SNIPER - marcus speh

I sat on top of a Sycamore tree, comfy, and looked around, aimed here and there without any real passion for aiming until a girl appeared. She looked like Little Red Riding Hood without the hood. — The tale came back to me right away and with it a painful memory: how I’d wet the bed when my grandma first told me. Grandma in her own bed, blanket pulled up under her nose, our family’s nose, a little bulbous, strong-willed, strong sense of smell, grandma speaking Grimm into the dark. Both of us smelling the scent of the beast in the story. And then the ruckus when I peed myself! — I could smell the girl on the street now. She dragged a teddy bear after her and scolded him as little kids do: you stupid bear! I wasn’t sure she deserved to be shot at. I took aim: this was going to be tricky. I hit her between the shoulder blades. She turned, bent down, picked up the candy bar, dropped the teddy and ran off without looking up just as I imagined she would. The teddy on his back didn’t smile and he didn’t seem surprised either.

Marcus Speh
Elmer Gantry
Sinclair Lewis