One For the Angels, Part 5 (Conversations With Dead People Challenge)

“I’m ready to retire,” he said, his tone conversational, as if I wasn’t coughing my lungs out. He lit a cigarette. I wiped the slobber from my mouth. My hand came away red. “Had to find a replacement first. Someone who could stand this job. I gotta say, I had my doubts about you, that night on the bridge. But you pulled yourself together and proved your mettle.”

I just stared at him as he took another leisurely drag. I couldn’t draw breath. Fuck this. I started to crawl toward the door. This was a goddamn hospital, wasn’t it? Where the hell were all the doctors?

“I’m proud of you, kid. You’re gonna make a great agent.”

I collapsed on the ground. “Who… who are you?” I croaked.

He came over to crouch beside me. “You know who I am. I mean, who I used to be. That title’s yours now.” He patted me on the back. Then he held up his cigarette and considered it. “It’s not like you didn’t get a heads up,” he said, leaning down to brandish the cigarette in my face. “I told you these things would kill you.”


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