He laughed as he threw himself from the high tower. He spread his arms wide and tipped over the ledge, plummeting through the air with the sky at his feet and the earth looming above his head, and he laughed, he laughed, he laughed as he fell. He laughed as he hit the cement at one hundred miles an hour and his spine snapped, his lungs ruptured, the back of his skull cracked like an egg. He laughed as blood pooled in a thick halo around his crumpled, supine body. Daren laughed because the lifeless cannot be killed, because he will never die and yet will never live. He laughed at the irony and the tragedy and the terrible burden, the awe of understanding. Swallowing blood, heart pierced by splintered bone, he only laughed.

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