Elster's World

Friday, July 22, 2005

Story Time

The shrill, high pitched scream of the alarm pulled him awake. With sleep crusted eyes, he checked the time. 5:15. Jesus Christ, he thought. Why couldn't I have just spent the $14.99 and gotten a clock radio like normal people?

He rolled out of bed. The first hints on sunlight were peeking through the shades. Even with the window AC going full bore, it was warm in the room. Outside it would probably be eighty degrees. But noon, it would be close to a hundred, with high humidity to boot. The man smiled. Perfect.

He got his coffee maker percolating and then stepped into the shower. He let the warm water sluice off his long night. He had barely slept, first making final plans and then finally falling into a fitfull sleep, tossing and turning and fighting off the demons in his dreams. He wasn't sure but he may have gotten three hours if he was lucky. He shut the hot water tap and stood under the cascade of freezing cold water as long as he could stand it. The cold water and the now steaming coffee waiting for him in the kitchen would wake him up.

He dressed in light khaki carpenter's pants and a military olive t-shirt. He put rubber soled black workboots on over black sweat socks. He took a desert style camo floppy hay off of his nightstand and let it hang from his neck by the string. He exited the bedroom and tuned back for one more look. Nice and empty, except for a bed, a nightstand and the godawful alarm clock. It occurred to him that he might never see this room again. He supposed he should have felt some nostalgia for the place he had been living for the last nine months, but couldn't really summon any up.

He toasted himself a bagel and spread on light cream cheese. He sat down at the small kitchen table with the bagel, a mug and the entire pot of brewed coffee. He went to work on breakfast, eating but not really tasting, pouring coffee down his throat as though it was fuel. Without air conditioning, it was sultry in the kitchen. Sweat leaked down his face on the way towards his shirt. He didn't mind. Sweat cooled him off. That's what it was there for after all.

He finished breakfast and placed the dirty dishes in the rented house's sink. He turned on the water and splashed his face, drying off with paper towels. Then picked up the Sunlight, paused, and put it back down. Screw it. If he wasn't coming back, he certainly wasn't going to clean of the freaking dishes.

He went down to the basement, leaving the main light off. It was slightly cooler and he reveled in it. He shook his head. Time was short and there was a lot to do today. He smiled. Today was the day he was going to change the world. Move your ass soldier.

He moved to the far corner of the basement, found the overhead fixture, and pulled the string down. After standing in complete darkness, the harsh light from the naked seventy-five watt bulb momentarily blinded him. He allowed his eyes to re-adjust before pulling the gym bag to him.

The bag was dark blue, except for the brilliant white Swoosh on the side. He had always been particular to Nike. Maybe it was Jordan, maybe not. He shrugged. It didn't really make a difference, did it?

The man unzipped the bag and took out the case which lay within. It was long and made of hard black plastic. He undid the combination lock and popped it open. Inside was death. Death in the form of a disassembled Slessinger Mark IV scoped automatic sniper's rifle. He took each section out carefully, as though dealing with a newborn, wiping them down with a newly oiled cloth. He began assembling the rifle, piece by piece, section by section. He was a pro, trained by the best. Under different circumstances, he could have assembled the rifle in just under 45 seconds. But he had time. Why rush it? He looked through the scope. He had checked ranges with it yesterday, it would be fine.

When the weapon was fully assembled, he reached into the gym bag and pulled out a clip which held fifteen specially made rounds. Dum Dum rounds. They exploded on contact, causing the most possible damage. They did not fly as straight and true as other rounds but that would be no problem for him. He was the best after all.

He took the weapon, leaving the case and bag behind. He wouldn't need it. The rifle would be staying where he fired it from. Now he felt a moment's nostalgia. The Mark IV was a truly wonderful piece of equipment. He would miss it.

He went into the garage and put the rifle into the trunk of his nondescript grey Taurus. Just another car on the road, just another anonymous driver inside. But not for long, he thought. Because today's the day he was going to change the world for the better. He turned on the ignition. Let's do this, he thought.


  • Excellent work. Just a point: Try painting a picture rather than telling me what happened. For example, a few of your paragraphs started off saying "He did X."

    By Blogger brianna, at 1:02 PM  

  • Thanks. Constructive criticism always welcome.

    By Blogger Elster, at 1:05 PM  

  • Thanks for visiting my blog. Would you mind sharing what you figured out by 25..

    By Blogger Semgirl, at 7:15 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Elster, at 4:37 PM  

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