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He furiously rubs his eyes as he rushes from the scene towards the police vehicle, the blue flashing lights making him dizzy.

He leans against the car, shaking his head and sucking in deep breaths. But—But—

He sits in the chair, head in his hands while he tells the psych everything about the scene.

There was a man—Oh God—And he—I—

He remembers a woman with ice sheen eyes and wild white hair flying everywhere. She towered over him, and he made a choice ... . He wasn't stupid.

~*~

She stares at a gold band filled with the symbolism of the past only the dead can remember. Droplets drizzle from the sky, washing away some of the blood.

Yes, only the dead can remember the transgressions of the living.

And she remembers screams.

~*~

"No, I think it's her."

"Who was she?"

He lifts his eyes, haunted by the experience of the unexplained. He didn't really know who she was.

Only what she was.

"Suture," he says. "She was death."

~*~

She watches the officers briefly, bustling across the murder scene with forced jokes and laughter to make the image more digestible.

A body hangs suspended from the slowly spinning ceiling fan. Someone finally has the decency to stop its grisly turn. Brightly colored cords lace through the victim's body, sewn into his skin along with keepsakes—stuffed teddy bears, a little girl's big flower sunglasses.

His atrocities are embedded into his skin.

Laced through with the utmost precision, moving through his body and suspending him from the fan, eyes wide open and mouth sewn shut with gray shoelaces.

"Well, looks like we found the kidnapper," a detective murmurs, glancing around the room.

"And another vigilante."

One police officer knows more.

~*~

"Oh God, it was awful. It was—" He just sees the man spinning and spinning, bare toes dragging in crooked circles of blood.

"Take it slow."

"They actually got her. Again. I—" He shakes his head. "I tried to warn them."

~*~

She's perched atop crates stacked in the storage area of the warehouse.

"Freeze!"

All guns fix on her, ready, shaking.

Her pale lips curve into a smile as she lifts stitched hands in the air. "Frozen."

They tell her to move slowly. She complies. They tell her to lay face down on the ground. She obeys. They tell her her rights. She remains quiet.

The officer knows this is what she wants.

She follows corruption and misery.

She's death, and she's quite thirsty.

~*~

"They just wouldn't listen to me." He shakes his head, tightly shutting his eyes against the new nightmares invading his personal reality.

"So you're saying she returned for a purpose."

"No, she returned to kill more good men."

~*~

Her cold eyes remain fixed on the metal bars of her prison, the dim lights encapsulating her in a false halo. But hers burns with a brighter, truer light.

That same light illuminates all the officers passing by, joking, drinking, discovering, investigating.

She still smells the stale scent of the past, a lingering moment when she sat in this cell and waited.

So she waits.

And watches.

~*~

"They-They actually were going to keep her and question her. They thought she was some fake. Bought off." His gaze flicks across the floor.

"Are you—"

"But she was just waiting. I mean, she doesn't even really look ... human at all." His eyes abruptly turn to the psych. "If you saw her, you'd understand that she just doesn't look human. She's something else. I mean, they call her Suture, and we just assumed she was a man, but then she pops up, and she starts killing everyone. She saw what she wanted, and she took it, and I couldn't stop her, and it's just ... . Everyone thought Sam and Twitch knew something, but no one asked 'cause those guys deal with the weird shit. My life isn't supposed to have this and—" He glances down then up again. "I laid down my gun and just let her go past. I didn't want to die—"

~*~

She sits in the uncomfortable cubicle of the interrogation room, the officers standing while she remains seated and cuffed in the chair.

"You can't go 'round and take the law into your own hands," one detective spouts as if this were an old black and white movie.

But she knows that only the living have laws and boundaries and stipulations.

Only the dead and the crazed roam free.

"Did he kill one of your children?"

"He killed thousands of my children. He stole them and defiled them and tossed them aside."

Her eyes scan the mirrored glass, and the people on the other side shudder.

"Who helped you do it? Did you hire a hit man?"

She lifts her cuffed hands, spreading her sutured fingers apart on the table. "Just my own two hands." With a flick of her right wrist, the cuff slides off, and she produces a tapered needle from the depths of the bandages covering her skin. "And this."

They leap back, pressing themselves against the wall as officers burst into the room, guns loaded and pointed.

One officer quivers when she inclines her head back, and he rapidly blinks.

"He murdered our children."

He blinks again, feeling the chemicals in his eyes reacting to memories and synapses.

He doesn't hear her stand so much as whisper across the floor, her sword in hand. It didn't shimmer like steel but glistened from the blood staining the ivory white curve.

He blinks, and stares up at her, already feeling his legs buckling, his body prepared to make an intelligent decision.

"The dead demand tribute."

The gun clatters to the floor, and he watches the curved sword sweeping in an arc—

Jerking awake, he struggles to breathe, his body bucking out of bed, feeling the phantom pain of limbs rendered apart. His chest aches, and he clutches it.

She haunts his dreams now, slipping in and out of the bendable reality contained therein.

He rubs his eyes and stands, sitting on the edge of the bed.

He tells the psych about the dreams now.

But he doesn't tell the psych that sometimes, she offers him the bone blade.

Sometimes, he wields it.

Because sometimes ...

Only the dead can understand tragedy.