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Subcreation of the Basement

by Mark Jones

An Erstwhile Dungeon Master
Recovers a Box of His Old Stuff

At the toss of polyhedral dice,
a crystal gate appears.
It leads into a forest
now abandoned many years.

The tumbling gemstones next disclose
two orcs among the trees.
He overpowers one of them,
while the other miscreant flees.

To the strains of elven melody,
he makes his way along
and scarcely knows the singers
from the music of their song,

though they lend a fragile beauty
to this shadow-stricken wood,
and his heart swells with new courage
and a yearning to do good.

Ahead, at last, there comes in view
a keep of ancient stone,
its towers capped with bright silver,
its portcullis of bone.

In former ages he had come
into this fair country
with fighters, rangers, clerics, thieves,
a fearsome company.

And together they might rid the land
of an ancient wizard’s spell,
or descending to the caves below
would brave a dragon’s hell.

But today he treads these paths alone,
lamenting still the fall
of the fellowship he once enjoyed
in this majestic hall...

or rather, dusty basement,
in which, bereft of play,
he now must face the demons
of a less magical day.

Copyright © 2014 by Mark Jones

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