Tony was tired, now that it was all over. He’d never been so tired. Tired of everything—struggling to find work, scraping together the monthly payment to Avis, even taking the drugs—no, especially the drugs. He always seemed to be too high or too low—too many bennies or not enough. He couldn’t imagine quitting, but it was all so exhausting. He watched the beam from the Highland Lighthouse course above him. He could never seem to get ahead; someone was always preventing him from the success he deserved, success he was owed. Avis, his nagging mother, his various bosses, his three pesky kids, who hung on his back begging for treats he didn’t have. Christ! How tired he was of all of them!

Tony looked over at the gun, which had fallen on the ground earlier when he unzipped his pants. He picked up the gun; it was still warm. He ran his fingers down the barrel and over the handle. The urge became irresistible. He turned the gun, stared down the barrel, and pulled the trigger.

It clicked. He had run out of bullets.