God Put a Hit Out On Me

I awoke at sunrise and rubbed my eyes.

Outside my window, the eastern sky was a tropical drink of maraschino reds, fiery oranges and streaks of grapefruit yellow, and I had the feeling it was going to be a great day. Best of all, it was the weekend! I nudged aside the curtains and watched a telephone repairman in white coveralls working high on the pole near my window. He turned to me and glared.

I was feeling euphoric, so I smiled and waved but he didn’t smile back. In fact, the weird glow emanating from his eyes had something to do with the dissolution of my goodwill grin, and forced me to take a second, careful look at the man. He was barefoot, and there was no safety belt holding him to the pole.

An uncomfortable feeling began to bubble and boil like a cauldron in my belly. I zombied my way to the kitchen and began opening cupboards, shaking boxes, and opening the fridge in my search for nourishment. Moments later, breakfast in hand, I chanced another peek through the curtained window across the room. A garbage truck was parked out back and two more men in white were elbow deep in the coffee grounds, magazines, orange peels and other refuse that validates our civilized society, having slashed open the bags with careless abandon. They stared back at me with the same glowing eyes.

Garbage men. On a Saturday.

I backed slowly away from the window, absorbing this information, turning to see two more of them coming up the front walk, one of them carrying a long toolbox.

It was over that single mouthful of Capn’ Crunch that I experienced an epiphany, an understanding that unfolded like time lapsed footage of a blossoming rose; a gradually billowing explosion of sudden realization forcefully elbowing its way to the forefront of my thoughts, one which demanded an immediate audience with my conscious mind, all the while screaming at me, warning me of what I was too numb to see for myself.

The telephone repairman and the garbage men picking through my trash were angels, but not your run-of-the-mill halo and harp holders. These were archangels; seraphim of the slaughter. Tapping my phones, examining my debris … how long had they been watching me? What a fool I have been, how blind …

I looked to my open front door to see two of them standing on my porch. The taller one lifted the toolbox to his waist and the sides of it fell away, exposing a series of hissing black tubes preceding what looked like a rifle butt, which he raised to his shoulder in a smooth practiced motion, bringing his other hand up to support the business end which slid toward me with an ominous click, eyes glowing.

God had put a hit out on me.

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