Up close he was a sick old man, blaming his bad health on the sacrifice he had made to live in the darkness of his own shade, to protect the innocent from even worse bastards than himself.
He blamed the innocent foot of man for everything and if he had hurt you, it was your fault. You stepped on the rattler. If you had just listened to all the warning fear he had produced in his life.
He loved rattles, the rattling of ice cubes in glasses, at a Morticians’ convention.
The rattle of a chain gun.
The death rattle scared him a little tiny bit, but only when he imagined it in his own lungs.
He imagined it in others as collateral static. It was a radio station. He was a regular on the air.
It was a a plate of fractions that caught in the throat.
Death was a plate of fractions that caught in his throat.