On Octavia st., towards the entrance to the 10...

What’s left after the crash. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was a young man when it happened. As everyone else at his age, he thought himself invincible and immortal.
When he flew through the air the wreck of his motorcycle smoking against the crash barrier, he thought that he would give anything not to die. So we slowed down time for him to let him hear our offer. Would he give us his soul if we let him survive?
But he was cautious.
‘My soul?’ he said, ‘who are you?’
‘We can save your life. The price is your soul. When you die.’
‘But how long will that give me?’ he asked.
‘You cannot know that.’
‘Can you make sure that I don’t die in some dumb accident?’
‘We can.’
‘What about illnesses?’
‘We can make sure you don’t die of one.’
‘Old age.’
‘We can stop it from killing you, yes.’
‘But you’ll take my soul.’
‘We will.’
‘Will it be painful?’ he asked.
‘It will.’
‘But only when I die.’
‘And I won’t die in an accident, because of illness or old age?’
‘None of those will kill you.’


He woke in the hospital encased in plaster. All the doctors said it was a miracle that he even survived. He healed over time, except his knee which had been shattered completely. He got a prosthetic knee made which only gave him trouble occasionally, but we were patient.


We watched others and enjoyed old meals while he celebrated life with alcohol and cigarettes. Then at fifty-two a tumour began to grow in his chest. Only we noticed it the first six months. Then he got a scan and they battled the tumour with everything they had. He was in the hospital for two whole years. After some training he learnt to walk again, but we were patient.


He can still walk, barely, and his daughter visits him often. However, we have noticed his face in the mirror after he has taken his daily pills to quench the symptoms of other pills and the age that has crept into his body. We have followed his thoughts on the long lonely nights in his small flat which he more and more seldom cleans. We sharpen our teeth and we are patient.


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