My intercom buzzed. Which is to say, a tiny black storm cloud suddenly materialized over my desk, and a bolt of lightning burst out of it. You’d think I’d be used to it after all these years, but no. I still jumped in my chair. As the tiny clap of thunder faded, the voice of my secretary emanated from the cloud’s dark center.
“Mister Webster, you have a call on line one.” My secretary, Miss Jones, had a voice that was already annoyingly nasal, and the antiquated technology we still used in this office didn’t help.
“Who is it?” I asked.
“It’s from Downstairs,” she said, adding a dramatic pause. “It’s the Boss.”
Ugh. That was all I needed today.
“Thank you, Miss Jones.”
“Good luck,” she said, before she snorted into laughter. The black cloud dissipated, but I could still hear her laughing on the other side of the door.
“I can hear you, you know!” I barked. The laughter quieted, but did not fully disappear. I scowled and reached for the phone.
“This is Webster.”
“Webster. We need to talk.” The Boss’s voice cut through me like a hot knife. I shuddered.
“Yes, sir,” I said. “What can I do for you?”
“I’ve got a special project I want you to head up for me. Priority A number one, got it? Everything else gets put aside.”
“Got it. Yes, sir,” I said. “What are the details?”
“It’s the Horsemen. They’ve always been a thorn in my hoof, but bless it,”—he spat out the word—“they’re making things extra difficult for me these days, and I’m sick of it. So I’ve decided to let them make things difficult for you instead.”
“Thank you, sir,” I said.
“Don’t thank me yet. Word is that one of the Horsemen wants to retire, if you can believe that. I don’t know which one, and none of those jackwagons would say. But they claim they’ve found a loophole in their contract.”
“Impossible,” I said. “That contract is so airtight, you’ll suffocate if you spend too much time reading it.”
I wasn’t joking. Once, Hodges in accounting had to have emergency reanimation after leafing through the addendums in the Horsemen’s contract longer than he should have.
“That’s what I thought, too,” the Boss said. “One of my better deals, if I do say so. But since you’re my top contract man, I want you to meet with them and sort it all out. They’ll be here this afternoon.”
“What, today? But sir, that doesn’t leave me much time—”
“I don’t want to hear it, Webster. No excuses. Just get it DONE!” The Boss’ voice boomed, and the potted azaleas next to the phone withered.
I hung up the phone, sighed, and tossed the azaleas in the trashcan. My office felt like it had shrunk twelve inches in every direction, which, considering the Boss’ penchant for pettiness, was entirely possible.
I summoned a black cloud. “Miss Jones? I need everything we have on the Four Horsemen.”
# # #
My name is Daniel Webster. Yes, that Daniel Webster—the one from your high school history midterm. I was a congressman from New Hampshire, a senator from Massachusetts, and secretary of state to three presidents. I also ran for President of the U. S. of A. three times—and lost three times. And, for the last couple hundred years or so, legal counsel to the Devil. Yes, that Devil.
You may also remember me from the story that bears both my and my Boss’s names. But here’s what you don’t know: even though that story was published some eighty years after my death, and was listed as fiction, it wasn’t. It was true—all of it. Well, most of it. You see, I have the rare distinction of being the only mortal ever to match wits with the Boss and beat him outright. (The only mortal the Boss will admit to, anyway. There was that fiddle-playing kid in Georgia a while back, but we don’t talk about it around the office, and that song is outlawed on the break room jukebox). I argued before a jury of the damned, found a loophole in the Boss’s contract with my client, and got him and his descendants off the hook. As fine piece of lawyering as ever there was.
The Boss was impressed. So much so that after the trial he offered me a job, and I took it. Now, I know what you’re thinking: who on earth agrees to go work for the Prince of Darkness after having just beaten him in the courtroom? What can I say—I had recently lost my third bid for the White House, and was feeling down. And after so many years in government, a transfer to the lowest regions of Perdition’s flames felt like a lateral move. Plus, the dental plan was a huge selling point. (Don’t laugh. Do you have any idea what dentistry was like in the 1840s? Barbarians, the lot of them.)
I was hired as chief legal counsel, with a special assignment to prepare and review all of the Boss’s contracts with mortals. The Boss figured the one mortal who outsmarted him would be a valuable asset to prevent future mishaps. After all, who better to handle the legal wrangling of mortal souls than a lawyer? I’m rather proud to say that during my tenure, not a single unfortunate soul has managed to weasel out of one of my contracts. I’m that good.
Still, there are days when I wonder if I made a huge mistake all those years ago. My job started out as an exciting new challenge, but the excitement wore off rather quickly. My Boss treats me badly, my secretary is a succubus who doesn’t respect me, and my job has devolved into the same old grind, day in and day out. Not to mention that I’ve had a toothache since 1849. (The dental plan turned out to be a ruse). If I had an office window, I’d jump out of it, except I’m already dead. And, as I’ve come to learn, there are things worse than dying.
# # #
My office door opened and Miss Jones floated in. Her leathery wings were folded against her back, but she still hovered six inches above the floor. Her ebony horns curled up out of her hair and scraped the ceiling. She looked around the office.
“Has your office gotten smaller again?” she asked.
“It would seem so,” I said. “Are those the files on the Horsemen?”
“You know, it’s funny,” she said, “My office keeps getting larger, and yours keeps shrinking. Isn’t that funny?
“It is the very height of comedy,” I replied. “You can just leave the files on your way out, thank you.”
“I find it very funny,” she continued, peering down at me over the top of her horn-rimmed glasses. “I mean, they say you can tell a lot about a person by the size of their office, and here I’m supposed to be working for you, and yet . . . well, it’s almost as if I’m more important than you.”
I met her gaze and smiled through gritted teeth. “And yet, it’s my name on the door and on your annual performance review. Which, if I’m not mistaken, is coming up shortly, is it not?”
She smirked and dropped the stack of files on my desk with a thud. A small cloud of dust floated up into the air.
“Thank you, Miss Jones,” I said. “That will be all for now.”
She floated out of the office. The door slammed behind her by itself.
I opened the files and began to read. Even though I’ve worked here for a very long time, I’ve never actually met the Four Horsemen. I knew of them, of course, but mostly by reputation and what I had read in the Bible, though even that was fuzzy where they were concerned. Most of the population around here fell into one of two categories: fallen angels who came here originally with the Boss, and the mortals who had been foolish enough to sign one of his contracts. The Horsemen were neither of those things. Nobody—not even the Boss, it was rumored—knew exactly what they were or where they came from, though there were stories. Some said that they were visitors from another world. Others said that the Horsemen were convicts who had been banished to our universe for crimes against existence. An addendum to that last rumor said that they hadn’t been banished here, but escaped to come here. I familiarized myself with the files as best I could, reading tale after horrible tale of their exploits. Whatever the truth about their origin, one thing was certain: chaos wasn’t just the Horsemen’s job, it was their way of life, and they were very good at what they did.
I suspect that was what the Boss found most interesting about the Horsemen in the first place. Being such a smooth talker, the Boss convinced them to come work for him as independent contractors. I was never clear on the particulars of their contract—it was drawn up long before I started working here—and after the incident with Hodges, nobody wanted to read the whole thing. I had heard, however, that the Horsemen had been a little too eager to sign, which made me think they still had an ace up their sleeve. This was going to be an interesting meeting.
A few short hours later, I was down in the main conference room, awaiting the Horsemen’s arrival. I thumbed through part of the Horsemen’s contract, making sure an oxygen tank was on hand in case things got out of control. Miss Jones sat next to me, floating just high enough in her chair so that her head was above mine. She dragged a metal rasp across the tip of her fingernail. Sparks flew with each stroke, accompanied by a screech that made my skin crawl.
“Do you have to do that?” I asked.
She smiled, and the tips of her fangs appeared. “I don’t have to, no. But I like to. It’s relaxing.”
“It’s infuriating,” I snapped.
She shrugged. “That’s just a bonus.”
“You’re here to take notes, not be obstreperous.”
“Believe me, I can do both at the same time.”
A low rumble in the distance grew louder. The conference table vibrated. The coffee cups rattled on their coasters.
“That’s the Horsemen,” I said. “Will you please get ready to take the minutes of this meeting?”
Miss Jones rolled her eyes and exchanged her nail file for a notepad.
The rumble grew to a roar, an unholy cacophony of engines, evil laughter, and heavy metal power chords. Smoke filled the room. I braced myself against the table with one hand and grabbed my water glass with the other just as it was about to topple. And then, with an explosion of fire and ash, the Four Horsemen burst into the room, each astride their demonic motorcycles.
The first rider entered on an ivory white chopper adorned with solid gold instead of chrome. The bike skidded to a stop, knocking over three chairs and a potted palm in the corner. A woman, more beautiful and sensuous than any I’d ever seen in any lifetime, dismounted the motorcycle. Her file photo didn’t do her justice. She was clad from head to toe in immaculate white leather, which accentuated her figure perfectly. Not a single golden hair of her head was out of place. She adjusted the crossbow slung across her back and smiled. Her teeth sparkled like the stars.
“Conquest,” I managed, my throat suddenly dry. “So good of you to join us.”
“Please, call me Connie,” she said, striding gracefully towards the table. “No need to be so formal. And you must be the esteemed Daniel Webster. It is a genuine pleasure to make your acquaintance. I have followed your career for many years.”
She removed her gloves and extended her hand. Electricity shot through my arm as I took her hand. A gasp escaped my lungs. She winked at me, and I immediately felt heat rush through my face and neck.
“M-m-my pleasure,” I squeaked. “H-have a seat, please.”
Connie sashayed to her seat and leaned back, putting her feet up on the table. “I’m looking forward to this . . . debriefing,” she said. “Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so,” she sang with a grin.
I drank my entire glass of water in a single gulp.
“Ooohhh, I like her!” Miss Jones said with a grin.
The second rider roared in on a gigantic red motorcycle that looked like it had been built with spare parts from pain and misery. The front wheel was a circular saw blade that was a lit with angry red fire. The rider—War—was equally gigantic, and towered overhead. His long black beard was braided with bits of small bones, culminating with a giant fang tied at the bottom. His eyes glowed red with fury. He wore leather dyed red with blood, and was festooned with weaponry of every kind, including an especially wicked-looking curved sword strapped across his back. His file said that he’d hand-beaten that sword out of a plowshare, just for spite.
“Mongo, darling!” Connie smiled and blew a kiss towards War. War grunted and stomped to a chair, barely squeezing himself inside. He rested his fists on the table and glared at everyone.
“Mongo?” I repeated. “His file didn’t mention any aliases.”
“It’s just a term of endearment,” Connie replied. “Famine is such a joker, and he gave him the nickname. ‘War-Mongo’—get it?”
“Ah, very clever,” I said. “Make a note of that, will you, Miss Jones?”
Miss Jones was staring at War, her eyes dreamy.
She snapped back to reality. “Yes? What? Sorry.” She returned to her note taking, but kept stealing glances at War.
Famine entered next, riding a shiny black and chrome motorcycle, adorned with pieces of old adding machines and calculators. An abacus made of teeth was mounted between the handlebars. He was heavy and barrel-chested, but whereas War was all muscle and hatred, Famine was soft and jovial. His pin-striped suit looked expensive, the creases sharp enough to shave with.
“Greetings and salutations, my friends!” he boomed with a flourish and a bow. “It is my sincere pleasure to be here on this most auspicious of occasions.”
“Welcome, Famine,” I gestured to an open seat. “Thank you for joining us.”
“All in good time, my lad, all in good time.” He gazed across the room to the large buffet table I’d had set up in his honor. “But first, it is time for this weary traveler to refresh himself with these lovely epicurean delights!” He made his way to the buffet and began loading up a large platter with food.
“Forgive me for saying so, but he’s bigger than I expected,” I whispered to Connie. “I thought Famine would be much thinner.”
Connie laughed. “Oh my, no! Famine is certainly always hungry, but he never goes hungry. He feasts on everyone else’s food. He’s the life of the party, until the check arrives.”
“Indeed, madam!” Famine laughed as he hefted the platter of food to his seat. “My philosophy is ‘Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow everyone else shall die!’”
A cold chill suddenly filled the room. Riding on a motorcycle made of decaying skin stretched haphazardly over bleached bones, Death, the last of the Horsemen, entered. Though running at full power, his motorcycle made not a sound. A helmet with a full visor covered his face, and his riding leathers were so black they were difficult to focus on. I could only glimpse them through my peripheral vision. A terrible scythe poked out of a scabbard on the back of the bike. Pestilent green smoke belched from his motorcycle’s exhaust pipes, which caused me to cough and my eyes to burn. War didn’t seem to like it, either, and cracked his knuckles in protest. The sound was like gunfire.
“And now you know why we always insist on Darth Vader here riding at the back of our procession,” said Famine as he gnawed meat off a ham bone.
“Welcome to the meeting, Death,” I offered.
Death strode silently to his seat, seemingly ignoring me. The potted plants in the room wilted and died as he passed, and he left ashen footsteps in his wake.
“He doesn’t speak, darling,” Connie said to me. “At least, nobody wants him to. Because the only thing Death ever says is your name, and when he does, you die.”
Death responded to that by making finger guns and pointing them at me. He then sat down next to War and waggled his fingers towards him, as if to say hello. War roared and slammed his fists on the table, causing a jagged crack to appear, and scooted his chair a little farther away from Death. Death shrugged his shoulders towards those seated around the table and made a gesture as if to say, “What did I do?”
I caught Miss Jones drawing a heart around War’s name in her notes.
“Death, my dear, play nice with Mongo.” Connie wagged her finger in his direction.
“Mongo has never forgiven Darth for infecting his kitten with Ebola,” Famine said, before shoving an entire piece of angel food cake in his mouth. “Mmmm! This ethnic food is so good!”
War reached across the table and grabbed a fistful of cake. Famine slapped his hand away, “Find your own, you overgrown troglodyte!”
War growled and pointed a long-barreled pistol at Famine’s head.
“Try it, and I’ll erase your entire credit history just for laughs!” said Famine.
Connie laughed. “Oh, these boys of mine,” she sighed. “They are a handful sometimes, aren’t they?”
I stood up. “Lady and gentlemen, please! This meeting will come to order! A little decorum, if you will. We have important matters to discuss.”
War reluctantly put away his gun. Famine went back to eating. Death just tented his fingers. I suspected he was laughing under his helmet.
“That was very commanding, Mister Webster.” Connie applauded gently. “Well done!”
I continued. “This meeting is to discuss your contract with the Boss. He informed me that one of you wants to retire from riding with the Horsemen, thus nullifying your contract with the Dark Lord. I must warn you, as chief legal counsel, that any such actions will be considered breach of contract. And, as specified in Addendum B, Section III, paragraph 2, subsection A—and I’m quoting here—‘Any breach of contract by any of the undersigned will be considered breach of contract by all.’ In layman’s terms, that means if one of you quits, all of you will be open to legal retribution. And trust me, you do not want to be on the receiving end of one of the Boss’s lawsuits.”
“Whoa, slow down there, Matlock!” said Famine. “Nobody is retiring. You’ve got it all wrong.”
“But you told my Boss—”
“Oh that,” he laughed. “Just having a bit of fun with Old Scratch.”
“Then why are you all here?”
“We’ve been riding the world for millennia, causing havoc and sowing discord,” Connie said. “Conquest, War, Famine, and Death—we’ve always followed each other, and it’s been working like a charm. Even when we’ve mixed things up and ridden in a different order, the results have always been the same everywhere we go: utter chaos. Ruin. Misery. It’s been a beautiful thing. But it’s time for one final ride, and we wanted to do something special. This is the big one, the ride we’ve been preparing for all along. We need an extra hand for the Apocalypse.”
“So, you’re not retiring,” I began.
“We’re hiring.” Connie finished my thought.
War grunted while nodding. Death gave me a thumbs up sign.
A knock came from the conference room door. I looked to Miss Jones, who rolled her eyes, but dutifully floated around the table towards the door. War followed her with his gaze as she passed by, raised a single eyebrow, and grunted approvingly. Miss Jones looked back over her shoulder at War with a wry grin and then opened the door. Crowded into the hallway were hundreds of different beings, ranging from the openly malevolent to the seemingly innocuous, from the ordinary to the outright weird. Each one held an identical form, which I recognized as being a work application form.
“Where did they all come from?” I asked.
“Craigslist, where else?” Famine spit bits of food out as he said every ‘S.’
“Now hold on,” I protested. “I was brought down here to negotiate your contract, not interview new applicants!”
“And so you shall,” said Connie. “I quote Addendum J, Section XII, Paragraph 3, subsection 3, bullet point number 5: ‘The Four Horsemen shall have full authority to hire additional members as needed, and as deteriorating conditions on Earth may require.’ That means that by interviewing potential applicants, you are, in effect, negotiating our contract.”
I scanned the relevant portion of the contract, buried deep in the back. Connie was correct. I wasn’t sure how the Boss had let that slip past him, but I was sure I was going to need oxygen before too much longer. And I made a special note to discuss Miss Jones’ continued snickering during her next performance review.
The interviewing process was, in a word, hellish. Despite time being largely irrelevant down here, it dragged on interminably. Every demon and demigod, every witch and warlock, every vice, habit, weakness, flaw, wickedness, and imperfection one could think of had shown up to apply for a chance to ride with the Horsemen.
The Horsemen, however, were very particular. Nit-picky is how I would describe them. They dismissed applicants left and right for a variety of reasons. The vampire king had too many dietary restrictions, and insisted on only traveling at night, so he was out. Medusa’s dark glasses that she wore to keep from accidentally turning everyone to stone were cool, but they were prescription. They loved Propaganda’s Che Guevara tattoo, but as a giant snake, he would never be able to operate a motorcycle. Militant Vegan only had a bicycle, and would never be able to keep up. Victimhood claimed oppression and threatened to sue. The twins, Snark and Sarcasm, looked too much like War’s younger siblings. Comment Section just yelled incoherently the whole time in all caps. Addiction refused to leave, and had to be forcibly removed. It was ugly, and it just kept going on and on.
When the last applicant left the room, I was exhausted and furious. I looked over at Miss Jones, who was lazily sketching War’s face in her notes. I stood and looked at each of the Horsemen. I felt the heat rising through my neck, clenched my fists and took a deep breath.
“Eight hundred and sixty-three,” I said through gritted teeth. “That’s how many applicants were here today. Eight hundred and sixty-three! And you all are telling me that not one of them fit the bill?”
“We need someone really special,” Connie said.
“And smart,” Famine nodded.
“Smart?!” I sputtered. “You want smart? Academia had thirteen hundred doctorates and had held tenure at over twenty thousand universities! You sent him away because you didn’t like his jacket!”
“Tweed is so lower middle class,” Famine shrugged and ate a slice of pizza in one bite.
I pounded the table. “What is wrong with you all?! We’ve been here for an eternity and a half, and for what? You lied about retiring, and apparently also about hiring anyone else. So why are you all here? Did you just come for the free buffet? Did none of you have anything better to do than waste my time? I know this is Hell, and suffering is part and parcel of the experience, but you lot have managed to take suffering and misery to a new low. Why, I may just go find Dante himself and inform him that his long-standing description of Hell now pales in comparison to the definition you four have created!”
There were a few moments of silence after I stopped yelling. Every eye in the room was fixed on me. Then, Famine snorted and began to laugh. Connie burst out laughing as well. War slapped his hand on the table and made a sound like an angry buffalo, which was as close as he could get to laughter. Death stood and gave a slow clap, which quickened and amplified as the others stood to join him in a round of applause.
“What is going on?” I yelled. “What is so funny?”
“Tell him,” said Famine to Connie.
“Tell him what?” I asked.
“I’ve got another little confession, Daniel,” Connie said. “We didn’t come here looking to screen applicants. We already know who we want to hire.”
“Is someone else coming?” I asked. “Look around! There’s no one here!”
“That’s not entirely true,” Connie said. “We came here to hire you.”
“Me?” I said.
“Him?” Miss Jones spat.
“You,” said Connie.
“Why me?” I asked.
“Because we could use a good lawyer,” said Famine. “Someone who understands contracts and will make sure things always work in our favor. Besides, our work will be so much more terrifying under the full weight of the law.”
“Then what was the point of all this?” I asked. “Why go through this insane circus act if you wanted to hire me all along?”
“I’m sorry about that, Danny boy,” Connie said. “That was just us having a little fun at your expense. A little hazing of the new guy, if you will. But it doesn’t change how much we all admire you. After all, you bested the Devil in a debate and found a loophole in one of his contracts! You of all people know how rare a thing that is!”
War suddenly drew his massive sword, uttered a blood-curdling howl, and then buried the blade deep into the tabletop. I jumped back. Miss Jones looked as though she would spontaneously combust with lust.
“What’s wrong with him?” I said.
“That’s just Mongo’s way of saying how much he likes you,” Connie replied.
Famine nodded. “Indeed. You scored top marks, old boy. But I’m afraid we need your decision on the matter, and we don’t have much time. Like I said, this is our last ride on Earth. After this, the curtain falls, and we move on.”
“Move on? To where?” I said.
“Oh, honey,” Connie said. “You didn’t think Earth was the only place we’d ever been, did you? Or that it was the only place we would ever go to? Darling, we have been doing this for a very long time, on many different worlds. There are so many other places to see and plunder and destroy. Come with us. Be the Fifth Horseman, I promise you’ll experience things you never dreamed possible.”
“Besides,” said Famine, “you know the classic joke: What are the only two things to survive the Apocalypse?”
“Cockroaches and lawyers,” I grinned.
Death pointed at me with both hands, and then raised the roof a few times, bouncing to a beat only he could hear.
“I must admit,” I said, “it sounds intriguing, but I once made a deal that sounded too good to be true, and it turned out it was. How do I know you’ll honor your side of the deal?”
Connie sauntered up to me. “Because of this.” She leaned in and kissed me. Hard. Fire raced through my veins, and exploded in my mind. My knees went wobbly, and I had to steady myself with the back of my chair. “’Oh, Danny boy, I love you so’” she sang softly, and then patted my cheek. “Now then, how’s your tooth?”
I ran my tongue along the inside of my teeth. Everything felt normal. That’s when I realized it—my toothache, which had been a constant source of discomfort since 1849, was gone.
“Consider that a good faith payment,” she said.
War growled softly and looked at Miss Jones. She smiled and her wings fluttered against her back.
“There’s still one problem,” I said. “What about my contract with my Boss?”
“It’s not a problem,” Connie said, laughing. “Think about it. We have the power to hire whomever we wish, right? Once we do, that person becomes a Horseman, and we officially become the Five Horsemen—”
I snapped my fingers and finished her thought. “—And then legally, the Four Horsemen cease to exist as an entity, thus nullifying any and all contracts bearing their name. Of course! And because your contract with my Boss gave you hiring power, if you hire me, it simultaneously nullifies my contract with him.”
Connie smiled. “Smart boy. I knew you were the right choice.”
“That’s very ingenious,” I said. “I’ll have to remember that clause for future reference.”
“So does that mean you’re coming with us?” asked Famine.
“Take a memo, Miss Jones,” I smiled, “Tell the Boss to take my job and shove it.”
Miss Jones scoffed at me. “Tell him yourself. I don’t work for you anymore. In fact, I’ve found a better offer of my own.”
She gazed at War and her eyes glowed red. War growled and managed the closest thing to a smile, which was still all sharp teeth and terror. In a flash, Miss Jones unfurled her wings and soared across the room into War’s arms, where she planted a kiss on him that shook the light fixtures.
“Isn’t that simply adorable?” Connie sighed. “Our Mongo is in love.”
Famine saluted the couple with a turkey leg. Death made a heart shape with his hands, and then pointed a finger gun at his head and mimed shooting himself.
# # #
I stood atop what had once been a mighty mountain and looked out over the smoldering wasteland. The Apocalypse was even more great and terrible than anyone could have dreamt. The destruction. The chaos. The insane undoing of a world gone mad. The Horsemen had ridden across the earth at full speed, literally hell-bent for the horizon. In their wake, mountains fell, cities crumbled, oceans boiled, and the skies burned. All that was once green and beautiful was laid waste in a matter of hours.
I felt sad to see the place I once called home razed to nothing, but I had to admit there was a certain purity to it all, at least from a legal perspective. It was satisfying to see a contract executed and enforced, to see each party get what they had agreed to. What happened here was undiluted justice. The people of earth had been warned, and some—to their credit—had been spared. But the sobering truth was that most had signed their contracts with my former boss a long time ago. The party ended abruptly, the bill came due, and now the contracts were settled.
Speaking of contracts, the Boss hadn’t been happy with how this all played out, of course, but he didn’t have a goat’s leg to stand on. The Horsemen’s contract was, after all, airtight. I now hold the singular distinction of being the only mortal to outsmart the Devil twice. Not bad for a kid born in a tiny New Hampshire farmhouse. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was at the beginning of something really exciting. The slate had been wiped clean, and perhaps now I could start over. I didn’t know where this road would lead, but at least it was away from here.
The green smoke from Death’s tailpipes was visible just up ahead, and the rumble of the other Horsemen’s engines still echoed. It was time for me to go. I slipped on a pair of dark glasses, zipped up my leather jacket, and pulled on my riding gloves. A single cockroach scurried towards me from under a nearby rock and then stopped, as if looking at me. I couldn’t help but laugh. Famine was right—cockroaches and lawyers were all that was left. I looked back down at the cockroach and squashed it under my boot with a satisfying crunch.
“Sorry, pal,” I said, as I kicked my leg over the seat of my motorcycle. “Looks like I win in the end.” I fired up the engine, revved it a couple of times, and then roared off into the night sky behind the other Horsemen.