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

I squinted for a few moments until they cut out and all was dark again.

There were a few seconds of peace before the sound of a heavy truck door slamming out the window shook me from the hangover of sleep. I jumped up to my feet and ran over to the window, stuck my eyes into the gaps in the blinds.
Sitting in the little driveway of the house, parked next to my 4Runner was a bulky pickup truck, a silver F-350. A silver F-350 I swore I had seen before and it took a few moments, but I remember where I saw it.

It was parked in front of the tool shed outside of Big Jim’s house every time I went there. I think I also may have seen it behind me on the highway during the drive, but thought nothing of it. The amount of silver F-350s in Texas is beyond comprehension.

The truck sat there silent and empty in the pale light of the distant streetlight. I cursed myself for not thinking Big Jim could have followed me from his place when I left if he was nearby.

I thought for a few seconds about how Big Jim possibly could have survived the shot I gave him. I had heard rumors of people who survived the shot and went on to live the rest of their life or needed a second one, but I thought they were just rumors.

Then a worse thought washed over me. What if he WAS dead?

But there was no more time for thinking about that, someone was rattling the door at the back of the house.
I shuffled around just as I heard the sound of breaking glass come from the direction of the back door in the corner of the kitchen.

Shit, why was I the only person in Texas who didn’t own a gun?

The breaking of the glass was followed by the sound of the door slamming open and I knew it was time to just face what was chasing me.

“Hey, what the fuck?” I screamed into the kitchen.

The steps which had been going through the kitchen stopped.

“How the fuck are you alive?”

It took a second, but a weathered, whispy voice answered back from the kitchen.

“You tried to kill me,” the pained drawl of Big Jim trickled out of the kitchen. “I aint dead yet, motherfucker.”

“I just did my job. It was your daughter who told me to do it.”

“She said you were giving me new cancer treatment, she never said you were shooting me up with poison. You never even said what you were doing, just hooked me up to that god forsaken bag.”

“Most clients don’t like to talk about what happens. I just do it, unless they ask for something else.”

Big Jim was saying all of this just outside of my line of sight. He had stopped in the kitchen pretty close to the door.

I couldn’t handle talking to a faceless ghost any longer. I took a few steps towards the kitchen until I could see him.


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