Rule #10: Ghosts aren’t real. Monsters aren’t real. Magic isn’t real. There’s always a logical explanation (usually involving a latex mask).

I pull up to the cemetery in a stolen car. I didn’t steal the car. Someone else did, but I made sure that this would be the last car that they stole. I walk through the graves. I wish I had brought some flowers.

I walk up the grave with my last name on it. I stare at the first name and think about my brother. About our final case. The Mystery of the Inflammable Nunnery. I remember the two of us confronting a man named Richard about his cigar smuggling. I remember his gun and the sound of it going off. I remember my brother crying out, falling to the ground. I remember Richard escaping while I ran to my brother. I remember killing Richard, years later, in a bar that didn’t have a name. I remember the look on his face when I –

I feel a presence behind me. I turn away from my father’s (fake) grave to look at my brother. For a moment, we are both silent. Then I ask him the question, the same one I asked him two years ago, and three years before that.

 

“Are you ready to come out of retirement?”

 

He shakes his head no. I expected it, but is still comes as a shock. I hear sirens in the distance. I look at him with an unspoken question in my eyes. Did you call them? He nods yes this time. He takes a step towards me. He still has a limp from when he was shot.

I turn my back on him and start running. He doesn’t call after me. He knows what I do is necessary, is right. If only that bullet wound hadn’t made him lose his nerve, we could do this together. I shake my head to clear it of these thoughts. I don’t have time to think about what might have been, about him. I had police to outrun. I may not be as fast as my brother used to be, but, like I said – I’m a fast runner.

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