You say you made this town and you mean it, raised it from the dust of a long-dead world and gave yourself a flimsy backdrop for everything that you always knew would happen. You can’t remember now if the Felt was even there before you made them a place and gave them a name, and as you reduce one to a fine red pulp you realize you long ago stopped caring. Hewas here, he’s always been here, whispering dark things in your ear when he thinks you won’t notice.

“It wasn’t my Jack,” the kid had said, and there was something in his eyes again, and you’d turned away from the monitor because you knew the inevitable conclusion.

“Draw, Spades,” she had said, and her blood flowed like a blue sky studded with stars. Yours is candy-apple red, like the brains and guts spattered on the floor in front of you. You raise your staff to strike again. You made this town, but you can’t remember why, you can’t remember the alternative. A young boy grasps your hand in the dark, and bright red blood spills between your fingers. The metallic tang of it lingers in the back of your throat as it pools on the ground, sinking into the dust of a long-dead planet. You hold your knife and remember the rich, thick scent of her death, the universe spilling out of her veins.

You’re standing over a young boy, and he reaches out his hand to you in the golden dark. Your arm drips with bright red blood. There’s something in his eyes that makes you want to turn away. You’re not supposed to remember this part. You’re not supposed to remember that his tears are pale red. You’re not supposed to remember the metallic tang of his blood.

hey kid

You hold out your knife and watch the bright red drops of blood drip on the floor. The boys eyes are wild, but there’s something there, a kind of respect, and something else that keeps you from walking away. You’re not supposed to remember the green light playing off his outstretched hand. Candy-apple red blood spills out between his fingers. For a moment you could swear you see it studded with stars.

You slip your staff back into the deck and cross out another Felt. You remember a hand grasping yours in the dark, and you pocket your deck. You made this town because you knew the inevitable conclusion.

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