Was it thunder or death that convulsed the sullen sky? Palmer, immersed in his mania, was convinced it was all concentrated on him. But he embraced a reality that dictated it should be so, and his acceptance of this was complete. While cars smashed through puddles of collected rain water, the sidewalk traffic of umbrella clutching pedestrians, lurched forward and back. They impeded his progress. Palmer forced his way through a mass of human bodies gathered on the busy downtown corner waiting for the light to change. He moved clumsily, perception distorted by the hard drugs that raged through his system. The thunder seemed to chase him as he rushed along in the pouring rain. He stopped when he spied a refuge deep down in a sliver of an alley, finding shelter underneath a dark, ledged corner. An arc of lightening stole that instant from the black night to momentarily illuminate his dismal silhouette — now framed by the dirty gray walls of his temporary reprieve.