Gregson lit a big cigar with a bitter taste and blew smoke to the ceiling while resting in bed. The lights were out. Being alone with his thoughts was one of the best discoveries he made in adult life. Darkness was welcoming, like a close friend. Being in the light, was being exposed to chatter, and endless trivialities. The smoke vanished. Gregson knew who killed the president—it was obvious—there was no mystery. When a man sleeps with society, the odds of meeting a crazy one, increases exponentially. Women are like bees—they have a hive-mind—they do what’s best for them—and any threat to the feminine, gets stung from multiple sides.

SPLASH. Ice water and screaming washed over him, putting-out his cigar.

“Why did you leave me alone with your idiot friend? He doesn’t know how to talk to women!”

“Oh—Murphy is a sociable guy.”

“You’ve lost touch, Gregson! When a man reaches a certain age without a woman, that’s it!”

“What did he say?”

“Never mind! You had to talk to that barbie on the stairs, and then visit that orgy of sluts, puffing cigars.”

“It’s my job, Madelynn. It’s what I live for—it’s what I’ll die for.”

“What you’ll die for?”

“Yes. Every man must decide what he loves—and then let it kill him.”

“I don’t understand.”

“That’s okay. I’ll collect my winnings in the morning, and after I play golf, I’ll take you out.”

Gregson could feel her disapproval in the dark. It felt like hell. Every man must deal with it, and still play the next hand with hearts.

Some mornings are full of sunshine, and others dare a man to walk into the open. The clouds were angry. Murphy knocked on Gregson’s door with a cup of coffee, and 50,000 dollars.

“I claimed your winnings this morning. You’ll need to be alert. If you’ve ever played golf in the South, you know never to reach into a pond full of alligators.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means, there’s worse stuff on the moor, so keep your ball in the middle of the fairway. We’re squared off—us, versus, Mac and Madelynn.”

“You mean, she’s playing golf with the enemy? I didn’t know she could play.”

“I guess, we’ll find out.”

Mac was dressed in black. His golf bag was black. His white hair made him look like a stud.

“5,000 dollars a hole, in a best-ball competition?” Mac asked.

“Okay.”

Gregson didn’t feel the magic in his hands, but he couldn’t back-down from a challenge. He sealed his fate with a handshake and then teed-off into the wind like a pro. Madelynn followed him with a perfect swing. Murphy hacked his shot into the mire.

“That’s out-of-bounds. You’ll play Gregson’s ball,” Mac said.

Their game was neck and neck, until Number 5. “Do you get the feeling we’re being followed?” Murphy asked.

“Yeah. The hairs on my head are standing up,” Gregson said.

By Number 7, Madelynn and Mac were up 10,000 dollars. Murphy hit his ball into no man’s land. He pulled a 5-iron from his bag and was about to hit, when a wolf attacked.

Mac pulled a double-barrel shotgun out of his golf bag, and fired.

BANG. BANG.

“It’s die dog, or eat the hatchet. We got to get him to a doctor.”

Murphy was turning pale. The bacteria in the wolf’s saliva was more painful than the actual bight—venom, seeping into his veins—popping out of his face.

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