As his consciousness faded, his mind swimming in the coughing dustbowl that had erupted as all his feelings and all his thoughts turned to ash, he began to recollect a familiar sense of dread.
The creeping hand of death rose from a cavernous paradise, where spider lilies sprung up from the hollows of skeletons, filling in the empty spaces and attempting to beautify the horror of decay.
He heard the soft moaning of souls, the begotten and forgotten, and if he held his breath he could almost recognize the voices.
It wasn't long before he realized he knew the voices. The voice. Severed by time and by torture and by the twisted toll of karmic intervention.
The creeping hand of death was outstretched, and he saw its slender little fingers grappling at bare air, joints locking while the bone white arm was overtaken by muscle spasms.
He saw it.
On that night, dangling on the end of Rize's drooping fingertips, a clown was laughing.
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