The Shooter (a short story by DL Sullivan)
“I’m gonna count to 3, and then I start shooting!” I said. The man’s grin widened with confidence as though he knew a secret that would ultimately save him.
I was determined to right the wrong he had committed on the little blond-haired girl standing behind me. The look of sadness that suffused her small face had nearly broken my heart.
My face felt flushed from the anger I felt inside. I couldn’t stand by and let this happen to this precious little girl without reprisal for the man’s callous actions.
I had checked the gun I grabbed from the top of the short wall separating us. I smirked as I saw that he had changed the sight on the gun to shoot a little to the left of center. My experience years earlier in the Special Forces came in very handy now. I could have stripped this gun down to its individual parts and reassembled it with my eyes blindfolded.
His smile faltered as I counted, “One.”
The man’s seemingly calm, smug smile couldn’t hide the hint of worry on his face. The corners of his mouth twitched ever so slightly in a nervous tick. Sweat was beading on his upper lip despite the cool evening air.
I stared directly into his gray eyes as I counted, “Two.”
He straightened from his casual slouch. His eyes darted from side to side looking for a way to escape his fate.
“Three,” I said with finality. I quickly raised the gun, aimed a little to the right of center, and fired.
The man jerked violently when the gun went off. The look of surprise on his face was a joy to see as the bell rang loudly, indicating I had hit the target square in the middle of the bullseye.
“We’ll take that giant teddy bear, now,” I said with a satisfied smile.
The carney looked dumbfounded as he reached for the bear sitting behind him. I swear, I think the bear was smiling, too. With a look of defeat on his face, he took the bear in both hands and slowly handed the bear to me over the short wall of the booth.
I turned around and held the bear out to the little girl. The look of delight on her face as she took possession of the bear filled me with joy.
I would remember this day for a very. long. time.