CHEVAL MALLET OF VENDÉE
Four deafening pounds
against harden, tan soil
from melancholy hillside
across Vendee’s countryside.
Six streaks of lightning pummels
from the darken sky. Each streak
trumpets forth the harbinger
of wandering travelers.
A raven Camargue
ferociously gallops and swerves
on the fogged covered barren road.
Its’ burgundy eyes immersed
with otherworldly fierceness
and scornful entreaty through
the night’s mystic veil, like
a demon emerging
from faded, ash pentagram lines
in a decrypted churchyard.
The Camargue’s muscular back
carries an empty hazelnut saddle
yearning for a naïve soul
to take the fortuitous ride
into the night, like the headless horseman
charting through the slumbering
His oval nostrils flare
his viciousness, charring
Rowan’s red blossoms.
Their blacken, delicate petals
twirl downward, quietly landing
in his imposing, engraved hoof prints.
His front torso raises upward
His back legs hold their stance
Earsplitting shrills charted
through the wrinkled fog sheets
of the countryside.
Front torso lowers,
He lowers his head.
Front legs part.
From the distance
at the road’s edge,
his pupils dialed
at a thin black silhouette,
oscillation its’ long arms
side to side, like a grandfather clock’s
golden pendulum slowly
vacillation in the glass confines.
He charges through the dense fog
and towards the figure.
White fog lifts its’ veil, revealing
a young noble man, wearing enriched,
tattered, unhygienic clothes.
His pale, fragile face sunken
into his cheek bones.
Dimmed grey eyes lowered,
reflecting an antecedent ghoul
wearing human clothing.
The raven Camargue’s hooves
lifts scattered pebbles,
reaching closer and closer
to him. The young nobleman
ceases in his place, hearing
four levying pounds behind.
Dimmed eyes widened, hearing
an ungodly shrill accompanied
by scorching flares poignant
His long, black nostril,
nuggets on the noble man’s shoulder
to rest and sit on his empty saddle.
He turns his head,
seeing the raven Camargue
anticipating his decision.
The young man’s antecedent
“You’ve been weary and wandering
on this forsaken road.
Ride on its’ back. Ride on its’ back.
You are a nobleman of Vendée and deserve
to ride like one.”
He walks over to the Camargue.
His skeletal hand strokes down the Camargue’s
enlarged neck. The young nobleman lifts and rests
his foot onto a footrest. He lifts his bottom
and places in the empty saddle.
The Camargue’s head wildly bobs its’ head,
Lifts its’ torso upward into the air,
and levying onward,
expressing its’ wicked satisfaction.
Riding with the wandering nameless soul
from the haunting landscape of Vendée
and into the orange-beige cracks
Howling wilderness beckons its’ call
to the Devil’s handmaidens to gather, craft and
and conquer their Master’s monstrosity.
Pumpkins slumber in the fields become coiled by their vines
White willow trees cast their specter shadows
Grey horned owls fly and hoot their dreaded song
Black cats meowed, prowl and frolic through the cemetery
Crickets strum their legs
Golden moon hovers the darken woods
illuminating a disconcerting glow
down at the Devil’s handmaidens.
Women, young and old, dress in black dresses
and white aprons form a circle.
Suppressed thoughts and desires
corrupt their minds and souls.
Humble, fragile, kind eyes become
powerful, seductive, malicious, sadistic
Dark magic and sweltering wickedness
towards the disillusioned and fearful people of Salem
coursing through hemlock blood, unraveling
their mortal coils.
Their master’s scorched touch
caresses their skin and neck.
He whispers in Latin
a forbidden incantation their ears.
Fire's ring and black cauldron boil
Dead man’s arms, black cat’s green eyes,
cow’s tongue, a pair of bat wings,
serpent’s fresh skin, mint moss from
a tombstone, toad’s warts, crow’s feet,
wilted black rose petals, dried mugwort,
teardrops of a little girl, blood
of a young man, a young woman’s beating heart
and Death’s kiss.
Black cauldron boils
turns into emerald-black flames.
Their wildness burns and blackens
the orange and golden leaves. It reaches
towards the mystic moon.
Cauldron erodes and splatters on the ground
Fall winds hollow
Grey horned owls hoot
Women grinned their sadistic pleasure
Their Master’s irreligious eyes burned
his seeping, burning desire for madness and discord.
Like the Black Plague across the villages in Europe,
the coven’s dark magic and sweltering wickedness
is unleased upon the disillusioned and fearful people of Salem.
Christina Ciufo is a passionate young woman who writes poetry, short stories, flash fictions, fables, and completing her first novel. At a very young age, she always had a passion for writing stories and poems, specifically in fairytales, folklore, supernatural, and horror. She truly enjoys writing about folklore, the supernatural, and horror in various writing genres because she believes by telling stories about witches, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, demons, and other supernatural forces, they evoke a haunting and terrifying imagination that brings joy and fright. She is currently a Sunday School Teacher. She has appeared in Gravitas and Spillwords. She will appear in Curating Alexandria, Moonchild Magazine and Ovunque Siamo in September 2019 and Bonnie's Crew in December 2019. Her upcoming poem will be published in Twist in Time Magazine's Thank You For Your Service: An Anthology in November 11th, 2020. Find her on Twitter: @ChristinaCiufo