Shep's tracks were seeping, causing his left forearm to stick to the sleeve of the Member's Only jacket that he just scored from the Catholic Charities clothing room.
Carefully, he rolled both sleeves up to his elbows, and checked the damage.
"Infected. Shit." He mumbled, as he made his way down Rush street, looking for a restroom to clean his wounds. He cursed himself for picking a "cool" jacket over a warm one. November nights in Chicago held nothing but bone chilling cold for drugstore cowboys like Shep.
"But damn, I look good." He said to nobody.
A neon beer sign caught his eye a few yards up the sidewalk. As he twitched closer to the door of the bar, a meth-induced tremor hit his heart hard, He stumbled side-ways, reaching for the cold brick wall for support.
Shep bent over to catch his breath as a casually dressed couple stepped out of the bar, laughing at a private joke.
Standing up straight, leaning against the wall, Shep tried to look casual as the couple turned in his direction, and passed him with barely a glance.
He didn't know the bar. It was a few bocks from his usual stomping grounds, but in his jacket, and matching denim shirt and pants from the thrift store, Shep felt confident that he would blend in as he stepped though the door of the dimly lit lounge.
The door slapped shut behind him. Hard. Startled, Shep turned towards the sound, and a vessel blew in his brain. Blinded, he fell to his knees, His heart whacked his ribs double-time, and he screamed, "I'm the King motherfuckers!".
Stunned, everyone in the bar froze.
Hands over his heart, he pitched forward on his face, breaking his nose and three teeth.
"I'm the KIng! Kiss my ring bitches!" The words bubbling from a mouth filled with blood.
As the bartender raced around the counter towards him, Shep suddenly, violently, convulsed. The stroke caused a siezure that made his feet , head and arms tap out a staccato beat on the floor.
Five seconds later the meth took his breath.