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Target Essay

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The chilly air hangs above and around her it is frozen in place because of the hammering rain. She has been waiting in this downpour for so long she seems unaware of it although she keeps a careful watch on the plastic cover protecting her precious equipment. She has been waiting here for a very long time and has settled into the most comfortable position that is possible without denting the damp soil beneath her. She can faintly smell wet grass and cow dung. She slowly slides her arm across the soil so she can see the time on her watch.

If she takes the rain into account she has around twenty minutes of waiting left. She licks her immaculate fingertip and raises it above her their have been no changes to the wind’s force or direction since her last check. She carefully shuffles over to her delicate tools, reaches under their cover which has a small puddle forming on top of it and smoothly undoes the safety catch of her rifle. Her waiting is almost over. The gun is pointed at the door of a small dishevelled shack.

It’s probably about to collapse under the weight of the ugly concrete roof that sits on top of its ancient crumbling brick walls. The windows are boarded over and the door has swollen in its frame. A pile of cracked bricks that used to be a chimney have been left on a splintered driveway which runs up to the sad abode. A broken television antennae sways like a drunkard in the viscous rain. The walls are coated with vines and cobwebs witch flow into the house through holes in the jagged wall’s shabby brickwork.

A dead tree leans against the house and looks, through the rain, like a giant ghoul attempting to rip the house out of its poorly constructed foundations. The house walls jerk around the small interior making shadows flicker across the squat building. She watches as a grey car turns off the road and drifts half way up the driveway leading to the house. It stops at the pile of bricks and she notices the yellow “baby on board” sticker that is on the rear window. The cars exhaust is slightly bent and there is a long scratch down its right side.

She realises the rain is blurring the cars outline slightly and a small frown momentarily appears on her forehead, she stops herself from frowning for too long, she tries to avoid facial expressions . They can cause wrinkles. She flexes her fingers and blinks slowly and deliberately. The rain might make her task harder. The car door swings open and a middle aged woman jumps out opens a black umbrella closes the door and locks the car. She is wearing thick soled walking boots, practical trousers and a yellow coat that has suffered from too many unskilled repairs.

She fumbles in the pockets of her battered cloak and produces a key-ring that catches the specks of light penetrating the thick layer of cloud. She walks around the pile of bricks, pausing briefly to detach her clothes from the broken antennae when they get caught on its sharp edge. The woman on the hilltop seizes this opportunity. She removes the rifle’s cover, checks that the mount is stable and lowers her eye to the sight. Regardless of her aching joints she moves with astonishing agility. The woman on the ground seems to sense her danger. She stops tugging at the coat and turns to look directly at the hill side.

There is a slight sound, a flash of light and then her body stiffens for a split second before her knees turn to powder and her face changes to the colour of milk. The assassin waits a while to make sure there target is unquestionably dead then she picks herself up, carefully packs her rifle, mount and its cover. She removes a small magnet from her pocket and runs it over the grass till it attracts the rounds casing. She puts that in her bag. She wanders down the hill side and admires her work, then takes a handgun from her pocket, rubs its handle on the woman’s fingers then strolls away.

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