“I wish I could write as mysteriously as a cat.” — Edgar Allan Poe

The door was blown ajar, papers tossed with red leaves as if by a yearning sigh of the chill autumn wind…opened as if by the bidding of a Gemini of two golden eyes that seemed ignited by spectral moonlight that filtered through the door. It was as if a presence materializing at the threshold illuminated the dark, lithe form of a black cat curled like a dark question mark by the hearth.

As if in answer to that question mark poised, it was as if the shadows massing at the door and the restless shadows of those hastening as midnight tolled from the steeples of Baltimore were granted form an face by the maleficence of its eyes…eyes that mirrored a haggard, gaunt figure.

Like a maddeningly elusive muse summoned or conjured by a sleepless composer’s inspiration, with the languid grace of a nocturne’s notes, the cat rose and floated over to the author, who swept in haggard and disheveled from the harsh elements as if ushering in the night…like an emissary of nightmare behind haunted eyes.

His garments flourished like raven wings around a slain warrior propped up in aftermath like a scarecrow over a barren harvest of ghosts. The impossibly golden huntress eyes of the cat at vigil missed nothing in the dark except for his presence in monochromed vision.

“Endor!”  he beamed.

He smiled seldom, but always did for her…

His black cat.

His resonant tone betrayed weariness as his gaze did old scars, like a lion’s purr in the primal dark. A trembling chill palm caressed its soft darkness in passing, the way a Stradivarius note would to the sense of a brooding audience member in an opera hall.

Like the echo of a soloist’s violin player, the cat answered the gentle voice…softly as the sound of moths emerging from cocoons past metamorphosis, like debutantes emerging in pale frills to seek out killing lights waiting in the night…Poe’s eyes, like a fireless hearth brooding darkly, were kindred to the cat’s eyes, vision beheld through the dark.

Eyes that transcended the darkness in which men sought the shadow sanctuary to cry like prisoners in an oubliette…tears brimming like ink particles falling on a page…seeing through the darkness while other eyes remained oblivious…a kindred searcher’s eyes…perceiving all things that meant to hide in darkness and behind masks.

He heard what was only confided to the night…like the sigh of disappointment at the threshold’s closed door…haunted eyes beamed as they searched for the right words as one would an elusive keepsake or ring in the dreamscape of snow…or looking for footprints leading the way past the stately homes and apparitional spotlight cast by gas lamps…promising mystery with each step…past the window, where a solitary figure stands alone on Christmas Eve, more boxes left under trees than people to open them…eyes meet the walker’s outside before turning away to steel oneself ‘til dawn or cock a revolver and look one last time to the night.

Meeting eyes alone outside…of cat of a stranger with his writing…seeing lovers meet in secret…circles of thuggish men whispering in a circle plotting…

One stands aloof from it all before the gentle-mullioned window of his muse like a caroler before a darkened window as the snow begins to fall…and only the passing of a horse-drawn carriage breaks his melancholic reverie and he is tossed a rose by a gloved hand in passing from the coach, leaving him with a lasting sense of mystery at what enigmatic stranger would grace him thus…and he could linger so long that the rose would fall like a glacial ornament on the cobbles…

All the night is a story…

Just shadows in the night to the eyes of the cat and writer delving into its danse macabre of mysteries…the cat tenses before appearing on the windowsill to the poet writing by dwindling candlelight, as if listening outside to the words in the serenade of the wind. The gaze he casts in a love song to the darkness is like a dark nomad’s eyes gazing at his reflection in a night oasis and to the stars as he sighs in duet with the fall wind and winter in his soul.

“What tidings then from the night huntress?” the poet asks as he lifts the windowsill as if to an emissary arrived from the night to a lone prince’s throne room.

He gathers the cat fondly in his arms and bears her to the warmth of the hearthside, before sinking wearily to his author’s chair like that of a midnight scribe, like a battle-weary prince into a dark throne of a cursed house…listening to a rebel angel as bard for a mortal musician cannot bring the celestial fires of the stars to light the page or enflame the dark of a warrior’s soul in dark raven’s wings enveloping immortal words at a song.

“I wish I could write as mysteriously as a cat…” he mused and yearned.

And to a life that afforded little happiness but by a pen that seanced ghosts as if by a stage illusionist’s conjuring hand to haunt the imagination…he had thought prayer was little more than talking to air, but as if in reply to a black cat’s stare, the night answered in unexpected ways for those who sleep walk the poorly-lit dreamscapes of the heart.

And he opened his eyes to a blank page in the same way a black cat’s eyes beheld a lone figure appearing from the cold night at the threshold as if summoned…standing against a chill background of snow falling like ghost tears for a dark past.

He sighed as if in ventriloquism to the night wind and looked into the hearth flames, ‘til they shone with their own fires and began to write anew as a sword scribe of the night’s boundless mysteries.