Bull’s Eye

Bull’s Eye

The newly elected president’s motorcade was expected any moment. 

Pavements on either side of the deserted road were barricaded. Security personnel stood alert, their eyes scanning the crowd for suspicious movements. The citizens waved red roses in the air and chanted their hero’s name.  

Unmindful of the racket, the road continued its straight journey, but not before meeting its counterpart briefly. So many young lives had been tragically claimed by the chaotic traffic there. Today the crossroads would remain mute witnesses – yet again.

The young woman remembered the general’s words. There will be less security on that day. He is going to meet his mother who stays in a standalone building not far away from the junction. She hates those bodyguards. A doubt had been gnawing at her mind. Are collateral damages acceptable? The general had looked at her quizzically. Any doubt about it?

She took a sip from the water bottle. The time was nearing. The crowd grew restless. Soon women would swoon at his sight, and men would try to advance towards his car taking frenzied selfies. But what about the children? The general had shrugged his shoulders, dismissing her question.

At that precise moment, her Bluetooth headset buzzed. It was the general. “He is coming in a horse drawn carriage. A last-minute change of plan. The fool apparently wants to show off his love for the environment.” The general sniggered at the end of the line.

“Abort plan?”, she asked.

“No way!”

The call ended. She let out a deep breath. The cries of the fans grew shriller by the moment. Some of the women had started weeping. 

A beautiful chestnut horse came into view, pulling the weight of the black vintage carriage gracefully, as if it were child’s play. The young woman swore to herself. The Mercedes would have been a cakewalk for her. But it was not the time for what-ifs. She had to act.

The carriage slackened its pace a little but didn’t stop. The guards were now having a tough time trying to control the crowd who just wanted to have a closer glimpse of their beloved president. 

The carriage reached the intersection. Just then, a young boy escaped from the clutches of his mother and rushed towards the vehicle. His parents followed suit, screaming, pleading him to return. The policemen took out their guns and proceeded cautiously towards the president. Any false move, and it could result in the unnecessary death of an innocent child. 

The woman knew that any sudden jerk inside the carriage could result in the horse running astray. But it was not her job to think about the consequences. She took aim from the broken window of the cathedral and pulled the trigger. 

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Narayani Manapadam
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