The figure walked confidently towards his destination. The black leather of his outfit squeaking and squelching with the friction of movement. Squelch. The sound resonated in the valleys surrounding him. He has come this far from civilisation for one thing, and he wished to complete his task quickly and quietly, with minimal fuss. That was his way. And he only did things, his way. That was a non-negotiable part of the deal – his clients could whine and moan all they liked, he didn’t listen. As he reached a brow of the hill he started to lay down his baggage. A long, slim camouflaged rifle bag, a steel bow with a matte sheen and several arrows marked with a crude hazardous logo. He settled himself with his back to the cabin in the distance and unpacked a brown paper bag containing a chicken salad sandwich, a apple and chocolate chip cookie. He turned on his iPhone and put in one earphone. He enjoyed listening to Swan Lake when eating lunch.
Wind whipped around his ears, fighting with the unkempt strands of hair around his brow and neck. It didn’t bother him though, having grown up in a myriad of exotic locations, weather had very little effect on his stony exterior. He chewed his sandwich slowly, savouring the bites, like some sort of ritual. His eyes cast back and forth across the barren landscape, up to the grey sky with stormy clouds whizzing overhead. He kept focussing in on the target. A small, but comfortable log cabin, approximately 40 clicks away. A dirt track snaked towards it from a unseen starting point with tufts of grass forcing their way through the centre hump between the dents in the ground made by the tyres that traveled this lonely road.
As he moved on, carefully, to his apple, using an army spec hunting knife to peel the skin on in one long curl, he heard a noise. He froze instinctively. Ear pricked like a dog listening for the rattle of the food bowl. He sat poised, eyes focussed and apple all but forgotten in his left hard. Knife gripped for dear life. Slowly a beat up marigold yellow Jeep came into view. He relaxed. Crunching methodically on his apple. He still had time. Crunch. Crunch.
The Jeep continued to travel slowly up the dirt track scattered with the occasional tuft of green. It was a truly desolate place, the grey skies tinted everything miserable. In the marigold yellow Jeep sat a young man. Attractive, in the geeky way that was now so popular. Chunk black glasses settled on his slightly bigger than average nose. A trace of hair around the edge of his face the kind that men have when they haven’t quite mastered the skill of growing a beard. His fingers tapped in time to the upbeat music on the radio. He pulled up to the front of the cabin and got ready to get out, grabbing his few possession from the passenger seat beside him.
Ring ring. Ring ring.
He paused, looked at the screen and went to answer the phone. Upon the hill 40 clicks away a series of noises happened in quick succession. Ziiip. Snap, Click, click, click. The tripod of the rifle almost sighed in content as its feet touch the soft soil of the ground. The figure clad in black leather carefully look through the sight to establish a hold on his victim. He trained the rifle until he felt sure he could complete the job with success and minimal complications. He also took up the bow and had an arrow at the ready. A radio in his back pocket crackled with static.
“…No, no it’s cool man, I’m alone, no one followed me.” The young man with the chunky black glasses assured the person on the other end of the phone in his car. He hung up and surveyed the contents of a red backpack which was half open on the passenger seat. Sticking out was a basic looking gun with and several clips of ammo. He had an open multipack of power bars and several cans of caffeine filled drinks in cans. The bag crunched as he zipped it up, holding the excuse of a weapon in his left hand. His hand felt for the door handle on the door of Jeep and he check the rear view mirror one last time. With a puff of breath, he opened it, stepped out quickly, cast a furtive glance about and began the short walk to the cabin door.
Several things happen in a short space of time. The leather clad figure fired 3 arrows in quick succession all of which found their targets silently. The three exposed wheels of the Jeep. The air hissed silently as each particle raced to be free from it’s black rubber prison. He dropped the bow and lay down, his hands curled around his semi-automatic weapon. The young man with the larger than average nose was fumbling in his pocket for keys.
The radio crackled again. “Black Panther do you receive? Over.” The hair on the gunman’s neck bristled, and he reached to reply. “This is Black Panther. We are go, repeat, we are go. Target immobilised, attack go head. Over.” He returned to his comfortable position on the ground, eyes trained on his target who was now kneeling searching through his cheap looking red backpack for the right key. The gunman smiled. This was going to feel so good.
Through the sight of the rifle he could see his comrade slowly and silently filtering out of their camouflaged hiding places. There was no way they could lose. There was nowhere for him to run or hide. The poor lamb didn’t stand a chance. There were no keys to the cabin.
“This a GO order, I repeat a GO order. All units fire.”
Splat. Splatsplat. Splashes of red flew around the target, on his clothes, the veranda of the cabin, the log walls. “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” He screamed, very much a like prepubescent girl. The gunman smiled as his teammates cheered. This year, victory had been theirs. He packed up and walked back towards the was he came. Munching merrily on his cookie as he swaggered into the distance. The big black army grade boot caught a flyer that was blowing around. His University ID swinging around his neck as he looked down at the tattered paper. Paintball Contest. Prize: Free drinks at the SU bar for a month. He smiled again, triumphant.