Fear in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

The big, black SUV roared past me like a

Raging bull as I jogged in the early evening



It startled me especially after reading about

The drive-by shooting on the bleak streets

Of the South Valley —


Leaving two women dead.  It had been a

Drug related shooting but the women were

Just collateral damage.


The day before that some seventy-year-old

Paranoid guy went vengefully berserk at

A nice office building


Two blocks from my condo. Following an

Arbitration meeting that didn’t end to

The old guy’s satisfaction


He chased his two enemies, the sued

And the sued’s lawyer, out the doors

And shot them dead


At what had become a Bad Day at Black

Rock or High Noon or Shootout at

The O.K. Corral.


Take your pick in this Wild West town.

The victims looked like wild-eyed coyotes

Being chased by a big,


bad wolf foaming at the mouth.  I saw the

brake lights of the SUV.  They looked like

The fiery eyes of an


Angry bull.  The vehicle turned around

And headed back my way. The driver

Gunned the engine.


The bull snorted and scraped its front

Foot on the gravely street.  Approaching

Me in the growing darkness,


The vehicle slowed.  I couldn’t see through

The tinted windows.  It stopped.  I kept

Jogging. The passenger side


Window came down and a voice yelled

For me to stop. I froze in my tracks.

The voice emerged


From the darkness into the darkness.

I regretted having worn reflective

Clothing. “Could you please


Tell us where the Pointe Condos are?”

“Sure.  Right there.”  “Thanks.”

The voice vanished


Behind the closing window. The bull

Turned into the entry way, stopped

At the gate, punched


In the code.  The arm rose and the

Bull trotted into the






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