Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bedtime Story

I really needed another excuse to post so I could mention International Ball Dropping Day, and I was inspired by Fal's lovely story to share a twiddle of one of mine. I have a fair collection of these stories, but I'll post the intro to my spy story in honour of Fal.


Lying in the shadows, breathing evenly, Sofia watched the blue door intently through the scope of her sniper rifle. She was ready. Any time now, that door would open and he would step out. She heard a faint click and focused all her awareness on the door, then slowly let out her breath. Her heart beat faster. André had no inkling he’d been traced, had no security team because he always worked alone. He was a sitting duck.


A sudden weight on Sofia's back crushed the breath out of her while a gloved hand covered her mouth and pinched her nose. She went instantly limp, then thrust her body up and backwards, taking advantage of the momentary surprise she had caused her assailant. As he started to roll off to one side, she jerked her body out from under him in the other direction, swinging her rifle up from the ground and around into the side of his face with a sharp CRACK! against his temple.

Sofia sprang to her feet, rifle trained on the man's prostrate form as soon as she was standing. He lay face down, unmoving.

“Turn over,” she ordered coldly.

He lay motionless.

“As you like,” she said. She stepped forward and pressed the barrel of her rifle into the back of his neck.

The man stirred with a moan, shaking his head slightly and began to roll over.

“Not so fast,” she said, stepping back. “First, I want your hands where I can see them.”

He stopped moving and brought both hands out from underneath his body, spreading them out to the sides.

“That’s right,” she said. “Now, hands up above your head and roll slowly.”

The man carefully straightened his arms over his head and rolled slowly to the side. Sofia jumped forward and kicked away the pistol that had been lying beneath him. As he came face-up, Sofia's breath caught in her throat, but in the back of her mind, she had really expected it. Who else could have foiled her? André was good, she admitted to herself. Very good. She tightened her grip on the rifle.

“Up!” she ordered. “And keep your hands in sight.”

André rose fluidly to his feet and smiled at her. It was a disarming smile. His clear blue eyes had a teasing, confident look in them. She felt an unexpected lurch in her stomach. Her finger tensed on the trigger but would not tighten.

Change of plan.


© Candace Mahoney 2006


Faltenin said...

More, more, more!!!!

Jay said...

When the first sentence mentioned the rifle, I knew it wasn't the kind of story to read to your kids. At least, not if you're trying NOT to warp them. Well done.

Leesa said...

Well done, except now I want more.

ing said...

Wow, this is really vivid and controlled. I have a hard time writing action scenes because I dunno. . . it's difficult to say where everyone is and what they're doing without either getting all clumsy in the prose, or else without making the characters move in some really weird way that just doesn't make sense.

Nice work!

ginab said...


your work here reminds me of a story I read quite a few years ago. Somewhere up in the hills around the Gaza strip, a sniper and not the prettiest nor the youngest feminine catch hit it off, you could say. The action is a little different than here, more indirect, more hidden as is the sniper's wishy-washy intentions given his nomad-like occupation.

But your story reminded me of one written by an author from Palestine; I cannot remember her name.


PS: you blog every day? yeesh.

Neil said...

Great portrayal of the tension.

Jaichan said...

I have visions of you sitting at your computer, dressed like a 40's dame (with great gams, of course), smoking a cigarello and sipping a martini as you type your story. (You're wearing a fabulous silk blouse, skirt, seamed stockings and the most glorious pair of strappy heels ever).
More story!

Candace said...

Hi everybody! And a big welcome to the fresh faces! Thank you all so much for your kind words. :-) I don't know if I'll end up putting up the rest of it or not since I'm going to be submitting it and am not sure if blogging it constitutes "publishing" as in "self-publishing" and how that affects first time electronic rights, print rights, yada yada yada. Anyone know?

Plus, it gets very NC-17 and some peeps might not be comfortable with that. Then again, maybe I could start a second blog just for stories, with appropriate warnings. . .

Janice - I love the image! A far cry from what I'm actually wearing but maybe I'll dress up like that next time just for inspiration. :-)

Gina, LMK if you think of the name of the author. Sounds like a good read!

Ing - that can be a problem for me, too. Sometimes I'll stare at an awkward paragraph and go, "Oh! I don't have to describe it all in such minute detail - the reader can figure it out." :-P

Jay - definitely not a children's bedtime story. But a nice bedtime story for adults as a prelude to sheet-wrestling. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mooooore! I love a story that starts with a sniper! *g*

Yay, Candace. Moooore.

Sashays away with the anticipation of...more!

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