He’s a black man. Not dark as in brown-skinned, but black-souled. I can always tell just how they’ll taste with one little peek. Green makes for a crisp experience. Red makes me seethe with unexplained fury. Blue makes me smile and think of Sarah. The colors mean many things, and not many are pure black. When they are, my instructions from high up are damned clear: No redemption. No recycling. No anything. Just poof.
Black souls aren’t good for a fucking thing aside from deletion.
I follow him out the back screen door of the café, a paper folded under his arm, a To-Go cup full of Margaret’s Joe. Black coffee.
I slip my sleeve back from my watch. Five minutes and completely on schedule.
It’ll be a damned good favor to the world to take this one out. Cleaning up, balancing things out, but I tell you, when it’s an innocent…it chokes me up still.
My fault really; I got a little bit of heart left. It’s supposed to not be there anymore but sometimes, I can hear it beating. Maybe one or two thumps. Maybe ten. My guts tighten when I have to cut that thread on a kid. Or a sweet old lady. Death isn’t supposed to care about these things, but I do.
The dark man skirts around my car without as much as a glance. I smirk. The evil ones never can see very well. My car is special. She killed me a long time ago. I can’t explain how or why in five minutes.
The dark man pauses at the corner to light a cigarette. I want one as well. I can smell his smoke and his coffee and I miss life. It pisses me off. I want to take him early.
A bus passes by, just like the script. The dark man crosses the street, and I follow. I glance back at the car. Her headlights are dim but getting brighter. An orange jack-o-lantern gaze. She’s alive but doesn’t breathe. I stopped asking why and just take the when.
Three minutes. He’s boring me. I wish I’d catch him doing one last wicked thing, so it wouldn’t feel like wasting time.
He strolls into the alley. He’ll probably start seeing me here in a few. People always react uniquely because I look different to each one. He stops midway and leans back against the brick. Convinced he’s still alone, he lets out a rapid-fire raunchy fart. I laugh, and then he looks right at me.
A spot spreads on the front of his grey slacks and a trickle of his urine pools beneath him. I reach for him, wrinkling my nose. He no longer smells like good coffee and cigarettes. He smells like the dying. His heart struggles against tightened arteries. A vein pulses in his forehead and his eyes bulge.
The black form inside him comes loose and wisps around his body sliding down the wall, the coffee overturned in urine, the cigarette extinguished.
Yellow and brown. I stare at the colors and miss his getaway.
The misty shape whirls, unaffected by the alley-breeze like me. He’s in my reach, but my hand closes around nothing.
A couple strolls by the alley’s exit. The girl is pregnant. The dark form flows seamlessly into her distended belly.
A pigeon is startled from sleep by my howl.