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Do this for me. In your mind, do not let the demon with the twisted back exist. Imagine that you never saw it in the sky, that it didn’t burn down your city. Forget the trying times since the end of the zombie war. Forget the famine, forget the stench, forget that everyone you ever wanted to know is dead. Forget that we lost.

Concentrate on the slow beat, and the rhythm that goes with it. Focus on the scratchy snare, the pounding drums, the rolling of the bones on skin. Let it fill the empty space in your chest.

When you leave here tomorrow, let the rhythm be your guide. Everyone here will be following it. Imagine the heft of the gun in your hand, the weight of the baton hanging from your waist. Feel the jolt of each bullet shot, sense it thudding against bone. Feel the crunch of the baton against brittle skulls, feel it riding up your arm.

Know them. You may be gone tomorrow. Live today.