Matthaus was only accompanied by his macabre thoughts as he sent dirt into the abducting wind with a flick of his spade to be carried off into the chilled umbra that was the night. With each pound of dirt he gave to the air, another ton pressed against his heart. His eyes were burning, his hands were shaking, his breath was trembling- but yet he pressed on in silence and isolation in this circular field confined by the entrapping pines of Cook forest.

He was digging downward in the middle of a circle of rounded stones, having almost reached the two foot mark. With every shing of the shovel penetrating the cold soil he recoiled, but his determination forced him forward. His almost soulless eyes let loose a single tear that rolled off of his cheek, disappearing into th-


His spade’s tip stuck into what sounded like a small wooden box. His digging hastened, repeatedly striking the box as his struggled breathing became an echoing panting. He decided to forego the shovel and threw it to the uncaring woods, falling to his knees and scooping out as much of the dampened, thick soil as possible.

As he repeatedly removed armfuls of soil, less and less came to replace it. Inch by inch, a deep-brown stained, decorative, girl’s wood lockbox, about six inches in length and three in width, sat in this ditch before him. His shaking hands moved forward and he grasped it, hardly able to pull it from its position due to his uncontrollable movements.

No longer was he struggling to breathe, but rather, he was now gasping for air for his molten throat between his sobs. Reaching into his pocket- past his revolver holster, he pulled out a small key with the same decorative designs as the lockbox. His hand quivering, he forced it into the lock. Slowly, he turned the key to the right, until an audible click echoed through his mind over and over.

Then, all motion stopped. Matthaus placed the lockbox to his right, pulling his revolver from his holster as he pulled his arm back up. He turned to face it once more, staring at it with nothing but memories of days wasted, hours too short, and what could have been. He raised the gun to his head and pulled back on the hammer. There was one last sob, but he did not grant himself any final words.

The revolver’s powerful roar erupted throughout the woods, sending black birds hidden within the trees to vanish in the shadows of the night. His corpse was forced to his left from the impact, throwing itself into the memorial he had constructed. The wind changed direction immediately, blowing strongly to the East, carrying a drop of blood to the lockbox.

From within, the faint sound of a baby’s cry gave way. A new life, granted by death, to amend for the life that was stolen from it. Never would Eidolon know of the life that could have been, nor would she know of the father that has murdered her mother just before her natural entrance to this world.

The lockbox creeped open, as Eidolon took her first breath of clean oxygen.