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February 28 , 2011

The Devil's Shoestring


When the old man slowly shuffled along the streets mumbling and shouting, the people that he passed moved quickly past him. Some of them felt sorry for him, some wondered why the city didn’t address the homeless problem and others ignored him. He knew something. They didn’t know. But he knew. A passerby would take Waller for another unfortunate street person. Just an elderly, bearded fellow shuffling along, pack on his back, no future in front of him, commonplace in the nineties .The more astute observer would note that the hiking boots were of top quality and the trousers and shirt were clean. The pack and sleeping bag would fetch top dollar in a sporting goods store. The observer would not know of the aged money belt under the denim shirt, which was stuffed with twenty dollar bills, or of the Colt.38 special inside the pack. Waller was not a typical street person.Waller avoided contact with the other poor souls that aimlessly traversed the city. More money than he would ever spend was hidden. But his former life was shattered. He spent his days drinking and sometimes wondered how he had ended up this way. He had tugged on the devil’s shoestring and would forever be tormented by the terrible results of his complacency and lack of ambition.

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