• “Shut up! Do you want to wake the whole town?”
    It's a cold, darker voice. I don't recognize it. The hand is cold, even through the glove, but I feel the warmth of blood on it. I'm trying to scream but it's coming out as a sort of hushed buzzing against the glove. The grip tightens over my mouth.
    “Be quiet, you're not in danger anymore. If you stop screaming, I'll release you.” I regain my sanity and nod, unable to verbally comply, and stop my cries. The mysterious figure slowly slips it's hand away from my face. I slump away and turn to face them, but I can hardly see them in the dark. The only thing I can see is a small bit of pale flesh beneath what looks to be the brim of a hat, and a black gloved hand extended my way. “Let me help you up, Saxon.”
    Hesitantly, I take the hand, and it helps me to my feet. I can see the figure a bit more clearly now, but hardly. He's no taller than I am. He lifts the hand opposite of the one I grabbed into the air and forms a ball of small dim light out of nothing, which illuminates the alley just enough to see considerably better.
    He's an odd looking man; a hat with golden studs on the lower back of it sits atop his head, spiky white hair poking out around the edges. This leads me to believe he is aged, but his voice doesn't sound like that of an elderly man. His eyes are hidden by circular shades, and his mouth and part of his nose hidden beneath a black silk muffler. He wears a long black trench-coat buttoned up from top to bottom, cinched at the middle with a black belt and a golden buckle. Tall black boots escape out of under it's edge. His hands are gloved, as I noted earlier, tall, black, and split at the top. I also, with a closer look, notice that he has several shiny gold accessories all over his outfit shaped like crosses. At least five. The oddest thing though, that stands out the most to me, is the guitar case hung over his shoulder. He doesn't look like a musician.
    “Are you going to just stare at me like that all night?” He adjusts the guitar case and turns to the mouth of the alley. Lloyd and Felicity are standing there. Lloyd runs to me and hugs me tightly. He looks like he's been crying.
    “I thought you were a dead man, Saxophone!” He pulls back and glares at me. “If you ever do anything crazy like this again, I'm going to kill you before...” he looks at the creature and shivers, his eyes wide. “...whatever the hell that thing is can.” I brush off my shirt and then see Felicity, still standing at the end of the alleyway shyly, not trusting the man in black. My bat is in her hands, close to her chest. She looks like she's been crying too.
    “That's enough you two, I didn't come here to watch your teary reunion.” He rests his eyes on me. Then my leg.
    “Looks like that Lighter bit you pretty deep.” He comes to my side, lightly pushing Lloyd out of the way. Lloyd, still confused as the rest of us by all that is happening, simply shuffles back against the brick wall. The man kneels next to my leg. And sticks his finger in the wound. I cry out and Lloyd and Felicity raise the bat and plunger offensively, but the man in black turns to them and waves a hand like he's shooing away a fly. “Calm yourselves. If I wanted to harm any of you you'd all be dead by now.”
    He pulls the finger out of my leg and brings it too his mouth, licking the blood off of his finger. “That's good; the Lighter didn't bother to shoot any venom into your leg.” He shakes the excess mess off of his glove before placing an open palm over my leg. “If he had, I'd have to cut it off.” I eye the man eerily. I still don't trust him, something about him isn't right. A dull light, like the one floating above us, is starting to form around the man's hand, and slowly, the wound seals itself back up. It still hurts a lot, but it feels a little better, and I'll be able to walk on it okay.
    He looks at my face and chuckles. “I just healed your leg and you're looking at me like I'm going to mug you.” The man rises to his feet. “You don't have to trust me, that's your business. But starting tomorrow, you're going to need me.” He points to the thing on the ground. “That's called a Lighter. It's one of millions and millions of it's kind that are just waiting to eat up your entire world.” He pauses, nudges its corpse with his foot, and the last of the dieing flame atop it's head sizzles out. “And they are always hungry.” With a flick of his coat, the man turns away from me and Lloyd and makes his way for Felicity. She clutches the baseball bat tighter to her chest, but he walks right past her and ignores her. When he's out on the street, his eyes rest on me again. “My name is Cross. I'll see you tomorrow. Stay sharp.” He fades as a shadow into the darkness, and the dim light above our heads goes out like its switch has been flipped.