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Rusted chain-link scraps against age old concrete creating a fierce, grating screech like nails on a chalkboard. Norris Adler sneers at the unwelcome noise. Although it is not the absolute worst sound to grace his attention, he would much prefer it though if the rest of this venture be held in astute silence. Peering through the ghostly gray fog which consumes Kingston Graveyard alongside the rest of his small town, Norris takes in his surroundings as he fiddles with the bag strap across his shoulder. Quite fitting for such a dreary Thursday night honestly. Not a soul, human or otherwise, has been seen for hours thus far. It’s an absolute Godsend for a man such as him; So much so he finds himself more at ease despite the inhuman deed he finds himself committing.

Marching along the withered pathway, Norris glares ruefully through the foggy landscape in an attempt to figuratively sniff out his target, recounting terrain markers highlighted from a sorely forgotten map left back home. It’s only when a ten-foot concrete crypt morphs into view does he administer a smirk, this ratty mausoleum being the town’s woeful attempt at feigning a guiding support for the yard’s resting souls’ journey towards immortal peace. However, Adler recognized a soddy tourist attraction when he saw one. From the recent looks of it, someone should make a new monument to guide this pile of concrete to the afterlife as well. It’s unkept age and time has easily clawed through its outer shell, indent holes like bullet wounds with mossy vines snaking up the sides. 

Luckily though, tonight it serves him a greater purpose than it ever could for the rest of this miserable ground, because if he remembers correctly, merely twenty feet west of this specific crypt lies his endgame goal. Fishing out his flashlight to shine through the darkness and crossing by the catacombs, he follows the marked pathway until stopping mid-step at the toe-end of a tombstone. Flashlight still in hand, he illuminates the burial site for further confirmation.

Jamie Thatcher was a small-town woman you’d pass by on the street without a second glance, her lifestyle and sociable status as utterly mundane as her chosen tombstone. The decorated, cream-colored flower lilies on her grave barely advocate any sort of complexion or color to this already sore display. Pocketing the light, Norris shrugs off his pack and scuffles through the assortment of tools until managing to pinpoint his LED lantern. He twists the knob at the bottom until a dim ghostly glow luminates from its interior bulb, aligning it with his backpack displayed on the sidelines before standing once again. As he pulls up the sleeves of his coat, Norris heaves the shovel over his chest, taking one final clockwork rotation to re-check for any rubberneckers. Kingston Graveyard is a decent sized area, with many stray trees and overgrown bushes thankfully blocking a majority of his appearance from overseeing buildings; Even better, it protects him from being seen by passing families or yard keepers.

In fact, the sole object even remotely related to a living being is an age-old gargoyle statue nestled atop the large crypt; Crouched in a squat, its wings are furled behind its shoulder blades as two palms cover its weeping face. Good, this is his first time to ever truly visit this place, the last thing he needs is some ugly stone mug boring holes into his backside all night long. Despite this relief however, he cannot shake the burning pit of nausea steadily growing the longer his eyes linger on the frozen statue, only adding more doubts upon his current deed. Therefore, he settles for hastily ignoring the feeling and the figure without another word. Although, that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to be excessively cautious at all times; Using the limited area of light, he pierced the tip of his tool into the soft soil and began his endeavor with a vigilant ear.

Trying to keep each scoop as muffled as possible, Norris works fast, experience thankfully aiding him with his pace and precision. Almost a full week had passed since Jamie was laid to rest, therefore the packed soil was still young and fresh; What could’ve taken an hour is sliced down too little over a half before the metal blade shudders in his palms after the unmistakable sound of wood creaked beneath a thinned coat of dirt. His teeth gleam in the nightlight as he bends down on a knee to scrape off the layer of earth, revealing a once polished coffin lid now sporting a sharp chip on its surface, a quaint little cross indicating the torso section inside. Norris feels his excitement bubble before he returns his shovel to work. The prospect of being so painstakingly close to victory and the certifiable dread of being caught this far into the procedure igniting fire into his veins. 

Soon he scoffs haughtily as his eyes survey the entire seven-foot lid now laid fully exposed to outside sky for one final time, dismissing his shovel in favor of a new tool holstered deep within his bag. Weaving its head through the unseen objects within the sack, Norris nearly trips over his own feet, ripping the pickaxe out and grunting as he deposits his hands to steady himself around the narrow trench. An action he regrets as the pressure of his palms roughly slamming against already weakened soil cause chunks of rotted earth to break off and crumble over his hard rubber boots like breadcrumbs. It might as well have been hard rocks, the resulting sound not unlike glass marbles sprawling over a wooden living room floor during midnight hours in a resting home.

To him, it’s one final test of truly knowing his surroundings. He pauses a moment for reassurance; The hole he’s dug merely rises to his chin at best, and even then, his sights are blocked by mounds of leftover scoops. Above him, the stars still cannot be seen through the denseness of fog, pure gray ugliness fitting well with a room temperature breeze which carries the scent of dead leaves and fake flower chemicals. He is not unaccustomed to such silence per say, but it’s as though the very air is serving as a threatening witness to this public crime, yet Norris refuses to flinch any further and his fingers tighten around the axe handle. The moment of truth is what they’d call it; Should his information be mistaken, Norris will personally make sure his temporary partners feel as every bit exposed as he does after he’s through with them.

      Arms raised above his head Norris swings down with all his might, the narrow end of the pick almost bouncing off the coffin with a metal ring echoing like thunder throughout the environment. He doesn’t pause a second time, instead making certain his next swing is assisted with more force which in turn manages to chip off a thicker layer of wood. Compared to the previous shovel’s dullness, the result is a welcomed resounding thud of breaking material. Several more strikes fling extra pieces of metal, fiberglass, and any other unnamable materials he’d not the luxury to fret over as the newly crafted entryway becomes big enough to fit half of his body inside. Pickaxe held in one palm, he shuffles away the splinters and meets a familiar face.

She doesn’t meet his eyes; Despite how sullen and sunken the skin is, he cannot see the pair of oceanic teal pupils that’d graced him once before. Instead, they’re covered by closed lids over a smooth neutral expression, as if even beyond life, his mere presence disgusts her enough to not grant him any interest. He’d say the feeling was mutual if not for the glimmering necklace draped over her neck, each pearl and diamond glittering like separate pieces of starlight illuminating through the pit-like coffin. Mind elsewhere, Adler withdraws his pick altogether in favor of reaching down to wiggle his hands deep inside the box, not caring for the off-putting feeling of bloodless shoulders weightlessly following his trajectory whilst lifting the body out of its sarcophagus and into a makeshift sitting position.

Her body is terribly thin and frail. Not that Jamie had been hearty to begin with, yet decay is clearly evident through her pale skin tone which hardly matches the dainty green dress. Ignoring her for now however, Norris barely passes the corpse a second glance as he dives his hands in a second time to retrieve several weathered books, photos, and other knick-knacks before he is finished scouring the box entirely in only a few short minutes. A call from a mutual party had informed him of the pricey little trinkets Thatcher’s family had bestowed upon her deathbed. “Junk” said the party promised it would help rid the man of particularly looming charges should this play out efficiently. Extra was guaranteed for the body as a whole, with the promise of no further cuts or any damage on his part rewarding special bonuses.

Pocketing her previous heirlooms Norris grabs the body by the underarms and heaves her up, disliking how their faces were now almost nose to nose. Memories of sweet cherry wine beckon from the back of his mind. Disgusted, he tries standing on his toes with one foot in the coffin to heighten himself, unfortunately resulting in his boot breaking through the aged wood and his top touching Jamie’s cool forehead in the process. With a barely housed screech of protest Norris catapults the body upwards, her torso hitching on the top edge of the hole with her legs dangling outward. It isn’t simply the contact of skin-on-skin that sends his body into overdrive, but rather a sudden jolt of unspecified fear he feels digging into the core of his soul, and now with her legs swaying over the edge in front of him, it felt like the earth around him suddenly screamed in fury. Twisting his head around, he feels sweat drip down his neck as the walls of the pit he’d made begin to leisurely intersect closer, squeezing him from both sides until his ribcage snaps and his lungs explode from unbearable suffocation; He should’ve dug a wider hole, he should’ve brought something else to lift the body out, he shouldn’t be here in the first place.   

Spluttering, the man hurryingly tosses the remainders of his tools out of the pit and pulls himself up in an instant, taking his lantern he growls as the thrumming of his heart silences his own footsteps whilst marching around the to return to the body. Leaning over, he examines for any type of damage, cupping her chin and scanning the neck, slowly trailing down, and glossing over every little fine detail until his eyes stopped at her torso. He feels his breath hitch at the spot, not caring as his thumb rubs over the place her appendix would be, feeling the telltale divot, even with her already being a dried corpse. A hole he could feel perfectly through the dress, small but effective obviously, as he’d been sure to aim precisely after she’d tried escaping. There wasn’t any time for further professional percussion, not like the others; She’d proven to be slippery.

Jamie wasn’t gullible like the others, no matter how plain and drab she’d appeared; Her expression and attitude were blunt to a fault upon meeting his poker-face smile, despite her half drunken gaze. He’d enjoyed her screams a tad too much to be honest. Sadly, they were short-lived, as Thatcher proved herself to be a surprisingly resourceful thinker on her feet, escaping his grasp too soon for his liking and running into risky public territory. He’d managed to strike the fatal bullet wound in time, saving his name and reputation, but she’d crossed too far into the public lines for him to snuff out the fading spark, internal bleeding finishing the job instead. He’d consider this a well-deserved end to their shared story, cold bodies and filled graves not unknown to him in any form.  

He did not feel as congratulated though. Her mere presence now made his stomach churn like a boat in high seas, his hands and knees shaking like leaves under her still close-lidded watch. This horrendous graveyard must be to blame, that’s it! The skeletons hidden safely in his closet gave him no such fearful reactions, even with their dead eyes open and stricken with horror. Stepping away to grasp his bag Norris tries to ignore the looming feeling of different eyes drilling into the back of his skull as he returns to pluck Jamie off the grass lawn, half thankful for the lack of protests he’d naturally hear from a bound person over his shoulder thus considering it another positive victory tonight. Although he does not retrace his steps down the concrete pathway this time, opting instead to take his cargo off the beaten path across the lawn and through its headstones. As he was previously given a map, so was Norris gifted with the knowledge of a new exit most visitors did not know of: A break in the chain link fence near the forest opened wide from trespassing wildlife of past days. 

Pace rushed, he is not too focused on where his feet step, only preoccupied with making the hundredth test tonight for any last-minute onlookers to quench his erupting anxiety. A sensation of suffocation grows within his bod. Despite long since leaving the now vacant pit behind, he could swear to every God from the top of his head that he was being watched by the shadows themselves. Could this damnable feeling not go away for five seconds? Swearing under his breath, he rechecks his surroundings in another clockwise turn of his head, nothing except foggy mist and ghoulish obscured tombstones for miles; just as he preferred.

“Bloody Hell!” Norris surprises himself by his own exclamation, his whole body flinching at the sheer volume of his voice.

Atop the crypt, still in its squatting position, the crying gargoyle he’d seen earlier could not be deemed as such anymore. Palms no longer protecting its face, its spindly arms were moved inches away which apparently allowed room for its head to turn a full ninety-degree angle to its right, its hollow sockets piercing into Norris’ soul like icy fire. Gasping frantically, Norris backpaddles whilst keeping eye contact; Although with the combined weight of Jamie slumping out of his grip and a poorly placed headstone, he holds in another scream as gravity pulls him down. An audible thunk resonates throughout the man’s skull when something solid meets his parietal, vision watermarking as a tortured groan escapes his lips.

Struggling to roll to his shoulder Norris heaves his body off the floor with any wavering strength left in his possession, fumbling around for his fallen cargo. Strings of curses spill from his mouth as panic and agonizing pain settle in, the temporarily forgotten memory of what’s just transpired fueling the drive for escape. Blinking away the dots blocking his vision Norris scoops the corpse back into his possession and swiftly returns focus to the crypt. Despite the robber’s vision being severely impaired, it wasn’t any less easier to immediately confirm his greatest fears that the statue not only moved, but seemingly just to spite him, had vanished completely. Throat clenching like a vice, Norris bites down a yell as he turns back towards his trajectory, yet once more finds himself freezing on the spot.

Was this still the correct path? His scrambling memory causes painful aches that work against the regenerating wound on his head. It appears as though there were more tombstones than before, and the fog had grown unnaturally thicker. Six feet or further and the scenery was swallowed up in stifling gray. Lifting his lantern Norris ignores the poisoning churn in his gut while marching in a direction he randomly deems worthy. This time he is more aware of his echoing footsteps which patter through his ears like rocks in a cave, not at all helping the gnawing headache of his bruised skull. As if it couldn’t get any worse, Jamie’s body was starting to grow abnormally heavy against his shoulder, an added weight to slow his pace further he would’ve considered discarding, were it not for the promise of good fortune that kept him from abandoning her. A pair of twin lights piercing through the mist garners his attention, striking him with uncertainty as he keeps his velocity upon approach.

Said velocity grinds into a halt when the two lights become more apparent as he closes in. They float stiffly over a grave, watching him unblinkingly, expectantly almost and thus he chokes when the realization hits him that they are not merely lights, but pupiled eyes. Clutching the body draped over him by pure instinct, Norris strangles out an inaudible response; The eyes track his own with the intensity of a black hole. He finds it is not only the unnatural scenario that frightens him so, but rather the developing familiarity resurfacing upon their prolonged contest. Whilst the sclera is an abnormal yellow, it is the pair of icy blue pupils that enrapture him. That, and the name deeply carved into the grave they now stand over. Sam Elieen, age 25. A young woman he’d invited on a dinner date several months ago with several drinks added into the mix. A day later following that night, Elieen was declared missing; The police would soon find her tattered remains washed up on the shores of Johnson Lake a few days after.

His favorite recollection of the woman was her striking blue eyes which bore into his huskily that night, and he’d gladly watched them fade from life under the moonlit stars. Now, those same eyes peer at him over her tombstone, less so full of the woman’s notable vibrant energy and more blazing with the fury of someone scorned. In his trance, he’s yet to notice the charcoal fingers slinking around the perimeter of the headstone, nails needle sharp as it seemed to further protect her resting place from his gaze. Alder refuses to give the figure any more attention, bolting to the left in a full sprint whilst holding his increasingly brutally aching dome. Whatever it was, that was not Sam Elieen, and he would not allow his memories to be played with like a child’s toy.

His feet blur as he strides forwards in a desperate search of anything that doesn’t resemble a cobblestone deathbed, although no such luck unfortunately, not a single lamp or sidewalk to be seen in this hellish fog. If he hears a sound off in the distance related to scurrying or near perfect pitter pattering of movement, it merely entices him to run faster until verbally shrieking as the same pair of eyes shine in the darkness to his right. Nearly dropping his lantern, Adler scampers away from the figure that’s somehow gotten closer than before. This time they hide behind an aged Latin cross rooted from the soil. Resting over the tip of the marble construct, the hidden being observes him as intensely as before, however a key difference lay in the pupils once more. A soothing honey orange, while not as inherently stunning, reminds him all too well of a certain senior who’d refused to offer cash during a particularly horrific thunderstorm. 

Liam Harris, age 74, was found in a cotton field early last year with his throat slit and clothing stripped from his person. Being now graced with that very same old man’s burning glare again was enough to fuel a familiar, uncomfortable fire in his skin he’d not experienced in decades, prompting him to dash off in a separate God-only-knows direction. Public eye be damned, he would rather exit the front gate with a full-bodied corpse then stay another minute in this accursed hovel, if he could only find the gate! Hidden behind the engulfing mist the sounds of footsteps follow his trail, although it is hard to tell which side they truly are on, from the uncanny style they present, like a dog with an extra pair of limbs. 

He’d been so focused on struggling to depict where the figure was, that he’d hardly registered the obscured shadow passing underneath his nose before something heavy capsizes his shins and sends his knees buckling. Refusing to release a much-needed scream of agony, Norris braces himself against the floor, feeling skin break from uneven ground of cobblestone and rocks, instinctively trying to reposition into a stand. He growls harshly as searing pain spikes through sore muscle and straight into bone, thousands of white-hot pins and needles locking up any available foreleg movement he could’ve possibly had left. A noise to his left freezes him in place; He dares not to look towards the crunching of dead leaves, and stone rubbing against stone. He looks over his shoulder, staring at Jamie’s fallen, lifeless, apathetic expression as uncertainty overwhelms his once unquenchable greed. 

Calling his mercifully unscathed torso back into action, Norris scrambles on his elbows and forearms into a makeshift army crawl, abandoning Thatcher’s body behind as he weaves through the dewy grass. His bag shuffles awkwardly with his frantic motions to the point of slowing his pace; He’d gladly take the time to discard the useless tools had those horrible sounds not continue to close in with each passing moment. Murmurs flow through his ears as though he could hear a distant conversation held within the wind. Though he could desperately chalk that up to the now nonexistent breeze, it wasn’t something Norris took lightly, heart pounding from increased adrenaline. For a second, he could see something new just beyond an oncoming row of tombstones, something horizontal and black; Had he found the gate at last?

Something slams into his side causing the man to let out an agonized gasp of shock as he feels bone shift irregularly out of place. It’s a head butt to the lungs as his surroundings fade into blurs of inky splotches, the hit having him rolling over his back before he tucks himself into a ball, merely breathing a great pain to endure as the silhouette slinks behind a large white object displayed over him. Quickening his panting to ease the torturous sensation of his lungs being deathly bruised, he fights against the hammers within his skull to force focus on the obscured object that thing apparently so desperately wants him to pay attention to. Resisting the urge to smack his head Adler rubs his eyes and glares hatefully when the blots disappear to unveil a waist-high stand of marble sporting a childish angel standing over him.

Hands cupped together, the little figure holds his head towards the darkened sky in hope, wings spread as though he is utterly fascinated in whatever lay above the clouds. Sitting at the foot of the stand are three words Norris had planned to never recall for the rest of his days: Tod Mardini, age 9. Dear Christ, even the statue reminds him of that boy, his hopeful demeanor, childish naivety, emotions you could read like a badge on his shoulder. Norris had made sure to use all of those to his advantage, a horrible month resulting in pent up steam he’d unleashed upon the poor child before his quick, yet memorable demise. It took them time to find the body and even then, the police could only verify Tod’s identity through his…

His musings are interrupted as a scraping noise comes from nearby, prompting him to back away in fear whilst twisting his head around for any sight of his newfound enemy. That’s when he recognizes the scratches were coming from behind the statue, laddering over the post and trailing up the backside of the angel. Black inky fingers grope over the angel’s annexes individually as a hunky form arises over the statue’s head; Pointy ears, and large furled bat wings masking over two sets of yellow eyes as the doggish creature stares down at the man with a look only labeled as pure disdain. He didn’t need to be a genius to recognize this creature, the gargoyle’s appearance already burned through his brain the moment he laid eyes on it upon arrival. The ever-changing color its pupils proceed to judge him once again mirrors Norris’ past victim.

Emerald green. Just as Tod’s were, returning once more for the sheer purpose of taunting his killer in the form of this abomination as he whimpers in agony on the floor, clutching his skull with both hands. It was as if merely looking at this thing sent his pounding headache into overdrive, and it takes all his will not to howl in agony before righting himself on his tailbone. Norris snarls as inescapable waves of emotions and pain drowned the ability to think rationally until a thick scream arises from his throat, aimed at his unwanted judge.

 “What do you want from me!?” Norris roars, tone hoarse. He doesn’t expect a vocal response, although waited for the sentient figure to at the very least take a different stance. “Either do something or leave me the hell alone!”

  It refuses his demand, not moving an inch whilst it’s perched atop the pristine angel’s scalp like a dark parasite, patiently awaiting the man to instead take the first action. Yet another satisfaction he was rejected tonight, Norris isn’t sure whether he is to pursue reclaiming his smothered pride, or to obey his instincts and run away. The lightning carving through his brain overwhelms what ego he’s left, as he jumps back into a sprint, doing his best to ignore whatever bone deep bruises the gargoyle had left behind as he plows through the endless fog. Shedding his bag instantly, Norris barrels through whatever obstacle comes his way, interior thoughts as frantic as his breathing with dancing memories replaying in his vision like a spooling record player.

They deserved it, they all deserved what was coming to them. He knew they did, they had to! From birth, they were spoiled into a bright and sunny future, some wasting their opportunities, others taking it to their full advantage, all of them still not earning a second of it. He wasn’t given the opportunity for such niceties, he wasn’t given a happy promise of life, of a family. He wasn’t granted the chance to squander his duties or laze during a break. No, from day one, since birth Norris Adler was unwanted and unneeded from the universe; And as the years went on, as families made their favorites and forgave one another without a second thought, he slowly decided then and there what worth undesirable leftovers like himself held. That this morbid, mockingly sad world could use someone who was willing to show everyone just how cruel life could be behind the mask. 

Sickness burns in his chest, anger matching his fear to boot. How dare this freak of nature be the one to judge him for his misdeeds, how dare it have the gall to wear the faces of those whose lives he’d slain. It wasn’t there to witness who they were through their times outside the grave. Norris Adler isn’t stupid, he knows where his road will end once time inevitably knocks on his door, the screams and fire plaguing his subconscious every moment he closes his eyes day in and out. However, here he finds himself resisting, desperately hurrying towards the light at the end of a swallowing tunnel he’d sold his soul to long ago. He knows the light would never free him, that he would be refused the hand of forgiveness and sanctuary, as his own were coated in the thickest layers of blood. 

He refuses to look anywhere but ahead, scraping feet and claws echoing across Kingston Graveyard as its lord pursues this trespasser with utmost efficiency. If Norris were in the right state of mind, he might’ve considered the idea he was being herded. He stops running, fiery emotions washing away like raindrops as the sole crypt in Kingston towers over the gray fog. Vines still sprouted from its interior cracks and glassless window panes. Although the inside was pitch dark, he could feel the essence of life bleeding off the ancient building’s frame in an unexplainable aura. Long gone was the visage of a needless, uninspiring hobble he’d once come to lift a nose at, now something else stood in its place. A beacon of hope for some, a promise of closure for him.

Gradually, he witnesses the dark figure of the Gargoyle ascend from the opposite side, now giving Adler a chance to finally observe it advance. Even on ground level the serial killer spotted the indents and curves on the creature’s limbs, hand sculpted muscles which didn’t bulge or shift under its actions further proving its unnatural existence. Body bent low enough to appear feline, yet too bulky to not be described as canine, it watched with its soulless hollow gaze, straightening its back into a sit. Right in the exact same spot he’d first seen it back at Jamie’s grave.

  As though the universe could hear his thoughts, Norris sucks in a breath as a small breeze blows across the back of his neck, colder than ice with the scent of cherry. His headache surges to astronomical levels, vision threatening to blacken, yet he resists it all to robotically turn to face her. Chestnut brown, plain and simple, mundane in nature. She wasn’t angry, nor pitying, simply staring at him with nothing but a thin lip line and half lidded eyes, forever refusing to grace him with anything but. Though she stands a head shorter, the man can’t keep his feet from backing up away from the woman before him, as though she were a stalking animal much like the thing above him. She watched him still, body draped in something you’d only see in a decorated canvas with splotches of grass and mud ruining the dress, telltale signs of his lackluster care in their brief time together tonight.

He keeps backing away as their shared gazes linger, hands up to his chest in ironic surrender as hers drape limply to her waist, never breaking contact. Words claw into his throat: Mixtures of questions, pleas, and other ineligible sorts screaming to be released. Instead, he keeps peddling back from the motionless figure, until the edges of the crypt opening slinks into the sidelines of his vision. He hadn’t remembered the door being open, nor standing in its front. Jamie continued to stare, a ghostly figure enshrouded by mist, as though she were one with it. For the first time in his life, Norris says something he’d never come to expect from his own lips, even if he didn’t mean it.

“E-easy now…” His own words hurt his scattered brain more than it should have, splitting the headache tenfold into every corner of the skull. “… I’m… I had…”

He couldn’t finish. Why do so if your breath held no meaning, not that it would matter if it did.

Something moves under his shoe, the man screaming as his backside slams against the old brick and molded floor. The world darkened as crumbling stone resonated off the chamber walls until a dense sound of stone against stone cracked and the door shut, succumbing Norris Adler into total darkness. He holds the last remnants of his breath, awaiting whatever punishment this damned universe would bestow on his tired soul, finally ending this nightmare and ceasing the numbing pain which bled through the cracks of his skull and surged through his body. Something clambers onto his body, and he flinches, unable to muster the energy to shoo off whatever it was. The weight on his legs shift, moving to his lower torso; It is only when he feels a hefty push on his stomach he rationalizes something is climbing on his sprawled form.

It moved across his stomach, now resting on his chest, and further enticing the sharpened agony of cracked ribs to shriek earning him another flinch, his mouth somehow unable to make a sound. All is quiet aside for the ringing in Norris’ ears; He can however make out an outline morphing into frame, round and shaped in the form of a face. With how dark the room was, the figure must’ve been a hair’s breadth away from touching his nose to be slightly visible. Methodically, two lids open to center his world on a new pair of lights with his own smoky gray eyes gleaming upon his soul.



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