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The Cold Man

“You are human,” says the flat voice. “You’ll give in eventually.”

“But it costs you, doesn’t it?” He gags and spits black, then grins; his teeth are full of blood. “Every minute I hold out costs you.” He doesn’t stutter. Not yet.

Silence, then: “Your price?”

“There’s people that need killing.”

“Name them.”

“No. I’ll do it. I want six bullets, and my life back for long enough to spend them.”

Six things tink on the concrete. One of them is a key.

“I said six.”

“I have no illusions,” says the voice, dry now, “about the target of the last.”