Blood caked the inside of my jacket. The wound underneath throbbed in time with my breathing. My mouth felt like the back of a Gila monster.
You never should have trusted so far. The voice in my head was my voice but from years ago. He was a scared kid who had been kicked around by life, not quite paranoid, not quite desensitized.
I coughed. Dry, hot air ran along the tunnel of my throat like a desert wind. Maybe the kid was right. On the edge out here, maybe it was naive to trust anyone that wasn’t on the business end of my barrel.
Trembling, I pushed myself up from the stool and stumbled out into the sunlight.
It was Brother Jeph that noticed me first. He began shouting when he saw the blood. “Look, it’s Samson. Oh, Jesus, he needs a doctor. Someone run and get Doc Irish!”
The street was fuzzy. I wasn’t going to be able to get home on my own. Did I even want to go home?
Trust will see you dead.
This time I had a reply. Without trust I already am, you cheeky little shit.
Laughing, I collapsed.