“Did you hear Henry?”
The grin of the young boy nearly split his face in two.
“Remember Crazy Murdoch? Ms. Emmi said his house on Dead Man's Hill came back to life! I wasn't even sure if I was sleeping in class or not, but I know that's what she told us. She says his chimney smoke is blacker than ever!”
“That lunatic baker? Didn't he bake a pie and mistake the strawberries for his shoes?”
“Yeah, and he gave it to the mayor! Oh man the look on his face.”
“You wan' ta see if she was lying huh?”
“Uhm, yeah. You in?”
They stood behind a stack of whiskey barrels, glancing back and forth at each other. Each pair of eyes like damp marbles under the moonlight, and in the fragmentary deep of their young minds they cautiously reasoned to themselves. Henry's eyes seemed to bulge, a sure sign he was foaming inside with dubious contentions.
“We're going to the house, and I’m going whether you're coming or not. So are you coming?”
“Al-Alfonse, I don't know,” His forehead began to moist with sweat, “What if he's turned inta' some sorta mutant killer? What if all this time hes a been plotting his 'ideous schemins? I heard all about it on the internet TV.”
“Henry what stupid shows have you been watching that told you that?”
“The usual, quitely informatative ones on the Dr. Vinny Ridder Saucenstern's Incredible Late Night Paranormal Show Hour for the Suspiciously Paranoid. Ever seen The White House Mutant Propagation? Or The Alien Cadaver Mind Conspiracy? Scariest things I ever saw! They... are... here...”
“Wow how long did it seriously take you to remember all that? Didja carry cards around for three weeks? Henry, no wonder you didn't pass fifth grade. Mrs. Jenkins must have been A CADAVER WOOOOO!!”
“ALFO SHHH! What if there's one around here hm hmmm?!”
“Oh please just give me a break please. You better quit watching that junk Hen' or next you're gonna think I'm a mutant... unless...”
“Unless this green skin under my arm pit isn’t fungus but-”
“GROSS! You disgust me Alfonse!”
Alfonse chuckled “And you frustrate me period, watching those ridiculous shows. If you listen to idiots all day, you eventually begin to reason like one it's only obvious. Anyways, all this time I thought Crazy Murdoch was dead that old kook. Wasn't that guy like nine feet tall? Plus we all know why he went insane.”
“Because the last cake he ever made was so good, his face fell off. That'd make anyone go insane instantly. It's simply the pure truth.”
Henry shuddered “Disgusting! Are you freakin' serious?”
“Of course I’m serious, would I lie to my good mate?”
“Wow. Just... so you really think I would huh? Huh! After all this time. Hmm.”
“I don’t know, that’s what scares me. I’ve known you all my life and still, every now and then you get some awful streak in you. Makes you... wild... like some kinda...”
“Say it. Go on. Say it.”
“Some kinda... no, I refuse! You know what you become! Can't catch me in that one.”
“Whatever. So what are you coming or not?
“Uggh, yeah I guess. We gotta stop by Mommas to get a shovel tho, I ain’t goin' in there unarmed!”
“Deal, but we gotta hurry up daylights almost out.”
They walked a couple miles down an set of old roads used in the dry-times as smuggling routes, largely infamous for a shootout that had left fourteen dead. Fireflies buzzed and bounced over the calm swamp waters, darting across the tributaries like flaming boulders being launched by an invisible army. Alfonse and Henry were an odd pair, but nearly inseparable since being adopted one after another by the same family. Growing up they knew they weren't siblings, they were just too different. Alfonse, a stretched pasty redhead with blue eyes and pale skin like a roll of toilet paper, and Henry a rounded dark shape with a beard like black coconut shavings who looked more like a Bon-Bon than a teenager. And now in the prime of lives, their first big adventure together began to unravel. It was exciting, both for Henry who was a force of reckoning kept in control by a sphere of absolute timidity, and Alfonse who had no inclination to stay for dinner; particularly tonight when the call of rumors, pointing to an insane bakers home resurrected by unknown means was hollering loud and clear his name.
Tonight’s journey in his mind was deliciously tangible.
They rounded a Y-junction, carved around a Live Oak that had fallen three months prior, and came to the pointed driveway of their home. It was an oddly shaped three story shotgun house, each floor stacked together one another like half chewed bars of white chocolate stuck on a steep grass hill. Thin curtains of cream and violet swayed in the thick Louisiana heat, and out of each window poured the smell of Chicken Creole and Smothered Pork Chops. The warm tropical winds carried the scents directly into Henry's nostrils, and he stopped suddenly, as if he had turned to stone. His nostrils flared, and a very big smile spread across his face. He was glowing with expectation, he saw the bowls of pork chops and spicy chicken smeared with tomatoes, popping with bouquet of onions, garlic and jalapenos with frosted bottles of Yoohoo. But Alfonse was in a hurry and glared uninterestedly at Henry.
“Oh man oh man oh man! Mommas cookin' us goods tonight! Alfonse...please! Oh please Alfonse just one taste!”
Henry rubbed the entire round of his stomach with both hands, and lifted his head high breathing deep the smells of butter and freshly cracked pepper. By the way his eyes seemed to roll back in his head, you would have almost thought he was being carried away by the smells, his very spirit being lifted into the arms of suppertime.
“C'mon Alfonse! Chops! Chicken! The butter warming my tummy! It's torture!”
“Henry if the sun goes down, that's it. What if this is our only chance, what if we may be the last people on earth to really see the Baker for who... and possibly what he is.”
“But Aaaaalfonnnse! I NEED IT! Just one...very...little...bowl. It's all I ask. Be a friend, we are friends aren't we?”
“Hey, I need you to focus champsky. Get your shovel, and lets go.”
He huffed and swung his arms in defeat, “Ima get back and it's gonna be gone, all gone! The hot chicken and chops ain’t gonna be singin' to me no mo'!”
“You're gonna get your shovel, and deal with it. Now come on you ape-crutch!”
“Fine, have it your way besty.”
“Yeah, that's right.”
His massive frame jiggled to the shack, and throwing open the door he grabbed the largest shovel he could see and slammed it shut. Hunger drove him near to anger, but not even his voracious appetite set ablaze from his mothers cooking could make him angry at Alfonse. He was his brother, his street-smart disciplinarian, his leader, his own blood in every possible capacity.
“I'm hungry too but Mommas' food just has to wait. Our mission is too important. Now tell Momma we'll be home late.”
“You tell her...”
“Fine I will. Hey Momma! Momma, me and Henry are gonna be home late tonight, but we'll be safe. I got Henry with me and hes got a shovel!”
“But yous gonna miss dinna' sweetie. At least take some with.”
Henry's face lit up.
“Nah Momma we can't! Keep it warm if you can 'til we get back. Love ya!”
And then his face quickly smudged back into a frown again.
“After tonight Henry... Me and you are gonna be legends around the block! THE KIDS WHO MET THE BAKER... AND LIVED!!”
“Yeah but listen to this!” Henry’s bowels churned and growled.
“What do you got in there a damn diesel truck?! What you been eating?”
“Exactly that, I ain’t eaten all day! My stomach is crying!”
“Sounds more like its dying to me.”
“Hmm, yeah Alfonse thanks. Always tryin' to ebify me.”
“Yeah, you're welcome lip-tip hows that? Now come on ain’t too much sun left for us.”
- - -
“BAAARK AT THE MOON!” a voice cried.
“Who the heck is that?!” asked Alfonse.
It screamed like a banshee again, “BARK AT THE MOON! AWHOOO AWHOOO HOO!”
“It's either that drunk guy from IHOP or... that other kid.”
“Yeah, I means Dogknife.”
Dogknife... Sometimes you just gotta wonder. If it wasn't for his education people still would have thought he was feral, and because of his swath of nappy hair some still did. It was like someone glued a warehouse full of Jerry-curl wigs to his scalp, and over time they just melded with his skin and started reproducing. And his collection of knives, and that belt of dog teeth he always wore around school. It gave people creeps, especially the teachers, and everyone always asked him just where he found them all. He'd dance around on the subject saying he'd hunt dogs every Wednesday with his homemade knives, after he had has his rib-eye fix, bragging he was doing animal control a favor. I'm not entirely sure how many people actually believed him, but it made time go by. But it was rather strange how Dogknife came to know Henry. It was almost like Dogknife revered Henry just because of how big he was. There was instant respect, and even tho Dogknife was the crazy outcast he'd always come running to Henry when things got bad, and Henry would always have that little piece of snickers bar to brighten his day. But Dogknife wasn't too keen on friendship, at least with humans, and you could say there was only mutual respect flowing between the two. In his mind a knife wouldn't ditch you, so the worst that could happen is you'd just lose it and end up having to use the closest sharp stick.
“Ho, Henry. Where ya goin Henry? And Alfonse. Where ya guys goin'?”
“Dead Mans Hill. What are yous doin' out so late?”
“Hm, good place to hunt.” Dogknife itched his scalp with a nine inch bowie knife “Don't you feel it in the air Henry?” Dogknife beat his chest “It's a hunters night Henry! Look at that moon! I’m getting me at least three dogs tonight HOOO! AWHOO!”
Alfonse looked absolutely disgusted.
“You mean you actually kill dogs?”
“Of course I kill them. It's the way of things.” He ran his grimy fingers along the edge of his knife, gauging the quality of his sharpening with fascination, “They run, I chase. Sometimes they fight, but I win. And in the end I take their canines, proof I came back alive. And I’ve come back alive all fifty-three times. BARK AT THE MOON!!”
Dogknife leaped on a tree and literally just slinked up it's branches, bolting into the treetops with glimmering blade in hand. It was ridiculous. Alfonse and Henry just looked on confused, like someone had just slapped them with a bag of hot meatballs.
“That's the most weirdest freaking kid I ever seen.”
“That's the weirdest kid who probably ever lived I think. Who carries around a knife and just randomly kills dogs in the middle of the night?”
“Honestly... I don't know. But i'm glad he's the only one we know about.”
“Is it wrong Alfo, that I kinda feels bad for him?”
“Nah. I think if most people saw him, they'd also feel kinda bad I think.” Alfonse buttoned his long sleeve, “That or they'd treat him like trash, kinda like everyone who don't talk or look or act a certain way.”
- - -
The origin title of the infamous Dead Mans Hill was as numerous as the cedar trees. In the circles of the elderly, it was the site of an old civil war fort and famous mound of execution, where more then fifty-seven soldiers were hung as traitors. They’d even creak about in their wheelchairs, popping in some heart pills and telling on how they seen the ghosts cutting the ropes. In the blanket forts and tree houses, the kids often said there was a murderer by the name of Goodboy Gloosey, who after every autumn equinox would choose his victims simply by leaving a peanut butter sandwich on a old stump. He also left a glass of milk and three dozen cookies, tho the reason behind this not even the kids dared to question. And he'd simply wait for the moment, when whoever was passing by noticed the sandwich, and the milk and the cookies. They were always allowed to take one bite before he got 'em they’d say, just so it'd at least be fair they died tasting something sweet. No one knows the method, the technique of how Gloosey got his boys, but they were all sure he'd drag em real slow up that hill. That why grass don't grow there, there was just too much blood in the soil. Still most folks just called it what it was. This was the other group who cared nothing for imagination or storytelling when the fires began to glow real bright, and the kids would pop out their favorite juice cups and fill 'em with watermelon Koolaid, and call themselves men while singing the theme song to Crocodile Dundee.
But Henry and Alfonse had no time for reading legends. They were for making them, and in their minds they saw themselves talk of the town, the elite duo who conquered the doomed hill unscathed by the nape of their necks. They were walking high on an imaginary wave of glory, unperturbed by other world events, for they would soon BE the event.
At least they thought as much.
Alfonse had about thirty cockroaches in his socks, and Henry was being tormented mentally, for the overflowing bowls of creole just would not stop floating around in his mind. It was like standing in the rain while hoping to get dry. The more he saw the glistening golden bowls, sparkling as if each piece of pork and chicken were sprinkled with a diamond shaker, the more his mouth flamed with food passion. Of course the thirteen pound shovel wasn't helping much either, and trudging through thick grass avoiding whipping reeds was making him angry, and an angry drooling bull with a shovel wasn't a gracious sight.
After an hour they came to the base of the hill, tired, sore, hurting and hungry. Their mission was almost over, but now staring to the top of the smooth mound, a thousand miles of nightmare lay ahead. It was true what they said about the house, it had indeed come back to life. Soft yellow lantern light filled the interior, and the silhouette of rich black smoke etched itself into the glow of the full moon. So close to their reward of timeless glory, they stood paralyzed, gripped by unknown fears of the worst possible kind. Even Alfonse, who before had steeled his own body with an impenetrable iron screen of will, was trembling.
Was it true what they had been saying all along? Was this baker truly insane, even possessed? Murderous? And was that Elvis they could hear playing? Seriously, who even listened to that guy anymore? A dozen conspiracies of old welled up in each of them, now becoming more true to life than the house that squatted a mere two-hundred feet away. Henry's grip became so tight around the shovel the wood began to pop. If anyone looked more ready and prepared for death it was Henry. He just gazed at the house with eyes of inhuman determination, anticipating the slightest creak of that old wooden door, ready to cleave his way through an army of evil if possible to protect his mate. And yes he'd have done this with that shovel, are you kidding me?
“What now Alfonse?”
“Y-you're the one with the shovel, you lead.”
“Alfonse ... if this shovel was made outta' candy, Ida done eaten it. Stay close.”
The pair tried their best to make way quietly up the hill; mimicking the stalking cat who’s back feet would follow in place of the front after testing the degree of sound the patch of earth would make, providing the least detectable amount of sound. They failed mind you but tried their best nonetheless, constantly fighting against the fear and the unknown, thoughts of inhuman shapes and a fight for their very lives. The sound of Elvis music got even louder, and they could hear the sound of pots and pans crashing about, as if whoever was inside was engaging in culinary warfare.
“You know, it's not that I don't like Elvis, it's just these songs I’m hearing are terrible.”
Henry screamed a whisper “Would you shut up Alfonse! It's a front, a distract. He can obvusly read our minds!”
“Here we go again.”
“Wait... Alfonse, smell that?”
They paused in the black shade of a bent shadow, sniffing the air.
“Yeah, smells like... hmm blueberries! This doesn't smell like murder, it smells like STRUDELS!”
“And CAKE!! C'mon Alfo we gotta see this!”
They rushed towards the rear window and took nervous glances inside. From what they could see in the openings of the curtains, the interior wasn't particularly dirty nor clean, it just looked like a regular old house. No blood all over, parts of animals or human heads dangling over the windows, just a few quaint paintings of the swamp, and a couple old photographs of a happily married couple on the overhang of the fireplace. The bare wooden walls of the large shack were painted over with bronze-ochre floral designs, running from the baseboards to the top of the ceiling, creating an almost living semi-organic illusion.
“Well I honestly don't even know what to think now Henry. This doesn't look like a lunatics house, just looks regular to me.”
“I don't see the cake tho or the strudels.”
“Nah nah they are in there, my nose says so!”
Henry’s grip on the shovel softened. He looked at Alfonse, and then looked at the door, a long stare detached from any normal thought patterns. He smelled the cake, there just wasn’t any denying that, and he lifted his hand and knocked on the door.
“Henry! Are you insane?!”
“No Alfonse, I’m scared up ta my neck fat, but I’m just too hungry. I needs whatever is inside that house!”
“Henry I could almost feel sorry for you ya mongrel.”
“Alfonse I just has ta fill my tummies!”
The knob rattled, and the small window curtain drew aside and then quickly fell. The door slowly creaked open and the fumes of pastries spewed outwards, filling the dimly lit porch with such a heavenly aroma Henry dropped the shovel and almost fainted. It was no mutant hand, no reanimated alien cadaver, but the lean silhouette of a seven foot man. He inched forward, and sinews all over his body began snapping like thousand year old rope. A network of deep wrinkles carved their way around his sagging face, and his faint gray eyes, which at one point in his life must have been a shade of blue, peered oddly at the terrified children standing before him. But there was an unmistakable power in those cold orbs, emanating some force that rendered the children unable to look away, like they were searching, querying, every hidden thought. It was as if his eyes saw through them, peering into their very souls, and the enjoyment of seeing such innocent terror before him made his heart cry with laughter.
“You two lost?” he said. His voice was like a violin; viciously poignant and soothing in its sweet resonance, but pervaded with a lifetime of anguish, “Would you like to come in? No doubt you've smelled my latest work. You're friend there looks like hes about to die.”
“We uhm, uhm uh....” Henry was shaking so hard from the cold, you could have taped a bowl to his waist and mixed pancakes.
“I'm Alfonse, Alfonse Mathis pleasure to meet you. And this here is my brother Henry,” he said nervously, and stretched his pasty arm out.
The man veiled by the doorway shadow then stretched his huge hand out and grabbed Alfonses', almost engulfing the whole arm.
“Murdoch” he said, “Murdoch Dedmon.”
“Dedmon?” Alfonse turned to Henry aglow with excitement “So that's how the true legend started! It's not Deadman's Hill, its Ded-mon's Hill hahaha awesome!”
The man let out a partial chuckle and opened the door, “Well come on in, wouldn’t want you two getting The Fever.”
The living room was surprisingly small considering the massive size of the man, and save for the van sized lazy boy, appeared very comfortable for an old swamp home. An monstrous alligator head was mounted above the door, coupled with a racoon’s head to its left and another to its right. Duck feathers hung over the blades of a broken fan, a fan that probably hadn’t had the pleasure of spinning in at least forty years. An old TV flickered in the corner airing reruns of Matlock.
“Take a seat wherever you'd like.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“Something to drink? I got these little bottles of Yoohoo if you want.”
“Yoohoos?!” Henry almost screamed, “Yes please!”
“Comin' right up.”
He disappeared behind an old swing door, leaving Jules and Henry to contemplate alone the next few minutes.
“So what do you think he's doing in there Alfonse?”
“I don't know, maybe he's changing his skin!”
“ALFO! You idiot what if he's listenins? We could already be dead.”
“Henry, you're an idiot for watching that stuff. How many times do I got to tell you all that junk is lies?”
“Dessie Bentura says its real.”
“He's an idiot too. Anyways, this Murdoch guy doesn’t look all too creepy to me, hes just way tall. I mean did you see his neck, it's like a freakin turtle!”
Murdoch walked in with an old table and set it down in front of Henry and Alfonse. There was four bottles of Yoohoo in an ice bucket, and a stack of fresh cinnamon strudels about a foot high, still very warm dripping with vanilla icing and bits of mint bark. They were filled with blueberries and apples, darkened to perfection. And then there was the cake, a miniature mountain covered with leathery chocolate frosting, toffee pudding and a million sprinkles. As black and intense as it was, there seemed to be a glow coming from within, a radiance of pure heavenly taste. Henry’s' eyes almost fell out of his head.
“Alfonse... am I dreamins... am I still alive?”
“Yes Henry you're still alive, we are still on earth and we haven't been abducted if that's what you're thinking so relax.”
“No but, look. Are you seeins what I’m seeins? Look at it! LOOK AT IT ALFO!”
Murdoch cut the cake into equal shares and set them before Henry and Alfonse on old green plates. He brought silverware out of a stout oak drawer, antique but beautifully polished, and laid it on soft maroon cloth.
“Have at it,” he said.
“Thank yas Mr. Dedmon!” Henry bounced in his seat, “Oh man oh mans!”
Henry reached out with his plump hands and snatched a fork and a knife, and stabbed into the cake, piercing its six layers like a roasted hog. He lifted up the first forkful, lips quivering at the mere thought of the chocolate, and shoved it into his mouth. Tears dripped down his puffy cheeks, and Alfonse looked on with such a distastefully apathetic guise his face almost twisted into a knot.
“Oh brother, yes?”
“Alfo I-I can't feel half my body.”
“And? I mean you did just cry after eating a piece of cake, that was a bit outrageous. What do you want me to do about it?”
Henry turned slowly, “Feed me... more Alfonse, my arms aren't... working anymore.”
“I ain’t feeding you anything. It's not my fault you got cake-drunk ya slug-rug. You feed your own self boy!”
“But Aaalllll! Pleeeeeeesey please?”
“Pleeeeeesey please please!”
“Nope. Toooo bad.”
Murdoch took a seat across from them and sat down, sending a flurry of dust out of the cushions.
“So tell me, what are you really doing way out here?”
“Well Mr. Dedmon,” said Alfonse, gnawing his lip “Alot of people got weirded out when they heard the lights to your house came back on. My teacher thought it was ghosts or something, and Henry here thought it was mutants!”
“Alien cadavers...” He whispered.
Murdoch almost smiled “Mutants? And Ghosts you say? Got a few of them burning inside, just not the kind from those damn books. I mean real ones,” he looked deeply disturbed and his voice softened, “No wonder society is so scr- Sorry, go on please.”
“Anyways, so Henry and I came down to check it for ourselves. Besides, this was more important than eating dinner with my ma'.”
“Was it now?” Murdoch slung a hard look of disappointment at him.
“Yeah, it's not everyday we get to adventure in hopes of finding something crazy.”
He set his plate down, “Alfonse, how would you feel if you came back to your house tonight and your mother had died? Would it have been worth it coming here, when you could have eaten the last meal with your mother together?”
Alfonse and Henry were stopped dead in their tracks, frozen by the utter weight of the question.
“No, it wouldn't have been worth it.”
The air grew cold, and an almost physical pressure came over the small group with such power it became difficult to breathe. Murdoch adjusted himself in the seat, and it was certain something was causing him great discomfort.
“I was like you two long ago.” he started, staring at the floor, “Thriving for the thrill of adventure, no matter how exciting it seemed at first glance, only to find the experience riddled with fear and terror causing even greater celebration. My mother would say Murdy I'm goin to town, would you like to come? I'd say no thanks Ma me and charlie are diggin' holes for pirate treasure! If I had only known the real treasure was taking those rides into town with her, i'da said bye to charlie. It was too late when she died; too late to take her out for lunch, too late to watch a baseball game even if she wasn't interested, too late to say goodnight when she kissed me, too late to say sorry for all the wrong I did her.”
Henry and Alfonse sat weeping quietly, and the aroma of the pastries had long gone sour. Lambert lifted an old photograph off the shelf, and he himself began to cry.
“I left this house four years ago without a peep. I owned a bakery in town, and I promise you I made the best pies you ever had. I've loved it since I was a kid. And then I had gotten a phone call from my wife; my daughter Taylor was diagnosed with cancer, and doctors told us she wasn't gonna make it three months. I didn't even tell my barber, just packed up and drove off. Something dawned on me that moment, a sort of voice that was telling me remember everything you thought you loved? Yeah, none of that matters anymore. I was that father who was never there for her. I prized my cupcakes over her smile, cherished the cakes more than the moments when she'd walk into my study with tear filled eyes and cry on my shoulder, cause a boy had stolen her heart only to shatter it along an old steel highway.”
He lifted each photograph, looking into each moment merely captured on film but lost in his own heart forever. The tears dried as they always do, and he wiped his nose with a sweater and threw it behind the sofa.
“Maybe you wonder why I’m telling you all this. Don't ever take whats most important for granted. One day you'll lose it instantly, and you'll live with it that loss forever, I promise you this. God help you you only relive those last moments in nightmares. I made her smile as she suffered and lost all her hair, but deep down I knew they were all empty. Everyday she lost more and more of what made her my little Taylor. The last day I saw her alive I had to keep persuading myself this creature was my daughter, my own flesh. The doctors had underestimated the nature of the cancer, its precision violence in the body of a young girl. She didn't last five weeks.”
“Mr. Dedmon,” Henry asked, “Why dids you come back?”
Murdoch's eyes went dark, black even, as if a shroud were laid over woven from his agony.
“I came back the same reason dogs come back to their own puke; the wicked enjoy the taste and fill of their failures. I came back to enjoy all the times I heard her laughter as she danced over the flowers, only to drive away and stare back at a cold mirage in the rear-view mirror, and you can't imagine how bad those times hurt. Same reason I started baking again; I loved it, it was my passion, my joy, my happiness. The smell, the flour dust, the colors and textures, every moment beating, stirring, folding, shaking, twisting, kneading. It was all for nothing. I had a family; a lovely daughter and strong wife, and threw them away for my pursuit. And now I’m all alone, baking in hopes that I find something that tells me I did something right as a father, even tho when the sweet aroma dies down and the dust settles I know I won't find it. You can't find what wasn't there to begin with, like looking for pearls in a fishbowl. But I keep baking, I keep hoping, and yet I know nothing I do can ever change it,” Murdoch began laughing “I've lost so much I don't even know what's worth living for anymore. Everything you find in life just ends up blowing away like newspaper.”
In it's grandest expression, nothing compared after the relapse of a mans inner pain spilled into the present reality. Alfonse and Henry just stared at the floor; Their eyes were sore, and both had forgotten the cake and strudel pile. Every previous goal they came to achieve was thoroughly forsaken; the glory, the praise, the written legends engraved on every school desk and park tree absolutely brought to nothing. They came to test the rumors of ghosts and monsters, but instead they each received a lesson on their own glamorously gilded selfishness. Lambert Murdoch, who came back from who knows where to bake his fill of long rotten memories, continued to swell his home with wonderful aromas hoping to bring back a feeling of purpose in perpetual misery. And yet in his own delusions, he truly proved his insanity by trying to bring the best of his past to life, as if the next cake would bring his hopes to fruition.
And there was Alfonse and Henry; indeed quite a noble course of action they had taken, desiring to be known among such illustrious gatherings of young teens, swimming in pools of irrelevant hormones. But they had lost sight of the more important matters of family.
You can't set family like you can set bones, for if a bone breaks you merely slip it back in place and endure the pain but a family, once a family body is broken more often than naught the entire appendage is amputated.
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