20 Lines A Day

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Memory

Sam sat just outside the light of the camp’s fire, her knees drawn up to her chest. She didn’t watch her friends, gathered for supper and conversation, but stared into the black woods.

“What’s up with her?” one of them asked Roger.

When they’d left that morning, Sam had been her usual self – talkative and bossy. When they returned to camp, there was nothing he could say to erase what she’d seen.

“We found her old house today,” he told his companion as a spark broke away from the fire. He breathed through his teeth and shook his head. He had nothing to say either.

Roger told her not to go in – that it would only begin a torrent of pain that would drive her mad.

But she walked through her old front door anyway and toured every dark and dusty inch. She sat on her couch, stood before her fridge, sat at the dinner table and stared at the space above her husband’s seat. In the bedroom, the bed was still unmade from their last night before the world came apart. The sheets were still strewn back as if he’d just risen from bed, his ghostly form now wandering the house.

Before Roger could stop her, she buried her face in his pillow, crying “I can still smell him” and wailed like a dying animal.

Roger could still hear it now, hours later. He watched the profile of her empty, hard face – lost in memory. That was all any of them had now.

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