A sideways glance at the creaking door betrays the presence of a marauder

Footsteps along the shallow hall come closer, closer looking for the boy

Huddled in the corner the two, small, slim, shivering in the dark

Panels and walls surrounding their fear

Chills ringing like bells and beads of sweat dribbling from knitted brows to mother earth

A shard of light from a hungry moon pierces through a crack in the black

Heavy, hanging, drapes, waiting

Step by step

Breathing, thumping heart, quivering knees, clammy palms

The hand of doom reaches into the room

Lunging forward

Silence shrieks

Hearts stop

A monochrome sequence

Slow motion, semi frozen

“The boy”

Combustion and colour kick start the engine

“No” in protest

Pitches and harmonics shatter the air

Like fine crystal glass, smashed on an altar

Of stone, protesting alone

“No” the young breath

Mingles tensely with the ale soaked heaving of the shadow in the dark

A tender arm reaches to protect the young

The cold sweaty grip lets slip the fragile child to the wild

Marauder, hell bent on teaching a lesson

“The boy, damn you”

A struggle ensues

Staggering backwards, grabbing the collar of wool

Woven so tender, blue for a boy, white for the innocent

“Heaven have mercy” before the last stumble

Beginning to fumble once more for strength

The boy is the flag in this cruel tug of war

And once more the marauder insists

The protester resists

A struggle of passions

The drunk and the young

“Run” to the boy

The lamb flees the field

A struggle ensues but futile

This is no diamond

No treasure to covet

No angel to bully

No pupil to tutor

No sinner to redeem

A drunken step backwards, the hunter now hunted

Driven to exile, pushed to the edge

The full force of battle, a power unreckoned

There, at the top of the stair, a blow to the face

Of the wild cat screaming “I won’t let you have him”

Fierce and cornered, clammy feet slipping

On deathly cold flags

“Bitch” as another blow dealt to the cat

With back arched and claws stretched, now

In the blink of an eye, the shepherd is gone

Over the cliff

Stone steps cascading

Drunken grunts echo

In the shard of the moonlight

Watching the shipwreck, a maiden at sea

Orphaned and free

But where is the lamb?

Rushing to find the spindly legs and delicate wool

A blanket of fear, behind heavy drapes

In a room lined with Thomas the Tank Engine paper

There is nothing sacred here

Embracing the boy that blood spilt to protect

Two pairs of bare feet at the edge of a rug

The storm has subsided

A lighthouse, she guided the ship to its doom

Now there in the room the waters are still

And the darkness is close

And the silence is real.

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