Bill woke up, blinking hard in the fierce Arizona sunlight. It had all been a dream. ‘But’, he muttered internally, scraping the sleepy deposit from his eyes, ‘I felt it’. And he had. He had even seen the gun, held its cool metal in his clammy palm mere hours before. He’d also seen the small puff of smoke, and smelt the sickeningly sweet stench of fresh, newly ignited powder. He’d heard the earth-shattering ‘BOOM’ as the bullet ruptured the air with phenomenal velocity. And he had felt it. Felt the revolting thud as cold steel thwacked into warm flesh, piercing it with unprecedented ease. Felt it as it scraped its way through the maze that was his insides, grazing a lower rib or two on its way from entry to exit wound. Felt the life draining from his soul as blood gushed in rivers from his body, limp and lifeless long before it hit the floor.
And yet, here he was, 6.13 am the morning after the night before, and he was alive. Or, as alive as he would ever be, given his drug-distorted past and disreputable future. Either he had experienced the greatest recovery in medical history, or it had all been a dream. There was no other possible explanation, he thought as he clambered into his black Cadillac Seville and set off towards the blazing sunrise.
And then it hit him.