X-MAS

Eventually, depressingly, I concluded that the Iron Mask had been successful, yet again, in driving an invasive enemy from the eroding shores of Britain.
How did I know this?
Well, they stopped hiring me, for a time that is, and at this exact moment I was still in it.
Years, perhaps even a decade, had passed since the last time I let someone get the better of me. The last real piece of sphincter diluting excitement to come my way. The memory of waking up covered in blood and piss still prickled at my misguided sense of immortality. And, unfortunately, whoever was behind those brilliantly sadistic games had ceased to keep in touch. Yes, I felt abandoned. But I knew, deep within the mausoleum of my conscious, that it was not over.
Had he successfully summoned the Elohim?
I thought not. I guessed that if he had we would all be fucked, wouldn’t we?
Wouldn’t we…?
Maybe he didn’t know how to complete the summoning?
Oh fuck it, who am I kidding? I just missed all the attention. Now I pretty much did nothing but pluck feathers. Shit loads of crazy was happening over in the States though. Wars that were that weren’t. Presidents getting shot and, apparently, they beat them to the moon…ahem!
I sat in the dark. I always sit in the dark. Those like me do. I picked up the crude photocopy, the same one I had been looking at for going on ten years, sighed and then let it swish to the littered floor. If ever I needed to…needed to kill someone, I mean a human, then this was it.
Chicken bones scattered around the floor of my abode, I had made quite the collection of sharpened femurs. Some things don’t change.
A creak outside alerted me to the presence of an unexpected visitor. Maybe God had been listening to my thoughts?
I gathered my finest fashioned chicken dagger and exited through the makeshift side door. I wanted to take my guest by surprise, just like I assumed they wanted.
No moon hung in the sky on this night and I lived far away from anything that resembled a street light, so yeah, it was fucking dark. That was why I didn’t see him, or at least that is what I tell myself.
Something grey flashed across me and rested against my bearded throat. A huge hand clamped down on my forehead and held me fast against a rock-like chest.
‘You have gotten soft, Game’
I laughed as I sent my elbow into his liver and spun away, chicken daggers ready. Then snapped them and let the fucking stupid things drop in to the grass between us. I knew he was right, but I never admitted it. Never would either.
Grim nursed his stomach and smiled widely, I could see that.
I managed a small smile too. Because Grim meant work and work meant killing and money and…everything. My smile grew wider and wider. So did his. Wordlessly, we walked back into my overgrown cabin.
Grim flicked on the light as he closed the door.
I guess it was time to step back into the light. I don’t know what day it was but to me it felt like fucking Christmas.

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