Goodbye Artemis by Tyler Vaughn

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SUMMARY: Sometimes we can't stop dying a little everyday, then there's nothing left for us.

The graveyard swallowed her in the darkness.


The grey tombstones shone against the dark backdrop of the night. They called to her, those cold slabs of stone. They called for her to come nearer. They cried to her, taunted her, and mocked her.


"Why am I here?" she asked them. Their ominous laughter filled her ears.


We own you, mortal.


The different voices sounded as one in a foreboding melody. A melody of mourning.


Her mouth was quivering, but she can't bring herself to utter the words spilling from her lips. She touched her face.


Flesh against flesh.


That be not enough to guarantee that you still be part of the world, mortal.


That deep voice lined with sadness and pity, yet showed anger at her action. The deep voice was intense...commanding. It made fear creep into her consciousness.


Come closer, mortal.


The second voice beckoned her to the white marble tombstone a few steps away from her. She eyed it warily.


Be you afraid, mortal?


The first voice taunted her.


Be you afraid of what lies in our realm? Of what waits?


"No."


It was a lie. She was afraid. She was afraid of them. Afraid of what awaits. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of her fate.


Say no lies, mortal. Death be not merciful.


A strange wave of curiosity washed over her and a longing welled in her heart. It drowned her soul. She longed for something. Something in that tombstone. There was something that she had to know. Something she lost but somehow... she doesn't know what it is.


The tombstone was nearer. She could see its whiteness outline against the brown earth.


Her feet carried her there.


Another step she could not stop from making. She could almost see what was engraved on the stone. She could feel the coolness of the freshly dug ground under her feet. She could hear her own breathing, ragged and short, as she confronted the tombstone.


Go now, mortal.


The moaning of the wind echoed the anguished cries of her soul. She felt like she was tearing apart inside, like she was deprived of something she once had. She felt her regret filling up the silence. Her hopelessness was knotting with her fear and longing.


Leave fear, mortal. The dead dwells not on it.


She closed her eyes and dwelled in the darkness of her own mind. Time and space seemed to have frozen as she tried to escape the haunting voices and the unexplained longing and regret of her soul. Their voices rang once more.


Your name, mortal. Your name is on the tomb.


She was jolted from her own thoughts of trying to shut off the voices behind the grave. She opened her eyes and saw that the grey tombstones no longer stood out in the darkness. The shadows were slowly enveloping everything around her.


Your name, mortal.


Your name is on the tomb.


"No!" she screamed as the darkness claimed her.


Meet your fate, mortal.


The memories came flooding back to her.


The olive green casket lined with gold leaves being lowered slowly in the ground...


Don't, she whispered into the nothingness.

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