All those hours on the force, the boot camps and the drills. When I hear our National Anthem I get the slightest of shivers, barely perceptible and controlled by the pride swelling from within my chest. We’ve come a long way. We fought for our independence and built a foundation that will survive all holocausts. Our children’s children will be guided by these same principles. We’ve been poor and we’ve been prosperous. We’ve done well, yes?
This stuff is getting heavy.
Since I woke up this morning my day has been anything but routine or casual. I can understand it yet the questions permeate the air around me. My environment is one a kept animal in the zoo might perceive; I know they are watching me and I can hear the whispers. Even Amber down at the Starbucks was acting odd. Not at all her usual bohemian, care-free self.
I can’t smoke a cigarette in here so I do the next best thing and pop another Nicorette in my mouth. I think that’s my 4th one in the last hour, time to slow down. I’m guessing Ellen and the kids made it to moms alright. They left the house when I did and I’m confident they were well provisioned. The car is getting older but she’s still got some legs in her according to John down at the shop. We need to start saving for a new car in any case before it’s too late. Boy is that ironic.
There he is. There’s the man I’m going to kill.
He looks scared. Rather it’s a look that can only be defined by those that have seen it before. Ronnie Lee Gardner has that look. Ronnie Lee knows that look himself. That’s why we’re all here the bastard. Ok, that’s what I need. Get angry. This son-of-a-bitch took innocent lives in cold blood. He deserves more pain than what he’s getting. Maybe I’ll miss by a few inches? Yeah, I’m liking this.
The murmurs are everywhere like hollow voices from executions past. I feel kind of creepy. This isn’t like the hyper speed of close quarters combat. That’s all training, muscle memory and reflex. This is more like indoor range practice. Unless I got the blank round? A true marksman knows his weapon and his ballistics. We’re not supposed to be able to tell the difference between a live round and a dummy round but I’m not so sure. Damn! Now I’ve talked myself into making perception reality.
It’s just after midnight and I’m home now. I’m glad Ellen and the kids aren’t here; that was a wise move and the advice from a previous executioner is appreciated now more than ever. I’ve got some serious thinking to do and distractions, no matter how much I love and miss them, don’t have their place. Not here. Not right now. How long will I let myself twist in the wind on this? Someone had to do this right? Now is not the time to second-guess myself. I honestly didn’t feel any difference in the kick of the gun. Seemed normal if shooting a man from just a few paces can be considered normal.
Is this what I sacrificed my life for?
“Strange – is it not? – that of the myriads who
Before us passed the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the road
Which to discover we must travel too” ~ Omar Khayyam