“Candace?” cried Robert. “Candace?” He ran throughout their home, yelling her name over and over again.

But nobody answered.

Just as he was beginning to lose hope, he heard the front door open. He ran into the front hallway as Candace walked through.

“Candace!” But she didn’t react. He kept shouting at her, his elation slowly turning into anger as she continued to remain oblivious.

The world was fuzzy, echoey. Robert could hardly tell what was happening. His connection was almost nothing, and he could feel the panic setting in.

He sunk to his knees in despair, weeping. This was death; the cold, hard truth after life.

“I love you,” he said, tears forming in his eyes. He closed his hands into fists, and felt something long and thin in his hand. He opened his hand and saw… a pen. He investigated it; the surface was unmarked, but in all other respects, it was insignificant.

Its sudden appearance turned his despair into intrigue. Was it a sign? What could it mean? He had no idea, but it meant something. He loved her. The pen was there, with him, but he was far away from her.

There are ways to send messages to those who are far away.

He found a notecard.

I've missed you. I hope you haven't forgotten me.
It's been about a year, are you well?

The notecard vanished, and he smiled. Perhaps there could be comfort in his death.

He watched as she went to the mailbox the next day and opened it. Up until then, he didn't know if she had received it. He smiled as he looked over her shoulder, and was able to make out a notecard in her hand. Something about the way the words appeared seemed strange, as though they were written by someone else, but it didn't bother him.

He couldn't hear the living world well, but her shriek filled him briefly with despair. He found himself dismissing it; of course she was disturbed, he was dead. Hopefully they could move past it.

He kept sending letters. They ended up in different places, but she always found them. He couldn’t tell what was happening most of the time, but Candace had not screamed anymore, which was a good sign.

Then one day, she was taken by mysterious men. He had been watching, of course, and followed her. They didn’t take her far.

He kept writing letters, but even in his lifeless, confused state, he could tell that something was wrong. The words appeared in stranger places, on stranger mediums.

He tried to write as though nothing was wrong, as though he was speaking in person. It only got worse. Even if she didn’t scream, Candace was clearly unhappy, even in his own blurred eyes.

He didn’t know what to do.

At last, he looked at the pen. Each of Robert’s messages were different, but they all said the same thing:

“I love you.”

He asked, “Why?”

The pen was a bridge, a link. That was why. It brought the lie that life was.

And so the pen made his words into lies.

Robert wanted to laugh and to cry at the same time. He was so stupid, how on Earth did he think they could stay-


He looked at the pen. He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t hurt her again, but he had to.

One last lie.

I will always be there to protect you.

He stood there, waiting. The lie had been exacted, her body mangled and dead. Candace’s entrails spelled out his last words to her.

He waited.

And waited.

And cried.

She’d gone somewhere else.

He looked at the pen once more. So innocuous, but it made lies. He started to walk away, dropping the pen. Forever a ghost unseen.

Perhaps it could bring the truth instead to the living.

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