She’d driven through this neighborhood once… in the daytime… with her doors locked.  She’d taken the wrong exit from the expressway.  Here she was now, standing alone on a darkened corner.

The man said to meet him at nine PM.  It was nine-thirty.  She pulled her sweater tight against the chill and tried to merge into the shadow of the telephone pole.  She reminded herself that she had no alternative.  This was, after all, an illegal transaction.

A late model Cadillac pulled over to the curb.  The tinted rear window slid down without a sound.  She found herself staring into the face of a large man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and fur coat.

“Are you Monty?” she asked.

He nodded slowly.  “You Eunice?”

“Y… yes”

“You got the cash?”

She fumbled in her purse and pulled out the envelope of twenties.  As she passed it, he gave her an appraising look.

The package she received in exchange was heavier than she expected.  She fingered the corner of the wrapping.

“Don’t open that here,” he hissed.  “You got what you wanted.”

She hefted the grip in her left hand and caressed the barrel with her right.  God help me! she thought, But I’ll never again be a victim for anyone.

His voice softened.  “You know how to use that thing?”

“I’ll learn.”

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