The children watched as the mis-shapen fingers ambled forth and prised open the lid.
Like stagnant, noxious air, the words filled their lungs,
grew hooks and barbed themselves in their throats.
Swallow, breathe, forget.
Insidious curse preyed upon the quartet.
Moving effortlessly between their faces,
anointing each with shame.
Were you alone?
Did you fear?
Dark wraith suckled at the rivers flowing from each child's heart,
grew strong and crawled into the opening;
extinguishing what remained within.
I did not know you.
I cannot smell you.
I long to hear you.
Cast aside, the children left.
And so began their life.