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He was silent as he inhaled from his cigarette. He said he'd quit years ago, when she was still there. Oh well. He stared out the window, towards the city. It was always black skies, and nothing smiled. He shook his head as it started to snow. More than two feet just yesterday, and still more to come. He put his cigarette out on the window, letting the crushed bud sit on the window sill. Today was one of those days.

He got ready for work. Shaving the five o’clock shadow off, and combing back his hair. He looked at himself in the mirror before raising his hand up, his middle finger flipping off the reflection, the reflection flipping him off in return. He grabbed his suitcase before heading out of his house, and into the cold streets.

Sitting at his cubicle, he could only hear silence. His keyboard’s clicking echoed through the big building, only to be sucked up by silence at each pause. Work was better with them there. But they didn't show up today. The clock rang at eight for him to go home. He flipped the light switch on the way out, and locked up for the night.

He dug through his fridge for food. Tomorrow he would have to go shopping. He couldn't fish anymore, the lake was covered up and froze too deep this winter. He walked back to his living room, and ate a fruit cocktail for dinner, the can and fruit lukewarm.

As he pulled on his nightshirt he noticed the clock was frozen at 12:46. It needed batteries. He slid off his work shoes as he got on his creaking bed, tossing them away. He lay in bed, and drifted off into a dreamless, cold slumber.

He was silent as he inhaled from his cigarette. He said he'd quit years ago, when she was still there. Oh well. He stared out the window, towards the city. It was always black skies, and nothing smiled. He shook his head as it started to snow. More than six feet just yesterday, and still more to come. He put his cigarette out on the window, letting the crushed bud sit on the window sill beside his previous one. Today was one of those days. He got ready for the day. Touching up his shave before combing back his hair. He looked at himself in the mirror, before raising his hand up, his middle finger flipping off the reflection, and the reflection flipping him off in return. He grabbed his shopping bags and wallet before walking to the store.

It wasn't busy today. He grabbed some food for the week, the cart wheel creaking in the silence as he walked through the dead aisles. He didn't touch the seafood though when he walked past. He was sure it was bad, maybe so was all the other meats. He always planned on going vegetarian one day.

He put everything away once he returned home. Cooking some canned soup he ate in the living room. It was silence. He looked around the living room, noticing dust and cobwebs. He'd clean tomorrow, it was the weekend after all. Putting away his bowl, he retired for the night.

As he pulled on his nightshirt he noticed the clock was frozen at 12:46. It needed batteries, still. He slid off his shoes as he got on his creaking bed, tossing them away. They hit against his work shoes. He laid in bed, and drifted off into a dreamless, cold slumber, swearing he heard the rumbling of planes outside.

He was silent as he inhaled from his cigarette. He said he'd quit years ago, when she was still there. Oh well. He stared out the window, towards the city. It was always black skies, and nothing smiled. He shook his head as it started to snow. More than twelve feet just yesterday, and still more to come... He put his cigarette out on the window, letting the crushed bud sit on the window sill. Today was one of those days, again.

He started to dust away the grime and dirt that morning. The dryer sheet he was using as a duster was black by the end of the hour. He needed to clean more often, really. The spiders he found he caught in jars, and put the dead ones in a little shoebox. They would be missed. The alive ones he fed, watching them respin their webs. It was nice watching something else get through the dearie life everyone had. He sighed as he peered into the shoebox, a fine layer of browns and blacks peppering the bottom of the box.

He pulled on his nightshirt he noticed the clock was frozen at 12:46. It needed batteries.. Still. He tripped slightly over the four shoes near the door, falling onto the old bed, a layer of dust puffing up. He lay in bed, and drifted off into a dreamless, cold slumber, and the flurries settling on the window made it an artificial night.

He was silent as he inhaled from his cigarette. He said he'd quit years ago, when she was still there, alive. Oh well. He stared out the window, towards his backyard. It was always black skies, and nothing smiled. He shook his head as it started to snow. More then fifteen feet just yesterday, and still more to come. He put his cigarette out on the window, letting the crushed bud sit on the window sill beside his previous ones. Today, today was different.

He got ready for the day. Combing back his hair. He looked at himself in the mirror, and stared hard. The steely grey eyes of a weathered old man stared back into themselves. He only ended the staredown by the lights cutting off, and slowly walked out to work once more. It took a bit, but he soon dug his way through the snow to work, the soft powdery walls of his tunnel a constant reminder. Pulling at the door, he found it stuck. He sighed, putting his face on the cold glass, seeing a fuzzy figure at the greeting desk. He grabbed the nearest rock, using all his strength to bash it into the glass doors. The long snowfall had weakened the glass, making it give in on the fifth blow.

He waved to the woman at the desk, her long red hair a curtain as she rested on her hand, head down at her papers.

Sitting at his cubicle, he could only hear silence. His keyboard’s clicking echoed through the big building, only to be sucked up by silence at each pause. Work was better with them there. But they didn't show up today. The clock rang at eight for him to go home. He flipped the light switch on the way out, and locked up for the night.

He went home early that day. It was still snowing hard, and he found his door wide open. His house was freezing. Looking in the jars he found the spiders died, and put them in the shoebox. He sighed, taking boards off the back door. Going outside he looked up at the screen roof above the backyard. It was for the vines that used to grow up, now it kept this area safe from the snow. He knelt in front of three stones, and began to cry.

He was silent as he inhaled from his cigarette. He said he'd quit years ago, when she was still there, alive. Oh well. He stared out the window, towards where he assumed the backyard would be.. It was always black skies, and nothing smiled, but all he could see was ashen grey. He shook his head as he looked away from the window. He didn't know how high the snow was anymore and he didn't care. He put his cigarette out on the window, letting the crushed bud sit on the window sill beside his previous ones. It was cold outside, too cold. He remembered them. His wife's smile, their children's laughter. He just wanted them to be happy.... He blinked back tears, feeling a stinging itch in eyes. It was only two days, and it was already kicking in. He wished he could go back, tell himself what he was making wasn't snow, but ash... horrible, horrible ash. His breathing was getting harder, eyes now feeling as if they were melted on the inside. He itched at his neck, and soon suffocated.

This was the final days of Dr. Wilson Riess, the man who made a toxin only lethal when introduced to tears.