Frost

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Market of the Macabre

He resists the voices, even as they wrap around him. He fights but is soon overwhelmed. There are simply too many of them. He feels them clawing at his mind, dragging at his psyche, pulling him down into unknown depths — and suddenly he is very afraid.

His head tilts forward, and streamers of smoke pour from his nostrils, black as soot, back into the red box. They carry with them a single wisp of white smoke, a wisp that appears to undulate away for just a moment. But more black fingers of smoke wrap around it, pulling it in, holding it tight, and soon all the smoke is once again contained within the box.

His body falls limp, coated in frost, half draped across the table. His eyes are empty white orbs, colorless and dead.

Two figures stand at the door to the room. One goes to the table and replaces the lid to the box, which closes with a quiet click. The other fishes the obscene coin from the dead man’s pocket.

The two men exchange a glance, and the smoke merchants leave without ever saying a word.

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