Relief (I)

No damn good – he should have known calling Tern was a waste of time. He backed away from the mirror, studying himself. Expensive suit, ruined. And he was looking a little fatigued, tired around the eyes. He’d aged over the past twenty minutes or so, the flesh under his eyes going puffy and bagged, the eyes themselves gone bloodshot. There were wisps of grey in his hair and some patches where he was going bald without having noticed. He raised his hands and examined them: the right was fine, but the left was hooked and spotted. His mouth was dry and gummy, his teeth hurt. An ache in his back, a throb in his gut like the tumors were slipping back in.

Malus forced himself to stand straight and closed his eyes. He focused and gave his pain to his sister, Emily. It was something that had become easier with time – a few years ago, he felt spasms of guilt though the bitch had it coming. He sent it all to her, special delivery to the nursing home where she’d probably enjoyed some relief this past hour.

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