and wrenching handfuls of green leaves. He fell to both his knees, gaspingfor breath.“
– Uh oh –
!” His hands let the leaves fall to the ground. He didn’thave the energy to run anymore. He was gulping loudly for air desperatelyattempting to regain his breath.Sitting upright, his hands surveyed and rubbed his aching eye. It wasthrobbing. He straightened the many layers of filthy clothing, picked off thebroken clinging rosebush branches, and tried to lick the blood off his hands.He wiped his neck and chin with the end of one of his many shirts. Pale redbloodstains emerged among the other rich stains of life to mix and blend. Helooked down at his lucky red alligator shoes. They were both still tied firmlywith greasy tan twine. He proudly shined them by rubbing them against hispants leg, first his right foot, then his left. Satisfied with himself, he smiled.He knew that the shoes, which he found last week, would bring him luck. He just knew it!Shading his eyes with both hands, he looked at the rising sun. Guessing itmust be about seven thirty in the morning, he shakily stood. He attempted tosmooth his multilayered clothes, repeatedly patting the torn spots as flat aspossible and thinking;
. Hissense of humor was awakened and he smiled to himself. He limped merrilyon his way, heading for the “church.” With a little luck, he could get there intime to help serve. His effort would earn extra pancakes for his breakfast. The angry man watched the staggering scraggly rag pile escape aroundthe bush. His wrath was becoming cold and cruel.
, he thought.He returned to his house wall and turned off the hose. He dropped the hoseon the ground, without even thinking about which one of his employeeswould pick it up for him, and wind it neatly onto its heavy metal holder. Hestomped toward his three-car garage, flicking the automatic door opener hehad taken from his pocket. He walked briskly into the opening cavern. Onceinside, he removed his jacket and hung it in the backseat of his car.