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Watch Every Heart Beat

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Annie sits on the end of George’s bed and stares at the clock. She counts the seconds and times how long each long intake of George’s breath takes. She counts how many times he shifts and shuffles in a minute. The hours still pass slowly.

That’s the problem with being dead, isn’t it? Time. There’s just too much of it. As the second hand slowly eases its way around the circle, she wonders if Mitchell ever felt like this: if time ever gnawed at him until he thought he might tremble apart from the hellish length of it.

Her gaze shifts from the clock to George. Even deep in slumber there is no doubt the life that thrums through him. Sometimes Annie thinks that George is the most alive person she’s ever met. It’s the wolf. The wolf is nature and survival in its purest form. With George, it is restrained behind a veneer of manners and humanity.

She can still feel it.

She placed her hand on his ankle, covered by wads of blankets. George twitches and shivers under the covers, but he settles down soon enough.

Looking back at the clock, she sits back and waits until the morning: the ghost and the beast, waiting for the sun.