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Stone

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Even in darkness, the stone glistens. My fingertips slide down its polished surface. Edges catch. The words ‘devoted’ and ‘beloved’ grate my skin.

Dank cool earth bleeds through my jeans. I sit, numb, waiting, pondering…

Why?

His approach rattles my nerves long before he arrives.

“You shouldn’t be here,” he whispers, resting his hand on my shoulder.

That’s what he always says with his touch, cold and smooth like stone. Sallow skin, sallow heart…

Where then? The floor of his crypt, an alley, a condemned house…what would make him happy?

Stiffening to smother a cringe, I mumble, “I know.”