story

Flash: Are you ready?

George casually leaned over the edge of the building and watched the milling crowds. “Are we ready?”

John looked over the crowd for moment and then went back to cleaning his gun. “Depends.”

“On what?”

“On whether you can aim or not.”

George tried to keep the whine out of his voice when he answered. “I can aim just fine.”

John regarded George. “Uh huh. Sure. Why don’t you prove that right now?”

“Now?”

“Sure. Let’s see. I’ll pick one out. Hmm.” John searched through the people for just the right one. “Yeah. That one. Right there.”

“Which one?”

John got up and walked over to the ledge. “The one with the blue jacket. You see him?”

“Why that one?”

“You giving up already?”

“No. No. I’ll do it.” George reached down and picked up the his rifle. “How far do you think it is?”

John thought about it for a second or two before answering. “Not sure. ‘Bout two hundred yards or so. You can make that easy.”

“Sure. Easy. Okay.” George lined up his sights on the shuffling man in the blue jacket. He tried repeating to himself that this action was necessary. He had to do it. And even if he didn’t, John would. He tried to calm down and act like this was natural. That killing people was fine and dandy. It wasn’t murder exactly he kept reminding himself.

“You gonna shoot or what?”

“I’m waiting on the breeze”

John turned around and start walking back to his gun. “You let me know when you’re ready. I’ll come back.”

George took a breathe and squeezed the trigger.

Two hundred yards away, there was a small pop noise as the man in the blue jacket’s head blew to pieces. Some of the crowd looked around and moaned. A couple of them even moved to the quickly cooling corpse.

George turned away. He hated this. He tried to like it, to appreciate it. He couldn’t. John keep telling him that it was him or them. George didn’t want to believe that. That was just no way that these people were just gone. That they were like some cattle now, milling around. Surely they weren’t all mindless and would kill him if he was within their  reach, right?

John ignored George for the moment and pulled on his binoculars. “Hmm. Nice job. A little bit sloppy but you’re still learning. I’ll teach you to be a sniper yet.”

George did not reply. He just sat down and looked at the roof of the building. He was not ready for this new world.