Mr. Prologue
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A Hispanic man suddenly appeared in a room filled with smoke, alarms, and an Italian man. Beyond the massive hole in the corner of the room, he could see a river cutting through a green valley, stretching towards a forested horizon.

The Italian man looked back and smiled as he saw his new vistor. "Oh, hey, that was fast," he said as he discarded a piece of paper. "Long time no see, money bags. Care to take a seat?"

Mr. Money smiled and walked towards the table, taking a seat next to Mr. Hot. "It's been a while."

"Heh, well, neither of us could ever stay in one place for long. That's not us."

"How did you even get me here?"

Mr. Hot chuckled to himself. "Called in a favor from an old friend."

"What kind of friend?"

"A collector," Mr. Hot said, then noticed a dark shadow creep across Mr. Money's face. "Don't give me that look! I know you won't believe me, but I think he's sorry."

"Sorry? Him. I find the prospect…unlikely. What even were the terms?"

"Chump change. $5. A measly amount even I'd have in this place."

"I don't mean what you paid for. I mean what were the terms. For me."

Mr. Hot raised an eyebrow. "You mean you can't tell?"

Mr. Money was silent.

"I'll take that as a no then. Well! As of now you are officially my personal liqour locker. You can and will give me whatever drink I request at any moment."

Mr. Money stared at Mr. Hot.

"So c'mon. Gimme the booze."

Mr. Money sighed. "You and I both know that we're not allowed to drink."

Mr. Hot fell slumped back into his chair. "Well, hell, he would probably make an exception for, you know-" He gestured towards the hole. As if on cue, flowers began to bloom across the field. "Yeah. That."


Mr. Hot smirked. "Do you really not know what the terms were?"

"No, I do not, which is exactly the reason why I'm still asking you."

"You're free."


"You're free!"

"What do you mean?"

For the second time that day, Mr. Hot raised his eyebrows. "Do I have to spell it out for you? You're not bound by anything anymore. That contract there was your last. For real this time."

"I-what?" Mr. Money said, clearly taken aback.

"I figured it was the least I could do, after all we've done. I'm sorry it's only for…" Mr. Hot glanced towards the newly flowered field, "however long we have left. But at least you can be you."

"Huh," was all Mr. Money had to say.

They sat in silence for a while.

"So," Mr. Hot said, breaking the tension, "Are you going to stop it?"

Mr. Money closed his eyes in thought and took a deep breath in, deep breath out. He opened his eyes. "No…don't think I will. This is the last stop."

Mr. Hot turned to face Mr. Money. "You know, you always went on about that. About your 'last stop.' But you know what? I don't think it is."

"Well then what is it?"

"Well…I don't know per say but…"

"Let me guess. You've got an idea?"

Mr. Hot made finger-guns. "Bingo."

"Well then, let's hear it."

Mr. Hot stared out towards the setting sun. "Well, it is the last stop. The flowers are proof enough. But only for now. Just because the train is at the end of its route doesn't mean it's never going to set out again. And maybe, just maybe. After this stop. This train's gonna get a brand new set of tracks to ride on."

Mr. Money let out a quick grunt. "You seem pretty sure of yourself."

A sly grin covered Mr. Hot's face. "What can I say? I've never been wrong when it came to stuff like this."

Mr. Money had a smile of his own creeping up his face. "No, you never have, have you?"

"I've really missed you, you know that?"

"And I have missed you. And you know what, that was a good idea you had earlier."

"Oh? A compliment?" Mr. Hot said. "It really is the end of the world."

Mr. Money let himself laugh, truly, for the first time in a long, long time. "Cheers, to the end of the world. Let's hope that your friend really has changed."

With those words, both of the men were holding a glass of vodka. Mr. Hot raised his glass. "Cheers," he said, clinking his glass against his brother's.

Neither of them drank it. "You know," Mr. Hot said, "I think it would actually be a bad idea, to break the Old Man's rules now. How about some orange juice instead."

Both men laughed as the drink turned to orange juice, as they watched the sun set one final time.

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