n here, one of the men said, stumbling into the darkness of the alley. The other one, hood drawn up, hugged a plastic grocery bag to his chest. They squat down on the concrete behind the dumpster. Black trash bags piled, oozing. Stinking. Spoon. Syringe. Light. Light. Lighter. I’m going first, one of them says. Like hell, the other. The flash of metal. A splash of blood. Patter of feet like gunfire and silence.
He lay, curled up and burning like an autumn leaf, trying to hold it all in. There wasn’t going to be any final cinema reel of his life. He was just going to sputter out, like he began. Then, the sound of a bellows, breathing. A large shape from the shadows. Something reached for him. Like a lifeline cast out from a sinking ship. He grabbed hold. Warm. A long limb. Soft. Furred like Grandma’s shag carpet. Looking up into sad, sad eyes.
The shape watched the man as he died. It remembered the laughter of children like bells tripping up and down the street. You kids! yelling the old shopkeeper. But they weren’t kids anymore. They weren’t invisible. They could never stop seeing once they saw.
Remember when you were a minipop, and you saw that film, you know, the one you loved that never had a sequel? Well, let's say it did. And it was just like you imagined it, only a little bit worse.