The phone line crackled, spewing static like grinding pebbles into his ear.  Wincing, Collin held the phone away for a moment, then pressed it close again to hear his friend’s words.

Please.  Promise me you’ll look after her?

“Why me?” he said into the phone.  “Don’t you have relatives?”  He hated the words as he said them.  The phone went silent for a long moment, and he worried the connection had been lost.

I do, but… it has to be you.  I don’t trust anyone else.

“But—“  He took a steadying breath.  “I don’t think she’d be safe with me; remember what I am, John.”  I’m a killer, he thought, but kept it to himself.  John had always tried to convince him otherwise, but the proof was in the pudding.  He didn’t belong, not with mortals like John’s daughter.

He felt ill.

Listen.  I don’t know how long I’ve got until they come for me.  Just, please?  Please do this for me.  John’s voice was pleading, almost begging, and it was the one thing Collin couldn’t stand.

“Sure thing,” he said with a sinking feeling, and wondered what he’d gotten himself into.

A moment later, he asked, “Does she have any clue about what’s going on?” He spoke as gently as he felt able, deciding for the moment to humor his friend and pretend he hadn’t just made a promise he might live to regret.  The telephone line gave off a faint hum.

Collin frowned as the silence stretched out again.

I’ll tell her.  I promise; if I have enough time, she’ll know.  Everything.

* * *

(This piece is part of an ongoing serial story. You can catch up on the plot via the Serials page. If you liked this work, please consider purchasing one of my other stories, or some of my music for your collection. 🙂 )

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