“You took the shells out of that shotgun in the corner, didn’t you?” A nurse asked.

“Of course, I did,” Mari said. “He keeps eyeing it like it’s his only way out, but not even that will save him.”

Samson looked out the morning window, reaching for one more chance, one more dance, one more shot before the sun went down.

And there was a ring at the door. “A package arrived for you; it’s from Cuba; would you like me to open it?” Mari asked.

Samson nodded and she opened the box full of the blackest coffee she’d ever seen. There was a lime-green note submerged in the grounds.

Cactus Coffee from Cuba.

“Somebody likes you,” Mari said and she brewed the drink. The sweet smell and taste made Samson feel wild again. With the shotgun leaning against the wall, he punched those keys like his life depended on them. He hadn’t published in 7 years, but writing was not about publishing, it was about speaking uncontainable truth, and he was the judge of that and nobody else.

He grew stronger with each expressed word until he said, “I’m checking out.” And he pulled a shotgun shell from his left pocket while Mari ran for the gun, but Samson placed death on the counter and walked out the door to his life.

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