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Himmel looked almost giddy, as though he had something to tell her that was too good to pass on. But Maggie was hopeful that it would be true, not just malicious. That Himmel had anything to be happy about worried her just a bit since so far he’d been rather nasty to her.

“It’s all a joke,” he said as she listened, “Don’t you see?”

Now that was confusing. But at least Himmel continued.

“We found the treasure not far from the beach, we three, two enemies and I. We found it, argued over it, fought over it, almost killed one another over it, and in the end one of us did die, in a way, while the others went free, but no so free.” Himmel giggled, a sound that set Maggie’s nerves on edge as she finally got a better look at his eyes. His pupils were dilated to the point that they looked like wide open tunnels leading into his skull. Someone had already given him his meds for the evening it would seem, and he was as high as a kite. As he giggled again she rolled her eyes, making as if to leave. But once he spoke again she paid attention, at least for the moment it took to hear him out.

“One died but didn’t die, one lived but never lived, and one was burdened by all of their choices. Do you see now child? Do you see?”

“Goodnight Mr. Himmel,” she said with a sigh, slipping out and closing the door behind her. The cackling followed her into the hallway, where thankfully no one was waiting for her.

But as she closed the door Maggie allowed herself a small grin. She did see, and what she’d found was better than the ramblings of an old man. Now she had the information she’d been needing all along.

The End

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