Davis Jones

J. Scott Smith

Davis Jones put down his brew and cocked his head to listen
Footsteps, falling closer, drew toward the place he had chosen
The cough he heard, Davis knew, in sunlight it would glisten
But now, as the night winds blew, it did not at all fit in

Davis Jones considered him as his form came into view
A lanky man, tall and slim, clad in black from hat to shoe
He cast a shadow so dim, as slender men dressed so do
In the pale of a night grim by a spector moon's dull hue

Davis Jones leaned in his chair as the form's figure matured
And he knew why he was there, and in truth he was so sure
That even the evening air's mist seemed only to innure
The secret suspended there: he was back, here for the cure

"Davis Jones," spat the shadow, "I prayed I would find you here"
Only then, at his elbow, did Davis see what appeared
To be in the faintest glow a girl with a look of fear
Like many he'd come to know, that face as life's race ran near

Davis Jones looked her over, a whispy hint of a girl
With copper curls for cover, not tall as a yard unfurled
She hid behind the other like a whit behind a nurl
Lost here without her mother, unaware she'd be his pearl

"Davis Jones," he rasped again, "Do quickly what you promised!
The sickness is creeping in and I am afraid I've missed
The chance for you to begin to do your duty witnessed
Before god and seraphim: In this child my life shall rest!"

Davis Jones sat back and stared at the man who addressed him
And wondered if he had cared a wit for this cherubim
Child, a token fare, red-haired ransom paid for both of them
Bound by a promise, ensnared, but not one for life or limb?

"Davis Jones," he started, "I...," but Davis here cut him off
"I know," he said with a sigh, "I heard you coming. That cough
You have is the sign whereby you knew to find me and doff
Your hat and beg me fill my promise. I will." His words soft

Davis Jones poked a finger at the figure's heart and said
"Farewell, old man, don't linger!" and he fell straightaway dead
And the girl, a strange thing here, red curls fell straight on her head
And the form who had brought her was gone without a drop shed

"Davis Jones!" cried the small voice, "What have you done? Look at me!"
Davis looked as if no choice was left him but look and see
But he new not to rejoice for the girl he had set free
Now owed another's invoice, that deal to which he argreed

Davis Jones looked her over, assessed the work he had done
Took her hand as a lover and silenced her waiting tongue
"When I let go you'll never remember what has begun
Here tonight, as forever, our immortality won"

"Davis Jones, but the promise?" She made the usual protest
"I have kept it," said Davis, "Your life in this child does rest
But in you mine also is entwined and so it is best
For us both to be like this, me alone and you her guest"

Davis Jones paused a moment, more for courage than effect
Then with no further comment, no further time to reflect
On her small hands, fingers bent, released them out of respect
Knowing her moment's torment would shortly lose its affect

"Davis Jones..." trailed off the sound as he watched her fade again
When death's rattle once more found her and was drawing her in
Just enough would be unbound to compell her back to him
And another awful round they'd play, this game with no win

November 2011
Plain Text


Comments welcome via the contact page.

Grouped by Decade