I was studying a map by the dim desk-lamp. Trying to decide on my next move. Continue north? Or maybe try to double-back? Would that throw my pursuer off the trail?
On the table beside me was everything I owned; a few thousand dollars in cash, a pack of smokes and, of course, my gun.
That damned gun. I remember a time when it used to be my friend. It bought me wealth, fear, respect. It helped me get what I wanted, when I wanted; and I didn't care who got hurt in the process.
But now it was like a terrible weight that I just could not shift. It was an anchor sinking to the bottom, and it was taking me with it. I wanted to let go, but I just couldn't. Our fates would be decided together.
How had it ended up like this? Me, who once had everything, reduced to living in flea-pit motels, moving through the shadows, running from HIM.
At least I was still going. I had narrowly missed HIM three towns back, more by luck than design. I had been out trying to find a car to steal (my own had been spotted so I had burned it out earlier that day), when I saw that my motel room door was open. It knew it had to be HIM, so I high-tailed it out of there and had driven my new ride through the night to get to where I am now.
I shivered, feeling a slight chill, and wondered if I had left a window open. I should probably check to see if...
And there it was. The unmistakable sound of a Colt 45 being cocked, and by the sound of it the muzzle was no more than a couple of inches from the back of my head.
I didn't move. I didn't need to. I had made my share of enemies over the years and there were plenty of people out there who would love to take a shot at me, but I knew it was HIM.
Christ, HE was good. HE had entered the room, walked right up behind me and I never heard a thing.
I raised my eyes slightly and looked in the desk mirror to confirm what I already knew to be true.
I looked at HIM.
People still think that the Angel of Death looks like something from an 18th century gothic novel; or maybe like the death card in a tarot pack. But this is the 21st century, man. Death moves with the times. HE keeps up.
The long grey robe has been replaced by an expensive silk Italian suit. Instead of the hood that shadows the face, there are mirrored Aviators and long hair partially obscuring his features.
And the scythe? Death's tool for harvesting souls? Well that has become a silver plated Colt 45. The very one that was pointed at me right now.
Oh yeah, and in case you didn't know, Death speaks.
- Erik Goodman?
There's no point in denying who I am. We both know that the game is up. No more running. No more hiding. I might as well just let this scene play its course.
HE moves a little closer and I feel the touch of the muzzle against my head.
- It is your time.
It’s hard to argue. I’ve done a lot of bad things in my time. I’ve killed plenty. Most of them deserved it, but some probably didn’t. They were just unlucky enough to have stood between me and what I wanted. Back then I didn’t care.
But what goes around comes around. I was leaving the club one night and I was shot from behind. I never did find out who it was, could have been one of a hundred people. Doesn’t matter now, I guess.
I made it to the hospital, but had lost a lot of blood. I was even pronounced dead a couple of times, but somehow managed to pull out of it. That’s when I saw HIM for the first time. HE was waiting. Waiting for me to die.
But I’m made of tougher stuff than that. When I had regained a little strength, I managed to slip out of the ward and made it to the parking lot. I jacked a car and drove. And I’ve been driving ever since.
I should have died that night in the hospital, so I knew that I was living on borrowed time. But now its over. There's nothing more to do but accept the inevitable. Time to pay for what I have done.
- It is your time.
I give HIM the only answer that makes sense.
- I know.
I close my eyes and HE slowly pulls the trigger….