And there he is, just standing there looking lost. They just dumped him in the middle of Victory Square. Probably hoping someone or some cop would find him and take him home. And now I’ve found him. He looks so scared.
I’ve done some terrible things in this job, but …
I mean, if I had to kill every kid who believed in monsters …
It strikes me. It can’t be the kid’s belief that’s making hell puke down on earth. I never discussed it with the Wizard, but I think kids are supposed to believe. They’re supposed to believe in monsters and villains, because their innocence creates a balance of belief in heroes. Heroes who will stop the bad monsters just in the nick of time. Something else must be causing the disturbance.
I never figured myself as much of a hero, but I ain’t no kid killer either. That rationale is enough for me.
Abbott showed his badge to two dirty street kids who had run into the cemetery to catch the light show, one male, one female.
“Stop. Federal agent,” Abbott yelled, muffled by his shirt sleeve, “you can’t be in here. Poison. Very dangerous.”
They paid him no mind, and continued running into the thick of the mist.
“Wait,” Abbott said, running after them, trying not to breathe in the blue mist, “this blue gas is some kind of poison! Maybe some form of methane gas! You have to stop!”
The young man knelt down on one knee and bowed his head reverently when he’d come upon the dead, blue army.
“My liege,” he said to one of the skeletons, whose ethereal mist had appeared to form a crown above his skull. It too had a shield with a cross it.
Abbott finally caught up to them, and saw their attitude toward his hallucinations.
“Don’t tell me,” he said, “you can see them, too.”
“Leave this place,” the young man said, raising himself to his feet, “this is no place for mortals.”
With a gesture of his arm, the young man sent Abbott tumbling through the cemetery, knocking into tombstones, until he was through the iron gates, out on the street.
Abbott noticed Val Williams running up to him.
“Don’t go in there,” Abbott said, voice straining, sore from his tumble, “poison gas. Make you hallucinate. See crazy things. Lots of pretty colors.”
“Your gun,” Williams demanded, “there’s only one way to stop this thing now.”
ONE MORE SMOKE FOR THE ROAD
9 years ago