Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Everyday Heroes Blogfest!

Today is the Everyday Heroes Blogfest!  The point of the blogfest is to highlight the problem of violence in our world, as evidenced by the Newtown massacre last year.  I asked those participating to write a 500-or-so word story dealing with violence.

Here's my effort:


Hero:  A Fable

As soon as he heard the first shot, Bob Silver sprung into action.  He had prepared for this moment ever since Columbine.  When he’d seen the news reports about that, he’d sworn to himself no punks would get the drop on him like that.  That same day he’d run to the gun shop to buy himself a Magnum, the kind of gun that could drop someone in one shot, not like those pansy 9mms the clerk showed him.

For years he’d spent five nights a week at the range and most of his Saturdays.  By now he could hit the target dead center six out of six times—blindfolded even.  The Magnum had become as much a part of him as his own fingers and toes.

Not all of his colleagues had felt the same way.  The liberal tree-huggers had initially petitioned the school board to prevent him from carrying the weapon on school grounds.  It couldn’t happen here, they said.  But one massacre after another—Virginia Tech, Aurora, and finally Newtown—broke down their resistance.  And now they would finally see how right he’d been all along.

He took the gun from its shoulder holster and then opened the door.  He heard a gunshot, followed by screams.  From the direction of both, the shooter had to be near the library.  Twenty years as the vice-principal had allowed Bob to memorize the school’s layout.  He trotted away from his office, towards the computer lab.

A frantic girl threw herself at him.  He couldn’t understand what she said.  “Don’t worry, sweetheart.  I’ll take care of it.”  He motioned for her to go out the back doors.  When she tried to cling to him, he had to shove her away.  “Go!”

He found the computer lab empty.  He paused as he heard another shot.  Bob hurried over to the door that connected the lab to the library.  He flattened himself against the wall.  He paused a moment to wipe the sweat from his brow.  Then he took a few breaths to steady himself.  Here we go, he told himself.  Time to show this punk who’s boss.

He opened the door slowly with one hand.  Then he peeked out the doorway.  He heard only the whimper of another girl.  Don’t worry, he tried to tell her telepathically, help is here.  As he thought this, he saw the punk emerge from behind a bookshelf.  He wore a long black coat and a gas mask.  All Bob could tell about the punk was he was tall and skinny.  It wouldn’t matter much longer.

He counted to three before he lunged through the doorway.  As he straightened, he found the barrel of the punk’s AR-15 pointed right at him.  Bob’s eyes fixed on the end of the barrel; it seemed close enough to touch.  The Magnum began to tremble in Bob’s hand.  He blinked sweat out of his eyes.  Then he felt his underwear turn warm and damp.

The pistol slipped out of his grip.  “P-p-please.  D-don’t kill me,” Bob whimpered.  He closed his eyes, but he could still see the barrel of the assault rifle in his vision.

A shot rang out.  Bob waited for the pain.  He didn’t feel anything.  Had he already gone into shock?  Had he already died?

“Got him,” a man’s voice said.  “Target is down.  Repeat, target is down.”

Bob felt a hand on his shoulder.  The same man’s voice said, “It’s all right, sir.  We got him.”

Bob opened his eyes and saw the punk sprawled on the floor.  A man similarly dressed in black with a ski mask, goggles, and helmet obscuring his face stood over Bob.  Bob got to his feet and threw himself at the policeman.  “Bless you, sir.  Bless you.”

“Just doing our job, sir.”

Moral of the story:  gunfights are best left to professionals.

Saturday I was reading Vonnegut's Deadeye Dick, where the main character accidentally shoots a pregnant woman with a rifle and gains his eponymous nickname as a sort of scarlet letter.  The woman's husband, a newspaper editor, publishes these words in his paper:

“My wife has been killed by a machine which should never have come into the hands of any human being. It is called a firearm. It makes the blackest of all human wishes come true at once, at a distance: that something die.  There is evil for you.  We cannot get rid of mankind’s fleetingly wicked wishes. We can get rid of the machines that make them come true.  I give you a holy word: DISARM.”
Amen.

If you've contributed a story, then put your link in the comments.  I'll add them to this throughout the day.  And be sure to tell your friends!

Briane Pagel:  Violins Is Never the Answer
Cindy Borgne 
David Powers King:  A Hero's Reward 
Tony Laplume:  Gun Shot

8 comments:

  1. Nice story. Here is mine.

    http://dreamersperch.blogspot.com/2013/03/everyday-heroes-blog-fest-march-20-2013.html

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  2. Excellent excellent story. And probably likely to come true.

    I'm glad to see that on the same day your antiviolence crusade kicks in, Congress decides that 'gun control' need not include 'automatic weapons.'

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  3. If you don't train yourself for the situation, mentally and physically, no amount of target practice is going to help against "cold feet." Glad you pointed that out in your story, P.T. :)

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  4. I love your story. Thanks for posting it. Maybe you'll get some conservative hate that will stir up drama. I'll have to check back.

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  5. Oh, bah! I still haven't had any ideas. Because it's hard to think of ideas when I'm in editing mode. I'll try to switch over and get something up today.

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  6. What a great story with a twist ending Pat! A lot of wish fulfillment there.

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  7. http://mouldwarp.blogspot.com/2013/03/everyday-hero-blogfest.html

    I have to confess, I completely forgot, and my story is basically my riff on your story.

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  8. Dammit. I totally forgot and then went kinda incognito last week. Great story

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