His face was a little fuller,
Sprinkles of gray adorned his temples,
His eyes still shown bright,
He still melted her heart.
He still gave her butterflies,
Her skin still screamed for his touch.
She sat by his side,
One day each week,
And pledged to be his friend forever;
To fill his emptiness the best she could.
But she loved him with every inch of her being.
She wanted to protect him,
Make his face shine,
Erase any hint of despair.
She watched his lips move
but heard no sound save for the beating of her heart in her ears.
Each week she dared herself
To reach out and touch his shoulder...
Just brush his arm...
Just for a second.
But each week she failed
And each week
When their moment had ended
And they went their separate ways
They returned to their blandness;
Only truly living one day
She roused to the news.
He passed today.
Her alpha and omega.
When he left, she was a fresh-faced filly
Stars in her eyes.
She lingered silently.
Her family home emptied.
She spent hours gazing at his favorite chair;
More than entertaining anyone to settle there.
Red gave way to grey.
Sleek bent to furrow.
Now she hunched at the lectern,
In funereal raiment,
Bedecking his matrimonial tails.
The night was the darkest she'd seen and the glow of the neon sign was a beacon.
She tried not to think too much.
She needed to push through.
The sign blinked, as did her resolve, but she carried on.
She pulled into a deserted parking lot and made her way to the desk where she handed her card and took the key.
It was a cold Midwest evening and a shiver rocked her hand as she made her way to a desolate room reserved for the forsaken.
He was one of the Unwanted.
A small child wandering lonely,
Born of lust and deceit,
Born a mistake and left for the wolves,
In search of what others call Home.
Drawn to a relic of abandonment
Fully lit by the full, orange moon
He toddled to the solace of cold stone
And lay himself down to sleep.
Audrie is a writer and editor living in Illinois. She is a fan of all things horror and pop culture.