“A Shadow opened the barrier, and is leaving,” the manager said abruptly, as he walked up to Cody and looked him straight in the eye as Cody sat playing with his cane at a table. His bad manners have always been outstanding, Cody thought, as the manager scoffed at the fact that that was even possible for the Lox to get out, Cody always wondered why he called them Shadows. “So, what can I do about it, Manager?” Cody asked, as if it made no difference to him. He continued to play with his cane on the desk, still mesmerized by the almost flat elliptical opal that crashed ocean wave's as he moved it around. He sat in the waiting area for his short circus act to begin. Cody didn’t want to be in the performance, but now that he had most of his energy back, the manager was forcing him. Cody tilted his head back to look up at the dark blue and red circus tent. “You know the rules,” Cody said, as he continued to roll his cane on a table with his legs crossed, not really wanting to be bothered by it. “I know this isn’t right to ask, but as you can see, everyone is busy now,” he paused pondering a thought, “can you go take care of it?” His eyes dodged Cody as he asked the question, but Cody didn’t give it much consideration anyways; he was too busy as he watched the ocean crash around in his canes hilt. “You’re the Manager, you tell me?” Cody, already knew what this was about, and it wasn’t about a Lox who escaped the circus, which was strange on its own. The real question he must have asked himself is how did he get out of his supposed impenetrable circus tent. “Thank you, and…” Cody interrupted, “I’ll ask how he got out.” Cody unfolded his legs. He looked at his slacks that now had slight wrinkles from him crossing his legs. Cody, had a thin black handlebar mustache, that he combed regularly; which he kept it in the inside of his lapel jacket. Most people would think he had the mustache for the circus, but he enjoyed playing with it. He rubbed his short thin beard that coated his cheeks and part of his neck, gray hairs were mixed in that will never change. His eyes were blue, but small hints of forest green wafted around his pupil as to show the coldness in them, maybe from all the years of being a Veere, or the fact that he hasn’t killed a Lox in a while. Cody’s cane had an almost flat but egg-shaped opal on the hilt, he rolled his cane on the table once more, to stare deeply at the ocean wave as it moved trapped in a forever stone, then it crashed back into the rest of the ocean that was imprisoned indefinitely. He stood up, hitting the hilt of the cane that hung casually off the desk with his left hand, flipping it in the air catching it with his right hand. “I’ll be going,” Cody said, as he grabbed his dark blue flat top hat and slid it on his head. Cody already knew, he was going to be scolded for going out on his own. He also knew the manager wasn’t going to stick up for him; but he didn’t care either way. He walked out the back of the dimly lit tent, as he heard the generators close by as they worked to keep the tent alive. He glanced at the tent from the outside as it gleamed a dark blue and red as if it was a light-bulb illuminating the ground close by. He stayed close to the tent as he walked around it, looking for a tear, dragging his left hand casually over the old rough fabric, being careful not to hit the ropes that were tied down to the posts in the ground. His circus attire was a dark flashy blue that sparkled in the moonlit night. He looked up at the sky, thinking how bright the night was, from an almost full moon. He thought the moon looked closer than normal; a couple of small clouds brushed past. The daytime was hot for May, but now, the air wrapped around him like an ice blanket in the chilled night. He took a breath then exhaled, to reassure himself that he was still alive, as if the coldness wasn’t enough for that as his breath's haze disappeared. He walked past the circus tent not seeing any visible tears. He headed toward the parking lot. Small gravel and dirt moved loudly under his shoes, reminding him how good his hearing was. He started to look for his prey. Light fog clung around the lampposts that lit up the parking area. His once shiny black shoes looked almost gray now from the dust that he kicked up as he walked. His suit sparkled under a light, which reminded him he’s in the circus. His slacks had a sharp crease in the center, his lapel jacket hung low, almost to his knees, that bubbled brightly just the same. He unbuttoned his lapel as he walked. The night was almost quiet, a faint noise of the circus echoed, and the generator’s noise carried to his ears through the night. Maybe they didn’t close the stalls quick enough, Cody wondered. Cody knew he was getting closer to the man; he could smell it in the air. If only regular humans could actually smell the Lox’s vulgar scent, Cody thought. But Cody was far from a normal himself. He couldn’t see him yet, but knew he was inching closer by that same putrid scent. People don’t notice the black smoke that emanates off their body. it’s dangerous to normal people, it sucks their life out of them. Not that it takes their lives at that instance, just enough life to help support them while they are here. Normal people can’t see the smoke, but every now and then, humans do see it. The ones that do see it aren’t normal, not that they have special powers. They are just attuned to it. Cody remembered that happening once while he walked down the street. Cody, could feel he was getting closer, he may see him at any moment, instead of taking a chance, he grabbed his round opal looking gem that was the hilt of his cane and pulled it out from its sheathe. He heard gravel move underneath someone’s footsteps close-by. His stone isn’t an opal but what is called a “core” to his body; in many ways, you could say it was a key. It’s called a core since it was a part of his body at some point before he became a Veere. It was polished smooth and carved, just for him. He finished pulling the hilt out, the core continued for five more inches that looked like a sharp clear icepick, but was used for a far deadlier purpose. With his sheathe in hand, he pulled the left side of his lapel and shirt back exposing his bare slightly-hairy chest. With his right hand, he hovered over his upper body for a second, taking a deep breath, he stabbed himself in the heart; like he had so many times before. He wondered exactly how many times though, since a lot of his past memories are in pieces. He thought he heard a small pop, or maybe it was his imagination; he could unquestionably feel a small explosion as it penetrated his heart. He dropped to one knee as his blood rushed out of him. He stared at the blue ocean one more time before it was incased in his blood, drowning it out the sight. He smiled at the ironic thought of drowning in his gem. A memory of his wife, started to play in the back of his head, maybe nostalgia, or yearning as he plunged the pick through his heart, he wondered what vision he would get today, it’s the only real smile that he gets to feel.