This is the 82nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
The Hit, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 21st February 2013
Word count: 587
“Your choices are simple,” he announced the voice on the other end of the call, “Pull the trigger, or hang up and walk away. There are severe consequences either way. What’s it going to be Frank?”
Frank wanted to say ‘Fuck you’, but that was easier thought than said, the voice at the end of the call had explosives, Frank dare not piss him off, yet how could he shoot someone? Worst still, if he did what was to stop the voice detonating the bombs to hide the evidence.
“I’m waiting Frank,” the voice said.
Frank still had nothing to say, he was pondering whether he could run faster than the bombs, might be he could get away from the ones in the impromptu sniper nest, but that didn’t help the people in the train station. The voice’s target was going to be eliminated either way, but the explosives would kill and hurt many others.
“The clocks ticking Frank, what’s it going to be?”
Frank took a deep breath. Choose to shoot one person, or by not choosing kill himself, the target and countless others.
“Frank…” the voice began.
“Shut up,” he said, more firmly than he actually felt, “I’ll do it.”
“Good Frank, but you don’t have long,” the voice said.
“What am I looking for?” Frank said putting the gun to his shoulder and looking through the scope at the milling crowds below.
“The target will be wearing a yellow carnation, sight him, shoot him,” the voice instructed.
“If you’re successful, I’ll tell you how to disarm the bomb underneath you, and because you’re such a good sport I’ll talk you through avoiding the police,” the voice said, almost sounding like it cared. Frank figured that they wanted him on the run to keep the police busy, and make sure they had no reason to believe Frank.
“Just tell me, was my life over the moment I woke up here?” Frank asked as he scanned the crowd. He caught a glimpse of something yellow and searched more in that area.
“Your repaying a debt Frank, you put yourself on this path,” the voice said.
Frank found the target, a coloured man in African dress wearing a yellow flower.
“Is that what will help you sleep at night?” Frank asked.
“I’ll sleep fine. Now take the shot before he leaves,” the voice said dispassionately.
Frank brought up his free hand to grip the sniper rifle firmly, he sighted the target.
“Frank you need to aim slightly higher, or you’ll put the bullet into crowd of kids in front of the target,” the voice warned.
Frank was sweating now, there seemed to be a physical barrier around the trigger, he couldn’t get his finger to go anywhere near it.
“Frank,” warned the voice.
Frank was aiming slightly above the target, everything was ready. He fought himself for control of that one finger, and won.
The sound rang out, the target fell down. Everywhere below descended into chaos with people running to and thro. Some brave souls were trying to help the target.
Frank took a deep breath, “I’ll repay my debts.”
“Goodbye Frank,” the voice said.
The sniper nest exploded killing Frank.
As the police investigated the site of the explosion, they discovered in the cubby hole scratched into the floor Frank’s account of what happened. What he knew about the voice, the casino where he had supposedly run up the debt before finding himself in the cubby hole behind the electronic time table display.