Aphelion Issue 281, Volume 27
March 2023
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The Evil Clergyman

by Ron Larson

Adapted from a story by H. P. Lovecraft

“Don’t touch that strange thing on the table,
Or it will bring you nothing but trouble.
We have no idea what it is,
But we do know that it once was his.”

That’s what the old man said to me.
He then descended the stairs quietly.
The object was the size of a match box,
And I saw it had a rusty lock.

When I touched it, a clergyman appeared.
He leered at me, which evoked great fear.
He tied a rope to an old oak beam.
When he made a noose, I let out a scream.

The caretaker then ascended the stairs,
But the clergyman was no longer there.
The man said: “I told you not to touch it.”
He led me to a mirror in the attic.

My image was that of the clergyman.
My life is now an abomination.
I’m remorseful for doing wicked things,
All I know is that I want to swing.

2018 Ron Larson

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