the insurance man worked for an old school insurance company that was a debit route. each month he would go to clients houses and pick up their monthly payments. the agents also were required to sell new policies to young and old, rich and poor and anyone they could get to sign the contract and get the first month’s premium. often, supervisors encouraged the agents to pay the first month’s policy just to get the account going. the policies were mainly ” burial” policies and didn’t have a large cash value, usually only 5 or 10 thousand dollars. and most of the people had the policies for years and paid more into the policies than what they were worth. imagine that, an insurance company taking advantage of people. but the insurance man was just trying to provide for his family. he really didn’t like the job, but it did provide a weekly paycheck. he had only been on the job for 2 months when he was given a new ” lapse” client. the “good old boys” at the office would give the new agents accounts that were far behind on their payments and would soon lapse – meaning the agent would lose a portion of his paycheck because of losing account. the new account was 3 months past due and more than likely was going to be cancelled. the “client” betty, a woman who was 61 but looked 85 had certainly had a rough life. her face and body was wrinkled and bloated and a sour smelled lingered about her. every month she was behind in her payments and the manager was always pressuring him to get 2 months in advance -to pay the past due and also have payments on file in case she died. the first time he went to make the collection, it looked like so many of the other low income trailers that his “clients” lived in. he was not one to judge people and felt that everyone deserved respect and common decency. The yard was littered with old cars, garbage and empty cardboard beer boxes. there was an old, skinny dog chained to pole that didn’t bother to look up as he walked by. there was no food for the dog, but an old bucket with green water with bugs floating around in it. as “betty” opened the door and met her “new” insurance man, he was greeted with a smell he would not like to have experienced. it was a combination of cigarette smoke, garbage, urine, rat feces and old soiled baby diapers. The inside of the trailer was full of junk -boxes of junk and dust covered everything. The constant cigarette smoke had stained the walls and junk with a yellowish covering. As he walked in, he glanced in the kitchen and saw several days of dirty dishes piled up around the sink and stove. roaches were competing to nibble from the the mounds of leftover food on the plates, sink and floor. rat feces were scattered indiscriminately around the sink and concentrated on the open door of the cupboard, which revealed several boxes of food that had been gnawed through and the ingredients had spilled out onto the floor for the roaches and mice. empty prescription pill bottles lay scattered around the counter. she explained to him that she was watching her grandkids for various reasons -none involved love or a maternal grandmother instinct. she started off with her reasons for not having the payments – her ex -husband had come by and “taken” the cash she had saved to buy beer – her daughter tasha had just started a job at burger barn and needed money for clothes -her stepson craig had needed money to get bailed out of the parish prison. he had gotten drunk at a bar and punched a woman that didn’t like his new tattoo – amber, her youngest (16) daughter needed money for a prescription for her newborn….and on and on and on…..he had heard these stories in various forms from most of his “clients”…but there was something in the air at betty’s – and not just the smell, that creeped him out. evil. darkness. something otherworldly. as betty was crying and puffing on a cigarette at the same time, he noticed a small child on the floor coloring intently. she seemed to be about 9 or 10, but was wearing a diaper that was quite full and a care bear shirt covered with holes and food stains. betty noticed him looking at the girl and explained “that’s darrell’s daughter. he’s in the pen and won’t never be getting out. he didn’t molest them children.it was all lies. lies, all to just lock him up.” then, he really felt the evil. as he looked at the girl on the floor, her eyes met his gaze. her cheeks were sunken in and her eyes were larger than usual and bulged out. she was skinny and frail looking – fetal alcohol syndrome -the thought went through his mind like a fire alarm warning. as betty was rambling and crying, the child got up and walked towards him. she handed him the drawing she had worked so hard on. it was a family of stick figures. They all had frowns and sad faces. there was a tree with birds in it and a rainbow in the sky next to the sun. off to the side was one stick figure – with big eyes full of tears – she asked him” mister, if I saw a rainbow, would it make me happy?