I walked out of the Quick-Mart with the clerk bidding me goodnight (Have a good evening Mr. Stand!) to sideways mist giving the streetlamps a rainbow glow about them.
Digging into my pocket for my keys I stopped unable to take my squinty eyes off the man standing in the middle of the vacant parking lot. In the few seconds we had eye contact, the air, save for the driving mist, was still and silent. Before me stood the scrawniest, wimpiest man I'd ever seen; armed and ready to kill.
"'Eh, mate. You al'right?" I asked, slowing taking my hand out of my pocket. "'Yer not looking so good."
Looking around the void I saw nothing to indicate he got a ride here. His soaked t-shirt and pants suggested he'd been in the wet for some time. No shoes... he's wasn't wearing any shoes. A sadness I'd never felt towards another human being washed over me.
"Can I give ya a lift? Is there somewhere I cans take ya?"
The man dropped a pipe from his hand I hadn't seen before. His expression and obvious tenseness softened as he walked at a quickening pace towards me. Before I had time to process his movement he was upon me giving me a hug. It was a strong heartfelt hug a man of his stature shouldn't have been able to give.
"Thank you friend," he said with a genuine voice of relief. "No, I don't need a ride," he said as he backed away from me. "Your words were all I needed Michael," he finished walking away dropping a piece of paper.
I bent down picking up the paper, "Sir, you dropped..." I trailed off turning around. The man was gone. The pipe was gone. The only evidence I had of this man was a wet piece of paper in my hand. Squinting to read the paper I could read the inscription: Michael Stand.