by Chris Hall (with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)
Once upon a midnight dire I sat beside the soothing fire,
Supping on a meaty stew the cook prepared the day before.
Around the house my family slept whilst through my thoughts a silence crept,
As I admired the firelight dancing o’er the polished hardwood floor.
I paid fifty dollars for my newly polished hardwood floor,
This it cost and nothing more.
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Whilst I looked, the door creaked wide; a ghastly figure lurched inside!
Its peeling skin lay tattered round a visage that lay caked with gore!
Baleful eyes beheld me from a visage that lay caked with gore!
The zombie started ‘cross the floor.
As I cowered meek and lowly, on it shambled (very slowly)
Reeking of the odours that are leaked behind the bathroom door.
“Who is this?” I weakly muttered, but no syllable it uttered,
Just a moan escaped the creature as it moved across the floor,
Leaving horrid scuff-marks as it dragged its feet across the floor.
Quoth the zombie, “Mrrrrrrrraagghhh.”
Such an insubordinate measure, that this beast – to my displeasure –
Should befoul my careful, structured poem with its plaintive roar!
No attempt it made to hide, I’d be respectful if it tried,
At least to speak some semblance of the rhyming that had come before.
“Mrrrrrrrraagghhh” bore no resemblance to the rhyming that had come before!
Still it scuffed my hardwood floor!
I rose and shouted out with vigour at the filthy, rotting figure,
“Get thee hence, or wipe your feet before you wreck my polished floor!”
No reply the creature offered, though its hands were stiffly proffered,
As it came upon me with its every feature dripping gore,
Lurching ‘cross the walnut burls with every feature dripping gore,
Moaning as it did before.
I expected something shocking, but this zombie shambled, mocking
My desire for discourse with a spectre born in days of yore;
No charisma had this being: speech retarded, eyes unseeing.
Would my dreams of gothic glamour be just figments evermore?
All my darkest, rarest wishes left as figments evermore?
Quoth the zombie, “Brrrraaaaiiiinnnss.”
The carcass reached my wingback chair and groped its fingers through my hair,
Then craned its head towards my throat whilst opening its fetid maw.
I fought against its ghastly fumbling, but my stew pot went a-tumbling,
Spilling all the chunky meat upon my lovely polished floor.
Another horrid mark upon my lovely, lovely hardwood floor!
Then the zombie ceased its chore.
Releasing me from certain death my foe let out a startled breath
And pounced upon the juicy morsels that lay strewn upon the floor.
Though my mind was left confused no skin was pierced, only bruised,
Then I perceived a look of satisfaction that creature wore,
Licking stew from walnut planks begat the grin the creature wore!
Quoth the zombie, “Mmmoooore”
Though the corpse was quasi-rhyming, still my anger kept on climbing,
Caused by stains defacing my beloved newly-polished floor,
So I grabbed a white-hot poker, and with just one single stroke a
Chunk exploded from its head and thoughtless muck began to pour,
Cracked its skull and down it shuddered as the muck began to pour.
Then I smashed its head once more.
Soon its moans reduced to silence, prompted by my acts of violence,
As the zombies brains were scattered like confetti on my floor.
Then my thoughts turned cold and bitter, fifty dollars down the shitter,
All because this silly bugger lurched in through my chamber door,
Didn’t wipe its feet before it shambled through my chamber door,
Seeping pus and dripping gore.
Soon the dread began to fill me, as I knew my wife would kill me,
When she saw the outcome of my battles from the night before,
No more nights out drinking, bragging; just a stream of endless nagging,
Nagging me to clean the bits of zombie from her polished floor.
How I wish I lay in splatters on her bloody hardwood floor,
To rest in peace – forevermore.