The words popped off the screen and smacked into my retinas. It was worse than I imagined.

The air in the apartment was more stale than usual that evening, my respite was the humid summer air, the glow of the moon, the dying stars. I was trying to escape my worst thoughts, the thoughts that became things. Their betrayal, sticky and sickening, began but yards from my body. A body, that oddly insisted upon drifting intermittently between the land of dreams and the land of demons.

I fed upon food that made me ill. I drank concoctions that dulled my senses. I poured light into black holes. Had I known what I know now…

I’ve been branded with a mark I wish only to scrub off. Cut off, if I must. On occasion it burns hot but most days it’s just a dull ache in the shoulder blades. My load is heavier now. More to carry, less hands to help.

But there is one bit of freedom. What terrible friends and lovers I’ve rendered into ghosts.


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