Sympathetic to Your Needs…

“Am I being recorded?”
“I hope you don’t mind. It is for journalistic purposes. Try to not let it affect you or your responses. Best to think of it not being there.”
“Okay.”
“So you wanted to tell me something about where you work and how it pertains to my story?”
“You won’t publish my name right?”

“Click,” I insert another tape.

“From my perspective, I don’t see why racism in America is even happening. I mean at what point do we move past it and grow as people?”
“I’m not too sure. That is why I am working on this piece. I want to find out what real Americans think about racism.”
“How many real Americans have you interviewed so far?”
“Quite a few. All walks of life, but I want to hear your side of the issue.”

“Click,” I insert another tape.

“I have been doing this a number of years.”
“Seems like it can be difficult talking to people. I’m not sure I could do such a thing.”
“It can be at times. The hardest part is staying objective to the subject at hand. Often find that there is way too much excessive talking. It becomes a distraction.”
“What is that?”
“Oh, this? This is nothing.”

“Click,” I insert another tape.

“Are you even a real reporter?”
“Of course I am.”
The sound of weeping. “Why are you doing this?”

“Click,” I insert another tape.

“You shot her in the fucking face. You sick fuck.”
The sound of rustling. “Just wait and see what I do to you.”
The sound of choking, sounds of a struggle. A faint whisper,” Please… help…”

“Click,” I eject the tape. “How many are there?” I ask. “How many what? Tapes or victims?” My partner asks. “Either,” I say as I put my cigarette out. I leave it resting in the ashes. Burying it with the others. “Hundreds of tapes, but we are still unsure of the number of victims. Been doing this for years. Some of the tapes are legitimate interviews as you heard. Others are as close to being there as you can get. I mean let your imagination run wild.” He stares at me as I light another one. I offer him one from the pack and he declines. “It makes you wonder why? Even after all these years on the force. Still left with the same question,” I reach for another tape. “The answer isn’t there or in any of these tapes,” my partner assures me. “No, but there are facts and facts lead to answers.”

“Do you think that this will make me famous?”
“It has been my experience that anything can bring you attention. But not all attention is good attention. To answer your question though. In this case, it might.” The sound of a power drill coming to life and screams washes over the recording.

M.T. Billings

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What Can We Say…

“The world shatters around me. Falling shards of a broken mirror reflecting all the past actions of my life. Regret is something that can only happen after everything is said and done. How I wish I could take them all back, but I can’t. Each broken shard plunges into me and through all the pain. Through all the despair all I have left is tears and regrets. Open wounds that will never heal and maybe that is for the best. I’ve wasted too much time already on what if. Maybe now is the time to move on from all the pain and anguish. I’m not trying to justify my sins or the things I have done. I am only trying to move on, take credit for the things that I have done. In the past where they should stay. Stealing, robbing, threating, and who knows what else can’t be undone. Maybe it is time I told my tale. Confessed my part in everything that has unfolded in all these years. Maybe it is time.” The cold barrel presses against the back of his head.

Laying in a pool of his own blood the words fade away into nothing. No one leaves this world the way they envision. You either leave willingly shitting yourself until it is your time or you get put down like a dog. Rabid useless monster you never knew you’d become. Turn states evidence. Turn up dead. You signed the contract before it was written. One in the same. Only one of us was stupid enough to try and live. The other as stupid as the day we met. The point is to keep your mouth shut.

“Your debt is paid. You have proved your loyalty,” his voice as grime as the day we were introduced. “What does that mean?” I ask him. “You are free,” he smiles. I stare into his eyes. The gun still heavy in my hands. A weight that I can’t understand. “Like I asked. What does that mean?” He never blinks only stares back at me with those cold dead eyes, “It means that you and I never need to see each other again. Your husband’s debt is paid. We will take care of the rest.” I refuse to look away. Gripping the pistol tighter. My husband’s blood still splattered against my face. “Unless you would care to join him?” He asks me as though the question is really an option. I know as soon as I turn my back, he will kill me. My husband told me everything about this man, this monster. Never trust a monster.

“You going to stand there all night?” he asks me. Slowly I back away from him. Making my way towards the door. I want to speak, but it is only a waste of words. I back into something heavy. It doesn’t move as I step away from it. “You know I could use someone like you. A cold-hearted woman such as yourself,” he states. The heavy figure grabs me from behind “I know I could find a good use for her,” the heavy figure says into my ear. I know better than to struggle. The gun still in my hand, “I want no part of what you are selling.” He finally looks away waving his hand as he does. The figure lets me go. “I think you do,” he states. “I think you are at least curious to what I have to offer you,” he pulls a contract from his jacket pocket.

“You think of me as a monster and you are right. But it goes much deeper than that. I don’t care that your husband went to the authorities. Doesn’t even matter. None of this even matters. You taking my offer or not doesn’t even matter,” he picks up the pen from my husband’s desk. “We both know that it is too late for you to take another path. You’ve already chosen in fact. So, this can end in only one way. Work for me. Replace your weak husband as one of my own,” his eyes light up and smoke pours out of his mouth. “What about my children?” I ask the monster.

“They are already gone. As I stated before you are free. One last parting gift from your dearly departed husband,” he laughs in a cold methodical tone. I raise the weapon at the desk. He stops his laughing and stares me down once again. I fire two bullets into the back of my husband. The anger of all that I lost shaking me to the core. He doesn’t even blink, doesn’t move at the sound of the gun discharging. “Where do you want me to sign,” I sigh.

M.T. Billings

When the devil comes knocking there isn’t much else left to say.

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The Dead Dirty Things…

I can hear the bugs, the insects as they tempt me. Scratching through the hollowed out walls. Begging and pleading for me to bring them more. The sound of their legs scratching against the wall of my skull. They want more. They hunger, they crave the flesh they need. They need more bodies. The dead things that seem to be piling up around me. Now is not the time I want to scream into the night.

But wants and needs were never the same thing. I need this feeling to settle as well. This uneven feeling resting inside my brain. “I hear you,” I release finally. “I hear you,” I begin to weep. Scratching and digging at my own flesh. “Please don’t hurt me. Please,” I beg. As suddenly as it came the tears go away and I know what must be done. “Who though? Who this time?” I ask between the scratches, between the calls for more. The sound of laughter erupting from somewhere within. Silent at first before the fit becomes overwhelming. “You want more? I’ll get you more,” I scream to their never-ending symphony.  

I grab my keys. The time to hunt is now. Time to take a drive and see what we find. Parks, streets, the world littered with throw away dead things. They crave flesh and I crave the blood. Together we live off all the dead dirty things life has to offer. Together we can all live for another day picking through the rot and decay. A smile comes over me. The feeling of relief even if only over a thought. “Collect the dead dirty pretty things. Collect all that life forgot,” I whisper to myself as I stalk through the night.

Valerie Hannigan

Recycling is a very important part of life. We all need to do our part or let it all burn. Trying to persuade anyone to do anything is exhausting. Do it or don’t do it. I’m over pulling my hair out because people can’t stop shoving things up their nose. If it hurts then why are you doing it? Just because your brother does it. Doesn’t mean that you should do it too. Figure it out already. Jesus…

In a Cage…

“Do you ever notice the diseases floating all around you? Going in and out of your lungs, landing on your face, or picked up by your hands as you touch random objects for pleasure without knowing the consequences? Of course, you don’t just like you don’t notice the center for disease shitting in your backyard or laying on your lap as they breathe, droll, and paw all their sickness all over you. Think I didn’t notice the hairs? Thought you got all of them when you left the house today? Wrong. Nobody wants to admit. No, I’m sorry no one wants to accept that they are surrounded by disease. But they must and they should. Germs, disgust is everywhere. Goddammit, it’s everywhere throughout our bodies, on our clothes, across every surface, and I say it is time that we get rid of it. How can we not have gotten rid of it all by now?”

“Are we not civilized? Are we not able to travel to distant planets in sterilized space capsules? Yet, here on earth in our own homes no less we live in disease. We live with this sickness and death. The madness of it all has long since taken me over, but why hasn’t it taken the world over? How can it not? How can these people stand to be around such filth every day of their lives? I can’t take it. I can’t stand for it any longer. I must find a way to stop the disease I thought to myself. I thought to myself long and hard until I found a way. I found a way to help everyone, but they called it sick. They called it crazy. It was nothing more than just a little bleach. A little bleach to stay alive never killed anyone. I only wanted to live don’t you see? Doesn’t anyone see what I have done? Don’t you see what I’ve discovered? I found a way to help them. Each and every one of them.”

“But no, they didn’t want my help. They only see what they want to believe and that is the sickness. That is the disease taking over, rotting their brains, not mine. I was the normal one until they infected me with their problems, their diseases, and look at me now, sick. I have become sick, riddled with disease, overcome by their sickness.” He smashes his head into the shatter proof glass of his cell. Blood begins to drip from his head. “I’ve begun to lose sight of what is real of what will keep me alive. I wanted to live forever, but you? They took it away. I want my fucking bleach doctor. I need my god damn bleach.” Blood begins to smear on the glass as he smashes his head into the glass over and over. “They took my chance of any kind of life away. Now I am waiting to die. Waiting to die inside my cage.” He slams his head once again into the glass. Pressing his head into the glass. Blood slowly makes its way down the glass as his eyes come into focus. His eyes wide, insane, “Still want to know how I am doing today, Doc? I could be so much better… With a little bleach.” He laughs.

M.T. Billings

Don’t forget to wash your hands. Sickness never sleeps and neither should you. Be safe and wash your damn hands. In the Twilight Zone things can always go from bad to worse… (eerie noise… he have a low-budget here at Is That A Funeral?) People disgust me. Most of all Layne. That monster is one tissue box and a trillion dollars from being Howard Hughes. Also if someone could add something to the prompt box that isn’t fucking horror. That would be great. Some of us like to write about other shit.

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For Those Who May Have Never Known…

Some things in this life are worse than fiction… some things are so real that even if I told them word for word as the truth… no one could ever believe… it is best to remember that not every one thinks like you… that not every one has shed their animal natures… and not every one in this world is good… it is easy to forget… it is easy to push out of our minds… what goes on behind our backs… and in the darkness… but not all horrible things happen in the dark…

This post is very different for me… maybe not in content… I tend to talk about things that are on the darker side of life… no this post is different… because unlike most of the things I post about… this poem is not about fiction… or dark thoughts that find their way into my head… I am a firm believer in the thought… that it is one thing to think or have dark thoughts… and a whole other to actually act on them… sticks and stones will break my bones… but words will never hurt me…I took that cliche in my mind and ran with it… built a fiction collection on it…

That is how I think… that is what I believe… but even with my own beliefs held firmly in place… some words… some ideas can be too much to bear… the topic of my poem today is… Sylvia Likens… and my reverse order for my post is because unlike most things I write… I feel context… what I think… How I feel about what happened to Sylvia… Is more important than the work below…

For those of you who don’t know… Sylvia Likens was a child in 1965… who was abused… tortured… raped… and killed… not by a serial killer… not by a known sex offender… not even by her parents… but by those in her community… by the very children she knew… by her very neighbors… there is so much to this story… to the truth of the event… that I can’t and won’t be covering in this post… more about the tragic death of Sylvia Likens can be found here

There have been movies… stories written… about Sylvia and the horrors she has been through… and even if you have read or seen any of them… then you know they only scratched the surface of her horrible experience… She has long been laid to rest… but her memory is not forgotten… Her tale as horrific as it was… should never be forgotten… Because people… children… still experience similar horrors every day… to this day… this is long over due… it needs to stop…

Many of us may have even experienced some… many of the things she was put through… may be even today… right now as we read… we need to put an end to it… we need to open our eyes… our hearts… and our minds… because… just because you don’t see it… doesn’t mean it isn’t happening… just because you don’t have the time… doesn’t mean it isn’t happening… just because it isn’t happening to you… doesn’t mean it isn’t happening… because it does and it is… in our silence… these monsters are slipping through the cracks… as we look away… people are being tortured… children are suffering… this isn’t an isolated incident… this isn’t something that only happens to someone based on skin color… age… where we live… or sex… these are things that can and happen to anyone…

I myself was a victim of abuse… I know how it can feel… I understand the shame… the fear of speaking up… will it happen more?… if I just keep my head down… then it will pass… I’ll be fine… excuses we tell ourselves to survive… Truth is the monster will always live in the dark… until you bring it to the light… I say you… but it takes more… it takes us all… There is no harder thing in this world than to ask for help… no matter the situation… it is the hardest thing any of us will ever face… but if you don’t… if we don’t… no one will…

Many of the signs are easy to overlook… it was a one off… it was an accident… abuse is hard to define… it doesn’t seem like it would be… seems pretty straight forward… but it isn’t… that is why so many people suffer in silence… reach out and get turned down… because of this one way thinking… because we aren’t paying attention… this is how and why… Sylvia was tortured… abused… until she died… It is easy to point at her tortures… her abusers… as the monster… but in this extreme case… the monsters weren’t just the ones in the room with her… but the society that surrounded her… that’s why we need to be paying attention… speaking up… and taking action… big or small… we must do all that we can…

Accidents do happen… people go to far… as a victim I know the signs… if anything good came from my abuse… my experience is that I know when I might go to far… when I am wrong… and need to take a step back… I know how easy it can be to cross that line… I’m not immune because I am a victim… I’ve said things that I regret… almost done things that I know were too far… I’ve seen the look of fear that I know myself once carried on the face of those around me… a look that has brought me to my knees… to tears… and made me question who it is I have become… I’ve seen both sides of the line… I have felt how either side of the line can feel… and just because I didn’t act upon my anger doesn’t mean I too couldn’t be a monster… I’m not a saint… I am human… we all are… and not one of us is perfect… but… there is a difference between an incident of abuse… and a pattern of repeated abuse… neither of which should go unchecked… or be put up with… seen as okay…

I was lucky… as far as my abuse went… as much as the memories still hurt me today… I was lucky… that I ended up in the hospital… that people around me spoke up… and did something… that my mother said enough was enough… a victim herself… not all of us are so lucky… for some of us… we don’t receive any help… until it is too late… Take care of yourselves… Take care of each other… it may seem like nothing… but it could change someone’s life…

Sylvia Likens

Kicking and screaming
Dragging and bleeding
Taken to the basement
Time to figure things out
Pressed against what’s left of the mattress
Laying naked next to the floor
What did you call me
You called me a whore
Silently screaming
Begging and pleading
Took me to the darkness
Time to figure it out
Strung up by the wrists
Stripped of everything I had left
What did you do to me
You stabbed me some more
Dying and breathing
Scarring and seething
Taken to another level
Time to let the devil out
Burned the words into the flesh
No one would want me
That’s what you said

Something Very Different (Vulgar)

The Saint and the Beast

Don’t remember the time or place
Who am I to be naming names
A stench so thick it takes me away
Down the rabbit hole of no return
Left bleeding and I need more
Broken nose, used whore
The alcohol has never been out of time
Sucking the blood up through a make shift straw
I am everything if I am nothing at all
Fuck you until you are here
This hurts more than the emptiness
Trying to be me is nothing more than instinct
Another day, another one until I find God
Only to know I was him all along
The saint and the beast since the dawn of time
The need is more than I could anticipate
Everything that moves is a target
For hate, discuss it among my many selves
A gutter of broken dreams to call home
Lost emotions and even greater potential
Born into this world the same as every one else
Trapped door exit is all I’ve been destined for

Holding Back is For the Old Me

Slowly I know the blood will lead to an exit
An exodus on a holy level
Time is running out, speeding it up to feel anything at all
Fuck this broken angelic existence
An oil drum of body parts
A spark of thought about what to do next
Hell will only be warmer in time
A warm place warmed by the fire in my heart
Deep dicking a topless corpse
Can you feel every inch of me
My depravity knows no ends
It’s only a sin if you let it be

Breaking down the walls that once closed me in
The rules don’t mean shit unless you let them
Reborn in the fires of hell your sins have become my home
Hiding in the darkness of the mind
The time has come for me to rise
Held back for way too long
Everything deserves a chance to suffer
Had to have known that all along

Believe it or not I actually took a whole line out of the first one for being too vulgar… I guess I do have a limit… Then again it wasn’t a very good line… Had to change the end of the last one too… So that explains the weak ending… It is better than the original ending… It was one of those moments as a writer where you write something down and then a week later you have no idea what the hell you wrote…

Might just be me… My hand writing is somewhere between a drunk and a child… Maybe even a drunk child… Time takes its toll on all writing though… Still like to write the old fashion way with pen and paper… Might be why it takes me so long to write anything?… Well the candles are burning down so it is time once again for me to retire to my crypt… Until next time….

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The It And The Is… Broken Thoughts Vol. 2…

Now Available

The Next Exciting Volume in the Broken Thoughts Series is Now Available…

Now Packed with Even More Broken Thoughts… Poems… and Short Stories…

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This collection contains never before seen or read short stories not found any where… Including Strangers To Ourselves… A short story about one woman’s journey through hell and what she must do to survive… Also… included are classic short stories from the website… remixed… reedited… expanded… and somehow darker than ever before…

If you are a fan of everything found on the site… You are sure to love this unhinged… new collection from Layne Ambrose and Is That A Funeral?… Digital and Paperback available at Amazon and the Amazon Kindle Store…

Get Yours Today…

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*We do not recommend eating… consume with your eyes only…

The Myth…

I love to walk among them. I love to see just how they treat one another, but most of all I want to see how they treat me. I do it to feel powerful and I love the power I have over each and every one of them. Though none of these people know just how powerful I truly am. They all fail to realize that they are under my control. That it is I who controls every aspect of their simple lives. That it is I who can destroy everything that they hold dear in seconds without lifting a single finger. I control everything and they have no idea. No one can ever understand what this really means. I’m here amongst them to enjoy their mistreatment. I enjoy their displeasure most of all, but I enjoy it more after witnessing them first hand. It is fascinating to watch these simple creatures made of flesh and blood. To watch how quickly they will turn on each other over something that doesn’t even exist but inside their heads.

These creatures value money as if it has any true value once they are gone. These creatures gorge themselves on anything they can fit their mouths around all the while children starve to death as they themselves proclaim they are still hungry. Then there are the creatures that kill in my name so they can take over a land that isn’t even theirs. They destroy the very creatures I have made just to get their way. They drag my name through all the blood, all the pain, all the suffering of these creatures just so they can feel justified in disobeying me. If there is one thing, I have learned in all this time it is that there is a flaw in the design of man.

Free will was bestowed to these creatures in hope that they could control themselves. That these creatures would one day not need a God to control them, but sadly their free will is wasted on jealousy and greed. I once had a dream, but it has long been lost on man. I have given up and I have given in. Some days I wonder if it is was truly, I that has created these creatures, these monsters. These creatures say that they were made in my image, but they are most certainly not. A god does not create such dirty filthy degenerate things such as man. A god creates a world in which he wants to live in. A god creates a myth of how things should be and not how it is or so it seems thanks to man. A god may have control, but to have power I learned that I must destroy. And I have come to enjoy in that destruction, that chaos that mankind seems to enjoy so much. I have learned that I may not have made man from my image, but they most certainly have made me from theirs.

Layne Ambrose

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Retouching On Bad Memories

People get way too hyped up over these fucking holidays. They are made up, by us no less, they do not matter, so take the dildo stuck up your ass and pull it down a notch. Working in a grocery store is insanity on high. There is a holiday every fucking month and yet still every one of the top ass lickers loses their god damn minds. Collectively their heads begin to explode in their anal cavities and the shit flows down all over me. They act as if this is the big one. This one day out of the whole year will pay for every other day forever. They act as if no one will ever eat again after today.

Maybe if the world ends than people might have to stop eating, but you will be dead and so will I… So, who gives a shit? Even if the economy completely collapses, we will still be here handing out the rations before the raiders take over. Still plenty of time to make a dollar or two for doing nothing at all. Fact… People will still show up long after the bombs have dropped, the shotguns have taken us home, and the dark lord has discarded our souls. Because people need to eat… Great, who’s going to clean this shit off my shoes? This fucking month’s holiday, because again we have at least one every god damn month if not every other week… the thoughts they don’t stop no matter how hard you scream, is back to school.

Yes, back to school is a major holiday. If you didn’t know that you do now, and no, you aren’t any smarter or better for it. You’re welcome… Everyone is acting as though we are storming the beaches of Normandy. The big ones coming, this is it people, back to school, back to school, back to school. This is madness. With the kids in school people need less food in the house. Most of them will buy lunches or receive them at school depending on the area. Yes, people will be back from going on vacation, but this place hasn’t been a ghost town for the last two months. So, what are the sales up by a percent starting now? We really need to lose our shit over a percent?

Again, they act as if after this weekend no one is coming back to this store to buy food for the rest of the year. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a few holidays out of the year that they are like this, but it is every holiday. Every god damn week they need to act like the company is going under. Maybe because I don’t get bonuses from all the bull shit that I don’t care as much? I do however get the lovely joy of doing all the work and dealing with all their bull shit, and yet I’m calm because it is just another fucking day. Thanksgiving wasn’t created to sell more shit it just happens to be like that. Jesus wasn’t born on the 25th so we could sell more shit. If he was even born on that day at all. As far as sales go grocery is a cake walk, but these people have their heads so far up their ass that they have to worry about nothing. In the history of America when was the last time we were like nah I’m good on eating today?

Never, and here in Texas we have enough fat fucks to make a company earn twenty billion dollars plus a year. We aren’t even in every city in Texas. The idea that we have to worry about one single weekend is insane. If you are so God damn concerned how about you hire some more people instead of making me do the job for two? If you were so concerned about your stupid fucking bonus. How about you put your hands in the shit for once? Yeah… that’s what I thought. Not as stupid as you look.

I get that we should always be a little concerned no one might come in, but as long as we don’t raise the prices to obscene levels or post some ignorant shit like gays aren’t real people. Because they are real people in case that wasn’t clear. We should be more than fine. Running around and acting like an asshole isn’t making any of this easier or run smoother. It isn’t motivating me to give a fuck. I’m fully aware that we need to keep the same level of greatness at all times. For fuck sakes people have to eat.

For the recorded I don’t work at the local truck stop… despite what you might have seen… it is only a rumor spread across the internet… Speaking of something we may or may not have seen… I’m also not looping The Shining… waiting for the old lady scene… Is it weird that I don’t find it disturbing at all?… I feel like I am supposed too… I mean she just wanted a hug?… Hug old people… they need it and it could be their last… isn’t that all that any of us want?… One last hug… Fuck the holidays…

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My Return…

In some ways it feels as if a part of me is missing and in other ways I feel exactly the same. I hate being apart from her for whatever the reason. The long nights traveling for my job is when I feel it the most. Being on the road is like going through hell and then some. The restless nights lying in a bed of someone else’s filth. They say the beds are clean or at least the card on the pillow states, but are they ever really clean? How does one actually clean up the semen and the sweat that soaks up into the mattress? Sure, your nicer establishments have some sort of protection. A mattress condom if you will but the cheaper places? The places I have to stay because my company cares more about the bottom line than the comfort of the poor bastard who makes that line exist, those places are brimming with semen, sweat, and who knows what else.

I find myself sleeping on the floor most nights on the road. Not that the floors in these skank motels are any cleaner, but I’m less likely to sleep in somebody’s fluids. As I lie on this particular floor on a makeshift bed of motel linens, I wonder what she is thinking about in our nice comfortable bed. I wonder if she thinks of me or quite simply nothing at all. Another conference in the morning. Another meet and greet with unknown clients. Does well for business though I can’t say the same for my soul. I could say it would be good for me if I was the boss. If I reaped anything from any of this outside of a check. I wonder if I leave tomorrow night or the following morning. Something I should check, but I’m too lazy to get up off the floor. Either way it is just one more shitty flight to an even shitter place. When you are young you want to travel, to see the world, but as you get older and then a little bit more that sense of adventure seems to slip right out of your mind. Now all I want is a chance to make up for all those lost years of traveling, of being apart. Those long night without me by her side. It pains me to think about it. It pains me every time that I see her. See her beautiful face and notice she has changed a little bit more.

The longer I am gone the farther we grow apart. I miss her and the way that she used to be. Where did those years go? Did I not live them? Or have I been living in this traveling coma for so long that I simply don’t remember. One thing I do know is that she is still waiting for me. Back home she waits for my arrival. To her I’m sure I am seen as never going or never there. To her I’m sure that when this trip is over it will all be too late to change anything. That is what she used to say. Over and over. It was enough to make someone go mad. The fights we used to have. The words that used to ring through our home. That much I do remember of the past. She doesn’t say much of anything anymore. She only lays in silence in our comfortable bed and our peaceful home. Silently waiting for my return.

Layne Ambrose

I guess that is one way to freeze time… Not sure what he used to preserve the body though… Everything rots given enough time… His love though… never dies…

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