Chapter Eight - Sam

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Chapter 9

Saturday, August 7th, 2027

1000

            Diane pulled into the shooting range lot, parking her oversized pickup truck and wasting no time climbing down from the high standing beast. Jumping up on one of the back tires to fish her weapons pack out of the truck bed, making sure to lock her vehicle before walking across the gravel parking lot into the range entrance. She could hear the faint sound of gunfire as she drew closer to the admissions booth, a frown forming on her otherwise calm face.

            "Good morning, Charley," Diane smiled, waving to the shooting range clerk while fumbling through her backpack for her identification card.

            "Hello, young lady," Charley replied, checking her credentials. "Diane Kilmara. Same booth?"

            "You know it," she smiled, accepting her ID and range pass. "How many other shooters this morning?"

"Just one. The gentleman from last week," He said, shrugging his shoulders.

"And the week before that," protested Diane, crinkling her nose in disapproval. "See you around, Charley," she said, perusing the range safety rules before leaving the check in counter.

Indoors and constructed of concrete, the shooting range conjured memories of bunkers as she headed in towards her shooting booth, donning her hearing protection against the sound of gunshots echoing throughout the building. Irritation filled her as she passed through the security doors: Diane had been coming to this shooting range at 10 a.m. every Saturday for the last six months, choosing this range at this particular time for the solitude, which judging from the Camaro parked outside and its owner within, seemed to be eluding her. She considered the other shooter to be an intruder on sacred ground and she'd almost had enough anger to confront him. Her better judgment told her to be calm: with twenty stalls on the firing line to choose from, Diane knew the range held plenty of room for the both of them. Diane had grown accustomed to using the sixth booth, while the interloper fired from lane eight like he had done in the previous weeks. She walked over to her usual lane and opened her bag, setting several weapons down on the booth counter top; a compact pistol for concealed carry, a full sized handgun, and a carbine before pulling out nine or so gun magazines, followed by boxes of ammunition. Making short work of loading the magazines with a speed loader, Diane mounted her target, an image of a zombie, onto the target slide, sending it down range into her line of fire.

Lowering her glasses and donning her hearing protection, Diane decided to fire her smaller pistol first, clutching the polymer grip tight, the textured handle feeling good to her hands. With the slide to the rear, she inserted the clip and chambered a round, ready to fire as the other shooter's gunshots rang throughout the range. Diane took her stance, raising the weapon and aiming at her zombie target some fifteen feet away. Zeroing in quickly and breathing calmly, she began to squeeze off single shots, realigning her sight picture after the recoil before shooting again, firing ten shots in all before the slide locked to the rear after the last round. Looking down the sights of her pistol, a smile came to her face as small groupings of fluorescent yellow shone from the head and chest of the zombie target. Discharging the empty magazine, she slapped in a second, firing those and a third magazine at a faster pace, before loading a final magazine and firing that one as fast as she could while maintaining accuracy. Four clips down, she called her target back, making note of her many tight shot groupings before switching targets and reload mags. She sent the new target out to the 25 yard line before repeating the process, the smell of gunpowder conjuring memories of the wars, and the aching in her arm. Before she knew it, Diane was moving on to the full size .45, again firing four magazines before reloading all eight to repeat the process again with a new target standing further down the range. Her bullets thundered out of her guns, punching neat circular holes through her target. Eighty rounds later, Diane felt good enough about her work to move on to the main event.

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