The Travelling Man
Written and illustrated by Christopher Holdsworth
This is the face of The Travelling Man
I’ll tell his tale as best I can.
Mysterious, strange and sinister is he,
It was one fateful night this all came to be.
He travels by night,
Few think that’s quite right.
Yet the secret to his tales,
Is in the darkness he prevails
Why is this I hear you ask?
And to explain is quite the task.
For you see once upon a time,
Before you heard this dark rhyme,
The Travelling Man made a deal with a most terrifying soul.
Now begins a story that will make your skin crawl.
This tale begins with a cold winters wind, howling at the face of this bard.
He stumbled upon a wood,
He’d take shelter if he could,
But the forest made him recoil as if he’d been stabbed by a shard.
He had no choice but to venture inside
As in the cold this old man would surely have died.
His feelings of this place made his withered heart race.
As the evil in this place made his tracks pick up pace.
Deeper and further trudged The Travelling Man into the forest of old.
The Twisted faces of the trees made his blood run cold.
Once familiar and friendly in light,
Now gave even the bravest of men a fright.
Stories say the forest was dead,
But that was all just a myth in his head.
For something here most frightful stirred,
Yet it could not be seen, barely even heard.
Deep in the forest a whisper made him shake,
‘What could it be?’ he thought
‘A bird? A snake?’
The whisper appeared again once more,
But this time it howled like a ghoulish groan.
The Travelling Man now knew
That in this lonely old forest he wasn’t alone.
Up in front of him a shadow appeared,
A demon it was, what he had most feared.
The shadow spoke in a most vicious voice,
Giving the man the eventual option of choice.
‘You’ve entered my forest, you’ve trespassed my wood,
And on this cold winters night, I shall drain your blood’.
‘What brought you here? What is it you do?’
Mockingly asked the shadow, as he already knew.
You see the shadows see all,
The past, the present and new
‘I travel and tell tales of foreign land’
Handing the shadow books with a tremble of his hand.
The Travelling Man fell to his knees with a thud,
Looking at the stars past the tree tops above.
Remembering times of travelling with his clan,
He came up with a most evil plan.
The bard asked the shadow ‘Why eat me when you could have more?’
With a little more confidence he rose from the floor.
‘You’d sacrifice your family and friends for your life?’
The demon knew the honesty of his story was quite strife.
The shadow looked deep into the Traveling mans eyes and announced,
‘You’re a man full of deceit, betrayal and lies’
‘I’ll give you a choice, your life or your soul’
To which he replied without hesitation ‘My soul! My soul!’
‘Your ignorance is your down fall old fool,
Soon you’ll rather have died, now I’m going to get really cruel.
I will follow you forever until the end of your days,
In your sleep, in your nightmares
You’ll be trapped in a never ending maze.
Around each corner I’ll always be there,
It’ll drive you so mad, it will be too much to bare.
With me by your side you needn’t worry,
You won’t be bothered in much of a hurry.
You tried to offer me your family and friends,
Now I’ll cut off your social ends.
I’ll throw them all into a bottomless canyon,
From now on I’m your only companion.
You’ll feel forever alone but never alone you’ll be.
Now go sit upon your lonesome throne beside me’
The Travelling Man left the forest that night,
Been stripped of all his will and his might.
Forever will the old man travel in the dark,
Having been banished from the light for his foolish remark.
He had become a wandering drone,
Forever the shadow in his side a thorn.
Now you know the story of The Travelling Man,
Try to get some sleep as best you can.