the Strathmore Hotel

on the edge of the town centre
in a tiny Scottish town
lies a derelict hotel
of battered stone all mossy brown

a once grand place
central to the town’s life
now sad and neglected
with ghostly squatters it is rife

people hurry past the place
it seems to fill them with dread
when you ask about its history
everyone averts their head

no records of these walls exist
in town hall or ancient book
so armed with pen and camera
I entered alone to have a look

the faded foyer was resplendent
with a dusty chandelier
the fireplace mantle bore a statue
of a Venetian gondolier

toward a spiral staircase
my eager footsteps were spurred
seeking the owners of the voices
whose tearful whispers I’d just heard

80 steps I climbed
rotting handrail cautiously grasped
and at the top I saw a sight
so frightening that I gasped

a seemingly endless corridor
with 10 doors on each side
in the middle of the hall
stood what was surely Satan’s bride

her body was built for seduction
dark eyes and hair aflame
nude and rotting she strode toward me
without any fear or shame

“Greetings,” the apparition said
“We’ve had nae visitors for many a year
I’d be delighted if you stayed,
but others may not want you here.”

“What is this place?” I asked her
“What life did you forsake?
“I must be going crazy –
Is this a dream? Am I awake?”

“No dream is this,” she cackled
“You’re in the home of those who fell
“Too wicked are we for heaven,
too evil are we for hell.”

then the doors which lined the hallway
opened wide with rusty shrieks
spilling forth the damned and fallen
all blank eyes and decayed cheeks

“Ahhhhh!” they cried as they capered
“Fresh meat for the hotel grinder!
“So much for curiosity –
no one will ever find her!”

on my knees I cried and swore
that their secret I’d never tell
but they believed me not:
now I call home the Strathmore Hotel

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

strathmore hotel pic

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