The Devil's Drop Inn

The Devil's Drop Inn

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The Inn he kept at the crossroads shone

A lantern, out on the street,

The only sign it was still alive

To the few its doors would greet,

Its passageway was in shadow once

You entered and closed the door,

And that was the way he wanted it,

The owner, Titus Claw.

 

For Titus was a hideous man

With a face like a railway wreck,

A scar cut deep with the fleshy burn

From a rope around his neck,

They said he’d cheated the hangman twice

With a neck like a coiled spring,

They’d hung on each of his legs in vain

For he never felt a thing.

 

The rope had broken under the strain

And dropped them all on the floor,

And he was the first to rise again

As he croaked, ‘I’m Titus Claw!’

They backed away as his form had swayed

With the hood still over his head,

‘There isn’t a rope can cope with me,

If there was, then I’d be dead!’

 

They tried again, he began to spin

As the rope became undone,

The strands unravelling faster than

The ropemaker had spun,

The hangman turned and he crossed himself

As he said, ‘I’m done with him!

If you want to hang this miserable wretch

Go find the Brothers Grimm!’

 

The Warden suffered a heart attack,

The jailers fled when they saw,

The Judge hid under the drop and cried,

‘He’s surely the Devil’s spore!

Release him now so our souls are safe

From the reach of the evil one,

It’s not his time for an early grave,

But God help everyone!’

 

So Titus went to manage the place

He called ‘The Devil’s Drop Inn’,

That sat way out on the crossroads

With a sign that creaked in the wind,

Whole families would avert their eyes

As they passed, and cross themselves,

For the only patrons came by night

And they called them, ‘Satan’s Elves’.

 

They came with their hats pulled over their eyes,

Their collars hiding their cheeks,

Then slide on into the passageway

And wouldn’t come out for weeks,

No lights were seen through the pebble glass

For the insides lay in gloom,

No drunken revellers came outside

It was silent as the tomb.

 

But once a month when the Moon was full

And the wind soughed up in the eaves,

A passer-by might hear a cry

Or a howl on the midnight breeze,

But nobody thought to check inside

They’d wear their hood like a cowl,

Then turn and suddenly rush away

When they heard an animal growl.

 

The storms would come and rattle the tiles,

As the sign would swing and creak,

And hail would shatter the window panes,

Three times in a week,

Til one dark shuddering winter’s night

With the good folk in their cots,

The lightning struck on the Devil’s peak

And shattered the chimney pots.

 

The fire began in the topmost room

And it raced on down the stair,

Gobbling up the dry rot that

It found most everywhere.

It made its way to the basement ‘til

The whole Inn was ablaze,

The pebble glass was exploding

And the walls themselves were razed.

 

A couple of passers-by have sworn

That all they saw were cats,

Rushing out of the passageway

And followed by tawny rats,

But in the glow of the embers, heading

Over the hill, they saw,

A shadowy figure, slinking away

The image of Titus Claw!

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2014 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

This is a chilling story. TItus Claw may not have been meant for an early grave or any grave at all.

That this inn was at the crossroads reminds me of the legend of Robert Johnson who is said to have gone to the crossroads and sold hs soul to the devil so he could play great blues guitar. He did play great blues guitar, and died under mysterious circumstances...

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

My first thought was how the title reminds me of The Dew Drop Inn on an old American television show, The Walton's, but my oh my, how different it really is! Quite scary indeed.
Claire

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Your imagination and writing is commendable..
Engaging and scary write..

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

That was one creepy and chilling story. Great writing.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very gripping and very interesting. This write takes readers with it and creates a strong picture. Absolutely enjoyable.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A clever, almost playful write -- I picture gathering around the campfire ...

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a chilling story. TItus Claw may not have been meant for an early grave or any grave at all.

That this inn was at the crossroads reminds me of the legend of Robert Johnson who is said to have gone to the crossroads and sold hs soul to the devil so he could play great blues guitar. He did play great blues guitar, and died under mysterious circumstances...

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree with a Amos this amazing keep up the great work i hope to buy your poems one because I really enjoy reading them a lot

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was amazing truly enjoy the way you portray Titus...great work

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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331 Views
8 Reviews
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Added on May 6, 2014
Last Updated on May 6, 2014
Tags: Titus, rope, scar, hangman

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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