If You’re Afraid Of Death, You’ll Never Want To Hear What Happens When It Doesn’t Quite Take

My entire body felt as if it was on fire. I made a grave mistake. I had never even talked about the job I did with Big Jim before I showed up and shot him up with my hot shot that day. I had only talked to his daughter, not even done my fucking research to see if she was trustworthy. Simply took her word that her father needed my services. He seemed amicable when I showed up that day. Then again, he seemed to be unclear about what we were doing. Maybe she gave him the wrong information?

The bottom line was, no matter what exactly happened, I was beyond fucked and that’s not even considering what the hell happened to Big Jim, where he was, and what he had to do with the heart and the cat left in my house. I was so freaked out I could barely even breathe when I drove away from his trailer in the thick rain.

I couldn’t go home but I needed to go somewhere to try and hide out and figure out my situation. I didn’t have money for a motel room at the moment, not even a cheap one, but I knew a great place where I might be able to start putting some pieces back together.

My parents’ former home sat on the shores of Sabine Lake right on the border of Texas and Louisiana at the end of a darkened country road. I would go there whenever I had enough money to take a few days off and whenever I needed to clear my head. No one else knew about the place except me and my brother Ray in North Dakota. It could be my safe haven.

Walking through the front door of the lakeside house instantly reminded me why I so rarely went there. Out of laziness and an inability to let go, Ray and I never changed a single thing about the house. It looked exactly the same as it did the day when my mother left for the old folks home a couple weeks after my father died almost 15 years ago. There were still condiments in the refrigerator from the 90s.

The place usually kind of gave me the creeps, but it felt much safer than my house right now. I would hide out for at least a few days until I could figure something out. The only thing I had planned so far was having my neighbor swing by and take care of Jake for a little while.

I sat down in my mom’s old dusty living room on the uncomfortable, upholstered couch and lit a cigarette. I hadn’t smoked in years, but the intensity of the situation was forcing me into old habits and I had already smoked a few today. I kicked back on the couch and stared out the little slats between window blinds which were letting in the last remnants of the dying light of the afternoon.

I sat there until the last of the light vanished and I was in complete darkness other than for the little red burning light of the end of my cigarette. I bathed in the warmth of the smoke which billowed back into my face and it made me want to drift off to sleep.

I killed my smoke and let the warm arms of sleep wrap me up as I drifted off to the chorus of the bullfrogs singing down by the lake.


I was awakened by a scalding light upon my face. I opened my eyes to see high beams streaking through the gaps in the blinds across the room.


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