Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stories from Nothing: The Family

The Catalyst:
There was a really serious, black-clad businesswoman walking in the opposite direction to me talking on her cellphone. As she passed all I heard was, "I don't want to see a family".

The Story:
"Did you hear me?"
The woman's heels clack-clack-clacked against the sidewalk in a steady rhythm. Silence met her on the other end of the line.
"Yes," came the raspy voice.  "Yes, I heard you."
She hung up.

Not far from a family home, the man with the raspy voice climbed a local church tower. He whistled Ain't No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down) with a mournful gravity.
A small notched window gave him a clear line of sight to the family home up the road. Through his scope he could see into their dining room from the large plate-glass window on the east side. They always kept the curtains open.
He opened his briefcase and began clicking together the pieces of a Smith and Wesson sniper rifle.

John, his wife Sarah and their two children, Camille and Toby, were just sitting down to dinner when the first shot punched through their dining room window, his John in the chest and knocked him to the floor, a small geyser of blood shooting out of the wound.
Before Sarah could scream, before she could even react beyond looking at John's lifeless eyes as he lay on the floor, a second shot ripped open the front of her skull as the bullet struck the back of it.
Then the children started screaming.

When the man with the raspy voice begun separating the pieces of the rifle, Toby and Camille weren't screaming anymore. They were silent along with their parents as the dinner cooled with the breeze from the shattered window.