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That Killing Feeling

"Damn," he muttered to himself. /This is crazy./

He was a mountain of a man. He possessed bulging biceps and a barrel for a chest. He sat in his pickup truck, paralyzed by doubt and indecision. The man had seen combat in Desert Storm. He braved a frigid blizzard last year, stranded in the woods for two days. He had survived the ordeal with nothing more than minor frostbite. The man was a survivor. He was smart. He was no sissy.

/What's wrong with me?/

He glanced at the written instructions. He had been tasked with acquiring a series of items. It would be an arduous task.

God, how he wished Bud was around for moral support! He and Bud were old drinking buddies. They had killed enemy tanks together back in '91. They had triumphed in numerous bar room brawls. If Bud were here, he would understand the man's dilemma. Bud would be able to help him get through this moment of...

He was close to feeling that feeling - the one that can kill the strongest of men. His pulse was racing. His heart was pounding in that massive chest.

The man glanced once more at the instructions before climbing out of his pickup truck. His knees felt wobbly.

/Slow. Take regular, deep breaths. Look straight ahead.

I am calm. I am proud. I feel no shame. Shame is the enemy. Shame is the killer./

Deliberately, the man headed inside the 7-Eleven to purchase feminine hygiene products for his wife.

Story by:

Phil Temples

15 April 2016