The Epic of Myles

Carmel Stephan, Famed poet

Illustration by Madi Welch.

On All Hallow’s Eve at the banks of Bennington Lake, stands a lanky Coloradan and his friends. Lithe of limb but calloused and toned by beginner climbing classes, clad in chacos and a Patagonia to keep him warm, the man named Myles begins his ascent into the light of the moon. Transported onto another plane, he digests his purchased fungi, allowing his mind to proliferate. 

There are pumpkins, bats and ghosts, hooting and howling, beckoning him into the darkness with their mystical magnetism.

“But Soft! Awaken Myles! O Lord Awake!” a voice cries. 
“Thou hast paper due at 9 a.m. on the morrow and thou must get it printed at Penrose before Ye Ol Memorial striketh the eleventh hour!” 

A pang of panic grasps his intoxicated heart. 
Trying to make sense of his digital wristwatch he determines it is 8:45. 
He must embark now, and whatever it takes get to Penrose before 11 o’clock. 

Climbing through brush, ignoring the beckoning woods cries to return to its utero; 
Like fire in the cosmos he bursts down the mountains, 
plunging into the valley.

Right as his tender fingertips caress the entrance to her awakened library chambers,
a monster appears before his eyes:

“STOP YOU! NEVER shall you pass this threshold for you are no match for my prowess!” 

Scaled and Gargantuan the dragon slithers around Myles, 
It’s endless spine enveloping and overwhelming his senses, 
Darkening his vision into hues of red against endless night.  


What is that rushing over? 
A stampede of one, with the power to match a thousand;
It is Styx in their brushed bronze glory, the gallant deus ex machina. 

Shattering the dragon limb by limb,
scale by scale,
Myles mounts Styx and brings the tremendous fatal blow. 

It is now that he opens and enters Penrose;
through the entryway to the print shop, stumbling, disheveled from the woods, temples trickling with sweat, radiating with heat and passion: 

He says his last name, waits two beats

And gingerly holds his newfound treasure, safe at last.