Cuddles looked down into the casket. They’d done a good job, cleaned up his teeth, put colour in his cheeks. His skin looked normal, not wasted and greyed from so many fucking years.

The games ended when their parents broke up. No many games of It, no more pranks; just a simple choice, and Dimples chose Dad.

They’d seen each other off and on, less so since Dimples had gotten that look in his eye, the one that looks through you and off into god knows where. Cuddles should have said something when they last parted. Something about the redness in his eyes, something about the fact that Dimples wasn’t really saying much of anything anymore, something more than smacking him on the shoulder and saying “you’re it, arsehole.” Cuddles had run for half a minute before he realised that he wasn’t being chased.

He looked down into the casket, then touched Dimples’ hand.

Say the words,” he whispered, voice cracking. “Please. I’m not it unless you say the words.”



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