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Bad Timing

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A bit of flash fiction:


He held the gun to the man's head knowing in moments this man would cease to exist. Such a simple movement of his finger would end the life of another so effortlessly. A simple, yet impossible task. The trigger, impossibly heavy, refused to be moved. Sweat beaded his forehead from the effort.

He told himself to do it, to put an end to this struggle, to 'seal the deal'. This man's life flashed before him in a blink. He saw the face of a small child looking back in a mirror. The child, was it this man? Images of the boy growing flickered quickly as he watched him playing with his favorite toys and witnessed his first kiss and the first time he drove a car. He saw a girl's face appear and grow into a beautiful woman, this man's wife and their children ran about under foot. Despite holding the heavy gun to another man's head, he laughed.

A gritty darkness fell across his vision, it was grief at the death of a father. He felt the iron hand of sadness envelope him. Gloomy days, bad decisions, the slump into gambling, losing everything. Ever rising debt, threats against him, against his family.

Tears dropped from his eyes as he struggled with these thoughts and knew they were not the life of the man kneeling before him but of his own. How had he come to be here? How could he have put himself into this position? For a moment he contemplated putting the gun to his own head, but he was to much the coward to end it like that.

It was time.

He put the gun to the man's head and heard a whimper, a plea of mercy.

The deafening boom reverberated through the small room. The job was done, the debt repaid. He dropped the gun to the dusty ground. It was over!

He watched the man's body as it quietly slumped forward. Tears streamed down his face and when his phone rang in his pocket he jumped, startled from the broken silence. "Hello?"

"The situation has changed. Do not terminate, repeat, do not terminate!"

He could only laugh. Short, maniacal laughter followed by the tears as he slumped to the ground next to this man who would never be able to share the sting of the irony of bad timing.

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