It was the kind of night you'd expect to be Halloween, but the streets were empty. I lived in a house I'd never been in before, downstairs, in the room by the front door. I had white curtains over the closed window looking out onto the sloping street.

Someone had died earlier that night, and I had found a piece of metal on my bathroom counter. I knew these things were connected in that way you always know things are connected when you're dreaming. On examining the metal, I discovered it was actually an easily-conceilable weapon. It was a thing of sharpened steel and rivets and bearings, weighing only a few ounces. When rolled up, it was about the size of a cracker; when opened, it was a round, bladed device that could have been called a Crown of Thorns.

I retracted the weapon and put it in my pocket, and set out for a walk on this strange night, hoping to yield some clue as to what exactly I had gotten myself into. I reached a house I knew to belong to my friend, Justin. Walking towards his gate, I noticed a piece of black cloth hanging from the gate hinges. I pocketed the cloth as well. Walking through the gate, I got that strange tingling you would read about in a spy novel, or a comic book. I spun around to see a figure in a reaper-like black cloak, with a Crown of Thorns just like mine!

We squared off, prepared to fight to the death, if necessary; and somehow I knew it was completely necessary. He struck first, slicing the crown across my shirt, tearing it and leaving a thin line of blood running down my chest. After the attack, his arms were out wide, and I took advantage of the situation to kick him in the stomach, doubling him over. I followed up with a knee to his chin that sent him sprawling onto the grass. The figure scrambled to his feet and ran off immediately, dropping a pouch as he ran.

I didn't chase after him, more curious with the nature of the pouch he'd dropped. Picking it up, I noticed how heavy it was. I opened it up to find a small motor inside, like you might see inside a high-end radio-controlled car. Somehow this obscure clue led me to the conclusion that the killer was none other than Justin himself!

Racing back home to find a phone, I had neglected to conceil my Crown of Thorns, and so people began to notice me running wildly up the hill with a weapon in my hands. There was a shout, and then people began to chase after me. I hid the weapon under my jacket, and they stopped, staring blankly at me as I continued to run. I made it back to my house and jumped through my open window. As I reached for the telephone, I heard laughter coming from behind me. There was Justin, cowl thrown back and eyes wide with madness, cackling wildly.

We squared off again, this time more cautious. I attacked first this time, with a sweep that knocked him off his feet. My follow-up slash was stopped by his left hand as he grabbed my forearm. He kicked me in the head, and I fell down beside him, perpendicular. Justin threw his right arm back and stabbed me in the belly with one half-inch thorn. I howled in pain and rolled away from him, regaining my feet. He stood up as well, and resumed his maniacal laughter. I threw my Crown of Thorns frisbee-style, and his laughter stopped, as he no longer had a windpipe with which to continue the act. He fell to the ground, grasping his throat, and died slowly and without a sound.