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There is a sign on the wall that reads, ‘Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae’.

A place where the dead runs to the help of the living – nothing more, nothing less. A connection between two worlds, of light and dark, that allows communication where there might only be silence. A connection that nullifies the claim that the dead tell no tales.

A bullet in a man’s head – already removed by the ME and its calibre determined. Forensics, by now, would have identified the murder weapon.

He won’t have to call them – he already knows the gun is Hers.

Cold sterility. A post-mortem executed with clinical detachment, concluding without room for doubt that the projectile to the skull was the sole injury and the cause of death.

The gun, he is certain, was not fired by Her. Nor was it fired by him, but he feels equally responsible. Clinical detachment only goes so far and so when the procedure is complete, the pretend is also. The body of Thomas Gates is covered and taken away, and he allows himself a moment of despair, anger, guilt, and grief.

The sign on the wall, he reflects, days later, as he speaks to Her on the phone, is not presented in its entirety.

Taceant colloquia effugiat risus hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae.

And it is deafeningly so.

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Author's note:

I. This drabble was written in response to a meme challenge - Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a drabble or short fic with the same first line as one of my stories, and leave it in my comments here. Any fandom, pairing or gen. The first line, therefore, belongs not to me, but to the wonderful Mandy.

II. The difference between the two Latin phrases, known for being displayed in morgues, is slight - the second of the two has the added beginning of 'there is little joy or laughter in a place where the dead runs to the help of the living'. The use of the second, which I personally was accustomed to, is not in any way meant go against the phrase used in the opening line, which was taken from another author's fiction for the purpose of a meme. No offense intended. It was merely a contrast as a means of relation and conclusion.

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