"All My Friends": John Constantine is restless, and Dotty - his landlady - can sense it. Ever since his last grift, John hasn't been able to settle down. Dotty and her late husband George were thieves, and they had taught John much of what he now knows, in thei
- Well, nice chatting with you, Lloyd. Me and the Haitians are off to see my friend Papa.
Appearing in "All My Friends"
- Zatanna Zatara (Flashback and main story)
- Sargon the Sorceress (Mentioned only)
- Chris (Flashback only)
- Lloyd Ortiz
- Batman (Mentioned only)
- Superman (Mentioned only)
- Lex Luthor (Mentioned only)
- Dotty's Pets
Synopsis for "All My Friends"
John Constantine is restless, and Dotty - his landlady - can sense it. Ever since his last grift, John hasn't been able to settle down. Dotty and her late husband George were thieves, and they had taught John much of what he now knows, in their younger days. He had helped them in turn, and grown to be like a son to them. Now, she advises him to take a break; to spend some time with his friends Zatanna or Chris. Unfortunately, Dotty is unaware that John is on poor terms with Zatanna, and Chris is dead, and that was John's fault. Even so, John takes her advice, and goes for a walk.
Just minutes after getting out on the street, John spots a con-man pulling a short-count grift on a shopkeeper. Annoyed by the sloppy job, John pushes the impulse to get involved out of his mind, and buys his cigarettes from the same shop. Determined to find something like a friend, John stops by the Joint Bar to visit its tender, Lloyd Ortiz. The man warns that Papa Midnite's men were there the previous night looking for John, and hopes aloud that John didn't do something stupid to anger one of the most dangerous gang-leaders in the city. John assures Lloyd that he did no such thing, but they are interrupted by Midnite's men. They remind him that Papa Midnite wants to see him by beating him with a crowbar for every day that he made them wait. Despite the pain, John is aware that they went easy on him.
John had stolen a sounding skull from Papa Midnite, and the Haitian crime lord and magician was not pleased about it - and his mood is unchanged by John's claims that he was helping by taking it. Particularly since that help was supposed to have prevented the Cult of the Cold Flame from attacking Midnite - and they had, weeks ago. And he had caught them and visited severe punishment on them. After being disrespected by Constantine, Midnite intends to visit a similar punishment on him. Fortunately, John had cast a turnabout charm on himself that morning. Any harm he received since would be visited upon he who dealt it by sundown - which is enough of a threat to make Midnite lower his machete. Midnite's mooks are not as well versed in magic, though, and one of them rifles through John's pockets for the charm. One of pulls it out, and as he holds it in his hand, his body is suddenly bloodied and beaten as the beating he gave John earlier is dealt to him in kind.
Casually, John rises to his feet and explains that he still has respect for Midnite, and he had been trying to help by taking the skull - but that plan has been ruined by Midnite's particularly violent interrogation of the Cult members. John warns that he and Midnite will have to remain allied in order to fight against the cult. Midnite agrees to let him go for now, and discuss their mutual troubles later.
Afterwards, John is surprised to spot the same man who had pulled the short-count con that morning again. John walks on by and straight into a fancy apartment complex where the doorman is rightfully suspicious of his claims that a tenant lent him her keycard. John strides right into Zatanna's apartment, and though she is in the middle of scrying the future, she is not so focused that she doesn't immediately notice his presence. She correctly assumes that once again, he has got someone killed on one of his adventures, and has come to her feeling guilty for comfort. She warns that he will not receive it today; she is no longer his girlfriend.
Ignoring her hostility, John asks what she is trying to divine. She explains that she can sense that something bad is coming for all of them - the magicians. While her visions have been vague, she has learnt that someone is going to die, and it will trigger a war. Unsure of what to make of this news, John decides to inform her that Jaimini Sargent has turned up calling herself Sargon, and killing people. This news is unwelcome to Zatanna, as she and Jaimini were childhood friends. John offers to stay and help her with her visions, but Zatanna just wants him to leave, warning him to give back her keycard before he goes.
On his way home, John grumpily decides to lure the conman into an alley. After seeing him a third time, John realized that this man was following him, not the other way around. John correctly guesses that the man's name is Third-Time Tommy, having heard one of Dotty's birds speak the name that morning. Confused, the man pulls a gun on John, only to find that it doesn't work. Breaking Tommy's nose with a hard headbutt, John steals the money from his wallet and warns the man to return to Sargon and tell the truth about what happened there. With that taken care of, John returns to the shop from before, buys more Silk Cuts using Tommy's money, and tells the shopkeeper to keep the change - essentially paying him back for money Tommy stole that morning.
Finally, John returns home to Dotty's admitting to the older woman that he did go to see all of his friends that day. As he passes by the bird cages, the same bird he had heard that morning calls out that tomorrow there will be fifty-million deaths when light falls, and he may be one of them.
- This book was first published on June 12, 2013.
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