I had walked five miles from where my car died.
And I had only five more steps to where my soul died.
I had left the office that day, not realizing that a broken copy machine and a maddening Temp would be the last stuff of my life. Now this business trip to the branch office. Sleep in some half-rate motel because of our miserly boss trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of the expense budget.. And now I would never feel the sweet, sweet sleep of a sanitized pillow and hear the sweet music of a rattling window air conditioner.
I first heard Death coming in the Distant Wind as it neared me, approaching from where I had been not long ago. A howling, a screaming, a screeching, I could never truly describe that voice of Death; it was the sound of bones weeping.
I had been driving in full blown darkness, the moon had taken the night off and the stars couldn't fight her way through the storm clouds. It was then that first I lost my headlights, then I lost my ignition, then the last bit of momentum of my fifty miles per hour fading away. Dead. The turning of the key did not even give me back a clicking noise. Just empty nothing and no more.
There is no horror greater than hearing Death chasing after you and not being able to see it coming. Death and Darkness are sadistic partners in the torture of the human psyche, so at least I learned that night.
I ran for a few yards and then just plain gave up as Death was now right upon me. The fear drove me to my knees as I covered my ears in one last desperate attempt to make it all go away.
Then when the Anguish could rise no higher in its crying wail, Death in all its shadowed horror raced by, its screaming, screeching howl fading and falling as the black shadowed biker with lights turned off, rode onward to other hells.
One mile later, a couple from Fort Wayne came by and gave me a ride down the road to the Texaco station in a town called Old Harmony. They owned a furniture store. They were named Ed and Blanche. And they had a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Patches.
Then I thought, "I'll have to go back to the office tomorrow, still alive.'