A devil among men

His name is Jamie Nunn, she said.

The name meant nothing to him. He walked among men without ever knowing their names. Men with names were men who sought glory for themselves, and were thereby useless.

Do you want to know why I want him dead?

Does it matter? he said. I guess he hurt you in some way.

He did. Do you need more?

Not if you don’t want to tell me. It’s enough.

Should I describe him? I should, I suppose, though I only saw him once.

It would help.

She turned silent but did not turn away. The sheets atop them were tangled, and smelled of lye soap and want. The candlelight wove embrangled shapes between her eyes and mouth.

He is a short man, but stout. Bespectacled, and clean-shaven. In a doorway, he appears young and fanciful, like a librarian or a clerk. Close, there are scars on his cheeks and devilry in his eyes….

Never mind, he said. That’s enough.

He held her long after the candle was extinguished.

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