The Machine In The Garden

~The macabre justly presented by Coyote

Once, during a very dreary year

I went and stayed with my great uncle

The drizzling depression outside my window

Paled in comparison to the stories I'd heard

Of my uncle's home, where the sun shined all day

And the courtyard of his castle was leafy and springy

And a siamese cat named Lenore prowled his estate

And I realize : The streets of my city are dark and ugly

And I need to thrust myself into the will of nature for once

So on an especially miserable day

I packed my bags with a few choice possessions

And boarded the train to the mountains of Germany

I sigh in relief as it pulls into the station of Schreunburg

The small town that my kinsmen have resided as Barons over

His castle was larger than I remember

Darker, too... I didn't recall the twisting spires stabbing

At the sky so forcefully, nor the hidden corners

emanating such fearful enigma...

Great Uncle Olivur embraced me as I passed through the great

Vaulted front gate, but there was a coldness in his touch

And a stiffness in his eyes

As he told me about the events of the last ten

Hellish years of torture he'd encountered.

"My dear nephew," He said, his rich voice full of emotion.

The man was well over eighty-five, and this was uncommon in

A man his age.

"The only one who has come to visit me for Eons back to back.

"I cann't tell you how diffe'cult a time I 'ave had...

My home is no longer my own.

I share it with the demons of the mind

And the vampires of the heart

And the beasts of the wind

And the machine in the garden."

I thought surely he was japing me

But as I took a closer look at his face

I saw something hideously disturbing

Like that of a child with recurring nightmares

Of terrible proportion who fears her bed

Or perhaps of an abused dog who cringed whenever she saw a long

strip of leather or rope...

Truly this place housed evil

An evil that rose and swelled in fury and power

I could feel the howling of the nephilim behind locked doors

And the snarling of a leviathan underfoot

It swirled, black and pestilous, in a coarse cloud

About our eyes and throats

We swallowed in and saw through it and only if we looked

With a passion, would we catch a visable glimpse of it

The rooms and corners of the fortress

Were uninteresting to me, seeming to possess mere death

But the courtyard, for two weeks I kept myself from there

Out of fear, or anticipation, or possibly dementia

One bright afternoon I decided I had waited long enough

So I made good to fling wide the massive oak doors

I was hit immediately with a musty forest odor

That numbed my senses and dulled my mind

For a moment, in the utter naturality of it

I could see nothing

As I recovered, Lenore wound her way past my ankles

And out down the paths of the large ante-garden

Her golden eyes fell on me as she rounded the corner

But I was too enraptured by the sheer creation of it all

I failed to notice.

There were vines draping over tree branches like adders

In Eden... Ivy snaked through the cracks in the decrepit,

Crumbling walls and benches... The garden had obviously been

Shut for at least a hundred years, if not more.

No one had been in this beautiful place for generations.

A stone tablet stood at chest-height a few paces in front of me

I approached it, overwhelmed...

The Latin inscription was too worn to make out

But I had failed to take Latin at school anyways

However, the tablet was not indescript

There were four iron rings attached to it's four corners

Though they were corrupted

Beyond whatever usefulness they had originally served

And cut into the surface of the grey granite plateau

Lie at least twenty four deep slits

The entire artifact was a mystery to me

From behind me came a noise

A coughing noise, short and sharp, that caught my curiosity

I turned, and cried out in surprise

What I saw turned my first discovery

Into a memory of forgotten past

It was difficult to say how large it was

Because it was rusted grey and red

And masqued in a cloak of thick ivy and moss

It lurked the shadowy corridor, unmoving

But regardless of what it looked like

It was what it RADIATED that made it the devil's right arm

A sneering, mocking stream of nonsense

That actually made sense in comparison to the universe

Unaware of my own actions

I reached out and began to tear the ivy ropes from the machinery

Lenore sat upon my shoulder, unnoticed

As I brought the monster back to life

Only when I had torn every green strand

From the base and body, did I stop and think

Fear coursed through my body, and deathly anticipation

But it was gradually brushed away by a more immediate

And definite sense of determination

The Machine had an arm

And that arm had one claw

And that one claw, did I lever

Until it locked in a confident position

And then, I grasped the arm, and pulled towards me

And Lenore hissed, and her paws dug into my neck

But I hardly noticed, because the Machine in the garden

Was living and breathing once again

Spewing forth horrible screaming and lurching and groaning

Reeling, my shocked palms pressed against my eyes

And my fingers locked rigid in my ears

For what seemed like hours I lay there in a stasis of fear

Visions of grinding gears boring into my skull

Of steam, black bile, collecting about me as an aura

Gradually, morbidity waned as do the tides of solstice

Slowly, my hands fell from my face, dead leaves from an oak

And rose from the cacaphony a sweeter melody, I'd never heard

More revelant than a thousand nightingales singing praise

I goggled in wonderment, for such a thing was unheard to me

From an evil machine that vomited torture and horror and pain

To a channeller-familiar of the orchestra of dreams

It emitted the same sounds, loud and harsh

But now they had organized themselves, hypnotically

The theme of the music surfaced

And had not changed, but had changed all the more

For it was still about death, but not a death of the damned

This was the peaceful rest of eternity

The trumpets that sounded when one took their last gasp on earth

The fanfare of those who are saying

Goodbye and hello at the very same time...

Lulled into passivity, I approached the Machine

Slowly, carefully, but sure now that I had truly nothing to fear

The large bolted panel on the front contained lettering

The prose of some ancient industrial force

Outlining the workings of the Machine

In three ways from hell

From a pace away, I stopped, gazing at the wild abandon

Of the Machine's reckless glory

Steam encircled the garden, puffed and swirled round my head

Even encased in rust, the gears worked like new

This was not a thing to be feared, this Machine in the garden...

This was a thing to respected, a thing with a beautiful soul

Snapping from my reverie, I was startled by a noise of more gears

That faintly growled from the opposite direction I was facing

Looking back, and then hastily shuddered

And fell to the ground in a swoon

As four clamps snapped up securely into place

As would a regiment at attention

And twenty four blood-covered, demonsharp blades

sprung up like the leering teeth of Beelzebub

AUTHOR: Coyote