3. Lucid – Led Astray


She leaned against the doorframe casually, smoking as her eyes burned through me. I curled up on the floor, my knees bent up into my body. The floor was comforting, cold and without feeling. Like myself.

“Come on, get up from there. You’re being ridiculous.”

I ignored her, heaving a heavy sigh. She paced around, considering a fresh approach. My eyes followed her motions. When watching her watch me became too hard to keep up with, when I was overly dizzy, I closed my eyes and shut everything out.

I felt the hands on my knees, shaking me, bringing me back from the darkness of my solitude. I opened my eyes to find her at my level.

“Go away,” I muttered.

“She’s been dead for years, Lucid. Let go.”

“That’s a lie.”

She shook her head, looking away from me to collect her thoughts. I didn’t want to hear her elaborate lies anymore. She shook her head, then reached out for my hand. She opened my fist slowly, letting a chain slip into my open palm. She pressed my fingers closed, than got up to leave. She took a glance back at me.

“Least she’s not alone – she’s got her mother with her.” And she kept going.

“Harley…” I whispered. Turning the chain over, I let it fall from one hand to the other. It took me awhile, but I got to my feet. I slipped the chain into my pocket, starting out. I looked back at where I’d come from, sending a glance to where I was going.

“Be seeing you soon, kiddo. Stay with your mother. Take care of her, Harley. Our girl.”

And I left.

She was right. My daughter was dead. She’d been dead for years. I just wouldn’t let go. There’s a story that goes with the death of Harley. And the death of our daughter. But I’ll get around to it later. Right now, I need air.

My work is done. The blood won’t wash clean. Ever. I’ve done the best I could. I could bow out, sit back, be the first to let old age take him. I stepped outside of myself, trying to see what others saw. I closed my eyes as I went, unable to focus.

Sleep. That’s what I wanted – to rest.

No rest for the wicked. And the damned are left to merely wander.

To the sunless lands of my damnation, where the darkness itself burns.

Click. Bang.

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