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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Taste (07/15/10)

TITLE: Incident at The Black-Caped Shadow Grill
By Beth LaBuff


I settled in my easy-chair
To dissipate my tension,
I closed my eyes then wakened in
An alternate dimension.
But surely it was just a dream.
The blame — I had a hunch,
Was caused by Beef Chipotle
That I scarfed down at lunch.

And in my dream, a neon sign
That flashed, “Open All Night.”
I clenched my collar ‘round my neck
Then peered through muted light.
Words painted on a window,
“The Black-Caped Shadow Grill.”
I entered in faint-heartedly,
Ignoring dank and chill.

My eyes skimmed the interior,
The clientele — dismissing,
The worn plank floor was gouged in spots
With many slivers missing.
Then focused on the patrons with
Red lips and black attire,
And I, the only human in
The diner of vampires—

I yielded to a shiver,
I saw their fangs and winced.
I’ve heard, “Vampires are shape-shifters.”
Frankly — I’m unconvinced.
To take the form of animals,
To flit around as bats,
I spurn the theory vampires
Can transform into rats.

Then seated near the kitchen door,
My eyes compelled to look,
Were locked into a stare-down
With the bloodstained-aproned cook.
His manner disconcerted me.
His eyetooth glinted gold.
His hairline formed a widow’s peak.
He made my blood run cold.

A menu pressed within my palms,
I welcomed its intrusion.
I scanned the list of beverages
Entitled— “Chilled transfusions.”
“We’ve drinks to please your palate,
Our patrons all agree,
We’ve even stocked ‘O negative,’
Along with ‘A’ and ‘B’.”

“Our famed, ‘Thicker Than Water,’
On-site, this beverage brewed
In our blood-pressure-cooker—
Pairs well with any food.”
“And for the youngsters, ‘Veggie-Freeze’—
The blood squeezed from a turnip—
A blend of wholesome plasma
Served frozen in a cup.”

“The meats we grill are all served rare.”

The menu’s guarantee—
“A red and juicy center,
We pledge they’re garlic-free.”
And seared to seal the juices in,
The ‘Special of the Day,’
With coriander seasoning—
A porterhouse fillet.”

The creature sitting next to me,
His tone and manner—curt,
I heard him hiss, “One special with
“Blood pudding for dessert.”
Ten minutes passed before a
Harried waiter served his food,
I thought it looked a little charred,
That wouldn’t help his mood.

He cut into the well-done steak,
He said it tasted blander
Than any fare that passed his fangs,
“It’s missing coriander!”
He jumped up with his steak knife,
He scorned the kitchen door.
He started hacking wooden stakes
From off the wooden floor.

He raged into the kitchen while
Behind him trailed his cloak,
Then just before he skewered the cook,
Well, that’s when I awoke.
My wife was gently jostling me.
She said, to my relief,
That she’d be serving chicken
And not sirloin of beef.

Still settled in my easy chair,
I swear this is the truth,
A rat peered out and sneered at me,
I saw his golden tooth!
They say, “Vampires are shape-shifters.”
Although it goes against
The core of what I once believed,
But yeah, now I’m convinced!

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This article has been read 851 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 07/22/10
As always, you entertained me from start to finish with your gift of wit and creativity. Loved the ending.
Virgil Youngblood 07/22/10
Delightful, on topic and a winner for sure.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/23/10
Your creatively gifted mind amazes me. There are so many gems here, I couldn't list them all, but I loved the "shape-shifter" references. Superbly done!
Laury Hubrich 07/23/10
Vampires, huh? :) Love your title.
Yvonne Blake 07/24/10
Ooooohhh...shivers! This is definitely NOT your typical poem.
Sarah Elisabeth 07/28/10
Oh no! Even FaithWriter's are getting into the vampire thing! Glad I'd already finished breakfast ;-)

Top notch writing as always!
Lollie Hofer07/28/10
Now THIS is thinking outside the box. Funny! It is certainly a well-crafted poem full of intrigue.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/28/10
Oh this was such a fun read, especially with all the hoopla about vampires now-a-days.I think my favorite was a blood pressure cooker. The rhyming and meter was bloody delicious.
Carol Penhorwood 07/28/10
Oooooooo! Scary! Not exactly a bedtime story. With a lift of your pen, you create constant entertainment!
Shellie Bailey07/30/10
You did a wonderful job. I enjoyed reading it. :)