In the downstairs bathroom Michael closed the door and flipped on the light. At the sink he turned a little watching his reflection in the mirror. The bullet had hit him in the shoulder, putting a hole in his t-shirt and leather letterman’s jacket. “Dammit.” He took the jacket off, hanging it on a hook screwed into the door behind him. Facing the mirror again, he stuck his finger through the hole in his t-shirt. When he touched his skin, he cringed. There was a lump. Gingerly, he took off his t-shirt and tossed it on the floor. His left shoulder sported a huge bruise. It was deep purple and dark blue. He pressed his fingers against it and let out a hissing sound, like a seething snake, at the pain the pressure caused.

With his right hand, he reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a bullet. Held it up in the bathroom light and wondered why it hadn’t broken his skin. Tucking it away, he rotated his shoulder. It stung, hurt bad, but no blood had been drawn.

“Someone shot me. On my birthday, too. Suck!” He peered at the coat and his shirt again, trying to figure out how the bullet only bruised him. “What the crap?” He didn’t know what to think. Hadn’t any sane ideas.

Right now he’d focus on Venus.

Later he’d debate whether he was bulletproof. 

Heading into the laundry room, he grabbed another white t-shirt, like the one he’d been wearing, pulled it on and then went into the kitchen to get what he needed to help Venus.

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