In the alley I see my old friend Jonny Fruitangelo Dreadwalker, or "Jonny Walker" as we used to call him back in the 840's. He looks the same as ever, tall and lanky with plaid pants held up high with suspenders, and of course the hunch back he'd grown from constantly carrying around that toilet. (and his mother isn't a light-weight either!) He's a sight to see, I'll tell ya, but I'm used to it by now.

"Johnny D! You don't look a day older than whatever!" I say to him as we hug awkwardly.

"Ver... uca?" he says tentatively.

"Yes, it's me, Veruca, although if it were Veronica I would say the same thing, since Veruca is the one you're expecting to meet, and it's just easier that way. Sometimes we do switch places though, so if I were you I wouldn't tell me anything you wouldn't want her to hear, haha."

"I wouldn't keep secrets from either of you!" he says defensively, and I roll my eyes because he doesn't *get* me. Seriously, immortals who say they're old are so disconnected from us immortals who say we're between 18 and 25. But that's another story. Right now we have important matters to discuss.

"Dreadwalker," I say seriously. "Let's cut to the chase, shall we?"

"That is a splendid idea," he says.

"What are you looking for? The key to salvation? Or the key to getting to keep your powers without having to lug your dead mom around in her toilet?"

I stare at him with my piercing cyan eyes, trying to read his mind. Unfortunately I don't have that power yet, but as soon as I level up, that's next on my list. I wonder if he suspects me. I wonder if he can sense the lingering smell of Marcwojo on my mind.

The End

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