watching the lights go down

other worlds through sunglasses


Rook the Librarian gisho
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fiction: praying for rain
TBC later tonight:



The third time she died was in Los Angeles. It was a minor drug war, but an unusually vicious one, wherein three men with shaved heads and tattoos on their arms pulled out illegal sawed-off shotguns and mowed down four other men with shaved heads and different tatoos on their arms, and she simply happened to be walking along the alleyway, and a bullet rebounded and hit her, right in the hollow of her throat, directly beneath the amulet. she had not seen it coming; and her only thought as the blood began to leak out of her was, I must be losing my touch. She did not think about the object she carried, in a canvas messenger bag slung over her shoulder and wrapped in a batik scarf, although that object was the reason she was there at all.

The mortuary did not know what to do with the body; although she looked like a rich girl, she was carrying no identification, and her wallet held ten carefully folded thousand-dollar bills. Her bag they left in a cabinet, since it was not evidence, and it should have been returned to her family, if she had any. It was a large and busy mortuary. Nobody noticed when the bag went missing, and somehow, nobody noticed when the body did as well. If anyone noticed its absence tehy assumed it had been cremated, following standard procedure for a Jane Doe. The police were more concerned with the victims with shaven heads, the intended targets, than the obviously accidental victim. They forgot, soon enough.

That was the good thing about dying in Los Angeles, at least. All she had to do was lose the files. It was not like the time she had died in the bosom of he family, the first time, and had to dig her way out of the grave with her fingernails, absurdly grateful for once for the old stupid custom of burying a slain warrior's favorite weapons with them. That custom had saved her; the flint knife had let her dig up easily and the bow had let her eat while she tried to find people again, unwilling to return to her own widow. the second time she had drifted witless in the river for a week before washing up on shore, and the pale color of her bloated skin, combined with the braids she chopped off and left in the river, made her unrecgnizable. A few thefts had set her back up for a job at the docks.

But then again, dying at all wasn't good. It meant she was losing her touch.

By the time she had gotten the object in the canvas messenger bag safely to its destination, it was too late for it to be needed, and the people who had employed her to retrieve it for them waited for her with blue faces. The bodies should have begun to rot already; instead they lay there, frozen in attiudes of agonizing pain. Their skins were cold to the touch. It was unsuprising that the deaths had passed unnoticed, as the warehouse had been rented for six months in advance; nobody snooped, which was the other nice thing about dying in LA. Only the stench of bodies would have brought out the neighbors, and there was no stench. When she attempted to move the bodies, she discovered that they were completly stiff, and light as balsa wood. She piled them in a closet to take care of later and began to systematically loot the area. The beings that had been here would not have been sentient enough to take any equipment, and there was no reason to leave it unattended; there were things in LA far more dangerous than gang wars and she could not help but feel disgusted with herself for dying from something so ordinary she had not even bothered to avoid the sound of gunfire, or protect herself somehow, when she dealt with these more-dangerous things so frequently she no longer needed to protect herself.




... perhaps a reader knows where this is going? the author does not.

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