Title: Soothsayer, Chapter 3, Part 1
“No friendship is an accident.” – O. Henry, Heart of the West
It wasn’t the impact of the bullet that knocked me over; it was me trying to move too quickly on the slippery, glass-covered mess of a floor. My shoes were pretty things, but the tread had worn away long ago. The bullet hit my arm, I jerked and slid and wound up flat on my ass, and after that, well…things got a little hazy for a bit.
I’d never been shot before. Beaten until I was nothing but red blood over purple bruises, burned more than once with the business end of a cigarette, slashed with everything from chicken wire to Bowie knives, I was well acquainted with the sight of my own blood. But being shot was novel, and I stared in surprise at the perfectly round hole in my shirt, just above and outside of my elbow, as it slowly changed from white to red. Gravity pulled the blood down, staining my sleeve in pretty patterns like some perverse Rorschach card, and I just stared and ignored the sudden furor around me, people yelling and Phin bellowing like a bull, and I didn’t feel anything at all until long fingers turned my head and Roger’s blurry face swam into focus.