“I don’t like it.”
No one hears him. No one sees him. He used to think they were ignoring him, but they’re really not. He is concealed. He stands within the stinking flock garden among the yellowed roses depicted on the wallpaper of the Eight Kings’ public bar. Grinner pokes his nose beyond the faux rose before him and draws the room without. He is empty. It is full. He takes the breeze. The breath of life is good here. Golden apple green, good. Anne of Green Gables, good. Tobacco brown, good. Rain later, good. He hears the crackling fire in the hearth, but there are no voices, no song, no laughter. He hears no glass. The people go about their lives in silence. The fire crackles. He feels no heat.
“And I don’t have to like it.”