The Scratch Man

There’s an old tale told,

Where dreamers are sold,

Of a man both feared and rotund.

 

With a staggering gait

And a bargain of fate

He’ll ask for a pence for his fund.

 

There’s no telling which,

Both the poor and the rich,

Have bled out the back of his van.

 

With all of the pleaders,

Mixed beggars and bleeders,

It’s hard to spot him: the Scratch man.

 

Give, there’s no middle,

Or tricking the riddle,

Lest he put you on his list.

 

He’ll be just out of sight,

In the day and the night,

In the shadows that you must have missed.

 

Then, one day you’ll wake,

And your silence he’ll take:

As agreement: you have done wrong.

 

Then there’s no time,

No help in this rhyme,

But it’s coming, so follow along.

 

First thing, his face,

It will replace,

With an image both stitched and refined

 

Though, like most Eldritch creatures,

Think of the features;

And there’s little left in your mind

 

You’ll remember a smile,

Be okay for a while,

But, this is the time to beware

 

For, though sweaty, and gross,

He’ll be uncomfortably close,

To your person, and you’ll try not to care.

 

It’s your new jovial chum!

You’ll explain to some,

To most, say, he’s long-awaited.

 

But others won’t stand,

His meat-cloying hand,

And leave you to him to be sated.

 

With building momentum,

And no way to prevent them,

You’ll notice a disturbing trend.

 

When you aren’t looking

Whether sleeping or cooking,

You’ll get a scratch that refuses to mend.

 

Then, you’ll start to drip,

From your leg or your lip,

A trickle of unceasing blood.

 

It goes slowly at first,

But, only gets worse,

Until the rivulets resemble a flood

 

When there’s nothing you’ll do,

The Scratch Man will take you,

To let your self pool in his van.

 

Now, once you’re dead,

There’s not much to be said,

Another victim of the Scratch Man

 

One word of warning,

Before you go into mourning,

Or charter the next ocean steamer.

 

We’ve given him life,

Go wherever you like,

Because you and I are the dreamer.

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