The dance of the king and courtiers.
The Jester King
Tartarus, the Jester King,
summons his favoured companions in the gloom of the hall,
there to celebrate the Dance of Devastation,
when all the world mourns its fall from grace
at the hands of such as Attila, Vortigern and the Great Khan.
His guards, Galasthene of diseased and ashen visage,
Morbigo the twin brother of Death
and Trum, condemned to be faceless for eternity
for deeds unspeakable and beyond shame,
behind the king they stand, as ever, to follow in the steps
of the ballonchio and ridda
Maligna, smiling coquette,
cavorts before them in the darkened temple,
giggling with evil and mischievous intent,
watching in anticipation as the hall fills with the Horde,
uneasy but eager for the dance.
To the side looms the tall figure of the Unnamed One,
masked and featureless but arrayed in the mocking colours
of dread and despair, his painted grin a veil
to the sinister threat that pours silently upon the throng.
Motionless he waits in the shadows
as the king begins the unholy chant
and the assembled throng sways in the movements
that foreshadow the release of destruction
upon the world.
Still the Unnamed remains unmoved,
only his fingers moving before him,
as though he plucks and plays upon the strings
of the king and his courtiers,
smiling as they caper, mere puppets, to their deaths.
Line Count: 30
For Dark Dreamscapes, April Round 44
Prompt as per illustration.