until all that is left is all that is left behind

and the room feels familiar, a certain sense of two pieces clicking together

the ghosts that linger, wispy forms that flutter and stare, they don’t attack but just hover and stare in a disappointment here

the creeks and rattling of chains, muted screams of past lies relived, they missed having a sad soul to torture

every inch of the place is exactly the same yet

off

like every inch of the place is exactly an inch off

it isn’t

but it is

stumbling instead of running

the triumphant return home tainted and tarnished into passing out a centimeter from the finish line

fingernails torn out in the pavement as that last desperate failing push fell short

no conquering victor

the hordes of bandits proved too tough a fight and the intrepid hero is naught but bandaged victim of wars he had no stake in

the missing parts buried in an unmarked grave on some war torn land that will terrify his sleeping mind

left idealistic

returned damaged

more damaged

who can tell really

can you mar a scar and instead make beauty if you layer and layer and layer the unfeeling masses does sensation return

because it makes for a poor set of armor

but for now he relearns the familiarly unfamiliar

no eye contact and muttering to himself as his new tics and old dreams rage

there are no victors in these games we play, just more bloody wounds and less of ourselves to hobble together

until all that is left is all that is left behind

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