No Going Back

by Paul Hook

The attack was set. I’d planned for it meticulously over the past two months. Nothing was left to chance. The getaway driver knew what he had to do. The videographer was ready with Facebook live and I’d written instructions in case anything happened to me.

Why would I do it, you ask? I guess there are many reasons. Vanity, a sense of justice. But most of all, I was tired of the lies. Someone needed to stop him. He was putting it all at risk and for what? Fame? I couldn’t have that on my conscience.

I decided to make a stand, but the whole thing needed to be perfect and it so happened that he had booked a visit to my city. The details were all posted online: when, where, who. Everything. Like manna from heaven.

Plans were put in place and at the appointed time, we left the basement apartment. The three of us were ready to sacrifice it all for one moment. Eric and I took the subway and we planned to meet the Honda Civic a few hundred metres from the scene.

Twenty minutes later, Eric and I were calm as cucumbers. We walked towards the throng surrounding our target. Eric was streaming and had panned over to me numerous times. A zealous smile was glued to my face. My fifteen minutes of fame would see the downfall of my nemesis.

Ten feet away. I took the backpack off of my shoulder and held it in front of me, unzipping the top with care so as not to jolt the weapon. It was fragile and sudden movements could damage it.

The crowd parted somehow, and I found myself in front of him. We looked at each other and in that instant, he knew what was going to happen.

Time slowed down and what lasted only two seconds felt like an eternity. I grabbed it from the bag while he tried to turn. The skyscraper beside him lunged to protect his asset, but I was too quick.

Perfect aim. He went down and, simultaneously, I was hit by the skyscraper. He must have played in the NFL. Looking over, while smothered, I winced and smiled. I had accomplished my mission.

But then. It all went wrong. He picked himself up off the ground, refusing help. Looking at me, then the skyscraper.

“John. Let him go. I want to talk to him.”

The security guard let go of me and I stood. The crowd that had panicked at the moment of the attack had coalesced in a circle around us three. Surprisingly, he was unfazed. Who takes a shot like that and gets up like it was nothing?

“I bet you planned this, right?”

“You bet. It’s currently streaming live on Facebook. Everyone should have seen you go down and stay down.”

“Sorry to burst your bubble, but this isn’t the first time I’ve been a target. You prepare differently once you’ve been hit. It changes your whole life.”

Dismayed, I tried not to show my disappointment. Everything had gone according to plan, except now, the guy was talking to me. He was taking away my power and making the moment something positive for him.

“Damn you. You’ve done nothing but ruin my life. I wanted you to suffer today and it didn’t work. You need to be stopped.”

“John, maybe we need this guy on our team. What do you think? He got past you and planned it all. He could help us stop future attacks.”

I was shocked to hear it. How could I join with the enemy? Sell out my friends and ideals. But, no punishment sounded good at this moment. I’d lost. I could see that. Without further thought, I nodded and stuck out my hand to shake on it.

“What’s your name?” He was swiping at his suit.

“Sandy. Sandy Drinkwater.”

“I think this is going to be the start of a good relationship, but if you ever throw a lemon meringue pie at me again, it better have a brick in it to knock me out or I’ll end you.”

I chuckled at the thought. You didn’t think I tried to kill someone did you? I’m a university student and anti-guns. I just wanted to scare him from giving away secrets on how to win an online, mass-player game. It had destroyed my standing in the top ten!

Oh well. It had been fun to make the pie and, best of all, I could watch my throw in slow motion online again and again.

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