The shootout

The shootout

They came at dusk, as I knew they would. Whistler and the rest, three in all. They had a girl with them this time. Interesting, not surprising. But then, nothing about Whistler surprises me anymore.

Crouching low, they sprinted silently across the fifty yards of open ground to the back of the tool shed, two at a time, carrying what looked like A61 assault rifles. Deadly weapons. Tools well chosen for the job at hand – terminating my contract. They’d be making their next move as soon as the dusk deepened, I knew. I’d read Whistler’s playbook.

And now, they waited. The bigger one, by the side of the shed, motionless silhouettes. Whistler and the girl dropped flat on the ground just behind the Terex dump truck. I lay the Chevak221 & the Harlan3 side by side with their ammunition, on the cold hard surface of Level-1 patio. They would do a lot of damage at 10 yards, if needed.

I felt cold and hard. Fear had stopped being an emotion years back. Only cold calculation and methodical determination remained. Guy called James (don’t recall his last name) at MI6 had once told me over a vodka-martini, stirred but not shaken, “You only live twice. Once, when you are born. And the other time, when death looks you in the face”. I looked down. No, I wasn’t in diapers, so this must be the ‘other time’ that the guy, James, was referring to, I surmised.

I shook myself and stirred. Eyes unblinking, I trained my night vision scope at the group. I could pick them off one by one, but the girl intrigued me. Whistler was not known to use girls.

Suddenly the girl jumped up and cried, “I got to peewee!”. As I said before, nothing surprises me. The girl was Lily, 5, the neighbor’s granddaughter. She scampered across the backyard, out of sight. The Playskool Monster Terex Truck was not much cover anyway. Whistler (the boy who lives in my house) yelled to her two brothers behind the shed, Adam and Jerry, “Okay guys, we’re dead, Lily gave us away.” The three got up and walked crestfallen, to the patio. I picked them off one by one with the Chevak221. The Velcro-tipped bullets slammed into them in staccato precision. Jenny sighed and stopped filming.

The pizza man rang the door bell and I said,”Ahem, you’re all dead, so I guess Mama and I will have to finish all the pizza. And mama mia, look at all those french fries!”

I picked Whistler up and held him tight against me. He glared at me, noticing that Adam and Jerry were laughing. He reached for his A16, squeezing off a few shots. I staggered and jerked as the rounds thudded against my chest. Like Warren Beatty in ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. No, there’s no Bonnie here. So, maybe James Caan in ‘The Godfather’. Or the Kapok Kid in ‘HMS Ulysses’. “Ouch! Oowww! Yikes!” I cried.

He’d trained well. I should know, I’ve been his mentor, since the first time I saw him in the ‘RAW’.

Nothing like a Nerf gun shootout on a Sunday afternoon. Next weekend, we’ll strap on exploding tomato ketchup bags.


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