeballs first

and if by chance you find them, well

I’ll think of something worse

Don’t look so scared, it’s just a joke

I thought you’d understand

I’ve got your interests close at heart

so come on, hold my hand.”

Jim chewed upon his fingernails, not knowing what to do

he hadn’t felt this bad when he’d had mumps or chimney flu

And then he saw the shadow’s hand

in fact he saw right through it

But as he reached to take a hold

a voice cried out – “Don’t do it!”

Jim turned around to see who called, so fast he almost tripped

he saw a young girl flying past, her right hand tightly gripped

Her shadow dragged her to the woods that glowered all around

then with one giant effort, she propelled it to the ground

And as they wrestled in the mud she turned her eyes on Jim

“You can’t save me, but save yourself - keep far away from him

He’ll try and trick you, so watch out, he’s evil, mean and clever

If he gets hold, he won’t let go, he’ll keep you here forever.”

Jim’s shadow laughed and leapt about

and tried to drown her words

“Shut up,” he yelled, “that’s quite the daftest thing I ever heard

“That little girl,” it said to Jim, “is not quite what she seems,

She’s a goblin, or a figment of your wildest, darkest dreams

Don’t listen to a word she says, she’ll lead you to disaster

now take my hand, I’ll treat you to a bowl of monkey pasta!”

Again Jim did not take the hand

instead he tried to see

beyond the shadow, to the girl

he thought should be set free

The monkey pasta wasn’t something

that his taste-buds missed

But chimp and chocolate ice cream

would have been hard to resist

“There must be some way out of here

some way to get back home

and I’ll be better with a friend

than if I’m all alone.”

Jim bravely walked towards the woods

not thinking what might lie

in wait for him behind each tree

or watching from the sky

“Your hand! Your hand!” the shadow squealed

“You must hold hands with me!

You’ll get lost or trapped or eaten by

a long toothed hairy beast

“The greasy Haemophibius

is hiding in the woods

He’ll pierce you with his silver snout

and suck out all your blood

Then Gorge, the many-legged one

attracted by your groans

Will scuttle from his dusty hole

to separate your bones

The ant-like Flipper-Flopper Worms

will feast upon your eyes

Then gather up what’s left

for a variety of pies.”

“Look, you can talk all night,” said Jim

“or shout and scream and sing.

I’m not listening – even if I did

it wouldn’t change a thing.”

And so he trod the lonely path

that led into the gloom

he felt the dampness on his skin

the dampness of the tomb

The shadow followed close behind

silenced for a while

though round its wicked shadow mouth

there played a wicked smile

It knew that soon or later

Jimmy’s knees would start to shake

the fear would grip his fevered mind

and then his hand he’d take

The girl was gone Jim soon found out

and shadows leave no tracks

there seemed no sure way forward

yet no point turning back

So as he stood and thought about

the vegetables of fate

He jumped on board the memory bus

and skipped back several dates...

…He was sitting on his grandpa’s knee

listening to him speak

Of all the strange and dreadful things

he’d done that very week

“I drunk an ‘undred pints of beer, then stew - a right big plateful

Then threw up on an ‘ungry dog, what seemed to be quite grateful

I watched that dog lick clean his chops, and then I got a cup

I drunk a dozen uncooked eggs, and then I threw them up

So then I drinks ‘em down again, and twice more after that

I tries it standing on my ‘ead, but still they hit the mat

There’s got to be a way, I thought, to keep these beggers down

so I takes ‘em in a bucket to a man I knows in town

‘Now Bill, you’ve got a problem there,’ says Flapjack-Joe Granelli

‘to transfer eggs from that there pail, to thy great bulging belly.’

‘The problem’s not that way at all,’ I tells him with a shrug

‘as quickly as I slide ‘em down, they’re sliding on the rug.’

‘Ah ha!’ he cries, ‘I see,’ and then he scratched his ancient head

‘I think I’ve got the answer,’ and he disappears to bed

Three days and nights I’m waiting there, occasionally crying

the bucket stank, three eggs hatched out, the rest solidifying

Eventually I hears the tread of footsteps on the stair

I looked, and I was shocked to see him – naked, but for hair

A lot of hair I’m glad to say, it covered him completely

and in his hand a knife and fork, wrapped in a napkin, neatly

‘Okay, young man, it’s time to eat, and now I’ll make a claim:

those eggs, once gone, will not return, or Flapjack’s not my name.’

‘You fool,’ I cry, ‘you’ve kept me here for three long days and nights

until my eggs have turned all hard and pungent to the bite?

I could’ve boiled ‘em days ago, if that had been required

instead of congealed chucky-eggs, with eat-by date expired!’

‘Well listen, Eric,’ Flapjack says, ‘I don’t mean to be funny

but you’ll not keep those eggs devoured, while they’re all soft and runny.’

‘But that’s the point,’ I pointed out. ‘The cure for too much ale

is runny eggs or frogspawn legs, or giblets of a whale

I’ll never come round here again if I need some advice

I’d rather kiss a pig, or fill my underpants with ice.’”

“So listen,” Grandpa said to Jim, the boy still on his knee

“the moral of this story should be plain for all to see

There’s not much to rely on in this world we’re livin’ in

but you won’t go far wrong if you keep bogeys in a tin

Not anybody’s bogeys, mind, don’t pick ‘em off the floor

or scrape them off your best friend’s sleeve or buy them in a store

Just pluck them fresh and gleaming from your snooter every night

select a tin, pop ‘em in, and store away from light

Those bogeys, they won’t let you down, they’ll never criticise

they’ll stick with you through thick and thin, they’ll never tell you lies

They’ll never give you bad advice, like, ‘eat your eggs congealed’

or, ‘wear your trousers inside out’, or, ‘it’s okay to steal’

They’ll never ask you where you’ve been, or why you’re late for tea

or tell you to get up the stairs and get your bedroom cleaned

But when you’re deep in trouble

when you’re weary, feeling small

come the time you feel like crying

on those bogeys you can call

I’m not saying that they’ll save you, but one thing I’ll guarantee

they won’t tell you, ‘We’re too busy’, or, ‘We’re sorry, we’re not free.’

Just give the secret whistle and perform the magic dance

with a turnip on your shoulder and a ferret down your pants

Your bogeys will escape their tins

they’ll rise up and unite

forming one gigantic bogeyman

to join you in your fight.”

End of Part 1

© Copyright 2017 Chris Gerard. All rights reserved.

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