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Shadows have more light than my soul. I don’t even remember a time when I felt truly happy. I can’t remember much at all. I know where I started for the most part; there just seems to be so many points in between that have gone blank. Like a film being edited, my mind seems to be missing whole sections of importance.

Why did I move to Texas? Work has motivated most of my decisions in life. Austin was nice. I should have stayed there. I liked the bar on 6th street that played 80’s music. The kid making paintings with spray paint always drew a crowd. I have never seen anything quite like that. Why does that memory stick with me? I could never make friends there.

I wish I would have spent more time in Ireland. The people there were so nice to me. I actually felt like I fit in for once in my life. Sitting in the bars in Dublin made for a change of pace. The beaches on the coast of Bree had no sand. I’m done with sand. I hadn’t been able to go to a beach in years till I saw that place. I enjoy the sea. Seeing the waves and feeling the tiny pebbles under my feet set me back a few years.

My name is Clarence Wayland and I am dying. The pavement was cold at first. It was damp from yesterday’s rain. I’m laid out in this forsaken parking lot. Now I am damp but I feel no chill. The bullet caught me in the chest. I am losing blood. I need to reach my kit and get out of sight. I can’t stop my right hand from shaking. I have to fish my kit out with my left. I keep an evac kit in my cargo pocket. Unfortunately it’s on my right leg.

He can’t see me. He must have shot as soon as I cleared the corner of that gas station. He’s in the pharmacy across the street; third floor, second window. I can put a little of the quick clotting agent on and stop this bleeding for now. Bring the pain little powder. I designed this fluid to douse blood so it cannot be traced. I’ve lost a lot of blood so I hope this small bottle is enough. That is all of my evac kit. Time to go to work.

An amateur must have been sent for me. He made a sad choice for a rifle. The bullet passed straight through; high speed, small projectile. If I live, he will regret that decision. I need to crawl back to my car. I hate rentals but when you travel so much, there is nothing you can do about it. I keep a rifle under the front bumper. I know he has already left his position. I just need to get my rifle and head to the building behind me. He will circle around to see my body.

This place reminds me of cancer; corrupt and dying. This whole town is a waste. I had to drive out here to nowhere Kansas. Why do people even live here? I need to take this man alive. I want to know why he shot me. I also like to hurt those that shoot at me, so we will see how this plays out. My right shoulder blade is grinding. I think my lung was nicked as well. Good solid center mass shot, sort of. A normal person would probably be dead by now.

I need to remind myself not to lean on any of these walls. I don’t have any more fluid to cover my blood. I keep bumping into things down this alley. Here we go, a fire escape. This will be painful. I’ve never been a fan of latters or stairs. I will always take an elevator even if I’m only going up one floor. Call me lazy but it’s a logistical thing. Save your energy; save your knees.

This is a wide open roof. Not much to hide behind. I won’t be staying up here anyway. It is too obvious. I cross the roof to the far left side. There is an overhang and a short ledge. I found a piece of tarp on my way. This ledge will get me down to balcony. It hurts so much to slide over. No one lived here, which is good. I don’t need the added drama at the moment. There are some old pots. They must have had plants in them a long time ago. I lay down between two and cover myself with the tarp. My rifle pokes out but only barely.

I hope I made it here in time. Speak of the devil. There he is with only a hand gun. Fool. He must have cut back a block and made it through another alley. He is trying to cross the street to the alley I used. Tough luck. One shot dead center and he is down. I’m going to take my time getting down. He is laying between two cars and no one can see him.

I get him back in the alley between two dumpsters. Now we get to the meat and potatoes.

“Who sent you?”

“I’m not telling you anything…..”

“You don’t have to die (I’m lying). You are American so that narrows down the customers. I’m guessing you are a mop up for that little company I did a job for a few weeks ago. They didn’t tell you I freelance for much bigger fish did they? No, what a stupid bunch.”

“You are done. Just a throw away tool…..”

“No buddy. You were the throw away.”

I find proof in his wallet. He had a receipt from a gas station in the company’s home town. It was a small favor I did by working for them. A friend in the government asked me to help them out. Who knew they would try to play the big leagues? They won’t be playing anything much longer. I push his body into one of the dumpsters. I need something to eat. I’m starting to get faint from all of this. A cheeseburger sounds good. My name is Clarence Wayland and I won’t die today.