Thanks to Firefury Amahira for all her help. Particularly with the messed up motor control idea (which was hers).

The days following were much of a blur… but a few things stood out.

Left foot…

Even something as simple as walking was a chore now, Yomiel found.

Right foot…

His body simply wasn't responding, or rather wasn't providing feedback, the way it used to.

Left foot…

Unable to register anything, it turned taking a single step forward into a game of guesswork.

Right foot…

Amazing how he hadn't picked up on it sooner.

Left foot…

Certainly there had been enough near trippings that should have clued him in when he had been walking to her… to her…

right foot…

He stopped that chain of thought right there, refocusing on his current challenge of navigating a flight of stairs.

Left foot…

Without holding onto the railing.

Right foot…

… luckily, programmers were known for their ability to eliminate guesswork.

Left foot…

Or, he reflected as his right foot caught on his left pant leg, at least minimize it.

And that was all he had time to think before he plummented down the stairs, landing in a heap at the bottom with a loud CRASH!

"Owww..." he moaned reflexively. Then he realized he wasn't so much as in an ounce of pain. Sitting up, he performed a quick once-over, and turned up nothing of interest.

He just fell down a flight of stairs and didn't have so much as a broken nail to show for it.

He took a moment to stand up cautiously, leaning onto the railing for support. He made a mental note to use elevators whenever possible.

Under normal circumstances, Yomiel would never dream of abusing his computer skills (despite what others had so easily believed). But it was obvious his circumstances had ceased to be normal.

A dead man could hardly apply for a new job (he'd no doubt lost his old one). And a dead man could hardly stroll into a bank and make a withdrawal from his account.

Especially if said bank account had been liquidated, as his should have been by now. He had no will, no living relatives, no next of kin… most likely, the money had been used to pay off any remaining taxes he had.

Heh. Guess he no longer needed to worry about those anymore.

Still, a dead man could desperately need funds, and fast. Yomiel already had plans to set up an online business as a freelance programmer, but that would take time to bring in cash and he needed money now. So he had to get a little… creative.

Using whatever computer equipment he could get his hands on, Yomiel had written up a program (which given the… adjustments he still had yet to fully make, took him far longer to code than it once would have). This program had been designed to hack into multiple bank accounts and siphon away a portion of their savings. A few pennies here, some loose change there… not enough for anyone to notice but enough for it to all eventually add up. And all of it would be transferred to an offshore account set up under an alias.

Now all that was left to do was activate the program, and all that would take is a single click of the mouse. It was all so incredibly easy.

And as his hand hovered over the mouse, that was precisely what worried him. "It has to be done," he murmured, and pushed down on the mouse's left button.

As the program sped off to perform its duties, Yomiel leaned back slightly with a sigh. "It had to be done," he reminded himself, hand coming to rest in his lap. After all, he reasoned as he stroked the growing kitten curled up against him, he didn't have just himself to think about.

He must have been applying too much pressure in his petting then, because Sissel let out a small yowl. Her fur bristled as she shot him a dirty look.

He held up his hand as he smiled apologetically. "Sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm still… adjusting, it seems." To make amends he resumed his petting, taking care to ensure he was gentle.

It took her a few moments but she finally settled back down to purring contentedly.

"Monument Established to Rock of the Gods," a newspaper article declared.

Yomiel crumpled the paper up from where he sat on the floor and tossed it to the side. A dim smile crossed his face when Sissel pawed at the paper wad, batting it around his feet. Smiles were becoming fewer and fewer in between, particularly when he was reminded of that day in the park. The day everything changed for him.

Well, not just him. "Sissel?" he called softly. The kitten looked up at him, quickly coming to recognize that as her name.

"Do you remember, when we first met, how I… possessed you?" He winced at the last part, uncomfortable with how… malevolent the word sounded. "I wonder… would you mind if I tried… doing it again?" He needed to know what he was capable of, what these powers of his could do.

Sissel trotted over and gave his hand a nuzzle.

"So you… wouldn't mind?"

She let out a small purr. He returned her nuzzle with a little scratch behind the ears as he sat up. "Okay then."

He closed his eyes and tried to recreate what he had done before without thinking. When he opened them, his entire vision was tinted blue. Not just that, but everything was frozen in place; time itself seemed to be at a complete standstill.

… how oddly fitting.

He focused on the kitten in front of him and reached out to her, successfully jumping to her body from his. Pleased, his vision reverted back to normal.

Time once more flowing, Sissel nuzzled against the hand still on her head… leaving him to watch with a dawning horror as his body, no longer supported by anything, began to fall over onto her. Just as he was about to seize control to save her, Sissel realized what was happening, and darted away as his body crumpled to the floor with a THUMP. She glanced behind her and mewled a query before padding back to where his body rested, rubbing up against it in concern.

Relieved that Sissel was okay, Yomiel switched back to the blue worldview. Taking a closer inspection at his surroundings, he noticed that many of the household objects had this… core of light to them. And it was beautiful.

He didn't even realize he was reaching out to one until he had already done so, jumping from Sissel's body to the keyboard. His flame now possessing the keyboard as time was allowed to resume, Yomiel wondered what the heck he was supposed to do?

Then he recalled the glimpses he'd caught of various horror movies (the genre had never been a favorite of his), and an idea sparked in his brain. Concentrating, he willed the keyboard to do something, anything.

A wish answered with the tapping of the "Y" key.

If he could have laughed, Yomiel would have. As it was, he somehow managed to do so anyway, despite the fact he was currently a keyboard.

Said keyboard's keys then rattled off an incomprehensible stream of text, Yomiel not typing anything in particular; merely seeing how fast he could do so. He actually had to slow down when he worried he was at risk of overloading the keyboard.

Oh yes, this would definitely come in handy.

Taking a break from his mad typing, Yomiel noticed that Sissel's attention had shifted from his non-responsive body to the mysterious keyboard tapping out letters on its own (it wasn't worth asking how he could see out of said keyboard). Seized by a sudden mischief, he typed out a quick message. The words "Hi, Sissel," appeared on the computer screen.

It was only when Sissel stared in confusion that Yomiel remembered cats can't read. Amused, he stopped time once more, ready to return to his body. That's when he got his first real look at it.

Those strange waves were still pouring out of his body, but that's not what caught his eye. No, what caught his eye was the core of light emitting from it.

But how could that be…? His body… how could it…?

No. Not his body. His corpse. A shell of everything he once was, of all that could have been.

And his vision… it lied to him. Any light he once held, any life he once had… was long since extinguished.

His movements as he navigated back were mechanical, a mere show of going through the motions. The same could be said of all his movements now, really.

Repossessing his shell, Yomiel pushed himself up from where he lay sprawled out on the floor. Sissel, seeing he was alright, came over and let out a little mewl. He reached out and gave her another little scratch. "I think that's enough for today."

"Sissel?" he called, wondering where she had hidden herself this time. When she didn't appear, he stood up and sighed. "I just wanted you to know I'm going out. I'll be back later," he told the room in general, hoping she'd hear wherever she was.

Out of habit he grabbed his laptop bag by the door, unaware of the cat napping within.

A year has passed since then, he reflects before the grave marker. Since she… since she…

Best not to dwell on it.

A year without her, though it could have just as easily been an eternity. Yet when he placed a hand beneath his sunglasses, his eyes were completely dry.

He couldn't cry. No matter how much he wanted to, he couldn't cry the tears she deserved.

A single sound startled him out of his thoughts. "Meowr." A swift side glance revealed Sissel next to him, her eyes looking up at him with a mix of emotions.

Yomiel kneeled down to her eye level and scratched underneath her chin. "Where did you come from?" he asked as she let out a purr. His eyes fell on the discarded bag, the flap open as it lay on its side. "Ahh." She climbed up onto his legs, and rubbed her face up against his numbed cheek.

His arms tentatively wrapped themselves around her. He pulled her closer and buried his face in her fur, pretending for a moment he actually feltit. Sissel did not resist, merely watched him in concern.

They stayed there for a while, their world consisting of just the two of them.

"… shall we go back?"


The website for his business was officially up and running. It hadn't attracted any real attention yet, but Yomiel had faith it would. These things just took time, which he had plenty of now.

Clicking out of the browser, Yomiel paused before moving his pointer over to where his account-cracking program was. Currently, it was inactive. But it needed to be deleted.

…. all it had taken was a single click to unleash it… so too would it only take a click to delete it…

… yet still he hesitated.

He never liked deleting programs. To craft them so carefully, to gift meaning to what was once random numbers… and then to just throw them away? He'd be hacking off a part of himself!

But this… this was no program. This was a mistake, a monster. Did he really want to lay claims to that?

… could he abandon all ties he had to it? He created the program, there was no denying that.

Programs reflected who their programmers were; his were no exception. Even… especially one as dark and twisted as this.

His hand withdrew from the mouse as he shut the computer down without further ceremony.

With a little bit of practice and experimentation, Yomiel found that his powers had other, more mundane uses. They could serve as a sixth sense of sorts, allowing him to get a bearing on his surroundings with every slow, measured step he took. True, he still could not feel anything, but at least he was aware when he came in contact with something.

It didn't help with the finer things like typing, and he still planned to use elevators whenever possible. But it was something.

And something had been more than he thought he had.

So his life went on, insofar as it could still be called such.

Mein gott, I'm writing honest to goodness chapters (and speaking German!) What have you done to me, Yomiel? What have you done!

and is there any way you can make it permanent?