Bob knows where others are.

About twenty minutes later, we set out. It took that long to capture Reverend Tommy, who did not volunteer to go with us. He was trying to creep over the rubble at the edge of the piece of Chicago and when he saw us coming back, he began hollering and yelling, things like Demon Spawn and the like, and a couple of times as he fled from us, he stopped and began praying but like Bob had predicted, it didn’t work here, and once as he tried to get away we’d all frozen and dropped to the ground and tried to hide because something big – BIG—and black and dark had drifted overhead, way way overhead but still really big; it blotted out a big chunk of the sky.

So we were dragging Reverend Tommy behind us, unconscious and tied with bits of Bob’s clothes because I’d appeared here, naked, like always. Reverend Tommy’s clothes had come with him. I wondered if I’d done that, and if I’d done that, I wondered why I couldn’t bring my clothes with me.

I say “we” were dragging him but it was mostly Bob. I don’t think revenants get tired like we do. I guess when you exist on lifeforce things like muscle fatigue may not mean that much.

We walked and walked and dragged him and dragged him. Every now and then I’d look to see if he was awake, and he never was, and if he was still breathing, and he always was. I regretted having to hit him with that rock, but he wouldn’t give up. Bob thought maybe I hit him a little hard, and I maybe did. He had it coming.

I thought we had walked about a dozen miles and said so. I thought we had walked a couple of hours, and said so. Bob laughed.

“Distances and time don’t mean the same thing here, Rachel. You know that.”

I did know that. I didn’t answer right away. Then I said “So how long has it been?”

Bob answered: “It’s been no specific length of time. Hell doesn’t operate on your terms. Time passes, or doesn’t pass, depending on if it needs to pass.” He looked at me.

“Time is one way in your world, Rachel, because of entropy. Entropy is decay and chaos, and as things decay and move into chaos, you say, and I used to say, that time is passing. Time is a measure of how much things have decayed.”

He swept a hand around the landscape.

“Hell is chaos and entropy. It is nothing but chaos and entropy.”

“I thought it was pain and torture.”

“That is an aspect of chaos and entropy.”

I was getting bored.

“Bob,” I asked him, “How come you’re nice to me?”

“You mean how come I don’t try to take your life force?”

”Yeah, that too. But how come you don’t try to turn me into the Devil or eat me or something.”

“I don’t work for Hell.”

“You’ve said that before. So how come you’re here?”

He squinted at me. “I’m here the same reason I think you got here.”

He let that sit in silence for a minute as we walked on, Reverend Tommy’s head making scratching sounds in the dirt and gravel.

“By mistake,” he said, finally. “I’m here by mistake. And I think that’s how you got here, too.”

I looked at him and said “Why didn’t you ever tell me that before?”

“Because I wasn’t very sure about it. Now, I’m actually pretty sure about it. When I first met you, I hadn’t met anyone like you before. Now, I’ve met quite a few like you. Lots and lots like you.” He considered. “Well, not lots and lots, but a lot like you.”

“Like me?”


“I’m a zombie, for real?”

Bob paused and dropped Reverend Tommy’s legs. He stood facing me and picked up my hands.

“Look, Rachel. You have to have noticed. Haven’t you? How long have you been… noticing things?”

I thought back.

“Here? Or in life?”


“Here, I don’t know. In life, about,”I counted “10 days. Give or take. A lot’s happened,” I lamely finished. Who doesn’t know how long they’ve been remembering things?

“You spent a long long time with me when we first met, or so you told me. I don’t know how to keep track of time anymore; I never leave here. But you said it was a long time.”

“It was. It felt like months.”

“And then the second time, you said it was … weeks, was that the word?”


“Tell me what you’ve noticed.”

I looked around. He shook my hands, then, and held them up. “Not around here. About YOU. Tell me what you’ve noticed about YOU.”

I thought back to that first day… could that have been only 10 days ago, in life? It felt like years, but a good deal of that time had been spent in Hell; far less had been spent in life with Brigitte and Doc.


“I noticed …” I looked at my hands. “I noticed…” I looked down at my bare legs. I put my hands to my face and smelt them.

“Say it,” he said.

“I noticed that I’m built of different parts.”

“Exactly,” said Bob. “I noticed that the first time I ever met you. But I didn’t know what you were or how you got here or anything about you.”

“And now?”

“Now, I still don’t know all of that. But I know there’s others like you, more arriving all the time. Arriving and leaving.”

“Arriving and leaving?”

“Like you do. They appear, naked, and they disappear. And when they’re here, they…” He trailed off. I pulled my hands away from my eyes and looked to see why he’d stopped. Bob was bent down and looking into Reverend Tommy’s eyes, pulling one open and then the next.

“They what?”

Bob looked up at me, and said, a bit distractedly, “You’ll see. I’m taking you to them. You’re going to meet your kin.”

Then, he leaned down and held his mouth over Reverend Tommy’s glazed eyes, and inhaled. I saw a glow. I saw wisps of luminescent steam start to form over Reverend Tommy’s eyes.

“What are you doing?” I asked. I sounded more angry than I was. I was startled.

“I need some of his lifeforce. It’s been a long time.”

“You shouldn’t do that!”

He inhaled and sucked in the wisps and looked at me. “I need to.”

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t like Reverend Tommy and I did like Bob but I felt that it was wrong for him to just be sucking out Reverend Tommy’s lifeforce like that, without even being asked to or anything, and while Reverend Tommy couldn’t defend himself. I was all torn, and then I wasn’t torn at all because suddenly Reverend Tommy reared his head back and howled.

“Stop that, demon spawn!” he cursed. He was trying to close his eyes, which Bob was holding open and pulling wisps of steam from. “Stop! Ooooooohhhhh!” he moaned as a long wisp pulled out and I saw his body go rigid.

I just stood there.

Bob pinned him down and looked at me.

“Rachel, help me,” he said. “I need the energy. He’s fighting me too much.”

I just stood there.

“Foul beast,” Reverend Tommy gasped. “You shall not get any more from me.” He turned towards me “Do not lay a hand on me, whorething,” he muttered.

I just stood there, a little more.

“Rachel, I need the energy or I’m not going to be able to take you to meet the others!” Bob yelled.

Reverend Tommy was squirming now, trying to free himself.

“Bob, I don’t know. It doesn’t seem right,” I said.

“This is HELL,” Bob hollered. “How do you think I survive? I’m the only friend you’ve got here!”

I knew that wasn’t true. But he was the only friend I had right here. I could never count on Ivanka showing up.

Reverend Tommy was wrestling now, looking very spry for someone who had just been knocked out and only awakened by a revenant eating his soul.

“I will see you stricken down, demon spawn,” he said.

“Why do you keep calling me that?” Bob snarled at him, and lunged forward and pinned down Reverend Tommy and pushed him backwards onto the ground. Bob’s bony hands clawed at him as Reverend Tommy squinched his eyes shut and flung his head this way and that.

I sat down and started crying. I’m embarrassed by that but only a little bit. I might be made of parts of someone, but I’m just a woman, a girl, really, and I didn’t want to be standing in Hell and watching my friend the Revenant try to suck someone’s life out of him, even if that someone was a terrible person who’d kidnapped me. I began sobbing and I put my head in my hands and cried and cried and cried.

Which was a bad move because it distracted Bob for a second and Reverend Tommy was able to roll over and get up to his knees, and he pulled his hands out of the make-shift knot we’d put together, and he turned around with a rock in his hands and smashed it into Bob’s face and Bob dropped to the ground and lay there motionless.

Then Reverend Tommy turned to me with the rock still in his hands.

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