Nell bent over and vomited violently onto the pavement. When her stomach finished lurching, she sagged against the wall for support, panting.

“Spectacular,” Bob said dryly. He dug into his pocket for another cigarette, lit it, and brought it up to his lips. “It’s the dying, is it? You’ll get used to it.”

Nell gaped. “What? Why would I get used to this? How often do you think people are going to be dying in front of me?!”

Bob turned away from her to observe the EMTs making cursory checks on the dead man, and did not respond.

“BOB? What do you know?”

He smiled. “Loads. Are you done wallowing in your own mess, or can we get going?”

She gave him a scornful look as she rose. “Why do you bother smoking? It’s not like it can do anything for you.”

He knocked some ash off his cigarette and gestured at her vomit. “Why do you vomit? It merely lends us an air of authenticity.”

“I threw up because I felt sick!” she cried.

He shrugged dismissively. “I can’t be bothered with your trifling bouts of mortality. You’ll get over it soon enough.”