It was a cold, dark and gloomy night. I was feeling frail and feeble, drained and drowsy. I was reading a book in my room, but suddenly there was a gentle tap at my door…
I remember it happened one cold, grim, dark and wintery night; and embers from the hearth were reflecting, flickering and dancing, like a ghost, upon the floor.
I wanted the night to be over and for tomorrow to come faster. I was trying to forget the grief I felt for losing Lenore by reading books, but it was pointless!! Worthless!! Senseless!! How? How can I forget a girl such as Lenore? A girl so beautiful, so fine and rare as the wonderful Lenore? Her name is no longer spoken here, her name is now filled with emptiness and sadness.
I was locked in fear by the rustling of the purple silk curtains at my window, they sent thrills of horror to my heart. I tried to tell myself it was just a visitor and there was nothing to be afraid of. I tried to talk to whoever was at the door. I gathered my courage until I was brave enough to approach the door. I opened the door…
but there was only darkness, as black as the night.
I stood in the doorway, staring into the darkness. My mind was racing with thoughts of terror. My intuition was telling me that someone was watching me. My senses tingled with intense fear and harsh foreboding. I whispered ‘Lenore.’ And the sad sorrowful name echoed back from the darkness.
I returned to my room feeling distressed. My feelings were a storm of agony, a raging sea of misery , flaming in a fit of frenzy.
I heard a louder tapping. I muttered to myself “There is something tapping on my window loud! I must calm down and find out what it is.” I got up and flung open the window and then suddenly a beautiful, elegant, majestic, massive and glorious Raven whooshed in like a flash. It perched on the bust of Pallas above my door.
I was stunned to see a such a glorious bird land on the bust of Pallas. His manner was so sober and solemn, dignified and dour that I couldn’t help but smile with amusement. I said to the Raven “You’re brave to fly in to my home! Tell me your name?” The Raven replied “NEVERMORE!!”
I was amazed! The Raven had spoken ‘Nevermore!’ I was in awe, I must be the first human being ever to have a raven sit above my door speaking the word ‘Nevermore!’
I spoke gently, in barely a whisper ‘I have had other friends who have all left me before, I’m sure tomorrow this raven will leave me too.’ And the Raven said ‘Nevermore!’
I was shocked again at the Raven speaking the word, in such a way as to reply so appropriately. Could this bird really mean that he is never going to leave me? Could the bird really be named Nevermore? Could this bird really understand what I am saying? ‘I am sure, that this word is the only word this bird knows. His old master must have been so depressed that he kept on saying ‘Nevermore’ and so it is the only word this bird has ever learned.’ I told myself.
I was amused and intrigued by this Raven. I pulled up a chair in front of the door so that I might sit a while and contemplate what the meaning of this Raven placing itself above my door and speaking the word ‘Nevermore’ could be.
This is all I did, I sat and wondered. I looked at the bird, and said not a word, and all the while, the bird sat and looked right back at me. He stared right into my soul. His eyes burned into my heart. As I sat thinking about the bird, I reclined my head onto the velvet lining of the chair and I became aware of the fact that the feeling of the velvet lining pressed against flesh is something that Lenore shall never again feel. I will never again have her sitting in this room, in this chair.
At the thought of Lenore the atmosphere in the room changed. It became thicker and dense and a scent filled the room. I imagined that an angel was walking in the room swinging a censer. I was filled with hope and I called to the bird ‘God has sent you! By way of this angel God has sent you to help me forget about Lenore! Let me drink the potion that will help me to forget about Lenore!’ The Raven said ‘Nevermore!’
In desperation I begged the bird ‘Tell me please! I implore you to tell me, will I ever forget about Lenore? Will this pain ever go away? Will these wounds ever heal?’ The Raven replied ‘Nevermore!’
I begged the raven to then tell me ‘When I die and am in heaven, will I then finally be with Lenore again. Will I hold her and be reunited with her when I die?’ The Raven replied ‘Nevermore!’
In that instant, with that one word all hope was gone. Replaced by darkness, despair and a desperate rage. I no longer felt that the bird was an angel sent from heaven, but rather a devil sent from hell to curse, trouble, torture and torment me in my sorrow!! I stood and shouted at the bird ‘Let that word be the last I hear from you! Get lost! Leave me alone in my sorrow! Get out of my house!!’ And the Raven replied ‘Nevermore!’
And the Raven is still there. He is still there above my door. He has the appearance of a demon, with the light behind it casting a long shadow on my floor. And I sit within the shadow and my soul lies darkened inside the shadow. The Raven remains still and his shadow holds me locked in despair. My sorrow complete as I lament the lost Lenore, and from my grief I shall escape – Nevermore!
By Chloe and Kerry Dawes.