The Mire Beast

It rises from the centre,
Of the bog.
Waters black and bitter,
Congested with slime and weed-choked,
Colder still than the icy rain.

It emerges from the centre,
The Beast.
A thing of oozing obsidian,
More oil than fur,
Sharp bones protruding beneath leathery skin.

The eyes are shrouded,
Engulfed in the sludge,
As two burning coals in charcoal pits.
They glimmer wicked,

It turns slightly,
The Beast,
Deceptively slow in the dragging muck of waters black.
And it stares through me,
As though to inspect.

Arms, if that is what they are,
Rise above the marsh,
Distending inky claws larger than the seax,
That I grip, white-knuckled, at my side.
The Beast does not blink.

The rain continues to fall,
A whisper of fog creeps,
My breath escapes past lips chapped,
A dragon billowing in the frigid air.
The Beast does not breathe.

I feel my soul is
Clutched in ice.
I am slave to the embers,
The smoldering light,
‘neath the sable.

I am paralyzed.
The seax falls,
Metal swallowed by the mire,
As I too,
Am swallowed by the Earth.

Mud and mist engulf my legs,
My body sinks,
Sucked down to the waist in sludge.
I want to scream.
I cannot.

The beast stares through me,
My silent anguish,
Muscles straining as I plummet still.
Grit in my teeth,
swamp water in my throat.

I am so far below,
I can barely hear,
As the beast’s maw cracks open,
Rows of gleaming, jagged spikes,
And laughs- inhuman.

The cackles are,
As dry reeds in the wind,
And piercing howls in the night.
Hell’s screams would be soothing
In compare.

Mud pushes beneath my eyes,
I am nearly blind.
The beast is stone still,
As it stares through me,

I wake to the rains,
Soaked in filth,
Half-mad on the cold ground.
My seax is gone.
The black waters are still.

A long Viking dagger popular in the middle ages.