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Sniper Wanted

In the Good Book, you reap the seeds you sow. (By "Good Book" we of course mean Cash by Johnny Cash.)

In the Gutter, you live like a dog, you die like a dog.

Sniper Wanted by Laramore Black

I am a dead man.

The water on the pavement splashes onto my ankles, soaking through my pants and sending goose bumps up my legs from the surrounding low temperature. My arms are wrapped around me as some sort of lost effort to keep warm. My feet feel like they are going out underneath me.
I wonder if the cold numbing my legs might be the only thing stopping them.
I rest in an alley to catch my breath for a few seconds, and wonder if this is the end.
The red and blue lights begin cascading down the sides of buildings and every reflective surface—sending me back into a sprinting panic. I glance over my shoulder to see the squad cars speeding down the road I’ve just run away from.
I am a dead man.
At the next intersection I am almost swiped by a car that slams on its brakes.
“Do you need help, young fella?” yells an elderly man through a cracked window.
Without hesitation I say, “Yes,” and climb into the passenger seat.
“If you could take me across the Golden Gate, that’d be great.”
“I’m heading that way anyway,” he says. “What were you running from?”
“Bad people,” I say. “Really bad people.”
“I know the type.”
No, you don’t.
I smirk at myself in the rearview mirror and begin thinking maybe I am as good as they thought. Being good is, after all, at least half luck and looking around at myself in this car—I’m thinking I must have lots of good luck. I notice my heart and breathing begin to decelerate; my muscles relax.
I gloat for a moment at the thought of my miraculous escape. Then my heart rate explodes as shards of glass pass through the car mid-flip. Confused, trying to maintain consciousness I keep repeating, “We’ve been hit! We’ve been hit!”
We’ve been hit.
I begin to crawl out the window when I am interrupted by a voice.
“Now, now—you know you were supposed to take the fall. “
I bring myself to say, “What does it matter?—I’m clear.”
“You were never clear.”
“Did I succeed?”
“Yes, our employer will be pleased to hear your mission was…a success.”
“—and my family?”
“Your family will be taken care of,” he says. “Make peace for yourself.”
Like a dog, I roll over onto my back to look up at the stars in the sky one last time, muttering prayers to any god that might listen, and then everything swirls, then fades out—following the blast.

Laramore Black is a dark fiction writer using elements of pulp, horror, and crime. His first at FFO, "Tommy Boy," is just one out of many short stories that have begun appearing online at various publications. If you like all these flavors of literature, keep in mind his debut novella, Bondage. If you have taken an interest or are part of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, you can stalk him on Facebook.