Memento Mori

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When he was a child, he was overweight and weak. He was close to his mother but endured a difficult relationship with his father, a restauranteur that was hardly ever home.
During the seventh grade, he began experiencing blackouts, being often hospitalized. The episodes intensified, and attributed to him getting held back in school. His passion was literature. His favorite books were non-fiction, the macabre, and the unexplained. He began wandering through the city's cemeteries with friends. His interest in death intensified when he watched the funeral procession of an 11-year-old girl. He placed his hand on the girl's body. Her skin was cold and firm. It fascinated him. He ran home to his mother.
"I want to save her," he told her.
His first job was a mortuary attendant. When no one else was around, he slept on a cot behind the embalming room. One evening while alone, he had clambered into the coffin of a deceased young girl. He embraced her and held her in his arms. He gave her a kiss on her waxy forehead.
He continued the unusual behavior. Eventually an employee caught him nuzzling up to a deceased child. He was escorted off the premises by the police and arrested for desecration of a corpse.
After a psychiatric evaluation, it was determined that he suffered from a form of paranoid schizophrenia. He was sentenced to coercive medical measures, and monitored in a psychiatric clinic.
After two years of ceaseless monitoring, his good behavior hindered his release. Following his departure from the clinic, he worked part-time as a cemetery worker, planting seeds and flowers and removing litter from walking paths. He would watch tour guides teach people about notable historical figures, jazz funerals and the tombs' architectural style.

He wanted to give tours. He knew all about the cemeteries and their residents.

He got a guide job with The Darkness Walking Tour Company. He explains the cemeteries' storied past to curious, drunk tourists. The tour departs nightly at 8 p.m. and lasts for ninety minutes. When the ninety minutes is over, he's able to do the unthinkable, under the cover of darkness.
He exhumes the corpses of recently deceased children, whom he finds in the obituaries. He drys the corpses in a combination of salt and baking soda, and caches the bodies in a vacant tomb. Once the bodies are dry, he brings them home and dresses them. He wraps the limbs in old hosiery and toilet paper and stuffs the body with polyester and rags to form fullness and shape. He speaks to them. He sings to them. He watches cartoons and plays with them. He believes that in death, they're abandoned, but if he accepts them as his own, they're not forgotten, and his love keeps them alive.
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