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The scratch of pen upon paper and the ticking of a clock were all that she could hear. She sat with her head in her hands, trying not to listen, but she couldn’t block it out.

She snapped. “Will you please give it a rest?”

The scratching stopped. He paused with his pen in the air and looked at her.

“I haven’t finished,” he said softly. “There’s still so much to write and so little time.”

She pushed her chair back with a loud scrape and paced around the room. “What’s the point? Do you think anyone is going to read it? It’s not going to save us.”

He sat almost completely still and looked at her. “I know that. But this… this is all I have to leave behind. A document, to prove that I was here. To prove that I was, at all. Maybe nobody will read it, but it helps to know that I’ve left something.”

She stopped and rested her head against the wall. Behind her, the scratching began again.

She took a deep breath and turned around.

“Can you write something for me?”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: Some of his words are taken from a song by Assemblage 23 by the same name as this story.)

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