Distance

Resignation. Such an indelicate word for the most fragile of moments. It speaks of surrender and acceptance, of diminishing and death.

In some ways, it is fitting — and in some, not at all.

He has always been a ghost who sees, a whisper who walks, a shadow that touches, a spirit that passes over first and last born alike, Ending without judgment of his own. He is cradled by the gun, held up by its weight in his hands, supported by the sound of each bullet racking into the chamber, the oiled mechanism clicking darkly, soothing him as he breathes in.

Breathes out.

Squeezes gently.

It’s a muscle memory more instant, more perfect, more right than any other — than even the way one gloved hand closes at the perpetually loosened knot against his collar, while the other glides against the tail of the black fabric, straightening the line of the noose from his throat down his chest.

He keeps death close, a constant companion that has stained his hands and left him knowing things he cannot unknow.

There is no light behind the eyes that goes out. There is no relaxation as the body finally gives up. It ia merely moving, and then it is not. Sometimes there is fire. Sometimes there is blood.

Always, there is screaming. Sometimes theirs. Sometimes that of those who loved them.

Sometimes alone in the dark —

in the places he will lock himself, when he will dare to sleep, and face the faces of those he has seen in their last moments

— it’s his own.

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