Shadow Man

Peeling paint crumbling down these dirty walls,
dripping slowly to the dusty floor.

Puddles of tears gathering at her feet,
mouth wide open, arms stretched above her head,
cheek sliding down against the filth.
Nails digging into the now soft walls,
gripping, tearing…breathing.
Sinking slowly to the floor.

She screams.
He walks down the narrow corridor of their lives.

Smiling faces on the walls,
eyes blazing with anticipation.

Figures tear from the framed perfection of stolen smiles,
heads turned to face the Shadow Man.

Mouths open and fingers point.

Lies, lies, liar.

He walks slowly,
the damned walk of the dead.

Grimaces and grins return to their still life forms.

They know.

He knows.
She lies on the floor, blood pouring from her open mouth,
swallowing the crystal tears of their shattered life.
He steps over her, crunching the crystal tears staining her uncurled fingers.

So much dust,
so much serpent tongued words dribbling down his cheeks.

He walks on, 
towards the open door.
Laughter rings out, and the Shadow Man turns.

Crouched on a bright white box balances a familiar face,

A clown, with one tear to spare.

The clown dances wildly before the box,
light filtering through the demon filled chest.

The white faced woman drops her head to the side,
smiling grossly, running her fingers across the box.

She knows.

They know.

He knows.
He turns to run.

She is there, her cold hands on his shoulders,
green eyes staring into his hollow face.

The trapped images from the walls scream with animal delight.

The clown shakes her head, the white box moves towards them,
carried by the spiders and snakes of her nightmares.

The clown kicks the man to the ground.
It is, as it has always been.

She looks down at the man,
searching for a glimpse of the father that should have been there.
The last crystal tear falls.

She throws her head back and twirls. 

The box is bound to the Shadow Mans back.

He crawls along the broken passage of their lives,
cutting his hands on the shattered glass of lost memories.
He reaches out for the woman lying on the floor.

She turns away from his shame,
and finds comfort in the crumbling paint of her old life.

She rises, and her shadow falls over him. 

He crawls towards the open door.

Loneliness embraces him.

The smiling faces in the photographs shimmer and stretch,
and the Shadow Man disappears.

The frames fall to the ground, empty.
The clown turns and walks back up the passage,
running her hands along the walls,

feeling every memory and wasted heartache,

she crouches in the dark and weeps.

All is silent.

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