Photograph (Sandcastle 14.02)


I carry this with me.

Every waking moment. Every chilling nightmare. Every occasional pleasant dream. It’s a weight in my pocket, a memory of “I love you” and “Don’t forget.” A memory of “I’ll come for you.”

A memory of all those lies.

I like to think if I could only let it go, I’d be free of this burning hatred, free of the ache left in the chasm carved by loss and betrayal. But I hold onto this crumpled, faded, torn photograph because letting go would make me forget those final memories, and I would lose the most important piece of myself.

It is a physical manifestation of an emotional scar, and I hold it when I miss you, to remind myself I’m a fool for thinking such thoughts. I hold it when I hate you, to remind myself how warm your smile was when you loved me. I hold it to remember when everything else has faded away. I hold it when I need to remind myself I can only move forward from here; there’s no going back to this golden moment trapped in a four-inch-by-six-inch rectangle.

My mind isn’t safe to store memories, but here in my hands, this one can never be erased. It’s a curse, but I carry this with me. Every waking moment. Every chilling nightmare. Every occasional pleasant dream. Because no matter how many tears roll down the glossy surface or curses escape from under my tongue, I can’t let you go, even though I don’t love you, I have forgotten, and you never came for me like you promised.

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I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first two novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series both received the Literary Titan Gold Book Award in 2020.

After working as a freelance writer for a time, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but credited to a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented under the name of a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience when in reality, I had none of those credentials. Just a talent for writing and the time to research topics. Ghost writing is perfectly legal and a VERY common practice.

You won't find that here on my website. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.

If you would like to support my work, check out the Support The Creator page for more information. Thank you for finding my website! 🖤

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