Chapter information




Written by


Release date

the twenty-second day of april, twenty-fourteen

Word count

four hundred and thirty-two

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I am almost empty tonight. This is hardly surprising, as even I can barely recognise myself anymore. Once painted with gorgeous greens and earthy browns, I am overgrown with weeds and vines. I had not expected to see anyone, but that is why I have been sealed up tight; on the off-chance that, should anyone stumble down the abandoned mountain path laid with dirt and pebbles, lodging is required. Tonight, two guests appear on my front step; a man and a woman, shivering under the light of the moon and the frost of the winter solstice creeping into their skin. I wonder why they are here—what reason would they have for taking this journey? After all, the winter solstice is a time spent at home with family. I wonder why these guests have chosen this time, this place, for their rendezvous.

With a click of his fingers, the man produces a small flame, and they step through the door. I rumble slightly as their footfalls tickle me, and it is then I notice a discrepancy. I try my hardest to hold still as new feet roam my empty hallways, and the woman clutches her stomach.

Why would they risk such a precious life? I already know the answer.

Because these people are their own family. I can feel their heartbeats echoing through my body, telling me everything I ever need to know.

The woman, she does not seem weak. She does not seem fearful, but I know better. She holds the man's hand in her left as though it were a life-line, and he leads her down a corridor, searching for a place to rest. They come to a door, shut tight. It is safe in there—I know. It is the only room not to be infected with the pests and vermin that treat me as their home. Perhaps I am their home, and I should not begrudge them. The couple face this obstacle of a door with surprising ease, and she creates a small hole in the wall beside it. I avert my gaze as they walk solidly through the small gap, only for him to push her against the locked door as soon as it closes, arms wrapped tight. He already knows what she has inadvertently told me, and my walls grow a little stronger as she whispers his name with such reverence.

Tonight is a night of celebration with ones family. The two lost people have found a family with each other, it seems.

I turn my gaze outward, wondering if anyone else would be coming that night to find themselves. I wonder if what these people are running from will find them. I wonder when the fear will give in to the love that charges between them.

I wonder if it can.

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