Remnant Moon: Chapter 1

As promised, here is the draft of the first chapter of Remnant Moon. For those who plan on reading Prism World and who don’t like spoilers, however, I’d suggest not reading this post. Though I am setting up a new story here in Chapter 1, I also sum up the end of the first book, so proceed with caution. And to those who are willing to read this selection, happy reading and please leave feedback! I would like to know how I can make this story even better than the last.

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Chapter 1

Festive music echoed through the window pane as a warm golden glow illuminated the snow outside. From my perch in a gnarled old tree just beyond the window, I could see three children chasing each other in circles around the room. The oldest was a boy of possibly 8 with a mop of unruly, jet black hair and a pair of familiar, coal-black eyes. He was currently being pestered by two small girls who looked to be about 3 and 6 years of age.

I could see a fireplace on the opposite side of the room, a warm fire flickering in its hearth. Then came muffled adult voices. A man and woman entered my view. The man knelt down to sweep all three children into a warm embrace. The woman smiled before lowering a plate of cookies to the children’s eye level.

They look so…happy.

I sighed and my breath came out in a great white puff. Then I slid from my perch and a moment later I was listening to the crunch of snow beneath my feet as I stepped out onto the desolate streets. I wasn’t worried about someone noticing my footprints. With the heavy snow that was falling, it would soon seem as though I had never been there.

How long had it been now? I paused in the middle of the street, looking up to the dark, clouded sky. I stood silently as the snowflakes landed like cold, wet kisses on my face. Eight years? Had it really been that long since I had seen her?

Lightning…

A forlorn laugh escaped my lips and I set off down the street again.

Scythe, you fool.

It had been eight years since I had seen my sister. Not that she would have missed me. No, she was better off without me interfering with her new family. That was why I had watched them instead. But still…for some reason, my heart felt heavy. Back then…back when I had heard that my sister was alive and that she had escaped from the Phantom Legion…there was a time when I had silently hoped she would join me some day. It wasn’t as though I was lonely though…right? I was Scythe, a Phantom, a heartless assassin whose only desire was to kill…to smell the intoxicating aroma of blood. So I couldn’t get lonely. I couldn’t…

A familiar sound caught my ear and I turned in the direction it came from. A moment later I had stepped into the loud, suffocating atmosphere of a local bar. So much noise…so many people…so many pleasant distractions. I loved bars as much as I hated them. The noise, lights, and musty air that came with them was obnoxious, but there was always something to keep me from thinking, and that I liked.

I could see all eyes turn toward me as I knocked the snow from my boots. I always stood out among the crowd with my tight black clothing, my black trench coat hanging open even in the bitter cold of winter and my bladed polearm braced against my shoulder. I ignored the frightened stares as I made my way up to the counter.

“Don’t look so scared,” I said, leaning against the counter and giving the frightened bartender a grin. “I’m just here for some whiskey.”

The man poured me a shot without a word. I laughed at his perturbed expression as I gratefully accepted the whiskey. I downed the shot in a single mouthful, then turned and leaned my back against the counter, my elbows braced behind me. The people had gone back to what ever it was they had been doing before I entered, but there was a general feeling of tension in the air now, and every once in a while my ears caught the word “Phantom” being whispered around me. I could feel a grin creeping onto my face. Ah, yes. Phantoms.

It had been 8 years since my sister, Lightning, and the rebel leader, Leif Covent, had managed to lead a successful revolution against the government that had, for so long, kept the Phantoms as pets. At last the Phantoms had found freedom from the masters and had been given the right to join the rest of the human race. Except…we had gained that freedom only in theory. It was true that, by law, Phantoms were now to be considered citizens of the recently freed Elcanth, but that didn’t mean the people themselves had accepted us with open arms. Hatred and fear burned deep. Few of us found it easy to walk the streets like normal humans. And now that the mass populace knew about our magical powers, we were no more human to them than we had been during the days of the Phantom Legion.

It had been a long, hard road for my race. A few of us, like Lightning, were viewed either as normal people or, at worst, with a mixture of fear and awe. Lightning was a Phantom, but over the 8 years I had been gone, I had learned that because of who she married and what she had done, my sister was well respected. There had been a few others who had managed to carve out new lives in the world of light they had been introduced to. Mercy, Lightning’s mother, seemed to have learned quickly how to live among the other people. She cared for my sister’s children and I had seen her around town frequently since my return a couple weeks before.

I had received word of marriages among my people, and for the youngest Phantoms, our new government had set up a study program so that they could go to school. Some, such as myself, had even spent the last 8 years working for the military. But…there were some of us who couldn’t join that world. I still had control over the vast majority of Phantoms from three of the old Alphas, but those I did not control had, for the most part, sunk into the underworld. I had lost count of how many older Phantoms had ended up in jail…or worse. We certainly hadn’t redeemed ourselves over the 8 years since the fall of the old government. Despite everything Lightning had done, few possessed the willpower she commanded. No, most of us had ended up like Lightning’s old adversary, Blade. We simply couldn’t seem to escape the demons of our past.

“That’s a pretty scary weapon you’ve got there.”

I turned at the sound of a woman’s voice. She was average in pretty much every way. Not the ugliest woman I had ever seen; certainly not the prettiest.

“Don’t worry,” I smiled back. “I only use it on the bad guys.”

“Do you even know who the bad guys are?” the woman asked, crossing her arms and looking at me.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re a Phantom, right? I’ve heard the stories.”

“Oh?” I leaned toward her, a wry smile on my face. “What kind of stories?”

“About all the murders,” she replied, shifting slightly. “About how you only know how to kill.”

I chuckled. Fool. To assume I was like every other Phantom. Was she like every other woman? Well, perhaps she was. There was one way to find out.

“There are other things I’m good at,” I smiled sweetly.

“Like?” she looked doubtful.

I scooted a little bit closer to her.

“Well, I seem to have a natural talent for meeting the most beautiful women in the world.”

She seemed pleased by my words, though she tried to hide it.

“You think you’re cute, don’t you?”

“You know I am.”

“So is killing and meeting beautiful women the only thing you know how to do?”

“I’ve got some secret talents.”

Now she voluntarily edged closer to me. I could smell alcohol on her breath. Not drunk yet, but it wouldn’t be hard.

I watched as she motioned to the bartender.

“Two chardonnays,” she said.

A moment later we both had the glasses in our hands.

“Now, tell me about these secret talents.”

She looked up at me, batting her eyelashes slightly as she did so. I smiled. I had a way of putting women off their guard.

“Hmm,” I chuckled, raising my glass and allowing it to clank slightly against hers. “It would be better if I could show you.”

***

The moon was sinking low in the sky by the time I woke from my sleep. My hand brushed against smooth, warm skin and I opened my eyes to look at the woman lying asleep beside me. What was her name? Had she even told me? Certainly if she had, I didn’t remember it.

Quietly I slid out from under the covers and proceeded to put my clothes back on. It was always the same. No matter where I went, the women were cheap. Cheap entertainment. They didn’t need the government to breed them. They willingly did that on their own.

As I slipped my arms into the sleeves of my coat, I paused and glanced out the window nearby. I had only ever met one woman who had been able to resist my charms. Alice Lee. My sources said she was married now. She had children, too. I sighed as I lifted my weapon to my shoulder. Oh, well. She was certainly the most interesting woman I had ever met, but it wasn’t as though we had ever had any potential together. I had killed her friend, Amos. She would never forgive me for that.

I stepped forward toward the door, then paused and glanced back one more time in the direction of the bed, back to the woman I had spent the night with. She wasn’t so bad, though it was hard to tell who she really was given the fact that she had been drunk. In any case, though, I didn’t expect to meet her again. I turned toward the door and stepped out of the room.

It’s not as though she’ll miss me. No one ever does.

The air was cool and crisp when I stepped back out into the night. The snow had stopped falling. I could hear the sound of vehicles driving out on the main streets. Every now and again one even passed my way.

My feet moved deftly under me. It was how I had lived most of my life. I had no reason to live; I just did. And I wandered because I simply didn’t care.

I could feel a tingling in my veins, and I paused. I set the pole end of my scythe down on the snowy ground and watched as the curved blade sparkled in the moonlight. I could almost smell the scent of blood, though there was none. I bowed my head and began to laugh bitterly.

Three weeks. It’s only been three weeks, and I’m already back to this?

I lifted my free hand and stared down at it. I had always had the craving to kill. Comes with being raised as a Phantom, I suppose. When I was young, the cravings were fun. It was a need for excitement that a good kill had been able to fulfill. But now? I was 36 years old now. The thrill of youth was slowly draining out of my veins. The need to kill had become more than entertainment to me. It was like a drug…no…a poison. It was like a poison that was slowly eating away at my sanity. Each night, I found it progressively harder to sleep. Each day I found my mind turning more and more frequently to my need to kill. It was becoming harder to control my impulses. And some days, I found myself wishing that I could be the one to die, just so I would not see the day when I lost control of myself.

My laughter died away almost as soon as it had begun. Trying to ignore the urges inside me, I set off down the road again. I hadn’t gone very far, however, before the sound of a distant gunshot caught my ears. I paused, turning in the direction of the sound. There was silence for a moment, then the sound of another gunshot. This time it was closer. Delighted at the possibility of an interesting distraction, I set off in search of the sound.

It wasn’t as though the sound of gunshots was a surprise to me. Actually, it seemed to be a relatively common occurrence. For as much effort as our new government had put into cleaning up the cities, crime was still rampant in the shadier districts, and gang fights weren’t unheard of. I myself had only ever run into a handful of these incidents, but I can’t say it had ever turned out well for the gangs when I did. They weren’t the sort of people the law was eager to save, so they were fair game for Phantoms with an urge to kill.

Another gunshot went off as I came to the corner of a dilapidated building. Careful not to let my guard down, I peeked around the corner and down the roughly-paved alleyway. Immediately the slim figure of a woman came into view, charging around a corner, fire flashing from a pistol in her hand. I could hear shouting in the direction she had just come from. Men’s voices mostly.

Heh. This may turn out to be more interesting than I thought.

I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, but whatever it was, I was entertained, so for the moment I chose to remain hidden behind the corner. The entertainment was short-lived. The woman didn’t seem to know I was there. If she did, she certainly showed no signs of that awareness. She was running in my direction, but the pavement of the alleyway was slick with ice and dotted in potholes. In her haste to escape her pursuers, her foot caught on the uneven ground. The next thing I knew, she was surrounded by a group of about a dozen men.

“Shouldn’t we just kill her?” one of the men asked, kicking the woman’s gun away from her hand.

“Nah, she’s too valuable,” another man said, grabbing a handful of the woman’s dark brown hair and yanking her up into a half-sitting position. “We’ll make her squeal a little before we kill her.”

“You had better kill me now,” the woman snarled as the man tipped her face up to look at him, her eyes glittering a faint gold in the darkness. “Taking me alive would be a waste of your precious time.”

“Shut up, wench,” the second man, I assumed he was the leader, huffed, smacking the woman on the face.

“It doesn’t matter what you do,” the woman continued, seemingly unfazed by the abuse. “Patski’s got you cornered. You’re merely biding time until your defeat.”

Patski? What was he up to now? This was just too interesting to pass up.

Time to make my grand entrance.

“You’ve got a sassy mouth,” the gang leader said, slapping the woman again. “Save it for the interrogation. Cooperate and I may even give you a painless de-”

The snow on the ground spattered crimson as the blade of my scythe bit deep into the man’s back. I watched as he fell dead at my feet, his spinal cord severed in half, his blood staining the grey-white snow.

“I believe you meant to say ‘death’,” I grinned, looking at the startled people in front of me. “Next?”

Almost simultaneously, the men turned their guns on me, but it was already too late. They had been stunned long enough to give me the advantage. A moment later, 12 bodies lay in crimson heaps on the ground. Then I turned to the woman, who was massaging her sore neck.

“We can’t have such a beautiful lady sitting on the ground like this, now can we?” I smiled, reaching out my hand toward her.

I was surprised when she batted it away.

“Cool it, loverboy. I’m not interested,” she huffed, shoving herself to her feet.

I laughed, stepping back and resting the end of my weapon on the ground.

“You could say thank you,” I said, watching her brush the snow off the seat of her pants.

“You could have jumped in sooner,” she responded.

My grin broadened. No damsel in distress here. She actually seemed put-off that I had helped her.

“You act as though I shouldn’t have helped at all.”

The woman ignored me for a moment as she plucked her pistol from a snowdrift and cleaned it. Then she looked around at all the bodies.

“I’m not sure ‘helped’ is the term I’d use,” she sighed. “And here I thought Phantoms left clean kills.”

“What kind of kill strikes you as being ‘clean’?” I asked, following along behind her as she set off back the way she had come.

She paused, looked back at me, rolled her eyes, and continued walking. And so I followed her.

We walked in silence for several minutes. Every now and again the woman would glance back irritatedly at me, but seemed to be trying very hard to ignore me. That just made the game more fun. It must have been 10 minutes before she let out an exasperated sigh and, spinning around to face me, exclaimed, “Why are you still following me?!”

“Following you?” I feigned innocence. “Who said I was following you?”

“What do you call marching along behind me for the last who-knows-how-long?”

I smiled sweetly.

“I’d call it going in the same direction.”

She threw her hands up in the air in frustration.

“It’s the same thing! What do you want?!”

My grin broadened and I took a step toward her.

“There are a lot of things I want.”

Immediately she lifted her pistol.

“Don’t make me shoot you.”

Well…that’s nostalgic.

I raised my free hand in submission.

“Alright, alright. There’s no need for violence. I was just wondering how you know Patski.”

The woman’s face paled slightly, and for a moment she lowered her gun a few inches.

“Why?”

“He’s a friend of mine.”

“Bullshit,” she replied, stiffening. “Cut the act or I’ll shoot you right here.”

“You’re not the trusting sort, are you?”

She lifted her gun again. I could tell she was getting nervous.

“In my line of work, there’s no room for trusting outsiders. Now, I don’t care if you saved me or not. Just turn around and walk away before I have to hurt you.”

Well, this isn’t much fun.

Before she could even blink, I grabbed her gun hand and spun her around in front of me, my chest pressed against her back.

“Maybe I’ll have to take your pursuers’ advice and torture you a little bit to get the answers I want,” I chuckled, my lips close to her ear and my voice low.

“Good luck,” she bit back.

Before I knew what was happening, she tossed her gun to her left hand and shoved the barrel of her pistol over her shoulder toward my face, forcing me to release my grip on her. She spun around to face me, but I swung the pole of my weapon around behind her knees, causing her to fall on her back in a pile of snow. I dropped my weapon and pinned her wrists down on either side of her, my body straddling her’s. A sly grin crept onto her face and I could sense her knee moving upward. I released her wrists and rolled sideways before her knee could make contact with its target, grabbing up my scythe as I did so. She bounded to her feet, but in that moment I wrenched the gun from her hand. She stumbled backward, reached inside the back of her pants, and a moment later I was staring down the barrel of another gun. Then we both stood still.

“How many of those do you have hidden in there?” I questioned, laughing slightly in amusement.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” she replied.

“Are you going to make me investigate?”

“You are a repulsive man.”

I laughed, then lowered the gun I had taken from her and threw it on the ground at her feet.

“You win,” I smiled, turning to leave. “I’ll just have to ask Patski myself.”

“Wait.”

I turned back to look at her.

“Hm?”

“You…actually know him?”

“You could say that,” I replied. “He helped my sister during the rebellion, and I worked with him some to exchange useful information.”

“What’s your name?”

I smiled and leaned on my polearm.

“Guess.”

She paused, then a disgusted look crossed her face.

“Scythe.”

Her voice came out low and defensive.

“Aren’t you smart,” I smiled back.

“Can it, pervert. God, and they say I’ve got a smart mouth.”

“You’ve got a pretty one.”

“You don’t quit, do you?”

“Where would be the fun in that?”

“Is irritating people your idea of fun?”

I paused and glanced down the empty alley nearby. A sigh escaped my lips.

“Maybe so.”

For a moment we both stood in silence. Then she leaned down and picked up the gun I had taken from her.

“Hey,” I said, not looking at her. “What’s your name?”

There was a slight pause. When she spoke, her voice was soft.

“Elaine,” she replied. “Elaine Claire.”

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Introducing “Remnant Moon”

man moon and scythe
A little inspiration…

It’s been over a month since I published Prism World, my experimental fantasy book based in a 1940s era society. In that time span, I’ve given away 5 books through my Goodreads-hosted giveaway, sold one physical copy, and sold possibly a dozen digital copies. And for someone who has never before sold books to anyone other than friends, I’m feeling rather accomplished. So far, I’ve had relatively positive feedback. With two 4-star ratings (one from a Goodreads user I don’t even know!) and lots of positive feedback from friends and family, I feel that it is finally time to move on to my next project. For those who know me, it should come as no surprise that I like to juggle several stories at one time, but seeing as how Prism World seems to be doing relatively well, I have decided that it’s about time I announce a story I’ve been working on for several weeks.

Introducing Remnant Moon, the sequel to Prism World.  Based 8 years after the end of Prism World, the story is told from the perspective of Scythe, Lightning’s half-brother, and centers around Leonard Patski and the govs’ vague reference to “The Order” from the end of the first book. The current overview is as follows:

——

“With the fall of the old government, the heroes of the revolution had hoped that the Phantoms could at last find their place in normal society. But old fears and old prejudices still run high, and the Phantoms have, instead, found themselves stuck in a world of meaningless existence, no more human in the eyes of the Elcanthan people than they had been during the days of the Phantom Legion. It has been 8 years since Scythe, Lightning’s half-brother, went in search of work to satiate his killer’s spirit. With the passing of the years, Scythe’s desire for meaning and a sense of belonging have grown, but so, too, have his urges to kill. When an unexpected encounter leads him to learn that the easy-going aristocrat, Leonard Patski, has a big secret, Scythe sets out to discover just what that secret might be, leading him deep into the world of secret societies and a plot to restore an ancient kingdom, all the while forcing him to face the memories and emotions he has long kept locked away inside him.”

——

Honestly, I never intended for Prism World to have a sequel. Actually, I never thought I’d publish Prism World, but that’s beside the point. The inspiration for Remnant Moon came after I finished writing the first draft of Prism World. My cousin Ashley and friend Sarah started asking me questions about what happened after the story. Where did Scythe go? What became of Lightning and Leif? What is the world like now that the rebels have overthrown the old government? With questions like that floating around in my mind, I started formulating answers. And then I got a brilliant idea. Why not write some short stories just to tie up all the loose ends?

Yeah right. Anyone who knows my writing habits would tell you that “short story” and “Lyn” don’t go in the same sentence, as I have this habit of writing too much. My “short story” for Scythe started getting longer and longer, and before I knew it, I had another novel on my hands. The narrative is reminiscent of Prism World – written in first person, past tense – but where Prism World was an experiment in narrative style and time setting, Remnant Moon is an experiment in character development. In many ways, Scythe is the most challenging character I have ever created. His constant laughing, smiling, and teasing is nothing but a mask to hide the incredible amount of bitterness and hopelessness he carries around with him. To some extent, this is obvious even despite his seemingly-happy personality, and this odd balance between his bitter internal self and his happy external self is one of the greatest challenges I have in writing about him. Plus there’s the simple fact that I have difficulty trying to imagine what a guy, particularly a guy like Scythe, might be thinking. It certainly was easier to write from the perspective of a girl.

There are other challenges to the story, too, though. Where Lightning had Leif as her primary companion throughout the story, Scythe has Elaine Claire, a sassy, serious, hot-tempered fighter who hates Phantoms with a vengeance. Lightning and Leif were both fairly simple characters to write about. With Lightning, I had the privilege of building a character, essentially, from the ground up. Lightning’s child-like ignorance and honest, protective personality made her a simple, straightforward character. Leif was an easy-going, positive complement to this simple character, and I understood both of them very well. In Remnant Moon, however, neither Scythe nor Elaine are simple characters, and both are equally bitter because of past traumas. Likewise, neither one are innocent, and everything about them seems to put them at odds with each other toward the beginning of the story. If Lightning was a lesson in character growth, these two are going to be a class all their own.

I’m hoping to receive more reviews of Prism World as time goes on and I continue to work on Remnant Moon. That way, perhaps I can learn what my mistakes were so I can continue to improve my writing. One of the big complaints Dr. Robinson had with Prism World was its “monochrome” world, which was intentional but which will also be addressed in Remnant Moon. I chose a distanced, vague view of Lightning’s world because at that place and time in her life, she would neither know nor seek to know much about the world as a whole. Lightning’s focus is more internal, and the amount of world experience she can have over the course of a year would be limited. Scythe is a character that offers me the opportunity to expand this world that I have created. The story is based 8 years after the fall of the old government, but it has been roughly 20 years since Scythe escaped the Phantom Legion. If there is a character who knows the world, it’s him.

The other complaint that I got, primarily from Dr. Robinson but also, to some extent, from Ashley and Sarah as well, is that I didn’t devote enough time to developing the minor characters. In his review of Prism World, Dr. Robinson states, “I wanted to care about the rebels, but with the exception of Alice, I didn’t get to know them, and wasn’t really touched when they died, one by one.” To be honest, this statement rather appalled me. I thought that for sure I had built them up enough to portray Lightning’s feelings toward them at that time in her life. I wasn’t surprised that no one really cared about the first rebel to die, as Lightning wouldn’t have been greatly attached to him, but the others? Yeah, this surprised me. All the same, I have taken the comment into consideration, and so one thing I mean to do in Remnant Moon is not only to expand the reader’s knowledge of the world but also of the minor characters that surround Scythe and Elaine. (And trust me, there are plenty of them).

For the moment, I consider Prism World my crowning achievement, but there is always room for changing that as I grow as a writer. In my opinion, a good writer never stops learning and improving their craft, and I certainly have a long way to go. To those who have supported me this far, thank you so very, very much! To those who want to write but don’t think they’re good enough, keep trying! I may never be a New York Times bestselling author, but I can at least enjoy writing and watching others enjoy what I have written. To me, that is the most important thing about what I do. Keep an eye out for updates on Remnant Moon in the months to come (I plan on releasing the first chapter here pretty soon) and, as always, I welcome any constructive feedback I can get.

The Silent House

There are certain moments in life, for me at least, when one starts to feel just a bit nostalgic, and that has been true for me in the past few weeks. I’m not entirely certain why. Maybe it’s the rainy weather we’ve been having. Maybe it’s because we’ve been reading Tennyson in my Victorian Literature class. Or maybe it’s because of all the death happening around me: peers, family, friends, friends of friends…

Either way, I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood recently, and particularly about the set of great grandparents I grew up around.

My great grandparents bought their land and built their house some time during the Great Depression, though I don’t remember exactly when. My great grandfather worked as a foreman at a nearby brickyard, and so brick edifices dot the property around the house, some complete buildings, others not. The property my great grandfather bought back then sits on what is now more of a family estate, having been parcelled out to the various generations.

I was only a little girl, possibly 6 years old, when my great grandparents died, but I still have memories, if slightly romanticized, of them. I remember them as kind and happy people, and I remember the times I spent there in that house and on that property as some of the best.

I don’t go home much these days, but when I do, I like to visit the old house. In some ways it’s very different now; in others, it’s as though no time has passed at all. In any case, my nostalgia recently has inspired me to write a new poem based on my last visit. I hope you enjoy!

*EDIT: My mother sent me an email correcting me on my time frame for when the house was built. As the information she gave me has some very interesting historical tidbits in it, I thought I’d go ahead and share it here with you.

“Just wanted to make one little correction for you in your lead in to the poem. Great-grandpa built the house during WWII. That’s one of the reasons it has some of the issues it has, such as the floor falling apart. You see, everything was rationed during that time because resources had to go to the war effort. To even put windows in the house Great-grandpa befriended a wealthy rancher that had a government contract (I think that’s correct) and when this gentleman was allowed to place an order for glass he would add an extra piece or two to his order for Great-Grandpa. It took a number of years to build the house as he had to get supplies in small amounts at a time and then build the house. As a matter of fact, when they first moved in (in 1945) they didn’t have sheetrock on the walls. They had a heavy paper that had different prints on it. Grandma talks about remembering the flower print that was on the paper in her room.”

————

The Silent House

Hinted chills on whispering winds
Stir the bone-bare trees
As a house sits dark and silent
Amidst the mournful breeze

Echoes of distant laughter
Hang in the empty air
A remnant of moments remembered
And the loved ones who’re no longer there

The grapevine grows long and forgotten
On crumbling walls of brick
While the grey grass waves bleak and haunting
Like a graveyard candlestick

Longing creeps soft and gentle
As I wander the empty rooms
Rememb’ring the ones now sleeping
In silent, time-weary tombs

The scent that I always remembered
Envelops me as I walk in
While the chairs stand quiet, inviting
As they were and always have been

The cane in the cobwebbed corner
The photographs scattered around
The records all lined up in orderly rows
Yet with silence their only sound

The jars of that last summer’s produce
The dust-covered books on the shelf
Sit as if all are just waiting
For time to unravel itself

Mem’ries haunt the dusty halls
Where now my footsteps tread
Lingering like a listless shade
Beside an empty bed

If I listen, I almost hear them
If I watch, I almost can see
The loved ones I knew in times long past
And the way things used to be

But silence is all that remains of them
The voices are all in my mind
Their laughter is all a sweet mem’ry
And emptiness all I will find

Time has its way of changing
The places I used to go
And age has its way of taking
Those I used to know

But good-bye is not forever
Someday again I will see
The ones I remember in the silent house
And ’till then, they live in me.