If you ever wandered into the small town of Diant
And stopped for a hot meal, some talk and a pint
You would find naught that piques the mind.
But if you buy the old men something stronger than a cold beer
You would find a story few would like to tell but many to hear
A legend, no; a myth really, of darkness that lay very near.
When the folks are deep in their cups,
and you, slowly, call their bluff
Will one of them begin to whisper quieter still,
The story of the legend of Hatchitt Hill.
“On your way into town, you must’ve found,
A patch of road blocked off and a way around.
Had you gotten off and followed the gravel path of the hill
You might’ve seen an old graveyard near a dried up rill.
Most sensible folk don’t go anywhere near that place,
And although the occasional brash young man would stay
there for a cigarette and the right to boast
Come night and he would be gone faster than you could say 'ghost'. ”
And when you make a skeptical face, pat comes the call,
“Oi boy, this isn’t a crazy town, and we’re earthy folks all,
But only a fool, would dive head first into a waterfall.”
He would say with a meaningful look.
“Well where was I? damn boy doesn’t know wheat from rye.
Many decades ago, there wandered a Spectre in the night,
It would torment the dead souls and desecrate the graves,
And its merest sight, was enough to make a brave man piss with fright.
But just after the end of the War there came into town,
A cracked old lady and her young son, who always looked down.
When she found work,
as a seamstress or a cook,
I can’t remember.
she was quietly told to leave, come september;
For her scars and her dead smile
made the others tremble inside.
They were a pathetic pair, and when son the fell ill,
They new the end was near.
And end they painfully did.
The son with the pox, and the mother with a sliced wrist from a tin lid.
It was a sight some folks wanted to give a miss,
Because it was rumoured that they came from Auschwitz.
And mistakenly, it was decided, to quickly bury them up on Hatchitt Hill.
Before they were lowered in the grave, people were itching to get going,
It was a dark, desolate place, as everyone was knowing.
As the grey sky grew darker, the darkness coalesced into something starker.
A cloaked container of foul misery, with ebony eyes and bone-white hair.
The Spectre had come for its share, to see fresh fun come into its lair.
It came upon what remained of her, and already smelled something off,
For at its sight the woman merely seemed to scoff.
What are you! it cried,
for the poor thing seemed too damaged to give it any delight.
She merely gazed back with blank eyes, obviously not there,
and said “ Oh is this a new one? Hmm... almost looks nice ! “
The Spectre shrank back at that, hissing,
What has been done to you, I’ll double it in a minute !
“What can you do to me, that hasn’t been already done by man,
I’ve been stripped , flogged ,sewn and laid open again.
My oldest son, left to hang till he tore his arms free,
My daughter hung herself from a tree.
Their father’s dead body I loaded into a truck,
But I lived on, curse my luck.
What can you do that they didn’t do in block 11,
When they stuck me in a standing cell for seven
days, forgot all about me until they needed more space.
My dear Peter left lame by gangrene,
‘cause when we tried to escape he was hit by a bullet unseen.
What can you do to me that hasn’t been done by this world,
Even when we were free, most left us shunned.”
The spectre tried to find out if she was lying,
and stupidly tried to gain her memories from her brain unknowing.
What he saw and felt thence must not have been good,
because he saw, and then he understood.
A hideous scream tore from its dreadful face,
Waves of agony hit it again and again like a ghastly mace.
It began to move, and then flee,
and in its flight it ruptured the railing near the woods.
To this day this can be seen,
for what earthly force could rend true iron clean.
And thus ran away the spectre of Hatchitt Hill,
Only to be replaced by something more wretched still.
(The image of the graveyard was the pictorial prompt provided, and I wrote this rather hastily.)