I was dying, watching blood and life and self flow out like breath and then… it stopped. No white light, no grand relevation, just a kid in a ratty jacket and muddy boots offering me a hand up. He didn’t say much, never has, just ‘Five grains left’ as if it was supposed to mean something. Which it did, which it does, but I needed Muriel to tell me that so what use was he? Angel or demon, just a ratty punk-ass kid who gets his kicks from keeping folks from dying.
Deathless, not undead or immortal or whatever the hell else you want to call it. Death is on hold, till I use it up. Five grains left in the clock, tick-tock, tick-tock, and I can spend them all in a mad rush into oblivion or horde them for centuries. Tick-tock.
And the wounds? That’s my power you see. That’s the thing that we get for waiting on this side of forever. We pass them on. No need for fangs or claws or magic spells that don’t do shit. No, this is karma, dogma, whatever the hell you want to call ‘payback’s a bitch’. Johnny shot me. Six times even, and when he stood over me to laugh I grabbed his leg and that’s how I found out. Felt the holes in me close up and watched the holes in him open. Pass it on. Like tag, only there ain’t no teenager waiting for him with rings in his ears, and rings on his fingers, and that magic touch that puts those last grains on extra-slow-motion. And it felt good.
So what now? Johhny’s got friends and I’ve got friends and I got a bit of passing on to do. And I’m mighty fond of those five grains right now.
Things to see, people to do. It ain’t nothing but tagbacks left and I aim to pay ’em forward.