Altar of Bones

In the northwestern U.S. there lies a tomb. Less a tomb, rather than a home for the corpses of women taken before their time. If you were to travel to the Legacy Hospital, you’d hear stories from the citizens there that told of loss and heartache. You’d meet a detective who comes to visit his wife day after day, comatose and on the verge of dying, but he will tell you time and time again, no matter how often you go to visit him that he believes she will return. That he won’t give up because he knows that she won’t. He will tell you of his daughter and how important she is to him. He will tell you that she is on the verge of waking up, he knows it. He can feel it.

You may cross paths as you venture from one point in this city to another with a man sheltering many faces. He changes on a whim and becomes an entirely different person. Switching personalities being out of his control, he has managed to survive and thrive with the souls of three past lives stuffed within his body. A young man who has seen more than most of us ever will. A man with four heads who communes with angels, people said to me that he was frightening. That he was sick. That he needed help. The boy doesn’t need help, so much as he needs someone who can understand what he is going through.

If you visit Junco Furlong’s, a branch of the popular chain restaurant that started in a haunted bottom floor in New York City, you would meet a couple. A young man who had just recently come back from a journey to Europe. Beside him, a young woman sits wrapped in his arms, kissing him gently and thanking him for being there when she needed him the most. She tells him that she is thankful for his care, and he would tell her that it was all he ever really cared for.

If you step into the Lone Fir Cemetery, you may, if the circumstances are right, run into a young woman who had just given birth to her daughter a few years before. She was still introducing herself the the beautiful trials and successes that envelop motherhood. She would whisper to you, as if speaking from the other side of a curtain, that evil exists in the world no matter how much she wanted to protect young Lucy from it. She tells you that she made a mistake to move to the city, that she should have stayed home with her high school sweetheart.

Continue on your road, you need not hear more from her. As you approach a hill, you may come face to face with another spirit, a young man who tells you that he was willing to give everything for the ones he loved, and he did so. He won’t reply to your questions. His story is over, but he will point you in the correct direction. If you follow the imaginary line that the young man provided for you, you will crest the hill and see an open grave at the foot of the opposite side. Beside it, a young man stands with his arms folded. For no reason in particular, you recognize him. He has “one of those faces” as the saying goes.

You are presented with a choice in this moment. Before, the people you spoke to seemed as if you were inclined to speak to them. As if they were expecting you to visit like a friend who hadn’t been around in a while. They so eagerly spilled their stories to you, even if it was only in parts that you had to piece together. All of their lives were affected by the boy who wouldn’t speak further. As his disappearance left a rigid whole within each of them, but in doing so… he filled the holes within his own heart.

If you do choose to approach the detective, you will see the perplexed look upon his face. Go ahead and approach him… ask him why he is standing before a grave laid bare with its contents emptied. He will reply to you with a story.

“Once, long before, there was a killer who found his home in my city. He stole the lives of so many women. He created a tomb of them. An altar, that he would worship within. The tower of bones that he held in secret was eventually found out, but there was so much more to that story that we missed the first time. We didn’t know why. We didn’t have any answers and that is why I’m here today. I am searching for answers, before time resets, before we go backwards. Before we lose the lives of our loved ones, before we forget who killed them and why. We are returning to the beginning and we are starting all over.”

You might, at his provocation, glance down into the pit of the grave and see two things…

One, a large book bound in human flesh that seems to still be bleeding.

Two, you will see the corpse of another woman, her flesh falling from her bones, and upon her bones, there is writing. When this sets in and you see what the Detective is seeing, you will listen to him whisper.

“We are digging these graves up to bring our loved ones back, we are digging them up feebly searching for answers, for hope, for some kind of security that when the clock rewinds… that the end of this story won’t remain as it is today. I miss her, my friend. I miss her being alive. I know how Aiden must have felt now, the boy lost everything and he didn’t even realize what yet he had obtained. So I have to find the truth. I have to find a way to turn the clock back and fix the path that The Darling Killer created. So… I am digging up these graves.”

 

At this, you will hear the whisper carried on the wind from a voice that is unfamiliar to you. It is deep and rough, as if its owner is carrying coarse dirt within his lungs. It is a voice that speaks of blood, of bone, and of lost happiness.

 

“I miss you, my darling… I miss you so.”

Today I am officially announcing the re-release of “The Darling Bones”

I have taken time to grow as an author and as a creator all around. The Darling Bones was my first novel and so much of me has changed since then. The first release was rocky, as they tend to be, so I decided long ago that I would pull it from the market and rework what I created because that story meant so much to me. Within the pages of it I worked through loss and confusion, doubt that love existed and so much more. When it was finished I had grown into a man who knew my purpose. The Darling Bones started everything for me and I can’t lay it to rest for you to view if the body of the piece is so badly damaged, so I am doing what all foolish alchemists do…

I am going to resurrect it, only so that it can be laid down once more. This time… Darling will receive a proper burial.

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