“I hate to bother you, but I have something important to ask.” Did I hear that or just think it? I wake up. I'm in a diner.
Strange. I never eat breakfast. I'm never even awake this early. How did I get here? What's next?
There is a subtle pang as my shaking hand tries to control my fork. Both the sight and the smell of my food repulses me. The sunlight is vicious, even through my sunglasses.
And then I notice a man. He's reading his newspaper in a nonchalant way but he's acting too cool. I can tell he's up to something.
He can't be looking at me. I'm just paranoid. It's just the state I'm in. Be cool. Drop a twenty on the table and leave. Don't look back. Don't look at him.
As I pull the door handle towards me, I begin to wonder if I drove here. I'm scanning the parking lot for my car when he grabs my shoulder; “I hate to bother you, but I have something important to ask.” I don't turn around.
"I don't want any trouble." And then I feel the concealed handgun he's got pressed up against my back.
He puts me in the back of a black van and puts a bag over my head. I know better than to speak.
Once again, I'm awoken by a bright light. Can't be sure how far we've gone. The only thing around is a big round concrete building. My captor leads me inside and cuff me to a metal chair
"We've been looking for you for a long time, Mr. Cowen."
"Oh yeah? Who's we? FBI? DEA?"
"Not even close." And then he fires a round into my shoulder. "Where's the next shipment going to?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." I'm lying. He shoots again, same spot. I don't flinch. I don't have to. I'm no longer entirely human.
He doesn't ask again. Just stares. I see him bracing for the blowback of another shot. I swing the chair that I'm cuffed to at my interrogator. It ruptures his skull and pulls hard on my wounded shoulder. My eyes go black, involuntarily this time, and frighten my remaining captors. More gunfire. I don't flinch. The two that I don't recognize run but the man from the restaurant stays. I swing my metal chair at him. The strain on my arm is beginning to alarm me.
He doesn't flinch. He blacks his eyes; on purpose. He, too, has Satan's gift. Someone once told me that when a demon is nearing death, he can smell hellfire. He holds out a small red leather box. I take it from him, hesitantly. He turns and walks away.
I open it. Inside is a phone, connected to a number with a Philadelphia area code. On the line is my mother.
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared and said,"You're moving with your auntie and your uncle in Bel-Air".