The shuffle of angel’s feet
"This time was different."
"I stepped into a dusty man with a rusty sense of right and wrong. He wore leather and linen and carried heavy iron."
"And were there stage coaches?"
I laugh. "There was a stage coach, yes."
"So you had a Wild West adventure."
I grunt. "Yeah. A regular Westworld."
"I liked that series the first season."
I grunt again. Shrug. "It was sleepy."
"Sometimes. So tell me more."
"Sure, but first, when do we stop?"
"Whenever you'd like."
"Does it never get old to you? Living the lives of others? When do we get to live our own?"
He frowns and stares off into the infinite black. "Isn't it all ours? Aren't we living now, and then?"
"No, we're borrowers."
"These people, they don't ask for us. They don't invite us in."
"We're not demons, we don't need an invitation."
"Right, but we don't exactly burn bushes or manifest with a thousand eyes anymore."
He laughs. "The old ways were fun, but that was then. And it is now, depending on perspective. Don't get me started on Time."
"They don't even believe in us anymore."
"Ah. Our brother's best trick might well serve us, too."
I sigh. I can't help but agree.
He continues. "So tell me about this life you lived."
"It was only moments."
"His last, yes?"
I nod. He continues, "Well? Did you have him go out in a blaze of glory?"
"So, you leapt into a cowboy, then, was it?"
I laugh. "A bandit."
"Oh ho! Just like Calgary, eh?"
"Oh, I don't think this one was much for repentance, but I had him do good, in the end."
"So you robbed a stagecoach?"
"Well, that's the thing. It was more of a smiting."
"You smote a stagecoach? Seems like more of a 'leave that to the boss' thing."
I roll my eyes. "Right. Like the boss even cares what we do, Gabe."
"I said not to get me started on this. Don't think like they do, Michael. Time is far from linear. Boss is here, boss is gone, boss is there, boss is everyhere. It's metaphysical and mystical and magical."
"Now you sound like a loony."
"Back to the stagecoach."
"I killed the gang. And the coach drivers."
He nods. "Why'd you kill the drivers?"
"Because of what they were hauling in the passenger compartment."
I pause for dramatic effect. It works. He leans in, gestures impatiently.
I let it linger a few seconds more before whispering, "A coffin."
He rocks back on his heels. "The drivers were familiars."
I smile widely, hoping the everlight glints from my teeth. "Exactly."
"So you leapt into wild west robbers who didn't know they were robbing a vampire being transported, where? Deadwood? Santa Fe? Yuma?"
"Oh," he grimaces. "Not sexy."
"You should've seen the look on her face, though. Right before the flames. Pure comedy gold."
"Well? Was she?"
"I almost didn't notice how pretty she was, but yes. As she reached up and ripped out my host's throat, immediately before the charring and smoke, yeah, she was pretty."
He laughs. "I guess you can say she was very hot."
I sigh, and stare back at the precipice of knowledge, readying myself for a leap into the life of another unsuspecting mortal.