Was it delusion?
Few among us would argue that it wasn’t
But be assured, their ghastly footsteps came by a dozen
In that seclusion
With wooded life glaring at me on despairing knees.
Leaf unto limb they crumbled underfoot from behind me.
First they snickered
Not contempt nor trickery did the sepulchral spooks bring.
Though frightening, they were there to rid me of something.
Hungered they bickered
One hooded, gangly creature to another, then bargained
Selecting which to do the honors, in feral jargon
Whether to rip
A fatal gash into my belly or down through my throat.
My shivering heart beat my last rites and braced to be smote.
Through my lips
The chosen wraith plunged with his boney, necromanced hand
Into my esophagus, stomach, and gastric glands
Pulled a bezoar
Backwards, scraping slurry, silt, sludge, and scales past my teeth.
The twelve danced gleeful at the vile, oozing mass I bequeathed.
Such an eyesore
He bore from my gut, wreaking of grief, bloodied it dripped
I dared cry out, “Where did it come from, tell me, what is it?”
“Dear melancholy girl,
It’s what you’ve collected: your gripes, your woes, and your fuss.
We’ve removed it for you, although in selfishness; to us
It’s a pearl.”
A table appeared, chairs for all, even me, the thirteenth.
One creature wrought a flame to scald my bezoar, their cuisine.
They sliced it
Into bite-sized pieces, giving me a helping too.
We dined, the spooks exuberant with their most-favorite food.
All were satiated
I was grateful to the strangers doubly merciful
And they to me; what was taken was in both ways mutual.