The other day I went out to lunch with my friends Margaret and Dave, the Radniks. They're siblings, not spouses. Anyway, Margaret had just come into some money and was in the gift-giving mood. From the "Spy Stuff" gumball machine she bought each of us a little gun. As we ate, Dave informed me that my gun was a Mauser. Cool.

Dave had recently broken up with his long time girlfriend and so we talked for a while about what a problem girls can be and usually are. Dave was bitter yet insightful, we shared his pain and assured him that he was not at fault. He wasn't.

Two days later, today, I was strolling across campus feeling a little creepy about the weird little guy who I'm sure was hitting on me. He made me just want to yell "Look, I'm not going to sleep with you, so leave me alone!" But, of course, he never comes right out and says he wants to sleep with me, so I would be the jerk if I yelled that. Actually, I'd probably be the jerk no matter what situation I yelled that in. Anyway, as I walked, I found that little mauser in my pocket. Cool.

Its only about and inch long, so I held it with my thumb and forefinger. Its just a little toy, and I kept it in my pocket the whole time, but I was packin'. I sized up everyone I passed and decided whether or not I would blow them away. I was cocky, I had all the power. Every head I saw suddenly had a little cross hairs on it. Bam. Bam. Ha.

It was cool to have that little power over all those strangers. It was up to me, and me alone, if they got it. Most of them got it. Pop. Just a quick little pop. I'm not a wierdo, I didn't try to imagine their brains flying everywhere, or the screaming and fear. Just a little bang. Just a harmless little power trip.

Then, I came to the building where I work. Also, coincidentally, the building where Dave's ex works. I walked in all cool. I was now a gunslinger coming in out of the cold. You know, I instantly sized up the room, looking for other gunslingers who might be trouble. No one even suspected. The first floor of the building is mainly a little café, and that's where she works, I work upstairs. I looked around for her. I really wasn't quite sure what to say to her if she was there. Definitely, I was taking Dave's side in this whole break-up thing. I guess she and I would still be nodding aquaintances like we had always been. But… Well, you know. She'd be thinking "Is he gonna ask 'How's Dave?'". And I'm thinking, "I know what you did." Well, it might make our little nods weird.

I saw her, she was behind the bagel rack, she was facing away from me and putting her jacket on. Maybe going out for a smoke. I smiled. It was too easy. Pop. Right at the base of the skull and its all over. This ones for you Dave. And before anyone can see who did it, and more importantly, before she can see me and nod and destroy my illusion, I'm around the corner and into an elevator and gone. Damn I'm cool. I'm a super cool John Woo assassin. Damn.

I pick up my pay check and leave the building. My little target is still gone. Good. So I keep walking and I keep knocking off suckers. Bam. Bam. I'm the king. Then I see this girl who was in my Shakespeare class a few semesters ago. I don't know just what her affliction is, but rides around in a motorized wheel chair and has some kind of dog to help her out. Her spine seems to be a little out of whack and I've seen her just rocking quietly back and forth. She has real thick glasses and is always apologizing for her interruptions, even when they aren't really interruptions. I mentally capped the dude she was talking to, then my crosshairs fell on her. I couldn't do it. I didn't feel sorry for her. I just thought she needed the gun more than I did. She might really like that. You know, just blow away anyone who casually pretends not to notice her there because they're afraid to be caught staring. So I imagined tossing the gun over to her. She understands what to do immediately and smiles gratefully. I keep on towards the bus stop, proud of my selflessness. As I get around the corner, I start to hear gun shots, and I know, deep down that I did the right thing.

Josh Dahl

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