THE BEAST (Just a Little More)

I

He used to play in riverbeds

And sing by bubbling streams

He used to smell the flowers

And have rainbows in his dreams

He used to ride his bike outside

And run and skip and play

He soaked up all the sunshine

And smiled and laughed all day

He was such a happy child

Not ever with a care

He closed his eyes, rode down the hill

The wind whipping through his hair

All of a sudden there it was

Just when he expected it least

His world would change forever more

The day he met the Beast“

No more play,” the Beast would say

“Until you’ve done your work

“Then when homework and chores are done

“We’ll send you off to church”

To prepare himself, the Beast explained

Was the only meaningful thing

For soon the boy would have to take

His place in the machine

No more smiles, no more play

Serious work was on the way

On the path he’d have to stay

To be a good little boy

To make it to the promised land

Two cars, a house, a baby grand

Atop the pack he’d have to stand

To make his life a joy

“Poverty is misery”

The Best said with a grin

“Nice guys always finish last

“Do whatever it takes to win”

The boy stood tall to do his duty

Patriotism shining bright

“I thank you greatly,” he told the Beast

“For showing me the light”

So he skipped the play and worked all day

Eager to do his part

He wanted all those things and more

The Beast had entered his heart

But as the boy went along

He felt that something was surely wrong

The world was not supposed to be this way

What happened to the joyful song

The summer nights that ran so long

The wonderful things that nature had displayed

“Take heed you do not rock the boat”

The Beast said with a sneer

“Or I’ll make your life a living hell

“For the rest of your miserable years”

Down the boy’s eyes were cast

To focus on the ground

Trying hard not to fear the Beast

Its voice a terrifying sound

The other children would laugh and tease

“You’re not like the rest”

So much the boy hated school

The thought he did detest

The final time the bell did ring

He wearily made for the door

The tears did dry, the anger swelled

The boy’s worn heart could stand no more

On the boy ran toward home

Muscles burning, body sore

“How much is enough,” he asked the Beast

The Best replied, “Just a little more…”

 

II

“Don’t worry, things get better”

Said the Beast with a knowing smile

“Once you enroll in college

“You’ll have freedom for a while”

The young man sighed, a moan, a groan

This next step he had always known

He caved and got the student loan

And headed back to school

At first it seemed to be a treat

The things he’d learn, the friends he’d meet

Now life again would be sweet

He’d play the Beast a fool

As time went by, the young man tried

Though unsuccessfully

Nothing here was how he’d thought

The way things were to be

The robots hung all in a pack

Engaged in drunken revelry

Blind to the true nature of the world

Numb with drugs, sex, and technology

Where was the enlightenment

The last four years for which he’d spent

Searching within the hallowed walls

With epiphany the young man knew

This place was part of the machine too

Another part of the Beast’s control was all

Dispirited, in quite a shock

The young man went out for a walk

To sit amongst the trees on forest floor

He noticed the Beast was there

Witness to all his despair

The Beast smirked, said, “I told you life’s a chore”

“This part is done, just wait and see

“What now I have in store for thee”

“How much is enough,” he asked the Beast

The Beast replied, “Just a little more…”

 

III

He worked all day in sun and heat

To ensure they had enough to eat

Clothes on their back, shoes on their feet

The children all that mattered

Into the water chemicals did stray

That caused the cancer that horrible day

To take their beautiful mother away

The man’s heart was left shattered

“With your mother ,gone and bills to pay

“More of our things break everyday

“I have to work even more today

To pay for the things we own”

Toys, games, clothes from the store

Every day he bought them more

To replace the love he hadn’t time for

Hoping they’d understand when grown

The world continued to fall apart

Everyday a tragedy

Earth’s destruction, murder, famine, war

On marched the plague humanity

Then one day he lost his job

That same night his house was robbed

He couldn’t seem to make it no matter how hard he tried

He found her one night lying there

Blood on her clothes and in her hair

They teased her on Facebook, so she committed suicide

His son packed up and went asunder

The heroin pulling him under

Into a life of constant misery

Exhaustion creeped into the man’s bones

Caretaker of an empty home

The life promised by the Beast not what it should be

He found the Beast sitting there

Reclining in his leather chair

His lips curled up into a mirthful grin

“This is nothing what you promised here

Your ways led me to despair!”

“It matters not,” said the Beast, “For I always win”

“I cannot take much more of this

“Of that I am quite sure

“How much is enough,” he asked the Beast

The Beast replied, “Just a little more”

 

IV

The old man caused to lay his head

Upon the pillow on the bed

In which the man would soon be dead

And reflected on his life

He did everything the Beast had said

And still his life was all a dread

His son was gone, his daughter dead

He missed his beautiful wife

“But you earned so much money

“And you’re owner of the company

“You helped keep the machine going,” said the Beast

“You should be proud, you made your way

“Atop the pack, and there you stayed

“You can take that with you in the end at least”

The old man suddenly laughed aloud

His lips curled in a knowing grin

“I’ve figured you out,” the old man said

“And I know why you always win

“You speak falsely that which sounds like truth

“You’ve pulled the world over their eyes

“They give up freedom willingly

“Because they all believe in your lies

“But here in my latter days

“I’ve come to know your wicked way

“I’ll tell you what I’ve come to realize

“Your machine’s just a broken heap

“To you we’re all just bleating sheep

“But your insanity stops the day we open our eyes”

And the old man wished it hadn’t

Taken up until the end

To learn the truth the man’s entire

Life he had to spend

What life could’ve been he did lament

Time never to return

“Life’s but a lesson,” said the Beast

“One you failed to learn

“Life is but a misery

“With moments of rest in between

“You should’ve taken your place in the machine

“But you acted like a child.”

On his deathbed desiccated

He turned to the Beast he hated

“Look what you made me give, he stated

The Beast could only smile

With his last breaths the old man said

“You’re evil to the core

“How much is ever enough for you?!”

The Beast grinned and said, “Just a little more…”

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