CHAPTER 1

John Martin was lying face down on the cold, wet street, in a dark alley, next to a dumpster.

It started raining just a few minutes ago.

He didn’t care.

He just laid there.

In this moment, he just wanted to be. Every other moment of his life, it seemed like he was always doing something. And look where that got him.

His clothes were soaked. He was lying in a puddle of dumpster filth, mixed with his own blood.

Fuck it. I’m just gonna lie here. It almost feels relaxing.

He felt like he could go to sleep, right there, lying in the alley. A part of him wanted to.

But then he saw something.

Moonlight glinted off of something in the darkness of the alley. He stared until he saw it again - a tiny sparkle of light, from something that might be beautiful. He was curious. Curious enough to pull himself up, which hurt like hell. He winced as he rose, grabbing his side with both hands. He wondered if ribs were cracked.

He made his way over to the spot where he saw the flash of light, and he squinted his eyes to see what was there. Just contracting the muscles in his forehead and face to squint his eyes caused lots of pain. He worried some more about possible injuries, and then returned his focus to the glinting object. What was it?

He leaned in closer and saw that it was a ring. He picked it up, but couldn't make out much, because it was pitch black in the alley, so he held it up hoping to catch more moonlight on it. It was beautiful. It was silver, or maybe platinum, and it was perfectly smooth.

There was something alluring about the ring. He stopped thinking, and just sat there for half a minute, with the ring in his hand, looking at it.

Then he slipped the ring onto his right index finger, got up, and started walking home. After he took a few steps, he stopped and looked down at the ring. He thought he'd felt something.

He knew he wasn't in his right mind right now, but he couldn’t shake the feeling. What if it did happen?

He felt ridiculous to even be considering this, but it felt like the ring had moved, on it’s own. To be more accurate, it felt like the ring somehow got smaller. It felt like it had resized itself, so it now fit perfectly on his finger.

John was too tired, and too emotional, and in too much pain, and too everything else to continue this debate, so he started walking again, toward the subway, so he could get home.

 

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