“Do you believe that a prank can ruin a life?” Ketil inquired of his companions as they walked down the shadowed corridor of the House of Lost Dreams.
“Apologies fer hedgin’ on yer query, old currant bun, but I’ve noticed that this portion of the old Dream Drum continually looks very much the same, although what it branches off to varies in its rotten scariness,” Little John observed as he took a chomp from a rotten hunk of haunch.
“Pranks are an unfamiliar concept to me,” Yitzy imparted telepathically. The gigantic creature held a lantern in one great claw as he slid silently along the floor of the malevolent structure. “My race never engaged in frivolity. I do not mind Robin’s tendency to do so. Do you fellows recall the time when he said: ‘Yitzy, old boy, I’m gonna bury you!’ in a grumbling voice, and as I was wondering what I had done to inspire his wrath, he presented me with a bowl of berries.”
“This is not a prank, Yitzy, it is a jest,” Ketil countered. “While it is true that some pranks are harmless, such as short-sheeting a bed or putting what is knowed as a whoopie cushion on someone’s seat so it sounds as if they has farted loudly, I has finded in my time that many pranks is cruel in their intent and some has dire consequences that lasts a lifetime and beyond. Such a prank was depicted in the story Carrie, which was writed by the author Stephen King.”
“Oi, there was this cinema in Crouch End that used ter have a late showing of movies that had been out fer a spell,” Little John revealed. “Me and Rob went and saw Carrie there one night after we found ten quid just layin’ about on the ground.”
“Did you sneak in your own entrails for a snack, or did you purchase popcorn?” the ghost quipped.
“Well, yer see, the proprietor was one of them fish folk, an’ he was sympathetic ter the dietary needs of ghoul-kind,” Little John said. “Seemed ter ‘ave a limitless supply of molderin’ meat-stuffs in ‘is larder, an’ ‘e gave us a rusty bucketful of stale popcorn smothered in rancid butter and ‘uman fat. Rob and me had a foine time watchin’ the film, but we did feel right sad fer the young twist 'n' twirl what ‘ad a bucket of pig blood poured over ‘er dome by them arseholes who didn’t have nothin’ better to do than behave shite ter a poor lass what had a rough lot in life already.”
“Yah, this is the sort of prank of which I mean,” Ketil acknowledged. “Now, as so often is the case in a story such as Carrie, the arseholes what fucked with her paid for their shite behavior. But the accounting team of the Cosmos does not work so smooth in the real world. There was fuckers what near to got me killed all for a stupid joke because they do not like a fellow who is strange, especially when they is jealous that his father is holded in high regard for his position. I shall tell you of this incident, beginning with a poem which I shall now recite to you.”
cruel jest the match
a spark that leaves life in ruin
joke far from funny
This chapter was Written using the October Spooky Writing Challenge prompts from The Writers Handbook.
The piece was also inspired by the November PAD Chapbook Challenge prompt challenging participants to write a Ruin poem.
The form of this piece is a long fictional Haibun. A Haibun is a form of Japanese poetry where a piece of prose is followed by a Haiku or Senryu.
This piece is part of my WIP, The Key of Eidolon.
The Key of Eidolon is the second book in the Tales from the Dreamlands series. You can pick up the first book, Ketil and Yitzy’s Adventure in the Xura Dream House from Amazon or LBRY.
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