A light, cool rain fell over the cemetery at midnight, crashing onto the warm earth and raising a thin mist that served to blur the boundary between the lands of the living and the dead. The only noise, the steady drizzle striking the hood of his dark green poncho.

Heathcliff stared at the small, unwritten grave marker over the empty lot he had purchased as though it might disappear any moment, and his lovely Paladin would emerge from the mist, naked and laughing at the silly Haunt that fell for her grand prank. He stared so hard that blood began to fall from his eyes.

The stone remained.

Heathcliff sighed. He was alone. There were no Sanctified left among the Kindred of Sacramento. A year ago, this might have been welcome news, but now he was Bishop, with no flock to call his own. He and Madison hadn't made much of a Covenant, but they had kept the faith. He turned his face to the sky, but there were no answers there, either. The rain poured into the diagonal cut he had made, and left, across his nose this evening. The sensation was odd and reminded him of almost-sneezing when he was alive.

And Madison was dead. He was in the basement assisting some unknown psychopath while his lovely companion was utterly destroyed just a few feet above. Heathcliff savored the guilt as only a true connoisseur can.

After an appropriate amount of self-recrimination, Heathcliff pulled a slim, black leather volume from his jacket pocket and quietly read a short passage from the Dark Prophet in Eulogy.

"Ashes to ashes," Heathcliff remarks sadly. He put two fingers to his dead, dry lips and pressed them against the gravestone of Madison Wells, then slowly walked back to his car.