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The Beast of Story Lane

Updated on October 14, 2012

Down at the end of Story Lane there stands a rundown shack.

The windows that aren't broken out have all been painted black.

The cold wind whipping through the eaves sounds like a baying hound.

The house--or so the townfolk say--stands on unhallowed ground.

You might assume no one could live in such a broken place,

but if you watch you just might glimpse a pale and wizened face

that's peeking through a doorway or perhaps behind a pane.

You'd shudder, quake, then say out loud, "That guy must be insane!"

And you'd be right. So now you've seen old Jeremiah Kent.

'Twas twenty-seven years ago his mind got up and went.

The anniversary's coming soon. The night old Kent was cursed

was twenty-seven years ago October thirty-first.

The air was crisp and clear that night and laughter filled the streets

as children of all ages blithely traded tricks for treats.

The moon was full and bloated, such a cold and yellow ball.

A monster-movie marathon was playing at the mall.

The mood in town was high that night, not in the least bit cruel.

The children at the orphanage got candy with their gruel.

They say of rotten apples that there's one in every tree.

In our fair town, on this fall night, were not just one, but three.

Three juvenile delinquents, their names: Charlie, Mike and Frank,

decided this would be the night to play a little prank.

They'd been downtown just hanging out in K-Mart's parking lot.

Now they were bored and out of cash. They wished they had some pot.

"What should we do?" young Frankie asked, then said with baited breath.

"Why don't we go to Story Lane and scare old Kent to death?"

"You know," said Mike, "he killed his wife. At least that's what they say."

"You scared?" asked Frank. "Not me," said Mike. "Not me, uh-huh. No way!"

"Nor I," said Chuck, "and I don't care if he did kill the bitch.

I say we rob the old guy, too. From what I hear, he's rich.

I betcha in his mattress that he keeps 'bout fifty grand.

For half-a that," he laughed and said, "I'd cut off my right hand."

"I bet he's right," Sir Franklin said and punched Mike in the arm.

"And, after all, it's only Kent. So what could be the harm?"

Already--in young Frankie's head--he'd found and spent the loot

on booze and drugs and maybe some Nintendo games to boot.

"We'll meet at nine," young Frankie said. The other boys agreed.

"Mike, you try to steal some booze, and I'll go score some weed."

The group split up--went separate ways--to go complete their tasks--

get high supplies for Mike and Frank while Chuck would find some masks.

Meanwhile, down on Story Lane, at Jeremiah's house

old Jeremiah sat inside as quiet as a mouse.

No trick-or-treaters rang his bell or knocked upon his door

for parents knew that this old man was rotten to his core.

"Kids, stay away from Kent's place," the moms and dads would warn.

"The only thing you'll get from him is poisoned candy corn.

An apple with a razor blade might be a likely snack,

and if you go inside the house you might not make it back."

So why would people feel this way? Could they be justified?

For, after all, there was no proof that anybody died.

To find an answer we must travel further back in time

to a night ten years before and Kent's suspected crime.

                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It seems one night old Kent's young wife, Alicia, disappeared.

When questioned of it, Jeremiah started acting weird.

He first became enraged; he even threw his coffee cup.

He stuttered and he stammered then he finally clammed up.

The cops grew so suspicious that they locked him in a cell.

They asked him, "Where's your wife?" But if he knew he wouldn't tell.

They searched his house completely, from the basement to the roof.

Though foul-play was suspected they could never find the proof.

The only thing that they could find that got them all upset

was in a box upon a shelf behind the TV set.

A book it was, all wrapped in cloth, as old as old can be,

a book of magic--black and vile--and demonology.

It's cover, some dark leather, although oiled, was cracked with age.

Dark rituals--for summonings--and curses filled each page.

The illustrations in the book could turn one's blood to ice.

One chapter was devoted all to human sacrifice.

Although no proof, the lead dick felt it certainly looked grim,

and so he took the book to Kent in jail and said to him,

"You piece of dirt! You low-life scum! You'd better sing, you creep!

I'll never rest 'til you confess. I swear, I'll never sleep.

I know you killed her, Kent," he said. "You might as well just talk."

His wily suspect just stayed mute. He had to let him walk.

So Kent went home to Story Lane and none the worse for wear.

He knew the cops would never find the secrets he held there.

"Unfortunate. They found my book, but still they don't know jack.

Besides, without some evidence they had to give it back.

And of Alicia they will find no trace of hair nor hide,

for she is captured in the book bound by a spell inside

and there she'll stay, and all the town will never have a clue."

But cops do talk, and pretty soon the rumors grew and grew.

A Satanist. A murderer. A vampire, fiend, and ghoul.

Most certainly he never spent a day in Sunday School.

If the town but knew the truth; if they had any sign,

they'd form a mob and chase Kent out like Victor Frankenstein.

But as it was the stories grew, and never did they wane

until at last old Kent became "the beast of Story Lane."

                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fast forward now, and let's meet up with Mikey, Frank, and Chuck.

They're gathered in the graveyard in a stolen pick-up truck.

Frankie has just sparked a joint and passed a whiskey flask.

"I hope you've both got alibis if anyone should ask."

"I'm good," said Mike. "Me, too," said Chuck. "Oh, boy! This should be fun,

and just in case old Kent won't scare I brought my old man's gun."

They hung out in the graveyard, and they partied for a while

'til Frankie shouted, "Mount up, boys! We're gonna live in style!"

The Chuckster hollered, "Shotgun!" just as Frankie said, "I'll drive."

With Mikey in the middle they set out at ten-o-five.

Along the way they laughed and joked. "Old Kent will feel our wrath!"

It's too bad no one noticed when the black cat crossed their path.

Now maybe it was destiny or just pure rotten luck,

but either way it boded ill for Frankie, Mike, and Chuck.

Real drunk and seeing double Frankie tried hard not to swerve,

and Michael grabbed his seatbelt as they skidded through a curve.

"Slow down," Mike yelled. "You're gonna wreck, you're going way too fast!"

"Shut up, you weenie," Frankie laughed and gave it some more gas.


On Witches' Night, a full moon, too, the stars aligned just so,

old Kent, Dark Art Practitioner, was primed and set to go.

He'd brewed up a concoction of some barbecued toad hearts

with goat entrails, and newt eyes, and some other grizzly parts.

He'd thrown them in a cauldron, and he'd boiled them into goo.

He'd poured it out and let it cool, then drank a cup or two.

Now power crackled in his eyes and burned beneath his skin.

In ecstasy he bit his lip, and blood ran down his chin.

And on the table lay a book. (I bet you know the tome.)

Of course. It was the book of spells Alicia now called home.

For ten long years old Kent had waited just to cast one spell.

The time had come when he could finally call her back from Hell.

A she-demon in human skin called forth to be his slave--

a not-quite-living not-quite-dead corruption from the grave.

He'd slowly drawn his sigils and memorized his chants.

He flipped to page six-sixty-six and went into a trance.

He mumbled incantations as dark smoke began to rise.

He pricked his thumb, and when blood swelled he smeared it in his eyes.

The timing here was crucial, and he had to concentrate

when suddenly a pick-up truck came smashing through his gate.

It banged across the dooryard, and it crashed into a tree.

It's gas-line broke. Our three delinquents struggled to break free.

Chuck and Frank both made it out and ran onto the porch,

but Mikey had his seatbelt on and went up like a torch.

Back in the house, within the smoke, a shape began to form;

a face somewhat distorted, like a wraith caught in a storm.

"I have to hold!" Kent cried, then yelled, "She still can be of use!"

But Chuck and Frank kicked in his door. That's when all Hell broke loose.

                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Young Chuck burst in and flashed the gun he had beneath his coat.

"Give up the cash, you bastard, Kent!" Kent stabbed him in the throat.

Now Frankie, leader of the gang, was still a little high.

He seemed completely unaware he'd watched his buddy die.

"I'm sorry, sir. I guess I'll go." He waved and turned to leave.

He'd taken three steps toward the door when something grabbed his sleeve.

It's hands were tipped with razor claws; it's eyes were yellow slits,

and where there should have been a nose were just two oozing pits.

It's scales were dark and oily, and it's tail was four feet long.

(I guess you know by now Kent's spell had gone completely wrong.)

It may have been Alicia once; at least it wore her dress,

but this abomination was a horrifying mess.

And it was strong. It held Frank up--one-handed--in the air

and said to him, "Oh no, dear boy. You can't go anywhere.

You see, my friend, it's Halloween--the best day of the year--

and you're my treat, so here's a trick!" She then bit off his ear.

(The details are too gruesome, too grotesque, and filled with gore.

Just take my word that our young Frank's not with us anymore.)

And somewhere in the midst of things old Kent's mind slipped away,

for sweet Alicia Kent came home, and she came home to stay.

                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now twenty-seven years have passed. It almost seems a dream--

except on every Halloween when you can hear Kent scream.

So come on by this hallowed eve, no venture means no gain.

You never know, we just might meet The Beast of Story Lane.


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