Smells of beer, sweat, and unwashed dishes mingled sourly in the small kitchen. Roy slouched in a metal folding chair, his legs sprawled under a rickety table. Bills drifted across its surface. Red notices, Past Due, PAST DUE. Snuffling came from another room. "Shaddup, bitch." Roy slurred the words. He flexed fingers on his left hand and raised it to his mouth to suck skinned knuckles. It had felt good to hit her. "Bitch can't even fix a goddum meal," he muttered to himself. Roy staggered to the aging refrigerator; its compressor clanked. He opened the chipped door and reached for another beer. There was none. "Sonabitch, no goddum beer." He slammed the door and the compressor gave a last rattle and stopped. "Pile a crap." He began fumbling in his pockets for keys. "Gonna go get beer, lotsa beer," he said to the clock that hung crookedly on the wall. He squinted at it; the hands stood at 2:55. A sudden sound in the yard made him go to the window and look out. A shadow moved near his car. "Goddum bank repo man! I'll fix 'im." From a drawer next to the sink he took an ancient .45, opened the door and slipped into the dark. A street light on the corner only made things darker. "Get away from there, motherfucker!" Roy aimed in the direction of the shadow and fired. A shape fell to the ground. The explosion cleared Roy's head. "Oh, God, what'd I do?" The figure rose. "Roy Buchan?" a voice asked. "Tha's me. Oh, God, mister, I'm sorry. I never meant to hit nothin'." Roy's voice shook. "Mr. Buchan, we've had complaints." "I swear I'll get caught up. Just had a run of bad luck. Lost my job." "I know, but you haven't taken care of things. Your wife." "What'd the bitch say? I never hit her. Not much." "The point is you're supposed to take care of things, pay bills, be responsible. You've become a very shabby soul, Mr. Buchan." "Whadda ya mean?" "Your soul, Mr. Buchan. You haven't taken care of it." Roy shrank against the door frame. The figure moved toward him. In the light from the corner Roy saw bestial features and red eyes that stared through him. A fetid odor of decay swept over him. "Who are you?" screamed Roy. "I'm the Repo Man.
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