The Night I Met Barkley

If there was one thing I never wanted to see, it was death. Everyone’s got to live with it—that’s the world we live in—but nobody ever wants to watch it happen. At least, that’s what I thought.

Then I met Barkley.

He was tall, thin, and long-necked, with a sharply crooked nose and long greasy hair. Reminded me a bit of a vampire. I suppose it was fitting, because when I met him at the corner Exxon on York Road two days ago, his hands were covered with the blood of the cashier. Said cashier lay in front of the counter with his throat slit. There was a rusty old table knife in Barkley’s hand.

God, did I feel sick.

Barkley, however, looked fine. In fact, he looked better than fine; he looked just damned dandy. Giddy as a schoolgirl with a crush.

He pointed the knife at me. Me, of all people. The humble twelfth-grade English teacher from down the street.

“Hey, bud. We’re going for a ride.”

Christ, did I pick the wrong Tuesday night to get milk.

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