The hallway was mostly empty now, the heavy scent of hamburger and cooked onions hung in the hot humid air. That must be where they were all heading before, to an early supper. When I came around the corner at the end of the hall, only one man lounged against the wall, but he was big and broad enough for two or three and had tattoos covering his arms, neck, and even his shiny pink bald head. I nodded. He didn’t nod back, but his eyes followed me, and the short hairs on the back of my neck prickled.
When his big hand landed on my shoulder, I was expecting it enough to keep from flinching, from breaking into a run, from wetting my pants. Barely. I turned around to face him, hoping I looked calmer than I felt.