His gums were bleeding. Leaning into the bathroom mirror he investigated, pink foam pooling in the corners of his mouth. Candy stripes of red seeping from the top and oozing from the seams between his lower incisors. The handle was loose, or stripped out, on the cold water knob allowing barely a trickle to flow. A microscopic twist of the hot water was enough for it to splash and splatter off the basin and soak the front of this navy blue pants. He turned both knobs as hard as he could to turn them off and spat into the drain.

“Done in there J?” Gideon asked with a rap on the Masonite motel door.

“All yours” he replied, stepping out to a dressed and prepared partner, ready to bring salvation and purpose to the lower central region of Alabama.

there first scheduled stop was

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