Lizzie Koch’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: Target Practise
“You were supposed to pull the trigger. What happened?” Maxwell asked, taking the gun from Zoe’s hands.
“I . . . I couldn’t do it. It’s a harmless bird.”
With a splintering crack, an explosion of feathers filled the air before floating down.
“It wasn’t real. It was a test. If you can’t kill a stuffed animal, what good are you?” asked Maxwell, turning the gun on Zoe.
“I’m not a psycho serial killer, working my way up from animals to humans. I will have no problem killing the bad guys!” Staring down the barrel of a gun belied her confidence but she stood firm.
“Here,” Maxwell said, offering her back the gun. “Maybe another method in killing is your style.”
Becoming an assassin wasn’t something Zoe asked to do or wanted to do but her choices were limited; to die in prison or work for these people who she knew nothing about. But she took the deal. She didn’t want to rot in jail for something she didn’t do other than getting on the wrong side of Maxwell in a bit of road rage madness.
She watched Maxwell talk with a colleague. Talking about her leaving by his glances her way. She saw the deep furrow on his forehead, shaking his head like she was a disappointment. She had to up her game. It was a sodding bird! A stuffed bird! Why didn’t she shoot the sodding bird? Second chances were rare and prison life was not something she was made for.
Maxwell turned his back on his colleague, walking back to Zoe, a faint smile on his otherwise stern face. He reached into his pocket.
Zoe’s breath caught in her throat.
Her fingers gripped tight around the gun.
She smiled, lifting her gaze, remembering what she’d been taught but Maxwell would know that, was expecting everything she did. Panic rose. She swallowed bile. A split second later, her arm was raised, the gun pointing. A shot shattered the tense silence.
Maxwell hit the floor, a crumpled heap as Zoe lowered her arm.
The bullet met its target, she was sure but the first rule of her training was never to assume anything.
Heading towards her target, she passed Maxwell, a quick glance told her he was breathing, just a trickle from a flesh wound on his ear as the bullet grazed past. She pressed a finger to his colleague's neck. Nothing. But then the hole in his forehead told Zoe all she wanted.
“I ought to blow your brains out right now,” Maxwell said, standing behind her, the muzzle of a gun pressing hard into her skull. “But humour me.”
“He was going to kill you. He reached for his pocket, I saw the look on his face, the look you warned me about. I saw his eyes, fixed on you. He wanted you dead.”
The pressure released in the back of her head. Zoe exhaled loudly. He reached into the pocket, pulling out the small pistol.
“My guess is he was going to blame me or kill me too. Do you know why he wanted to kill you?”
“Yes. Internal politics, nothing for you to worry about. I guess I underestimated you Zoe. I won’t be doing that again,”
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I dream of sharing my work with the big wide world one day as a published author. Right now, I share flash fiction with a wonderful community of writers and friends. If you liked this story, then why not visit my blog at http://40somethingundomesticateddevil.blogspot.co.uk/ for more. Thank you. Love Lizzie x