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Les Morts Petits are overworked and understaffed, which is why lately, during orgasm, there are so many of his ghosts around.

Rio’s tired of them. They crowd the room and crouch on the dressers, staring and blue and always naked. Their faces are dumb. He can see them even when (as one might expect) he closes his eyes.

They only last a few seconds, but it’s enough to remind him: so many children not chosen, so many choices unmade. Unfinished business. Rio puts in calls to the Département des Âmes and gets hold music that is, appropriately, not haunting at all.