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Readers’ Choice (A Man with a Gun): Perfect Timing

Perfect Timing

by Tim Kirton

He’d been carrying his prized possession and best friend around the world to different locations since he’d left the armed forces almost ten years ago now.

Unsure what to do next and with his sharp shooter experience it was no surprise that he had fallen upon the type of job to which he was now inextricably linked. He couldn’t say it was his dream job, because it wasn’t. He did however appreciate that it wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea and he knew that he was good at it, extremely good.

At first it had been low grade assignments, travelling to wet and windy remote postings with little concealment but with his professionalism and innate judgement, he was offered more and more important commissions. He quickly found that he enjoyed the power and influence over others.

He never met or spoke to his employers; he would simply receive his next job in the post and was paid by bank transfer after it was all over.

The more high-profile the contracts, the better he was.

Over the years there had been several notorious individuals that had fallen foul of him, but he showed no remorse and knew he couldn’t.  His job was just to pull the trigger, he couldn’t help it if people stepped over the line. He was just doing his job. 

Yes, his hand trembled on the pistol sometimes, the enormity of what was about to happen hitting him but he always succeeded. 

His letter box rattled and a familiar manila envelope hit the coir matting with a thud. Within it were all the documents he would need.

His duties were in Munich, where he’d never been, and he hoped he would have time beforehand to do some sight-seeing.

The directive meant he would be in the sports stadium in Munich where no fewer that one hundred thousand spectators would be present. He felt the tingles run down his spine and he could barely contain his excitement.

He accepted immediately by text to the number provided and slid his gun case from under his bed to start preparing. He left nothing to chance, checking and rechecking the mechanism and oiling and polishing where necessary every moving part. Nothing could go wrong.

Within a week he had landed in Germany and was put up in an exceptional hotel close to the Olympic arena. 

He recced the position he would be in and memorized where the exits were. 

Satisfied that he had covered all the angles he walked around the city taking in the well-known tourist spots and readied himself for the next day.

His documents got him past security with ease and he took his place by the side of the track. He looked around eagerly as the athletes lined up for the 100m final, eyeing his prey.

This was the moment.

He steadied his arm, raised his stalwart pistol and, listening for the immortal words, “On Your Marks, Set…”, squeezed the trigger to start the race.

Tim Kirton is a retired P.E. teacher, successful flash fiction writer and children’s author. He is passionate about estuaries and dirty realism.

Our Readers said:

• It’s so difficult to build suspense when you know what’s going to happen at some point during the story – however the author did a great job of pulling off a creative twist which I fell for all the way! Clear winner for me!
• Clever how it works on both levels, the reality the author is describing and the reality we as readers imagine.
• It fit the theme perfectly as well as did a great job of making me fall for the twist, executing a creative idea clearly and cleverly, and was a comparatively lighthearted piece with a great diffusion of tension.


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