The leaves glitter in the light of the noonday sun. The wind blows gently. The only sound. All else is quiet. A man stands still, almost as if he were a statue. All seems calm, but inside, his thoughts race by in a blur. Is he searching, or does he possess all he could ever want? Does he long for feelings of peace and fulfillment? Is he alone in the world, longing for a companion with whom to share life? In the distance, a crow caws, breaking the silence and his illusion of solitude. He starts, as if awakened from a dream. A wall of blackness blocks his path. He stays still, as if frozen, as the black gets closer. He longs to move, but his body, it seems, has lost all function. Paralyzed by fear and confusion. “Has it finally come for me?” I thought this was behind me.” He is suddenly transported back to that night. The night everything changed. The day started like any other: work, a stop by the store, home for dinner with his wife. Only she isn’t there. He calls for her. Walking down the street, trying to clear his head. He is alone now. Completely alone. How could this happen? Bad luck is his shadow. The image will never leave: Kelly motionless in a pool of her own blood, eyes open in fear. Can’t bring himself to touch her. The rage surges inside like electricity. Back in the street, numb with shock and pain. Quite a rude awakening. How? Why? When? The answers may never come. At work, it’s as if nothing has changed: he’s in meetings, signing papers, taking the somewhat ubiquitous coffee break. His heart is broken, No one can see. His life has become a lie, a charade. His true nature a mystery, sometimes even to himself. Remnants of that night come in flashes: holding knife over her, desiring blood, possessed. A smile creeping to his lips when he cut. “Why is this happening to me!?” Back in the woods. The wall of death still restricting movement. “I-I didn’t mean to. Please–let me….” Nothing more was said. The black swallowed him. Vanishing, leaving the blue sky and shining sun. Another man walks the same path. History is bound to repeat itself.

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