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Hi, I'm barrow (they/them). Welcome to my wayside rest. This account is mainly for scattering abandoned writing and favoriting pictures of cute folks. I am duty-bound to carry out these tasks eternally.

thinking about all the possible arrangements on the page

choose your own adventure #1, directed at reader, suspense/mild horror 

There is a small popping sound as the lamp goes out. The old book begins to burble dark water onto the seat cushion. You begin to leave, heading towards the engine, towards the child, towards the last thing you need.

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choose your own adventure #1, directed at reader, suspense/mild horror 

The old man shrugs and hands it to you. You set the old book on the seat beside the old man, and peel the journal open. The pages are blank, no, they are empty, scrubbed clean of all ink; there are smudges where it used to be. The old man shrugs again, "Doesn't seem to work that way, I'm afraid."

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choose your own adventure #1, directed at reader 

"Oh this? A friend gave it to me a long time ago, asked me for a favor," he trails off, looking out one of the darkened windows. The steady drip of water from the book in your own hands plays gentle percussion on the carpeted floor of the train.

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choose your own adventure #1, directed at reader 

You tap the old man on the shoulder. He wakes, and smiles.

"I was wondering if I'd get see you again."

He pulls out a small journal and thumbs to a worn page.

"I'm afraid you're at the wrong end of the train, friend," he says apologetically, "They've gone up to speak to the conductor."

The train lurches slightly, then stills. The whistle blows, and the fog clawing at the windows is driven back.

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choose your own adventure #1, directed at reader, partially submerged in water 

The book creaks like a old ship in a storm, the pages fluttering in the wind --

You are standing in the middle of the pond, water just below your shoulders. A light hovers above your outstretched hand. A star. Your star. It's so close, you could just reach a little further and --

The book snaps shut in your hands, water dripping quietly from its bindings.

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choose your own adventure #1, directed at reader 

You heft the book into your arms. It seems heavier, now. The cold air from the windows is held back by the warmth of the cooling lamp.

The old man snores gently in the corner.

A chime sounds from somewhere back the way you came.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

The pedestals are empty, now. I will not awaken again. I will not defend Her again.

There is nothing left to do. I will sleep, now.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

III. The Desecration

There are so many more. Countless, it seems. An army of them, dismantling the work I built with everything I had, a gift to She would could level an army a hundred times more than these in an instant.

They bear sigils I do not recognize, they carry picks and shovels of strange make. They tear and slice and crumble the world around me.

I destroy them all.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

"Arise and protect the tomb, skeletal guardians!"

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'The Skeletons' actual play, a moment of pause 

A millennium passes.

(four minutes of contemplating the passage of time in silent darkness)

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

One of them has knocked a gem from its pedestal. I did not even notice. Why didn't I? I am tired. I can sleep, now.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

There are more, this time, but they are not like the others. A family, seeking shelter, hiding from something they think is worse than the trespass they have committed.

They make signs of warding against me, ones I do not recognize, but I am not the sort to be dissuaded by such things.

They flee, when they see my amulet, when they realize where they are, what they've done.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, a moment of pause 

Centuries pass.

(three minutes of contemplating the passage of time in silent darkness)

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

Just a few bits of metal to clean up, this time.

I can sleep, now.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

The other brings their weapon upon me, shattering my ribs and sending them clattering to the floor. They were foolish, they could have fled. They cannot flee anymore.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

I carved each of them with my own hands. Not these hands, but the hands they once were. It took years.

The tomb robbers split, thinking that I can only deal with one of them, intending to distract me.

I intone darker, sharper words in my mind, and raise my amulet, and its light grows hot, there is a clatter of melting blade as I face the remaining intruder, my empty neck creaking.

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'The Skeletons' actual play, violence, death, undeath, memory loss, grave-robbing, skeletal body horror 

II. The Time of Dust

A pair of them, this time. They move with familiar grace together, professional and poised, and
I will destroy them.
They never speak, but neither do I. We share an understanding.
They seek a pair of of the four faceted gems at the corners of the tomb. Each glows softly in a shared light. They are what keeps the bones of this place moving.

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