An Allegorical Tale

No one ever messed with the old man behind door 749. It was the sparse little room at the end of the hall. And when the door was ajar, it was revealed to be poorly lit by a single dim bulb.

Most of the residents in that squalid corner of harsh reality kept to themselves, and they certainly stayed clear of the end room. Everyone knew the guy who resided there was a hermit, a loner, with no friends and no known connections to anyone. That could only mean one of two things. Either he was alone because he wanted to leave something drastic in the past, or … they all shuddered when considering the alternative. No one dared to ask.

As fate would have it, the alternative was the truth. No one actually asked. It just sort of leaked out. The rumor mills of the underbelly of society have a way of doing that. The dreaded hermit was a writer. And making matters worse, he was a fiction writer.

When the neighboring residents demanded to be moved, the slumlord refused. He knew no one was safe. So he tried to put a positive spin on it. But secretly he harbored the same dread.

Any time a writer takes up a pen and makes a story appear on paper, someone dies, someone becomes a fool, and someone emerges as a hero. And most of those characters get a name. And no one wants to be the name inspiration for the fool!

It was only natural that the inhabitants would try to make themselves scarce when the writer was around. The problem was, they never knew when that door would open and the old man would step through, settle his hat just so on his head, lock his door, and stroll down the hall with a manuscript tucked neatly under his arm. And it seemed the title was only ever barely visible …

On this fateful day, it is: Wrath of the Falcon!