Appointment in Samarra
Henderson, a con man and
career criminal, whod been released early from prison because of the
coronavirus pandemic, was at a supermarket in Sacramento. Holed up in a small
apartment while he considered schemes to take advantage of the pandemic, he now
scooped up all the toilet paper he could. Feeling that someone was looking at
him, he glanced up and saw Death in the next aisle; their eyes met and Death
made what he thought was a threatening gesture. Henderson immediately abandoned
his shopping cart, ran out of the store, jumped into his stolen car and drove
as fast as he could to San Francisco.
Once in San Francisco,
Henderson stopped his car and asked a homeless person where he could find an
out-of-the-way hotel. The homeless person pointed and held out his hand
but Henderson ignored the plea, drove to the hotel, which looked like an
abandoned building and entered. The hotel clerk, who, although he didnt
know it, had the virus, gave Henderson the pen hed sneezed on earlier
that day to sign in.
Back in Sacramento, the
checkout clerk asked Death why hed made a threatening gesture to that
other customer. Death said that it wasnt a threatening
gesture, it was a gesture of surprise. Hed been surprised to see
Henderson in Sacramento because he had an appointment with him that night in
San Francisco, at the hotel Samarra.
The lockdown was finally
over. Mr. And Mrs. Smith were preparing their shopping list.
said Mr. Smith. Orange juice, milk
gallons, said Mrs. Smith.
But we dont use
that much milk.
You never know what
will happen. Suppose they run out again?
A dozen eggs,
We dont eat
that many eggs.
dozen. You never know.
sighed. A loaf of wheat bread. I
know, Ill get two loaves. Some lunch meats.
You have the
Yes, Ill get a
lot if they have it.
Dont forget the
But we still have
twenty rolls left, said Mr. Smith.
alright. Suppose they impose the lockdown
Okay, Ill get
Be sure to wear your
Do you think
Yes, you never
know. Okay, Im on my way.
You have the
Be sure to get the
toilet paper. Make it ten rolls.