This vessel filled with sanguine nectar
Placed before my tortured face.
"Drink, drink", growls the Collector,
"So the ritual is not debased."
With a quiet sigh I raise my eyes
To find there's no one in sight.
But the shrill cries still to my spine bring chills
From the vague memories of the night.
"Who speaks to me in this empty place?
And what causes me these conniptions?
What are these echoes, these screams that resonate
And what source has borne this addiction?"
There's no soul here to hear my words,
Yet imposing shadows loom in the light
Of strategically placed candles set about the oubliette,
Ready to begin a dark rite.
"The one who speaks is the one who hears,
Indistinguishable except by delusion.
You writhe for the memory as the fogginess clears
And reveals the true cause of pollution:
We, Dante! We are the ones who
Fill this cup to the brim!
You are the lure and I am the hunter
And blood is what cleanses their sin."
As the snarling, disembodied voice speaks
I become filled with lecherous dread.
"You're a monster, a devil, a hideous fiend!"
I scream to the voice in my head.
I regain my composure but suddenly looking over
A room full of familiar corpses,
Torn open, bled, all eyeless sockets,
Materialized by unspeakable forces.
The flickering light from the tiny dancing flames
Eerily animate the dead,
But the bodiless shadows that tower remain
Motionless as the voice again said:
"The one who speaks is the one who hears.
By indulgence you gain from their tears,
Their terror, their anguish, they strengthen you, tame this
Devilish gnawing you fear."
Five leering shadows, eighteen festering carcasses
Surround me in grim trepidation.
Why, why do I choose to take part in this
Unholiness in this dark wretched station?
I try to refuse but my failure amuses
The entity goading me on.
I embrace the chalice of blood and of malice
And drink to fulfill the liaison.
As the ambrosia from the chalice is swallowed
A drunkenness begins to befall me.
As I stand, the five shadows, my servants, they follow
But as if they aren't walking, but crawling.
Altogether the flames grow brighter and stronger
Until the room like a kiln now burns.
The desiccated bodies prostrate and offer
Themselves so the fire upturns.
In my blood-drunken haze my eyes are opened
To the creation of my own obsession.
The Collector, the Harvester, the Reaper, the Chosen
And the Hunter, they are all but reflections.
"The others are voiceless", said the one voice I hear,
"Only I can speak as you can.
And you, Dante, are a bloodfiend, a ghoul.
In only man's realm you feign human.
"We are all you, all one in the same,
And as one we are death and disaster.
These victims before you bathing in flame
Were brought before the ritual master
That the remaining token be brought forth, bespoken
By the aspect of you that's most potent:
No, not the Chosen, though he holds the notion
Of calling that one the Unbroken."
At last all those nebulous memories
Are elucidated in this nightmarescape.
The Unbroken the voice just spoke of is me,
An amalgam of these shadows of hate,
Of murderous, methodical diabolism.
It all has finally become clear:
This black, ****** rite has brought me transcendence
As something all the more terrible draws near...