By Kevin Moriarity
I pulled my damp T-shirt away from my back with one hand while wiping sweat from my eyes with the other. I was sitting on tarpaper, crouched behind a short wall that surrounded the apartment building’s roof. The only sounds were occasional traffic three floors below and the buzzing of wasps. I picked up a leaf and tossed it into the sky. It came straight down. Conditions were just about perfect for the task at hand.
He wasn’t up yet. He worked, if you can call it that, late at night. I knew quite a bit about his schedule and habits.
My cell phone vibrated. It was the nursing home.
“Hello… Hi Jackie. How is everything in paradise today?”
“No change. Well, thanks for letting me know. Talk to you tomorrow. Bye.”
It was the same phone conversation every day for the past 17 months. My wife was still unconscious, but breathing on her own. The doctors called it a coma.
Two young men had knocked her off her bicycle on the trail. The cameras on the bridge caught most of it – one shoving the other into my wife’s path. The jury deemed it an accident. But the sneer the young thug directed my way as he left the courtroom told me otherwise.
I thought I saw movement in the third floor, fifth-from-the-left-apartment. I put my eye to the scope and watched the blinds slide open. I took a deep breath and moved my finger to the trigger.
One more deep breath and I squeezed ever so gently.
Kevin Moriarity spent a couple of decades working in the software business. A bunch of that time was spent writing software manuals and procedures. That got a bit dull, so he decided to give fiction a try. He also cofounded Waterline Writers – a community of writers and writing enthusiasts in Batavia, IL.