Shadow Dancer by Janetta R. Lower

Come on in. I can see you're cold. Come closer to the fire. Doesn't it smell good? The cedar burns clean and righteous and its sharp pungency make you feel holy, safe and simple inside our circle, doesn't it? Go ahead. Relax. Stretch your fingers and mind over its warmth as my words pull you closer to its heat. Don't mind the winter storm outside. I know you hear its gritty blasts protesting against our stained glass windows but you're safe by our fire. Western winds howl above our heads and seep into our chimney cracks, sending a chilly whisper across your neck and a delicious shiver down your spine. Your pulse thrills as shadows gather in the far corner of our room and an inky jet of blood stains your cheeks with roses. Please don't worry. You're safe inside our circle; with me, there is nothing to fear. Your first time is my best time to latch rhythm with the right line. But tonight, I won't tell you about the first time, nor scare you with the worst time—when, lurching pale and blue—no, wait. I'll hold that terrible true and share this tale with you:

A tap against my window pane—a glowing specter of a girl poised in baleful woe, floated from the frozen pines. She flung my name into the howls, above the shrieking cry; of banshees thrashing in the woods—where midnight madness grows. Her ruby lips shone in the dark; rose petals wrapped in ice, she longed to press them to my throat. For in the pale milk orphan, a demon spirit grew; it's evil hovered in the night—whose secret I'll share with you. Our pacing marks a frosty thought—you see, my friend, a frosty wind, hidden deep within our eaves, I wrapped my lips around these words and brought you close to me. Perhaps you should have used your mind, before you snuggled close; and used your eyes to check the time, for that's what matters most. A time of warming to the hearth, may not so innocent be; when in your haste you gathered close and placed your trust in me. I failed to see, the icy girl before it was too late, I let loose my window pane and met my chilly fate. Now I see you've done the same, and brought a tale upon your heart while on the roof she clattered. Do not try to pull from me—open up your frosty pane, and cry into the night; breach the deep within your grief and rage the frightful sight. The icy girl waits for you, just behind my rhyme. I hope you wrest a righteous jig—for now I bid adieu—and leave you will the icy girl who longs to dance with you.