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Ohio

There are two Jacks; the one with the tattoos is Jack Frost. The tattoos were not his idea.

The other one is called Apple Jack, or John Chapman, or Chaplain, or sometimes Appleseed. Appleseed is barefoot, but his soles are tough. He wears a sinner’s sackcloth. He is running.

“Why can’t you understand,” pants Appleseed, “that what you kill on Earth you defile in Heaven?”

Frost Jack lazily draws a fractal on the bark of an oak tree. It explodes from the heartwood; Appleseed dodges splinters.

“Leaves fall,” says Frost Jack. “Water freezes. A beginning demands an end.”

Appleseed runs harder.

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