His Intended Purpose


Even after 45 years, Boot Camp reminded him to hold the pistol in a safe down and away position while he moved north along the alleyway on a Wednesday afternoon. Reggie wondered if it was ironic that training had not reminded him to not gun down his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. He could not recall any ethics lessons during that 13 week period of his life.

Reggie also wondered at the pristine awareness he held for everything he encountered but the lack of distraction. He could simultaneously recognize that Ronnie Edward’s kid’s near abandoned Pinto had a flat driver’s rear tire from the angle it rested in the tall weeds while surmising the fence between him and Tally Randermiester—who was hanging her wash (a mixture of pastel baby clothes and jeans)—was just high enough she would not see his weapon. Two more steps and he would be at the proper angle to both politely say hello and to catch the sun brightening through her thin cotton skirt.

A scene played quickly through Reggie’s thoughts where an unseen reporter interviewed Tally about today’s events. Tally wipes her eyes and says, “‘Hello?’ He just said, ‘Hello’ like nothing was about to happen. Like…” There they seem to edit the next thing she says, but she just stops. She is unable to finish her sentence. Unable to say, “Like he wasn’t a cold blooded killer.”

To save her that grief he decides not to greet her. Not to see her slim 20 some year old legs silhouetted through a flower-printed broomstick skirt. Not to be interrupted. Not to lose sight of his intended purpose.

270 words on day 751