Wrote this free verse poetry tribute to a franchise very near and dear to my heart some time ago, but figured that now was about as good a time as any to share it here. Happy Halloween, everyone!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Darkstalkers. But if the behavior of the current owners over the years is anything to go by, the people who do have the rights to the series at the moment are a bunch of morons who don’t deserve that privilege.
A Charming Invitation
Would you like to see a world so unlike
Anything you have ever known before?
A realm where ghost stories woo fairy tales
And their offspring run amok
I offer free passage into this fascinating land
For those who accept this invitation.
Here you will find many incredible sights,
Experiences you will never find back home.
Werewolves who train in martial arts,
Catwomen who perform on stage and go to church.
Perhaps you’ll meet the banana-loving yeti,
Or a zombie rocking out on electric guitar.
Maybe you’ll even discover in a pyramid,
A sleeping robot as old as the dinosaurs.
All of this and more will be within your reach
Should you accept this invitation.
Potential visitors such as yourself, however,
Should know some general guidelines.
Show kindness to the lightning giant
For this child just lost his father.
Pay attention to your surroundings,
And don’t litter in the river.
The champion of fishmen, proud of water’s elegance,
Will ensure that no offending air breather is spared.
But do not let this deter you
From accepting this invitation.
Bow respectfully before the bandaged pharaoh,
Or you’ll face the mummy god’s wrath.
Avoid any roads where the ground is soaked in blood,
All of which will lead to a samurai bathed in the newly departed.
And beware beautiful bees with human heads,
For behind the illusion of a pretty face,
A giant mouth waits eagerly
For the chance to swallow your soul.
Keep all these risks at the front of your mind
If you dare accept this invitation.
A succubus with a divided soul,
Each half with a mind of its own.
One is to inherit a demon’s throne,
The other longs to return home.
But soon will their position be threatened,
As an arrogant vampire returns from exile.
A century has passed since he challenged his king,
Yet this disgraced noble’s thirst for a crown remains.
And even then, greater dangers still await anyone
Who chooses to accept this invitation.
As a crimson streak darts across the sky,
Know that a living comet approaches,
A cosmic being has come to feast
On this dark and beautiful planet.
But should you seek salvation and you house a worthy soul,
A savior, solemn and clad in black, will offer you release.
Not only will he protect you from destruction and despair,
He’ll relieve you of the heavy burden of individuality.
Though if neither fate seems appealing to you,
You need not fear accepting this invitation.
There are many allies here for you to find,
All fierce fighters empowered by a purpose.
The sorceress twins are a friendly pair,
Though their story is quite sad.
These brave sisters gave up their humanity and obtained the undead’s might,
So that they may have a chance at freeing the soul of their lost mother.
Feel free to travel beside the wandering monk,
Who few can match in strength and conviction.
But even he may one day fall helplessly
In the wake of his own cursed blood.
Along the way, you may encounter a little girl
With blonde hair, a red hood, and a large picnic basket.
Many demons fear the young lady’s face,
The pretty mask of a ruthless murderer.
Beside these warriors you should be safe,
So there’s no real harm in accepting this invitation.
But you’re not concerned with safety, are you?
Excitement and intrigue are your heart’s true desire.
Good, evil, life, death, light, darkness, monster, or man,
Whichever you were, whoever you are, and whatever you become,
Does any of that truly matter once you’ve come to our world?
Only you can find that answer.
So hesitate no longer and let us know,
Will you accept this invitation?
Cast aside your doubts.
Take pleasure in the night.
Expose your very core,
And submerge it in the shadows.
Relish in your curiosity.
Savor the unknown.
Here in our charming little world,
Never again shall boredom stalk you.
So allow me to ask you one last time,
Though we both know how you’ll respond.
Please accept my invitation.
Come…and embrace the dark!