The collection opens with a bartender fighting to defend a mysterious old man who comes in every day to the dark booth in the back.
The second story begins at 11 am during the dog days of summer, Lubbock, Texas. In a fit of rage, Jerry knocks his next-door neighbor over the guardrail of their fourth-floor apartments. He manages to catch on to the fallen man’s belt but slams against the metal barrier. Shirtless, with busted ribs, he is in agony, and his grip is failing.
In the next story, a professional cat burglar encounters the one person who can end his career.
A prisoner condemned to die uses his final request to distribute gifts to the firing squad is the fourth offering.
Finally, a former Korean War fighter pilot, now an old man, spends his first night as a watchman in a museum of flight. He discovers there are more occupants than the aged airplanes.