This is an accidental sequel to: Foolish man. You cannot turn me into a phantom because you are frightened.


Dear Galenical Gabriel,

I am sending you back. The unfortunate incident with the gun-toting maniac was unplanned and unforseen. The quest is back on. Please fulfill your destiny at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Johnson

It was a cool, crisp day in the city. Gabriel held onto the letter tightly, knowing that the gusts of wind that polluted the air would try to steal it from him. He tried to escape from this world, but they would not let him. Every time he died they gave him a new playing piece and put him back on the same board. He figured the last time would end it. Being shot by a foolish man with a pawn shop revolver should have rendered his physical form useless to the world of humans. Johnson didn't care. Running the show, he barely flinched at the idea of rebuilding his favorite pawn and returning him to active play. For Johnson, doing so took as much effort as a fourteen year old acne ridden teenager slipping another quarter into an arcade game at the mall.

Of course, being refitted for the waking world was not a perfect science. Johnson tended to be sloppy about remembering exact coding for each of his creations. Galenical Gabriel was taller this time, had bigger eyes, a tattoo of a scorpion on his left bicep and he was almost entirely invisible. Whether or not that was by Johnson's design, provoked by his hidden agenda, remained to be seen. Gabriel had to go on the assumption that it was an accidental rebuild miscue.

Note:
It is uncommon for Johnson to rebuild you and send you back.
Do not try this at home.
Getting shot in the face is serious business.
Your friends and family will be sad if such a thing happens to you.
Enjoy life and stop being so morbid.

Dogs, small children, and homeless people were able to see Gabriel in his new format. Other than that, either no one saw him, or no one cared. People would bump into him, take a step back, look confused for a minute and then gingerly begin walking in another direction. If Gabriel had possessed a sense of humor he would have attempted a few manuevers that would really distress the general population. As it was, he was far more concerned with fulfilling the mission assigned him. He was tired of this world and wanted Johnson to re-evaluate his situation. That would not happen until he found the woman who did not want to be found. If only he had not professed undying love for her sixteen lifetimes ago he would be able to depart this world. As it was, he was stuck here for as long as she was. Even as any chance for them to bring themselves together in any form of union was lost, their fates remained eternally bound. Gabriel swore it was the last time he would ever make an eternal, undying vow without first checking to see who was listening. Johnson was such a hardass about these things.

Be careful what you wish for.When you get it your hindsight might plague you.

"You'll have to kill her.
Fate has her scheduled for twenty more years here.
You want to be a phantom for two decades?"

Galenical Gabriel didn't know where the voice came from or who it might belong to. It certainly didn't belong to Johnson, who was opposed to murder unless he required it for his own purposes. As disturbing as the thought was, Gabriel knew it held a high degree of truth and value. His existence was based on finding a way, from one life to another, to bring the soul of his immortal beloved and his own together as one. There had been too many mistakes in this lifetime for it to happen here. In the world of cliches, there was too much water under the bridge. Still, he wondered, wouldn't killing her go against everything he existed for? To harm her gentle, but disturbed soul? Too many questions. Too many answers. Too few pens to connect all the dots.

Being invisible made it possible to slip into unsuspecting drivers' cars and travel all over town. He hoped one of them would drop him off within walking distance of some of the places he had been with his beloved. Perhaps she would return there out of sentimentality.

Finally, a truck in which Gabriel was a secret passenger would drive past the Two Horses Saloon, a place he knew she liked to frequent. Often he had spent time there, waiting for her arrival. She never came. Perhaps news of his death had reached her and she would decide to revisit the bar she once called a second home.

As the overweight, body odor radiating driver of the truck drove closer to the saloon, Gabriel sat forward. A woman was walking across the street to the dirt lot where the patrons of Two Horses parked. It was her. He could not believe his eyes. It had been seven years since their paths last crossed. She had obviously heard about his demise and decided it was safe to come out of the shadows. How wrong people can be when they feel a sense of relief.

"To hell with fate!"

The driver was startled. Although invisible, his phantom passenger's voice was clearly audible. Looking frantically about the cabin of his truck, the portly man stopped paying attention to the road ahead. When he finally looked back after being unable to discern the source of the mysterious vocal outburst, he had swerved towards the sidewalk and hit an unsuspecting pedestrian.

No longer concerned about revealing his presence in the truck, Gabriel opened the passenger side door and jumped down into the street. His beloved was lying in the street, having been struck by the swerving truck. She wasn't moving, and her head was bleeding from where it had hit the pavement. The sound of ambulances were coming down the street, thanks to the instant calling power of the cell phones of several onlookers. He crouched down and watched her, knowing she was about to die. Her eyes opened for an instant and looked up at him. She smiled and gently shook her head. Then, in an instant, she was gone.

Unexpected tears formed in the corners of the phantom's eyes. He stood up and looked at the throng that had gathered around them. They had no idea of the perverse beauty they were witnessing. All they saw was a young woman hit by a truck and a large, odoriferous man trying to explain that it was not his fault. The phantom turned and saw Michael, one of Johnson's most loyal lieutenants, standing beside him. He put his hand on Gabriel's shoulder and told him that they were going home.

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