(Continues from Between the Lines)
Like a criminal it stalked.
Floating up as I balked,
the dagger balanced on point. Chalked
circles met my eye and they talked
of black magic while I gawked.
Jason, tell me you didn’t hawk
your soul for some astral crosstalk.
In my shock, I may have squawked.
What happened to God’s caulk?
Had it sprung leaks to make you walk
down the demonic crosswalk?
At least I knew why shadows had come to claim his soul. But what had driven my clean-cut, god-fearing crush and former boss to suicide? If my life were a movie, this question would have sent a highlights reel rolling, playing back all the things I’d forgot when I’d crossed over. I waited, but nothing came.
Maybe the eternal projectionist had taken a break. I wasn’t the apple of his eye anymore if I’d ever been. Movement drew my gaze back to the desk and the knife carving words letter by letter into the veneer spelling out ‘Fiona.’
Outstanding, inanimate objects were now providing clues. Since the expensive annoyance was in a giving mood, I wracked my brain for questions. The dagger had a limited palette to write on so yes and no questions would likely net me the best and fastest answers.
I started by confirming the basics. “Jason got into black magic.”
The knife carved the word ‘yes’ into the desk, ripping up Jason’s blotter.
“Before my death?”
Well, well, so Jase had gotten into this afterward. Why? I thought back to our brief encounter in the elevator lobby of this building right before a cyclone had sucked me into hell. For a moment there, he and I had merged, and I’d tasted his grief. It was sharp, much like my edged interlocutor. I couldn’t find a way to phrase my next question as yes or no, so I asked it anyway, sacrificing the rest of the desk to the answer.
“Why did he start playing with magic?”
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