Soul

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Dad

"Ryan!" Warner tried to reach for his brother, but it was as if there was a barrier between them. His hands stopped moving a few feet away, and he couldn't touch the younger man, couldn't take that terrible, heart-wrenching pain off his face. "Ryan, stop, I'm right here! I'm right here! That's not me, okay? Ryan!" But it did no good. Tears were pouring out of Ryan's eyes, falling on the carpet, on the body, on the table, mixing with the ashes, as he screamed for his brother.

"Please," Warner heard the distraught man plead quietly, "Please, Warner, I can't do this alone."

"I'm right here," Warner whispered, but Ryan once more gave no indication that he'd heard. "Please, just look at me."

"He can't." The voice was deep and familiar, and Warner turned, shock painting his features.

"Dad?" The man standing behind him smiled, and Warner almost collapsed from sheer happiness. "Dad, you're here!"

"It's not important I'm here. What's important that you're here, Warner."

Warner's brow furrowed. "What?"

Dad gestured over Warner's shoulder, and he glanced behind him, sorrow flooding him again at the sight of Ryan huddled on the floor next to the body, holding it's hand in his, face drained of all color and marked with tearstains. "He can't see you, Warner. Do you want to know why?"

Warner did want to know. He wanted to know why exactly he was invisible, he wanted to know why that body on the floor was a reflection of him, and he wanted to know why he was having conversation with a dead man. "Of course I want to know."

"Are you sure?" Exasperation joined the potent jumble of emotions that Warner had been subjected to over the past few minutes.

"Yes, I'm sure!"

Dad sighed. "I'm not quite sure how to put this delicately, but, Warner, son... you're dead."

Well, maybe he hadn't wanted to know.

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