“You aren’t what I would call a good person,” warns the witch “This may hurt.”

“I know,” says the demon “But you can do it?”

“Judging the worth of a soul is simple,” says the witch, placing a black candle down on the coffee table “Even the soul of a demon’s. What are you going to do with that information?”

“Does it matter? Can’t a demon want to know xir spiritual worth?”

“Sure, but you aren’t really the introspective type.” the witch squints at the demon “Are you planning to buy something with it, you old fool?”

There are only a few rules to this game. The first is: Never. Ever. Talk about it.

There’s demons in the sewers calling out to cats and lost children, mermaids swimming in muck with song like grief and hatred, angels over by the bus stations offering peace to the ill and eating the fever warmed marrow.

There are those who can see, the young and curious and old and unlucky, those who know, but you must never talk about it.

The second rule is: There are a lot of things worse than death. Be ready to get it over with if one of those things turns it’s eyes on you.

It’s not as fancy as war spies with their false teeth- knives hidden in the folds of your jeans or a syringe of contaminate drugs in the lining of your bra will do just as well, really. It’s better. And if you’re in the know, you should be beyond fear, anyway.

The third is: that kid over on fifth street should not exist.