Verse VI: Out of Habit

It is less of a resurrection spell and more of a request to a soul to ask it to change its forward trajectory. The pair of them stand in Jeff’s present place of residence.

“Now,” Laertes continues through gritted teeth. “Can you please pour the holy water as soon as I tell you to this time?”

The previous two efforts saw Cairo dropping the ball, causing Jeff to come back to life with just a fraction of his mind still outside the mortal coil—but a fraction of infinity is still infinity, so Jeff decided to just kill himself again in order to shut up all the angels and demons in his head screaming out directions and suggestions.

“This… just makes me nervous,” Cairo admits, examining the crystal vial once more. “Handling the blessing of a god who is not my own.”

“That is why it has to be you,” Laertes elaborates. “We spoke to every one of your holy men and made absolutely sure that this procedure is a benign aspect to your soul. It is naught but a professional service.”

Without further ado, Laertes whips the parchment out of his coat, as well as the knife, and slices open his palm to draw a circle with his blood around the lifeless Jeff MacLean—-who had slit his wrist the night before. Blasphemous Latin is spoken. The neighbors grumble through the paper thin walls, mistaking the male voice for the lease holder and deepening their impression of Jeff as being a miscreant disturber of the peace; when terrible howls of the dead waft through dimensional vortex, they all think that he has his speakers turned up to an insensitive volume, is watching some movie, perhaps [Constantine].

“Pour the holy water!”

Finally, Cairo cleanses Jeff’s suicide wounds properly and MacLean is set back into the third dimension without anomaly.

Blinking, I sit up. “Please help me kill myself,” I say again, not seeing the two other men in the room with me. “Please let me die.”

Laertes snaps his fingers from behind me. “Hey! Buddy, you back with us now?”

Fluorescent fuschia bile rises from my belly and spews out of my mouth, mingling with the blood all around me to make Rorshach patterns no one would ever be able to describe in coherent nouns.

A glance at Cairo. “Oi. I think we were a little late.”

“He’s….” It had been half a decade since Cairo saw the phenomenon that had marked the first time he witnessed Meteor falling to the earth. “He’s glowing.”

“What? You’re full of shit.” There seemed to him to be nothing luminous about the particulars of my body; on the contrary, I seemed to him to be pale pf flesh, devoid of saturation.

Resignation claws at Cairo’s sensibilities. It was never the primary focus because that would be stupid, but his own world was torn asunder by those who could see the glow and those who could not… because there was a hidden third demographic who would lie for reasons unknown, say that they saw it when they did not, or vice versa. The conflict never was addressed with clarity and so Cairo is only tentative as he marks Laertes as a potential traitor.

The smell of marijuana drifts up from somewhere. Jeff exhales a broken breath from the tears he shan’t weep. “I hate marijuana.”


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