I’m trying to get it off my hand, flick, flick, flicking my hand to get it off but it curls up my arm like an ornate tattoo, a black stencil thing etching around and up my arm like a lace glove and the black lines leave spidery trails of blood behind that hold the pattern for a nano moment then bead and smear until my arm’s a red mess-

And Mikey, he’s screaming, his eyes are bleeding out. His gums are bleeding, he’s vomiting blood like he’s got ebola, clawing at his face with his right hand and smashing his fist into his crotch and as the blood and froth from his mouth turn pink I’m thinking:

Holy fuck, man, the Pop Rocks and Coke really caught up with him, bastard’s a goner, man.

And Mikey, he don’t like it. He really don’t.

And my eyes are fat blisters but Christ Jesus I can see: pajama man’s clothes fall away in vertical strips. His wings are like a fucking bat’s; he’s not carrying a scythe, his arm is a fucking scythe and he whistles and a pale horse comes.

Death falls upon us.

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