Chapter Two

I'm dead on my feet, but at least I'm standing. The man telling me his order is starting to sound suspiciously like the teacher on Charlie Brown, and the clock on the register says it's only half past two. Thirty long minutes separate me from a glorious nap. I hand the man his change and turn to Cedric at the register next to me.

"You got this? I'm gonna try to get the dishes caught up before the three o'clocks get here," I can't focus enough for this crap today.

He smiles gratefully, "Hey, I can manage if it gets us let off quicker," and waves me off. I speed walk to the dish pit in the back and slip the ugly blue apron on over my work clothes. The dishes from lunch rush are piled high on the back counter. I've been fighting off waves of jumpy panic all shift and the relative quiet of the back room is heaven compared to the bustling kitchen and noisy dining room. Another upside is that this is a blissfully mindless procedure.

Start with the dirty stack and blast the grime off at the spray sink. Dump them all in the wash sink and scrub. A quick dip in the rinse sink and then pile them in the sanitizer sink to soak before loading all of the freshly finished dishes on the drying rack. Easy peasy. In the past I've zoned out while doing dishes to find an entire hour had passed which makes it by far the best chore, and since each shift has to finish their cleaning before they leave, no one holds it against me when I disappear back here.

The water is warm and there's soap up to my elbows, but this isn't as distracting as it usually is. I've got a cold, sinking feeling that I'm being watched.

"Don't speak," A conspiratorial whisper. I release a startled squeak and freeze in place, still elbow deep in the sudsy water. Despite the friendly tone of the deep voice, I'm terrified, and I have to fight the impulse to run away screaming. I'm being ridiculous, it's probably just Cedric or Randy doing a stupid voice. I glance around, but no one's there. I don't know why, but it isn't surprising.

"Okay, good. Now stay quiet, and you should probably not stand so stiff. You look like a crazy person," It's definitely coming from my right, a strong bass voice with the hint of a smile.

I turn and see quite a large man grinning at me, every tooth in his bald, round head is bright as a light-bulb against his coffee bean skin. He's massive, at least 400 pounds wrapped around a 5'8" frame. He has black, stained work pants and a vivid purple button up shirt underneath a patched and worn white apron. For all his bulk, something about him seems lacking. It's as if he's not quite there.

I stare at him, and he at me. My hands clutch a large metal bowl still submerged in the dishwater. The man, Tony according to his shiny brass name-tag, crosses his broad arms in front of him. His garish violet shirt is rolled up to his elbows, showing shiny old burn scars peppered along his wide forearms. Judging by this he's been in the restaurant business awhile. Okay, so not a giant shadow monster. I'm less freaked out now.

He looks like he's about to speak, like he's measuring me up to decide what to say. Something about his demeanor bothers me, and he has no business being back here anyway, so I scowl at him. Apparently I've broken whatever concentration he had, because he starts to laugh at me.

"What's with the hostility, little mama?"

"Sorry, not supposed to talk to strangers," I say with as much ill will as I can manage in an undertone. This man gives off the air of not really being there, and it's skeeving me out, but he just laughs at my contempt. A loud, booming sound that jangles against my frayed nerves.

"Good," he gathers himself, still wheezing from his laughing fit, "You shouldn't say anything anyway. Don't want people to think you're talking to yourself. So you just listen up, alright?" He doesn't wait for me to answer before clearing his throat and pressing on.

"My name's Tony and you, young lady, are on a long walk down a short road if you catch my drift."

I don't but I refuse to acknowledge him. I pick up a pair of tongs and start washing them. The muffled noise of the kitchen seems to be settling down, and I've got ten minutes to finish the last of the dishes before we can all leave. I resolve to just ignore the crazy man. I don't get paid enough to deal with this.

"When I felt we had a new kid in the neighborhood I was excited, but look at you! Unprotected out here! Alone! I tried going to the firehouse to welcome you to town, but Joel said you were running solo," He says the final word with derision, as if it's the most reprehensible of offenses, "Even had the nerve to tell me to leave you alone!" As if that were an unthinkable notion, "Well I won't let that happen," My fricking hero, "Someone needs some reason in their head around here," He glares down at me, arms akimbo, like I'm an unruly child.

A lot of what he said made no sense, but I definitely caught the part about Joel and the firehouse. I turn to him.

"If he told you to leave me alone, it's because I told him to leave me alone. I want nothing to do with his shenanigans. So if that is all, kindly fuck off," I knew it. I knew there was something weird about this guy, and he shouldn't be here. Not at my work. I'm going to get written up for allowing strangers behind the line.

"You don't have to act out like this," He's got a real mother hen vibe going, "I get it that you're scared but you can't stick your head in the sand and act like you don't know it's dark," I roll my eyes, but he doesn't look like he's going anywhere.

Truthfully he has a kind face and his deep, strong voice is pleasant, but I've decided I hate him. I know I'm being ornery, but I don't care, "You've got ten seconds before I get my manager to call the cops, because you can't be back here," No more snarky comments or attitude, I'm done with this shit.

His kind eyes suddenly fill with pity, "Honey, your manager won't call the cops on me."

"Diana, you about done back there?" Speak of the devil, I hear him calling.

"Last chance, bucko," I whisper, acid in my tone, before shouting back, "Just about, Randy."

"Please, sweetheart, you really don't want to turn this into a scene. I promise you," He looks uncomfortable, like something about me is terribly sad.

"Just get going and I wo-"

"Diana?" Randy's face suddenly ducks in the swinging door, the noise from the other side amplifies and I can hear customers all the way in the lobby talking and laughing. Randy leans his lanky frame against the heavy door, his ridiculous mop of red hair falling out from under his cap, "Who ya talkin' to?" He asks in his trademark playful tone, giving me a quizzical look. I glance around at Tony, who gestures for me to look back at Randy.

"He's not callin' any cops today, honey, so just play it cool," On my other side, Randy is still waiting for my response with half a smile on his face. Holy friggen mother of all that is craptastic, he can't see Tony.

"J-just trying to remember my grocery list. I'm going on a Wally run for my mom after I get off," I smile and blush, "You definitely just caught me talking to myself," I try to laugh it off, and apparently the awkward shtick works, because Randy is smiling at me like we just had an inside joke.

"First sign of insanity, you know, talking to yourself," He cracks as he heads back to the kitchen line.

"Oh, girl, you are lucky he's got a crush on you," Tony, sighing with relief, wipes his shiny bald head with a spotted handkerchief before shoving it back in his pocket.

"Thanks," I concede. Tony could well have let me run my mouth and then I'd have been called crazy for real. Wait, hold on, "And no he does not!" I whisper as emphatically as possible. The very idea.

"You're welcome, and he sure does," Tony is smiling again, but his eyes still look sad.

"Blue pickup, bottom of the parking garage. Meet me there in ten minutes," I mutter, hoping the splashing water drowns my words to any nearby ears. One more glance tells me Tony is gone, and I can get back to despairing over the madness of the past twenty-four hours.


The sunlight beats down on the poor people walking the streets of downtown Columbus. Spring weather is the worst; completely erratic and awful. Just last night I could see my breath. God, that was only last night. Sitting in the park unaware of this parade of lunacy about to infringe on my existence. I barely slept once I got home, and when I did nightmares kept waking me up.

I'd say they were the same as before, but I'd only be half right. Most of the imagery was the same, but this time there'd been faces. The screaming, twitching people laid out on the ground being tortured by the dark figures had faces for the first time since the nightmares had started. The faces of the people from last night. Patrick, bloodied and beaten. Margaret, strung up and dangling from a flagpole for all to see. Markus, ripped to shreds and almost unrecognizable. Joel, tied up and made to watch it all with blood splattered across his face, dripping down from every visible orifice. I'd been hoping all morning to sweep last night under the rug.

I pull the keys out of my pocket as I walk up to my truck. The parking garage is much cooler than the sun-stained street, and I breathe a little easier. Dreams are nothing but brain chemicals and visual stimuli, after all. It's hard to be too bothered by them in the daylight. Instead I focus my attention on Tony. I plan on getting some answers, and he seems like the place to start. I unlock my truck, yank open the old door, and hop in the driver's seat.

"This is a cool ride," Tony notes enthusiastically, leaning forward in the passenger seat to smack the little felt sumo wrestlers locked in battle on my dash. They are similar to bobble-heads except it's their whole upper-halves that shimmy shake. They've been stuck on the dashboard since before I got the truck from a lemon lot in Montgomery, and I've come to love them. I've been considering getting them little hula bobble girlfriends to cheer them on as they fight.

"Thanks," I answer, relieved to be able to speak with Tony at a normal volume. He's the first person to ever call my old clunker 'cool' besides me, so I mind slightly less that he seems to take up every inch of extra space in the small cab. Dainty is not a word to describe Tony.

"So, this might not be... a politically correct question," I start, but he cuts me off with a barking laugh.

"You can cut straight to it. I'm not sensitive."

"What the hell are you?" I ask a little more forcefully than I'd intended.

"I'm sure you've figured it out, but if you want me to baby you the whole way, fine. I'm a fat man," I can't help but laugh. Tony laughs with me, "There she is! I knew you'd be nice," He gives me a thousand watt smile.

"How could you possibly know that? And you still haven't answered my question."

"I'll answer both. I'm a ghost," He pauses to gauge my reaction, "You knew it, even if you didn't realize it," That would explain the sense of emptiness he gives off, and that Randy didn't see him, "And as a ghost, I can see living people's... I don't know... life energy? I usually just call it an aura. Though I hated that word once upon a few years ago," He giggles to himself. Maybe I should be freaking out, but I'm too tired and after highway-fire-monsters Tony doesn't seem so bad, ghost or not.

"You can see my aura?" I'm talking to a ghost about auras. Worse, I'm interested in his answer.

"Not in a Scientology way," I don't think he knows what Scientology is, "but I see the color of it and the feeling it gives off. Like blue. Blue doesn't have a set meaning. There are a thousand different blues and they each feel different," He twiddles his thumbs contentedly as he talks.

"What color is my aura?"

"I've never seen one like yours before," He looks all around me as if trying to memorize whatever it is he's seeing, "It's golden. I've seen sunshine-y yellows and loud oranges, but yours is gold."

"Is that a good thing? What does that say about me?"

"On principle I don't tell people what their auras mean. It's not good for people to sicko-analyze their own personalities too much," Close enough to a real word, "But I can say you've got a very good presence, and even though you were rude earlier, I think we're gonna get along real well," He chuckles when I roll my eyes, and suddenly I'm laughing right along.

"If you're a ghost, why can I see you?" I think I know, but I want to verify.

"You're otherside now," He searches my face to see if I'm tracking.

"Meaning I can see all that weird crap Joel was telling me about?"

"Including me," He nods, "and including some things without my sparkling personality and purty face," He shoots me a big, cheesy grin and wiggles his ears. I suppose this means Joel and the rest of the firehouse people were right about me. The thought makes my stomach a little queasy. Perhaps the pepper-spray was an overreaction after all. I know Tony is telling the truth. I can tell he's dead. I just can. I'd like to put it to my intuition, but I suspect it goes a little deeper than that.

"Okay, so I can see things like the highway monster last night," it comes out barely audible, though there is no longer any reason to whisper, "Are there a lot of those in town?" I try to sound conversational, but it doesn't come across.

"Yes and no. There are more in town than I'd like, but they usually stay quiet until they have a reason to do otherwise," He looks truly serious now, his deep voice taking on an urgent edge, "And they can sense where you are."

"What?!" There's the Minnie Mouse squeak again.

"Of course they can! Everyone in otherside can," He shakes his head, "We're a small community in the great scheme of things, and if you're part of it, you're connected to it. That's why it takes so long to learn to See," I make a face at him, and he nods his head, "That's right. Joel told me about your funny situation. You know, I knew the last Seer. She had a hard time with all this too, and that was even after her mama raised her with stories about it."

"Yeah, it kinda sucks," I'm secretly a little interested in learning more about this Katie girl. Call it morbid curiosity.

"When you got the Sight, when you came 'online' last night, it was like you showed up on the radar of every supernatural icky in town," That's terrifying.

"So you sensed a new person could see you and you showed up at my work to... what? Say hi?"

"You'd better be happy I did. If I can find you so easy, what else do you think you coulda run into?" That's not a comforting thought.

"What am I supposed to do?" I'm starting to feel trapped in this freaky new twist on reality.

"Firstly, don't go out alone!" There's that mother hen tone again.

"It's not like I can have a pack of virtual strangers following me to work, and on that note it's not much better to have a big old ghost talking my ear off that no one else can see."

"That brings me to my second point," He shoves a massive, stubby-fingered hand into his apron pocket and pulls out, of all things, a necklace and hands it to me.

I'm not much for jewelry, but I can't help but inspect this piece. It's a delicate pendant on a long silver chain. The clear blue glass is shaped like a teardrop, with three perfectly round concentric circles inside of it. The largest is white, then paler blue, and the smallest, center circle is black. It looks like an eye carried within a tear. It's strangely beautiful.

"What's this for?" I ask, turning the glass over in my hand. The eye stares up from both sides.

"That, honey, is to protect you," I look up and see he's not joking.

"How?"

"Don't look so dubious at me, little miss," He reaches over and takes the necklace, holding it up in the air, "This is an evil eye. For most people these little charms are for warding off bad luck, but for those in otherside they're very powerful things," He sees my doubt, "If you wear this no bad guys can sense you, and it protects you from most minor alterations."

"Alterations?"

"You know, fights," He meant 'altercation' but I don't think correcting him will do any good.

"Oh, okay."

"You catch my drift?" He hands the evil eye back to me.

"I think so. I just wear this, and you'll let me go to work without an invisible entourage?"

"Bingo," He finger-guns the air, "Don't you take it off. Even when you're at home. Not 'til you can put a protective bubble around the building."

"Thank you," I put the necklace on in a hurry. It's a beautiful gift, and I'll definitely wear it every day, "But if it's so powerful, why are you giving it to me?"

"I'm dead," He clasps his hands together around his middle, "Nothing can hurt me. Margaret and the firehouse boys can take care of themselves. This definitely belongs to you," He reaches over and pats me on the shoulder.

I jump in my seat reflexively.

"What's your problem?" He laughs, recoiling his arm.

"Nothing, I just... I thought you'd be cold or incorporeal," This gets yet another laugh, I must be on a roll.

"Where this 'ghosts are cold' thing came from I will never know. Also, I can go where I want to if I think about it, but once I'm there I'm as solid as this pickup."

Of course, because everyone on the planet knows this fact. I close my eyes to keep from rolling them.

"There's one more thing I wanted to talk to you about," He shifts in the seat to get a better look at me, his expression all business, "Go to that fire station and talk to Joel. He could teach you a thing or two about protecting yourself. Not to mention he's been moping around his room since last night. He waited twenty-odd years to meet you and you ran off screaming in ten minutes."

"I thought I had a pretty good reason at the time," I huff.

"And now you know better. So get your bony behind back there and apologize to those nice people. They won't be mad; they like you. And they're big on forgiveness."

"What am I supposed to say to them?"

"Sorry, for starters. They'll get it. It's a big ask, trying to convince someone of all this," He gestures in the air, as if encompassing all of Georgia. I lower my gaze, pretending to inspect the evil eye again, but truthfully I'm starting to feel guilty, "Don't worry, sweetheart, it won't be so bad. But the sooner you go, the easier it will be," He goes back to tapping the sumo guys, watching their wiggly, never ending fight with gusto.

"Will you go with me?" I know I sound like a little kid, but I don't care.

"Wish I could," And he looks like he means it, "But I've got plans," What plans could a ghost possibly have?

"Well, maybe I could just go tomorr-"

"Diana," It's the first time he's used my real name instead of his endless supply of endearments. He looks at me disapprovingly.

"Fine," I crank the engine petulantly.

"You remember where it is?"

"Yeah," I remember every twist and turn it took to get there, that terrifying drive is going to be hard to forget.

"Alright then," He glances at the clock on the dash, "I've gotta go, I'm meeting up with someone," He twists in his seat again to look at me, "I'll see you again real soon. You stay gold, Pony Girl," One last bright smile and he's gone. No flickering or popping noises, just a blink-and-you'll-miss-it vanish. I pull my cigarettes out and light one up as I drive out of the parking garage, already dreading the look in Joel's eyes that is sure to greet me.


I finally get a good look at the firehouse now that the sun is shining. It's three stories high, tall and narrow. The entire first floor is the garage. It's definitely old, made of red brick with pretty little detailing of pale cement. In a lot of ways it's very similar to all of the old business buildings around it. What makes this one stand apart is the way the sun hits it. It's almost unnoticeable, but there is something warm and inviting about this structure. I'm reminded of the way Patrick said "safe house" last night with such security in his voice. This looks like a safe house.

I park across the street, avoiding the encounter as long as possible. Looking at the building now, I don't see a front door, just the garage. Certainly they have an actual entrance somewhere, I'd feel even sillier knocking on the garage, hoping someone heard it. Maybe there's a doorbell.

I get out of the truck and cross the empty street slowly. I'm not looking forward to this to say the least. I know I'll probably have a million questions about the strange new world I've found myself in, where ghosts poke fun at people and demons run amok, but right now I can't think of a single damn one. As I approach the front of the firehouse I see a place to the left of it where the sidewalk tucks back. I follow it and, sure enough, there is a little brown door with a chain hanging to one side. At least it has a super cool old-school doorbell. I smile as I yank on the chain, and hear the ringing on the other side. Now is the moment of truth. My last chance to run away and pretend that none of this ever happened. I stand still, hands clasped together, fingers twisting with impatience. I could still make a break for it. I could still go.

The door cracks open and I see a sliver of Markus' face. One dark eye looks at me for a nanosecond before he opens the door slowly. His left hand stays on the door, and his right touches the frame, blocking the entrance protectively. His deep-set eyes search my face, as if he's deciding whether or not I'm a threat.

"Hi," That's a start, "I, uh, left things kinda messy last night," Did I really just say that? Shit, I'm awkward. Come on, just ask to see Joel.

Markus doesn't reply, doesn't move. Is he waiting on a password? Why hadn't someone else come to the door? Anyone else? Patrick, I could've talked to. Joel would have been perfect, I could've said my apology and been on my way. Margaret seems nice, why couldn't it have been her? Shit, he's still just standing there watching me be awkward.

"I'm sorry," I look him dead in the face and say it. It hits me, I don't need to apologize to Joel, I need to apologize to every one of them. They tried to help me, to explain their lives to me and I called it bullshit and ran. Waving a can of pepper spray. I sigh, "I just, needed to say that," The guilt boils through my insides as I start to turn away.

"Wait," I turn back and see an understanding look on his face. He steps to one side, holding the door for me, "Joel's upstairs," He cuts right to the point instead of asking questions he already knows the answer to. I give him an appreciative smile as I enter the building.

Once inside, Markus locks the door. He turns and leads me up the steep metal stairs, our footsteps sounding off in dull clangs. We reach the third floor and the ludicrous thought crosses my mind that Joel might never leave this room, but I push it away. Markus knocks on the door, and when it opens he gives Joel a tiny smile before turning back for the stairs. It's the first time I've seen the teenager smile. He seems like a very quiet, serious person. I look at Joel standing in front of me. He smiles cautiously. He probably thinks I'm going to run away again.

"Diana," his soft voice has a wonderful, carrying quality, "I'm happy you came back."

"I just wanted to say I'm sorry. I know you weren't bullshitting me, and I'm so, so sorry," His blue eyes crinkle with concern.

"You've got no reason to apologize, Diana. We told you too much all at once. I wasn't tryina scare you, and I'm sorry," This whole situation is starting to feel like a soap opera. He shouldn't feel bad. I came to say sorry to make him feel better, dammit.

"I didn't talk to my grandma," First thing that came to my brain. I have to diffuse the tension, "Tony came to see me at work," He shakes his head, but doesn't look surprised.

"And I told Tony you wanted to be left alone," He sighs, "He gave you the evil eye," A small smile, "I was hopin' you'd take it. They're very useful at keepin' people safe," He pulls at a chain around his neck to reveal a stone pendant painted with a strikingly similar blue eye. It's not as pretty as the necklace Tony gave me, but it's obviously another evil eye. He's smiling, but he looks nervous, like he's expecting me to run at any second.

"I've got a few questions, if you have time to talk. If you don't I could come back later, or-"

"No, I got plenty of time," He quickly steps back from the door, holding it open for me.

"Thanks," I say in a small voice, "I'll try not to take too long."

"No, no, it's fine. Most people get weeks of learnin' 'bout everythin' before they start to See, so ask away and take your time," We walk over to the chairs in the center of the room. He sits in a tall, grey one and I take a squat, squishy looking green one. Nothing in this room matches, giving off the appearance of the furniture side of a Goodwill. I like it.

"Okay, first thing's first. That poem."

"The last Seer's prophesy."

"Yep, well, what was up with that?" Wow, I sound like an idiot, "I mean, her voice changed and... did she plan it out or was she just good at rhyming off the top of her head?" Not phrased very eloquently, but I feel the questions are valid.

"Well," He looks a little taken off guard. Like he'd planned a hundred answers to a hundred questions, and I'd asked something from left field, "Prophesies are funny things, when a Seer gets one, it takes over for a minute. They see the future and the words come on their own. Normally, the Seer can explain things further if they choose to, but prophesies tend to be pretty cryptic," He pauses a moment, choosing his words, "As to why they rhyme, I'd never really thought 'bout it. Magic's hard to nail down into a solid explanation," He looks at me, searching for acceptance or understanding.

"And Seers have prophesies?" I'm being a bit roundabout. Now for the direct approach, "Will that happen to me?" It didn't sound like fun. The thought of being mentally shot into the future and spouting cheesy rhymes is not a pleasant one.

"Well, yes and no. Seers know the future but there're other ways to do that. In fact, the prophesy 'bout you mentioned dreams."

If I hear the word 'prophesy' one more time I think I'm going to gag. Wait, hold on, "So my dreams could start coming true?" I hope not, I've got this weird recurring one involving talking trees chasing people for wasting paper. I'm not even going to think about my recent nightmares coming true.

"Not every dream, no. These would be different," He must know somewhere along the lines of where my brain is, because he seems to be holding back a chuckle.

"Joel!" Patrick's voice shouts from the hall. He bangs on the door, "Joel, you still in there?" Impatient, thumping knocks, "Dude, you can't stay in there all day!"

"Not now, Patrick!" Joel calls out half amused, half exasperated, "I'm sorry, Diana, I need a second," He rises from his chair.

"Mister Bingham! It's time to go out and see the sunshine!" Patrick yells through the door in a singsong voice. I can't help but smile, "She'll come back when she comes back, and hiding in here won't speed anything up!" With every knock the door rattles in its frame. Joel reaches the door and flings it open.

"Patrick, this ain't a good time. Diana's here," He speaks quietly, possibly so that I can't overhear, possibly to get Patrick to reply in something less than a bellow.

"Oh," Surprise and is that a twinge of embarrassment? Patrick leans past Joel and waves at me, "Told you she'd be back," He grins impishly and walks off down the hall. Joel sighs and turns back around. As soon as he gets back to his seat, I think of another question.

"So, who are you guys? Like, what do you do?" They don't look related, but it seems like they all live here. The second floor had several doors that could lead to bedrooms.

"We're nobody really," He shrugs, "Mostly we look after each other," He leans back in his chair and touches his fingertips together thoughtfully, "Hardly any people get involved in what you probably heard Tony call the 'otherside'. I got caught up in it when I was young. The others joined up here and there," He doesn't look like he wants to get into it, but I'd love to hear how a person could get involved in this stuff without being dropped in the middle like me, "But what we try to do, what our goal is, is to rid the town of demons."

"Okay," that seems like a good goal, "So you exorcise the demons and then go to the next town and do the same?" I think I'm tracking.

"No," Apparently I'm not, "Demons ain't a natural occurrence. They're few and far between, and for one town to have any is unusual. Columbus has more'n fifty."

Shit, "Why are there so many here?"

"A portal to Hell got opened back in '91."

"Seriously? Why isn't the whole place overrun?"

"We managed to close the portal, but a lot had already made it through," When he says 'we' I wonder who he means. He said everyone else in the firehouse joined later. So him, Katie, and "others." On the tape he said the 'others' had left. I don't think I should ask about that though.

"What happens when you finish exorcising the demons?" Would they just go back to their day jobs?

"Margaret and I have our jobs," Bingo, "Patrick and Markus are young enough to start their lives, school, work, whatever they want," He makes it sound so simple, "However," Okay, I felt like one of these was coming, "There're only four of us, against so many demons and the people that follow 'em. We've held our own, but we haven't been able to end it."

"There are people following the demons? Like groupies?" Demons could have groupies, right? Like weird cultists or something.

"More like soldiers. They work for the demons, find 'em bodies to possess, but mostly they're tryin' to reopen the door to Hell," goodness, this conversation just took a dark turn.

"And you try to stop them?" I already know the answer.

"No one else can. No one else knows. It falls on us, so we do our best," So much information has gone into my brain. I can't handle anymore. It doesn't help that I'm running off of no sleep. I'm done with talking. I need to do something.

"How can I help?"