Name: Kylie Wild Title: The Luckiest Girl Dead Occupation: Gambler, Warrior Race: Human Age: 16 Gender: Female Hair: Glossy, naturally bright red hair of neck length, styled with pixie spikes in some places. Eyes: Dark jade green, with a large black spade for her right pupil. This feature of her right eye is stylized, appearing as one would on the “Ace of Spades” card. Weight: 130 pounds Height: 5’ 7”
Kylie is a slim girl of average height, who might easily be confused for a woman in her early twenties. Her skin is smooth, soft and very fair of color, as though she has spent little time in the sun. Her neck length, glossy hair is a very bright, natural red in color; she wears is styled with a few pixie spikes to give her a vibrant appearance. Her eyes are green like the color of dark jade and her right pupil takes the shape of a stylized spade, such as one that would be found on a playing card. On the back of her right hand she has a black tattoo of the Aries sign, and a myriad of astrological signs arranged into a symmetrical design tattooed on the small of her back.
Kylie can usually be found wearing a simple, yet stylish outfit of a pair of black, wide legged pants with silver threads around their ankle cuffs, a short sleeved shirt with a silver flame design and a black leather jacket with silver decorations on its cuffs and collar. Around her waist, Kylie wears a tough black leather belt with a small, simple buckle. Attached to her belt, on her right hip, she wears what appears to be a black camera case, and on her left hip, she wears a green and black case for a deck of cards. She wears a pair of black, silver and green running shoes. Slung on her right shoulder, and crossing her back, she also wears the sheath to her wakizashi. Around her neck, she wears a blood stained 5.7x28mm bullet with a red tip, engraved with the symbols for Aries and Scorpio.
Kylie is like a living dynamo. She is a very spirited and energetic person, tempered with a need for material wealth and security, and a creature of intense emotion. She is a constant bundle of energy and vitality, always ready to meet each new challenge head on and live every day and moment to its fullest. To others, she appears confident, proud, and sure of her abilities. When she wants something, she attacks it with passion, energy and intensity that can sometimes leave others a little bewildered. Through her invigorated, demanding nature, Kylie has developed a sense for the true inner motivations and the workings of highly detailed things, such as the personalities of others and the complexities of a nine deck game of poker with twenty-two players, black-eyed jacks wild.
Kylie has also developed a mask of class and self-containment that combines with her determined and energetic nature in a way that accentuates her confidence and gives her personality a powerfully magnetic edge.
In her life, Kylie has a constant need for adventure, challenge and freedom. Nearly everything she does becomes an issue of all or nothing. Her sources of conflict and motivation come from a constant feeling of confinement, her association of security with material gain, her fear of poverty, and her near refusal to accept authority, rather than being the authority. Leading comes naturally to her, following does not.
The quirk of her right eye's shape usually raises many questions, although some people assume the effect is created by a contact lens. If questioned directly, she states that the shape is natural, but changes the subject if questioned further; throwing off the impression that it makes her uncomfortable.
Although inexperienced, Kylie makes for a superb fighter. She can rally to any cause she believes in, and sees it through to the end. She's the first into battle and the last one out. Vague ideas and plans easily crystallize under her influence; she excels at turning plans into reality with firm practicality. She is gifted with drive, ambition and determination.
Weapons: G26 “Baby” Glock
A small, ten-shot 9mm pistol made from a lightweight, yet stronger-than-steel polymer. Kylie usually carries two extra clips for the gun. The gun itself is carried on her belt, opposite to her deck of cards, snugly inside a cloth and plastic carrying case that looks like it might be more for a camera than a gun. Kylie is an average shot with the pistol, but is strangely more adept at shooting moving targets than still ones.
A twenty inch blade with a six and a half inch long handle, slightly curved with a low carbon core and a high carbon edge. The material of the blade is steel, but is steel alloyed with tungsten, carbon and a metal called orothos that gives the blade a dusky violet tint. The wakizashi is of great quality and would make a very desirable weapon in full scale combat. Altogether, this weapon weighs less than three pounds but can withstand incredible pressure or blows without breaking.
If the weapon does break, its pieces can be held together, and they will “melt” together again, rendering the weapon as though it were never broken at all. Cracks in the blade mend themselves instantly. Additionally, the blade will melt only under extreme temperatures – in excess of 5,200 Celsius degrees. If the blade is heated or cooled, it never transfers any of that temperature to its handle.
Unfortunately, Kylie only bought/won the wakizashi because she thought it looked cool. She has no idea how to properly wield such a weapon, using it more like an axe or a knife than a sword. The merchant who lost/sold the weapon to Kylie also mentioned special powers, but the sword has never shown any of that to its owner. Kylie usually wears the blade in a sheath on her back.
These are twelve heavy darts with deadly points and solid metal bodies. Their fins are made from the same sort of durable polymer as her gun, and she keeps six spare sets of fins on hand in case a dart or two loses its own. Four of these darts have spiraled barbs along their tip, making them extremely painful to pull out one’s flesh. These darts are Kylie’s only weapon with which she is truly proficient; she can accurately and powerfully throw one of her darts up to forty-five feet away – even further if she is using her Spades suit.
Armor: Super Cool Jacket
Kylie’s jacket has flexible plates of the same polymer as her gun planted into its body. The armor that this addition provides is undetectable under most conditions and provides better protection against bullets than a Kevlar vest, as well as good protection against anything else that might try to punch through her jacket.
2 spare cell phone batteries
Pair of dice
Wallet filled with “legitimate” IDs and licenses for just about anything
Best Shoes Ever
Kylie’s shoes are specially designed to provide her with excellent support no matter what she is doing. Although they appear to be normal, if high quality, running shoes, they could actually be called all-purpose shoes. The shoes themselves are waterproof and can change their inner temperature to make Kylie more comfortable, although they can’t really stop water and stuff from getting in through the feet holes. Inside each shoe is a very precise computer that reads Kylie’s actions and environment up to three thousand times each second and then modifies the air support within the shoe and traction on the ground to give her the best possible support at any moment.
The shoes know the difference between high activity and low, and therefore have a standby mode they assume to conserve energy. They're equipped with retractable cleats and, tiny pores along their soles that can both exude and dissolve an adhesive substance of varying strength, all to ensure that Kylie’s traction is stellar at any moment. If the shoes sense a shift in direction and angle that indicates their wearer is attempting to slide, the shoes will shift traction in the other direction. High powered magnets along the soles, a built-in metal detector, the shoes’ gyroscopes and an unusually high ankle cradle that can adjust to hug a wearer’s ankle tighter can even work together allow their wearer to walk, run or jump on ferrous surfaces.
Kylie doesn’t know exactly how the shoes work, but she was told that their batteries can survive several dozen hours of intense activity, and are recharged by their wearer’s motion during down time; all she needs to do is change her insoles every now and then, and the shoes will take care of the rest.
Strengths: Better Than the Old Days
Kylie is an amazing gambler. She is familiar with card counting, probability and is familiar with some very advanced mathematics. She is a natural psychologist and somaticist, able to read people’s “tells” and faces to ferret out lies, partial truths or bluffs with remarkable ease. Since her death, her knack and prodigious skill in the art have only grown, becoming augmented by her new powers. When chance becomes a factor in anything she does, she develops a powerful intuition for the best course of action. For this reason, Kylie often closes her eyes when she fires her gun, finding that this intuition makes her a much better shot than when she relies on her own skill.
Luckiest Girl Dead
Fate and Luck are always on Kylie’s side, helping her out when mere skill is not enough. It is difficult to say how this power manifests, since its effects are nearly invisible, but Kylie’s luck is now easily noticeable both to herself and to others. With this ability at her disposal, money is only rarely an issue for the young woman, and danger is only rarely as dangerous for her as it would be for others.
You’d have to be Superhuman…
Since her death, Kylie has developed an array of superhuman powers, all of which are linked to her emotions, gambling terms and a spiritual deck of cards. By spending “suits” out of her deck, Kylie gains speed, strength, reflexes, healing ability or luck far beyond the human norm. Alternatively, she can spend “cards” to change someone else’s luck for the worse, make a copy of her self, vanish, produce a blast of psychokinetic energy, strike a devastating blow, or a number of other effects.
Weaknesses: Unluckiest Girl Dead
Although she is unaware of it, her Luckiest Girl Dead strength is actually the use of her Motley suit. If it were not for Kylie using this power, her pool of “cards” would be 54, instead of 52. Kylie also loses her incredible luck at any time that Kylie loses her other card tricks. Whenever the Motley suit’s effect wears off, the suit also renews, and Kylie uses it without becoming aware of doing so. If Kylie is somehow prevented from using the Motley suit in this way, fate and luck are set against her until she can. Skill will avail her less than it would others, and danger is more imposing for her than others would find it. Interestingly, this weakness does not affect Kylie while she sleeps.
The Nature of the Gamble
All of Kylie’s card tricks rely on a set pool of points from which to draw their power, which Kylie is not aware of. Although one or two of her powers may only use one or two points, the majority of them will eat through much larger portions of her reserve. When Kylie runs out of cards in her pool, she is not aware of it, and may therefore place herself in harm’s way with some sorely misplaced confidence. Furthermore, when her card pool reaches zero, she loses the benefit of any ongoing card trick effect instantly, such as the “Luckiest Girl Dead” effect of her Motleys suit, but not her enhanced intuition.
Kylie does not yet have a full grasp of her superhuman powers. She is unaware of the existence of most of her abilities, cannot always control the ones that she does know about, and does not understand what her limits are. She has never been a fighter, and has very little understanding of how to fight, but has decided to take that path.
Skills/Magic: Card Tricks
Kylie has special powers based on her emotions, gambling terms and a spiritual deck of cards, which manifest in a wide variety of ways. Presently, she has only suit- and blackjack-associated abilities, but may have more as she gets to know her powers more fully. Kylie normally has a total of 52 cards to work with, although this number could conceivably be 54. Her cards available renew at the beginning of each day. The following are her abilities, as well as their durations and costs:
Cost – 13 cards (1 suit)
Kylie’s Spades ability can be used only once per day, but lasts for about twelve hours (or whatever the local half a day is) once activated. With it, Kylie can perform feats of herculean strength, such as lifting a semi truck or smashing through a stone wall or pillar with ease. Her Spades suit is linked to a desire to be physically stronger, although Kylie is not yet aware of the upper limits of this power, and is not keen on testing them.
Cost – 13 cards (1 suit)
Like all other suits, the Hearts power can be used only once per day. It lasts only a single hour, but during this time, Kylie could recover from near fatal injuries to perfect health, but could not do so multiple times within that same time frame. With the Hearts suit, Kylie could even reattach a severed limb to her body, although she would never want to be in a position to try such a thing in the first place. The Hearts suit is linked to Kylie’s desire to not be injured, so it usually activates whenever she suffers a wound of any kind.
Cost – 13 cards (1 suit)
The Diamonds suit increases both Kylie’s speed and reflexes to amazing levels. With this suit active, Kylie could react fast enough to dodge a bullet, but not many bullets in succession, or could run at speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour (112 kmh). The Diamonds suit lasts for two hours and can be used once per day. The Diamonds suit is triggered by nothing more than the desire to move faster.
Cost – 13 cards (1 suit)
The Clubs suit raises Kylie’s stamina to heights on par with the rest of her Suits abilities. For as long as the Clubs suit is active, no amount of activity or effect will cause the girl to tire. After the suit expires, she does not feel the effects of anything she had done while under its influence. The Clubs suit can be used once per day and lasts for a total of eight hours before wearing off. This suit is made active by Kylie’s want to get a second wind.
Cost – 2 cards (Motleys suit)
Kylie’s Motleys suit (usually referred to as the Jokers in a deck) is the source of her incredible luck. It lasts for a full day once activated, and can be used once per day. The Motleys suit requires nothing but Kylie’s want to be awake to activate, and therefore is active almost constantly. The only lag time this power usually experiences is during Kylie’s first few moments of wakefulness.
Cost – 3 cards
The fold power allows Kylie to vanish from reality for a few moments – anywhere from a few fractions of a second upwards to two and a half seconds. Either way, it isn’t much time, but it makes for an ideal manner of dodging just about anything. Although Kylie leaves existence when she uses her fold power, her awareness remains, allowing her to end the effect as soon as she wants to. Although the fold power is triggered by a desire to give up, Kylie is aware of this one, and so can sometimes activate it without actually experiencing that emotion.
Cost – 1 card
The hit power hits something psychokinetically. The starting point of this force is usually a position directly next to its target, and the Hit packs enough punch to break a pane of thick glass. Kylie’s hit power is linked to a want to have more of something, and she is not yet in control of the power or even aware of it.
Cost – 2 cards
The stand power allows Kylie to resist almost any level force, whether she’s arm wrestling with a very large and strong opponent, being hit by a car, or standing in a hurricane, she will not be moved in any way or direction she doesn’t want to be moved. This power does not grant her any particular resilience against injury, only assurance that she won’t budge. The stand power is linked to a sensation of smug confidence, and lasts as long as her confidence does. Kylie is not yet aware of and therefore has no conscious control over this power, either.
Cost – 7 cards
Caused by a want to be in more than one place at the same time, Kylie’s split power makes a copy of herself for a short time. Normally, Kylie cannot maintain having a copy for more than a few minutes, and if one of them suffers an injury, then Kylie maintains that injury after the split power ends. The same goes for things learned by one and not the other or similar experiences. Conversely, both Kylies draw the cards for their powers from the same pool, so she could easily drain her pool of cards almost instantly in this way. Although Kylie has triggered this power in the past, she doesn’t know how she did it, and thus has no control over it now.
Cost – 18 cards
When Kylie feels that it’s all or nothing and the payoff is more than worth the gamble, she’ll use her double down power without even realizing it. When this happens, her intensity of success or failure for the next one minute becomes amazing. If she succeeds, she’ll do it beyond her intent. If she fails, it will be dismal.
Cost – 27 cards
Activated by Kylie’s sensation of impending victory against overwhelming odds, Kylie’s blackjack power makes her like a force of nature. It lasts for only three minutes, but during that time, she gains the benefits of her Spades, Diamonds, Hearts and Motleys suits, as well as the effect of her Double Down power and full control over her Hit power – the latter without the cost of any cards. When Kylie’s blackjack power is active, the spade in her right eye develops a brilliant golden glow, visible from nearly a quarter mile away in broad daylight. Further, if Kylie’s blackjack power would reduce her to 0 or less cards, it remains in effect until its three minutes have elapsed. This power has never manifested for Kylie before, and she has no control over it in any way.
Cost – 9 cards
When Kylie realizes that she is facing an opponent or multiple opponents far more powerful than herself, her insurance power activates. If she would be struck down in combat while her insurance is active, she’ll be transported away from the battle to a very safe distance, usually measured in miles. She has no control over which direction she goes or where she ends up, but will always be delivered from harm’s way. Her insurance power lasts for the entire duration of a battle, no matter how long. Curiously, while Kylie’s insurance power is active, she cannot use her Blackjack power at all. Kylie is not yet aware of her Insurance power, and therefore cannot control it.
Cost – 0 cards
Kylie’s only manner of recovering cards without waiting for them to return at the next day’s beginning, her Push power activates when she realizes that she and an opponent are at an impasse, whether or not they truly are matched for power or options. When this happens, she recovers 2 cards from her pool. Since her push power happens instantly, it has no duration. Further, it doesn’t matter whether she knows of the power or not.
Kylie was sixteen years old; she faked an ID card and a persona that kept her own first name so that she could gamble in professional environments. She was fond of dressing in stately blacks with a little flair that helped to make her look like she set her own style. She had bright, natural red hair, dark jade green eyes and very fair skin. She lived at home with her parents and attended school by day; her parents thought she was a waitress at a very prestigious restaurant downtown at night. She explained the money she made as tip money. In reality, she had left that job just weeks after she picked it up.
Ever since she was a small child, Kylie had a knack for gambling. She could read peoples' tells and faces and had a special feel for all varieties of card game. As she grew older, she honed her knack into a powerful skill and learned card counting, probability and some very advanced mathematics. She could run the numbers on tables of up to thirty people and engineer a dotted winning streak that would earn her end profits of $200 or more on a $5 start, though she kept her numbers small like that in order to not draw attention to herself from either the casino owners or her parents.
One evening, her parents went to her "restaurant" to see her while she worked. Obviously, Kylie wasn't there. When they got home, they went through her room to see if they could find a clue to where she had gone and found a strongbox under her bed with all of her "persona" information in it, as well as a "small savings account." Her savings had amounted to more than $3,200. That was in no way normal for a 16 year old girl, so they confronted her about it.
When Kylie got home just after midnight (as normal), the **** hit the fan. After the fight, she went to her room and, while her parents thought she would have been crying on her bed, she grabbed a few of her things and took off through her bedroom window.
She used some of the money she had earned that night to buy herself a hotel room for the night and made herself look nice for the next night of casinos. She played ruthlessly, and didn't stop at her usual $200. Instead, she racked up between one and two thousand from six different businesses. She knew that this method would keep her under casino radar while she made enough to make a living at a nearby hotel until she figured out a plan for her life thereafter.
At the seventh casino, she went from the front end to the back and got into a game of blackjack with some big business types. She dazzled, setting up an uneven rhythm of winnings and losses that would net her an average of +$300 per hand.
During the games, someone offered her a job as a secretary at their business, and she declined graciously, saying that she was too involved with college to get a job just then.
After earning a solid $7,000 from that table, Kylie said that she didn't want to push her luck too far, and took her leave with everything she had won that night. As she left the casino through the alleyway exit, she had almost $16,000 in her purse. That's some pretty good cash; she was very satisfied with herself and thought that instead of living out of a hotel, she'd find a good roommate in the city and stay there until she was old enough to buy her own house without using her persona.
As the door shut behind her, she looked out toward the street to her left and tucked a tendril of hair back behind her right ear. A voice she didn't recognize called out to her, "Kylie!" The only people that should have known that name were some of the folks at the table inside the casino. She hesitated for a moment, and then turned to look at her addressor.
There was a black charger parked in the alleyway. A tall, black man in a black suit with a white shirt and a black tie was standing beside it. He was wearing glasses, so she couldn't see his eyes but she could tell that he was bald. He was holding something up at her as she turned, and she opened her mouth just as the stranger fired the bullet. “Huh?”
The next thing she knew, she was beside herself. Literally. She was looking at herself. The lock of hair from her right ear was still in mid-swing, and the look on her face was one of unaware surprise. She was in a pose like she should have been walking forward, but had been stopped by something that she was turning around to look at. Just barely touching the center of her right eye was the red-tipped point of a 5.7x28mm round.
Numb, Kylie followed the back of the bullet back to its source. It was the man she had seen, he was holding the gun at an angle from the recoil of the shot. His face was expressionless, and she knew him to be professional at once.
She took a deep breath and tried to keep herself steady, but she was beginning to tremble. She was seeing her own death in still life.
As she looked around the alleyway frantically, she noticed something was out of place – very out of place. There was an elderly gentleman standing across from her "self" in the alleyway. He was dressed in a khaki-brown suit with a matching tie secured to his shirt by an engraved gold pin. He was holding a pocket watch in his right hand, looking down at it with some interest. The watch's chain led inside the man's jacket.
When she looked at this man with more interest, he suddenly looked up at her and cracked a smile, "Right on time, Miss Wild." His voice was easy and yet polite, inviting in its timbre and it sounded familiar. Like a beloved grandfather.
Kylie looked at the man without saying a word, but the expression on her face was one of sheer confusion. She opened her mouth to say something, but she closed it again and regained her composure. Taking a breath, she asked, “Right on time for what?”
“To die, Miss Wild.” He perked his brows at her as he spoke; his expression was a gentle one.
Kylie looked back at her ‘self,’ who was still standing there with a bullet on her right eye, then over at the man with the pocket watch. “No,” she protested, shaking her head, “you can’t be Death. You don’t even look like Death!”
The old man sighed deeply, placing a knuckle against his forehead, “Very well, then, Miss Wild. Would you prefer–”
The next thing Kylie knew, the entire alley was covered in black tatters of cloth, flapping violently in some unseen wind. A grinning skull beneath a hood was at the center of it all, and a crooked scythe in its bony hands, beneath that. Its voice screeched like steel nails on a blackboard, “– this?”
Something in her chest seized from fear. Kylie was convinced; she most definitely did not prefer this. Her throat suddenly dry, she managed to squeak, “No.” Suddenly, everything was as it was before, with the man in the khaki-colored suit and alleyway around her. Death beckoned her forward, toward the same door he had stepped out of, and turned around to walk into it. Before he could leave, though, Kylie shouted after him, “Wait!”
That was it. Death knew the sound of that voice well. It was like denial, but more whiney. It always preceded the But-I-Don’t-Want-to-Die shpeal. Putting on his most fatherly smile, he turned around to face her. “Yes, what is it?” he asked her.
“I’ve heard that if I beat you in a game…” she began.
That caught Death’s attention. This happened only rarely, and it always turned out in Death’s favor. It wasn’t another boring day in the field, and when the dead lost, they always came along willingly afterward. An earnest smile slipped onto his face, “What’s the game, Miss Wild?”
“Blackjack. Single deck, resplit to four, three two payout, dealer wins push. The bet is my life, and walking away from this without a scratch.” Kylie smiled, naming the game in professional form.
A table now stood between Kylie and Death. She brushed its smooth green felt with her hand as she sat at the newly arrived chair. As long as she was living, she lived by the gamble, why not now? As Death sat down, a deck with red backs appeared beside him and shuffled itself. The game started, the alley was silent but for the sound of cards being dealt.
On her side, Kylie Wild had the jack of clubs and the jack of hearts. The dealer was showing the queen of diamonds. Death peeked at his other card, and then looked at the player. “Split,” she stated. She slid the jack of hearts to the side, indicating that she would play her jack of clubs first. Death dealt her jack of clubs a deuce of the same suit. “Hit me,” she spoke again, her voice was intense but disinterested at the same time. The three of diamonds. She smiled, fifteen. Chances were she’d drop a large card, next. “Hit me.” The six of spades landed on the table. Twenty-one – win or push. She was almost completely certain the dealer wasn’t hiding a blackjack, so she counted that one a win. There was just one problem. She still had another hand, and if she didn’t win that one, she’d cut even with Death and push. Death would win, so she’d have to win the next hand, as well.
Kylie slid the cards of her winning hand to the side and moved the jack of hearts in front of her, showing the dealer that she wished to move on to the next hand. Death nodded and dealt the card. The jack of spades. Narrowing her eyes, Kylie slid the new card to the side, splitting again, and then glanced up at Death, waiting for him to deal another card. It was the four of diamonds. With fourteen, things were looking in her favor. On this fourteen, she was practically guaranteed the card to win. For flair, she grinned as she said, “Double down.” Death lifted the top card of the deck and flicked it into place. The eight of spades. Bust. Kylie’s heart skipped a beat, but her smile didn’t falter.
This wasn’t just bad. Her cocky attitude had gotten her into a horrible fix. She was a life behind. Among her only options now were another split and two wins, another double down and a win, or blackjack. What bleak options.
Death’s face was like a stone wall. He looked completely unfeeling as the young woman slid her losing hand to the side, and pushed the jack of spades in front of her. He dealt the card.
Kylie watched it fall from his fingers, turning face up in mid-air with the precision of Death’s practice across the eons. When it hit the felt, Kylie could have sworn she heard its boom echo across the alley. In perfect alignment with the jack of spades, the card stood black and bold. The ace of spades. Blackjack, payout 3:2, and she’s suddenly ahead by half a life. The dealer revealed his card – the king of hearts.
Kylie was stunned and speechless. She beat Death. She. Beat. Death. On the inside, she was bursting with excitement. On the outside, however, she wore nothing but a veneer of classy win. Standing up, Kylie reached across the table and offered Death her hand, “Well played, Master Death. It was a pleasure to play with you. He reached up and shook her hand back, but Kylie noted he lacked the strength for it as he stared at the cards in amazement.
She split twice and lost a double down, the odds reviled this young woman, but she beat him anyway. Death set his face set into a frown, and Kylie thought he may have been angry. His voice sounded nothing of the like, though. "You're dead," he protested. "There's not a whole lot that can be done about this, look at yourself. You have a bullet in your eye. That gun is a Five-SeveN IOM. That hitman is less than twenty-five paces away. His aim is perfect. This man will go crazy if you survive. You would have to be superhuman to live through this without a scratch."
Kylie only shrugged and replied, "You agreed on the bet. It would be unprofessional to try taking it back."
The old man shook his head, "I won't take it back but, you're not getting away with this for free. You won by half a life, not a whole one."
Time started again. The resounding blast of the gun's shot finished its course. Kylie heard herself hit the ground. A hideous pain flared from her right eye, blood gushed from it copiously. She turned around, and saw herself dead on the ground. She glanced up at the hitman, who was looking at Kylie, the old man, and the dead Kylie assembled in the alleyway. The table, of course, was not there.
The man looked to the side, uncertain of what to do, or even think. Those other two weren't there a moment ago. He hesitated badly, then holstered his gun, shook his head and said, "I did the job. I’m outta here." With that, he got in his car, started it, and drove out of the alley.
Kylie stood over herself, dead in the alleyway, as Death himself walked through an unseen door in the alley's wall. Her right eye bled profusely, and the pain was almost unbearable. Her mind was racing; there was no clean way to hide this. She couldn't leave herself there, so she did the only thing she could think of. She took the purse full of her belongings off of her own body, slung it around herself, and took out her cell phone. She called an ambulance.
Before she knew it, she was sitting beside her dead self in the back of an ambulance. She was in shock, and one of the EMTs was bandaging her eye. The EMTs figured the girls were twins, but were puzzled over the lack of ID on the dead one. Everything seemed to happen in a blur for the next few hours.
On arrival at the hospital, one Kylie was declared dead, the other was taken into emergency care. There was paperwork, police and a lot of concerned medical people. She met a shrink briefly; he was something like a trauma specialist. They asked about her parents; she told them she was a runaway.
After she was settled into a room, and some more talking with people she had never seen before, she was allowed to call her parents. She explained to them that she was alright, for the most part, and what hospital she was staying in.
Some twenty minutes later, a nurse came in to change the bandage on her head. As soon as the bandages were removed, a look of confusion and slight panic crossed the nurse's face. He got up, and walked, nearly jogged, hurriedly out of the room. Midway in his stride, everything stopped again.
A door that was not there a moment before appeared on one of the room's walls. The door opened, and an old man dressed in a khaki-colored suit walked out of it. Kylie looked at Death with a mild confusion, then a dawning understanding. Before she could speak, Death cut in gently, "It's only going to get worse from here, you know. Look at the facts. You're dead on a slab down in the morgue. Your parents are going to positively identify that corpse as you. Then, they're going to come up here and create all sorts of chaos. Your parents stand to lose quite a bit from all of this. The doctors and psyches think you're in shock right now. However, after they think the shock has worn off, there's going to be a scandal. Your parents will be accused of hiding away a twin of you from the world. They'll lose everything, because there is no evidence to support that they are nothing but good, loving people, and a corpse on a mortuary slab to prove everything to the contrary."
Death went on, "There's something about you that scared that nurse out of his wits. It probably has to do with your eye. Think about it, this is an emergency hospital in one of darkest places in town. The nurses here have seen everything from code blue to the downright disgusting. Last week they pulled a shotgun barrel out of a very injured man's..." Death cleared his throat, and then moved on, "Anyhow. Something about you scared that man, and now he's about to bring in doctors of every field and specialty he can think of to figure it out. You'll be labeled and studied for weeks – if not months or years. An air of eternal mystery will surround you and your broken family until you pass away. Oh, and you'll never be able to gamble again, because your face will be all over the news across the nation."
Kylie's mind whirred with all these thoughts as Death put down the pieces. She began to panic, finding almost all of it to be nearly unavoidable. As she started to pant from the excitement, she turned partly numb, and got up from the hospital bed. She walked over to a mirror in the room and looked at herself. Her eye was uninjured. No blood, no scar, not a single scratch. Uninjured did not mean that it was normal, however. Her pupil had been replaced by a spade, black and bold. She whirled around and looked at Death, beginning to pant as panic set in again. Before she could say anything, or even become faint, Death interrupted her again.
"Of course, I do have an alternative." The door behind him opened of its own accord, revealing daylight and a grassy field beyond. Outside, it was four in the starless black sky morning and, she was on the third story. Kylie stared at the door, not knowing where it led, but she knew it would not be here, in this mess. She glanced at the old man. "You'll disappear from this world; your presence here this evening will be improvable. The scene will change from wretched scandal to divine mercy. Your parents will think it was a ghost that called them on the phone. No one will be able to prove them wrong or right. A mystery will remain, and your parents will be very sad but, your family will remain intact, for the most part. Think about it."
Kylie didn't have to think about a thing. She took ten grand of the money in her purse out of it, and left it in an envelope addressed to her parents on the bed. Then, she followed Death through the door.