“It’s a lovely evening; I thought we could take a stroll through the park, get some fresh air and look at the fall foliage,” I said.
Poe removed his top hat and shook it, making a cloud of dust. “I was thinking we could go down to this crypt I know, sit in some of the coffins and watch vampire bats feast on old rotting flesh,” Poe said.
“That was actually going to be my next suggestion if you didn’t like the park idea.”
The crypt was in an old church, which was weirdly situated between a Costco and a Starbucks. The Starbucks door swooshed open and a raven flew out carrying a cup in its talons. “Poe skinny mocha latte” was written and underlined on the side. Poe grabbed the latte from the raven.
“That’s the last time I’m getting your fucking latte. Nevermore,” quoth the raven as he flew away.
He offered me a sip but I declined.
“I love their lattes! They’re a little pricey though, considering I only make about $2 annually.”
There’s an ominous blood red moon in the sky tonight. A wolf begins to howl from some where close by, even though we are downtown in an urban area strip mall. I was mentally composing my will , when a kid came bounding up to Poe.
“Can I get your autograph?” The boy asked, thrusting his pen and Starbucks napkin at him.
“I love that one story, where the narrator does something unspeakable over another character’s minor offense and then all of his irrational fears come to fruition,” the boy gushed.
Poe signed the kid’s napkin and whispered something in his ear. The kid turned deathly pale, letting out a blood curdling scream as he ran away.
“What did you say to him?”
“I told him that he was going to die in a week, by being boiled alive in a cauldron of his own blood. Then I told him to never give up on his dreams.”
I noticed someone with a black cloak, carrying a scythe had been following us for some time. Every time I looked back, the hooded-figure darted behind a parked car. Not very furtively though, because I could still see the scythe protruding out from around the car.
“Is that the Grim Reaper following us?”
Poe looked back, “yeah, his name is Bob.”
Poe pushed open the creaky old door of the church. The first thing he did was to sprinkle holy water on the two of us. “Just in case,” he winked.
A guy in a purple robe was standing in front of the altar. He had a symbol of blood on his forehead, and was mumbling some sort of incantation over a skeleton. He looked up when we approached.
“Oh, hello. It’s a lovely night for a resurrection.”
“It’s a perfect night for one,” said Poe jovially.
When we get to the door leading down to the crypt I asked, “What was that all about?”
“I have no idea,” Poe said.
We descended into the crypt and I could see a plethora of coffins but they were all occupied. “I don’t see any empty coffins.”
“Just take out the corpses; they won’t mind.”
“I think I’m just going to find a dry place to sit.”
Poe shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
I wrinkled my nose. “What’s that smell?”
“It’s mold, fungus, rot and other toxins. So, try not to breathe in too much.”
I tucked my knees in so tightly to my chest, that it looked like I was ready to re-enter the womb.
“Do you ever think about death?”
“Only every time I’m with you,” I said.
“Most people think I’m obsessed with being buried alive, death, retribution and first person narrative, but I think about other things too like … well just other things.”
I nodded and watched a rat the size of a smart car idle bye. It looked at me with sadness, that my life had been reduced to such a state.
“Really though, all I have ever wanted to do is to tap dance.” He began to rummage around in some of the coffins. “Found them,” he said holding up a pair of tap shoes.
“You keep tap shoes in a crypt?”
“Of course, I keep them down here so they won’t get stolen.”
He laced up his tap shoes and began prancing around the crypt, tapping like a maniac. Bob, the Grim Reaper, peeked around the corner but then dropped the scythe and made a run for it. He had witnessed death so many times but the sight of Poe’s jazz hands was just too much for him.
When Poe was finished, he was sweaty and out of breath. I clapped, even though it was the worst dance performance piece I had ever seen in my life, and I’m including that time I had a twitch in my leg.
“I feel so free when I tap dance.”
The rat was gone but it left a piece of paper behind with something scrawled on it. I pick it up and on it the rat had written the number for emo’s anonymous. I put it in my pocket for later.
Poe felt rejuvenated. “Let’s get out of here. I could really go for some ice cream.”
I began to cough and continued coughing for the rest of the night.
“You really should see someone about that cough. I know this really good witch doctor at the cemetery near my house. We will need to bring a few items. Do you happen to have a strand of wombat hair?”