Angel of Death

© Peter Barry


“So that mofo right there” — he pointed at me  — “fucked that guy up real bad.” He cackled. “That sumbitch was bleeding out his mouth, out his nose, out his ears. Shit. You looking at one crazy, wild-ass mofo right there.”


I’d never seen him before. Or any of the rest of them. I was just waiting for my bus.


The bus came. I got on board. Everyone stared at me. Two people, sitting next to open seats, got up and walked to the back. I sat down. The bus wheezed and set off.


The driver kept glancing at me in his big rearview mirror. No one spoke. I could tell that the woman sitting in front of me was crying.


We made the turn onto Lamott. I saw a bird drop out of a tree onto the pavement. Then another and another. I saw a woman running down the sidewalk. She had a baby in her arms. I saw a jagged line of living fire descend from a coal-black cloud. I saw three houses go up in flames.


I watched as one by one, just ahead of the bus, the colors of Lamott Avenue faded and died.


We reached my stop. I stepped down from the bus. The doors of all the shopfronts were smeared with blood.


I could see that Tania was behind the bulletproof glass at her parents’ store. The door chimed when I opened it. She looked over at me and she smiled.


I smiled back.

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