There is a manor at the end of a lane. In the center of that manor there is a cloud, which stretches tendrils into everyone who comes near. The tendrils lay wasps in the mind and gut, whose stinging drives men to and maddening acts and whose buzzing makes them deaf to their victims. The front door is heavy and screams denial to any who would enter. The back door slides to release a flood of breath, thick with stale neglect and candied compensation. The floor there is slick with egg and caustic adhesive. Each step on the carpet nearby releases a ghost that whispers to the nostrils of pastime and fire. The hall is long and lined with faces flayed from happy moments. Their eyes are maggots that squirm under the flesh and eat away all solitude. Even a prince among flies would not dare go through the door behind which all unclean things live, growing by thinking, piling fuzzed thoughts onto creamed offal. Pustules burst and ooze accusation at the bite of aggressive time. The lock to the children’s room is lightning, but inside is quiet. Manacles hold those inside from touching teasing sunbeams, and the only paints the children have, to depict on warping, wounded walls what garish scenes they can, are those that they can make themselves. Blood and ichor and worse dance across the panels in bounding fits of violence and memory. Sometimes monsters come. A hulking bull with a touch that is burning coal and jagged glass, alongside his consort, a stretched crane whose bones are outside her skin. When they leave and all is hushed, in steals a secret creature, whose fingers are snakes that slither between places real and fantastic. Their bite is forgetfulness. To enter the room where the monsters sleep, a handle must be twisted, which burns a tattoo of remembrance into palms. If the hinges are not cuckoos, then the monsters can be heard, breathing raspy paranoia. Then you may try to leave, but the manor will follow, its guilty, wet void pulling every thought toward it. The manor will never let you leave. I remain there, no matter how far away I go.