Goat-headed and fancy free, my father worked amongst the living dead in the Cancer Ward. They were nice people, all bones and teeth; Beegee skulls. He used to make me come with some days. He thought it might help me get things into perspective.
"What are you doing here Mal? Shouldn’t you be out skateboarding or something? Chasing girls?"
This from a grinning death-head. This from a guy with three weeks to live.
"He’s worried about you, your father. He’s always talking about you. He’s a good man, Mal."
"Because he doesn’t mind looking after the hellboys in here? Because he doesn’t mind the sound of people chunking up their intestines all through the night? Because he can listen and chuck drugs down grinning skulls three times a day? That makes him a good man? I don’t understand..."
Graham visibly shrinks, his skin translucent, neck bones ticking under the skin.
"It's okay," I tell him. "Everyone splits apart when I try to speak."