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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Review Chain

A piece of flash fiction depicting the process a sniper goes through, preparing to take his shot. It explores human nature and thoughts, and attempts to highlight the senses.

Submitted: June 15, 2018

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Submitted: June 15, 2018




The powerful weapon dominated my touch: I felt it against my shoulder, the butt pushing deep into my skin; I gently fingered the warm metal trigger, squeezing it ever so slightly. Breathe. The metal met my cheek. It was uncomfortable - I was used to it, however. My elbow rested precariously on the wall of the roof, the decaying paint and cement crumbling under the pressure of the weapon and my elbow. My feet were firmly planted on the ground.


I feared they’d be stuck there, for my leather boots felt like they were about to melt. It was hot. The arid atmosphere took its toll on me, as I felt a streak of sweat glide over my face. It made its way across my temple, my cheek and then my jawline. Drip. It rolled off, then mixed with the powdered concoction of paint and cement. Breathe, take no notice of it.


I tasted my breath - it was rank. My mouth was dry and parched and I craved for a drink. A nice, chilled lemonade would have been ideal. I felt the sweet taste enter my mouth as I imagined myself on a scenic beach, sipping the fizzy liquid. Breathe. I tasted the blood; the feeling was so common to me now, it had become habit. Taking the shot didn’t mean as much to me now, in contrast to when I was a fresh, new entrant to the trade. The malignant prickle of killing was what I longed for then. The taste of accomplishment was far superior in satisfaction now.  That was the sensation I longed for the most, the sense of the job being complete. Breathe.


I smelled the petrichor emanating from the recent, rare rush of rain atop the ground. The earth was sodden and shallow pools of murky water began forming. It seldom rained here - people were shocked by the sudden, unpredicted climate. It surprised me that even with the rain, it was so unbearably hot. Breathe. Goats ran awry. The horned creatures that roamed the streets produced a stench so foul, it reminded me of the insides of an animal. Rats, I think, from when I used to take biology in school. Yes, that was it. Filter out the smells, and just breathe.


I could hear the goats blankly bleating with no rhythm. What could I expect from the stupid creatures, who produced a pungent odour not of this world? The indistinct hum of human heart-to-heart punctuated the area below. What did they even have to talk about? They just lived their lives, oblivious and unknowing. Breathe. My brain whirred, filled with my thoughts racing around. It was never a good sign for me when I could listen to my thoughts. I needed focus. I needed a break from the shrill, persistent noises which came from within. They weren’t even important, just completely random. Need to focus, and breathe.


Eye pressed upon the scope, it magnified a balding, portly figure. Fat lump, sitting in the coffee shop, carrying the weight of his decorated, impressive uniform. My target. He sat opposite a man worthy of a powerful kick to the scrotum, because of his smug smirk etched on his youthful face. Breathe. I darted back and forth between the rugged buildings of varying heights and the target. I was filthy with myself for losing focus again. Back to the lump; the crosshairs were trained directly at his hairless skull. My eyes fixated on a mole at the base of his temple, gross and bulging. My eyes were set now, and my focus was clear. I visualised the shot, envisioning his fatuous body crumpling into a heap. Breathe, fixate on the target.


I gained the awareness I had felt every time beforehand. I kicked into gear, thinking about my end desire. The desire I was so familiar with. Flashes of prior kills danced across my mind, reminding me of all the fun I’d had. Today, no doubt, would be the most fun of all. Breathe.


I willed the whirring inside my head to stop. I had a clear mind now, with only my primary focus in mind. I was going to kill. In a matter of seconds, I would have succeeded. As I surveyed the surroundings one last time, I heard the shot’s echo, whistling through the air. A sharp, searing pain. I wasn’t breathing for much longer.





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