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I strain to rise again.

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I feel the snow; cold as death. It’s coming down now, faster than usual. My footsteps, leading to this grave, are all but concealed by the powder; no trace of my presence. There’s a tree to my left, an empty grave, ready for a casket, to my right. She isn’t coming. Why would she? This tombstone hasn’t been visited in far, far too long. It’s almost peaceful, in its neglect. Was that the point? To let it lie until its mind ceased, lips stopped whispering our lullaby? We buried it alive; a child, in its own respect. The damp earth seems to pulse, as memories flood my eyes; tears freezing before they reach the marble. We don’t even like marble. My pants are dirty from kneeling. Rising, I avert my eyes to the tree. My feet shuffle towards its snow-trodden limbs. I stop. Why are there two graves in this meadow, this nostalgic wasteland where I am forced to dwell? The tree loses its appeal and I am drawn back towards the graves. I find myself being lowered, by an onslaught of foul assertions, into the empty grave. I don’t fight. My eyes close, feeling the soggy mounds being piled upon my figure; resigning myself to a live a death of solitude, darkness. I hear a voice. Hers. Revitalization surges through my limbs. The earth is ever grasping for me, but I struggle all the more. Breaching the opening of the pit, my head perceives not one, but two sets of tracks; leading to the tree in the meadow. My hope dwindles. I slip back into my grave as I hear his voice. My consistency is all for naught. “Bring me the snow!” I yell. “Pack me so tightly that no element of my existence is left!” She runs to me; to the grave rapidly becoming my final dwelling. He follows. I catch her eyes, just as the weight destroys my ribcage; ribs splintering my heart, lungs. I cry out in pain. She screams, too, in reaction. “Please. Don’t.” “You pushed me here! We, pushed me here. You brought him here. This is meant for he! Not I. I take his place, because you always need a scapegoat, so you can pretend your heart is whole. When he dies and his soul proves to be of no use or vitality to you, I will be here. Worry not. The memories only always haunt me.” Her pleas become inaudible as the weight increases. My last glimpse is of him, smirking; knowing full victory is imminent. I have all but subdued to his Win, when I remember her kiss; her soothing, magnificent kiss. And, crawling my way to the surface, I pain to fight again.





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