The Sniper

Posted: April 5, 2017 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , ,


“No one is to go out after dark!”
“I won’t go out, Mama.” Not until you sleep.
Bicycle wheels squeak squeak squeaking, Jan rattles over the cobblestones.
His back aches from constant jostling, his eyes burn from glaring into the moonless night.
The gun on his shoulder seems to weigh twice as much as it did when he started five miles before.
Still, he goes on. It’s his last chance. “I can’t be late.”
The Troja Bridge. A motor car. The right motor car.
Jan drops the bicycle, steadies his gun.
Reinhard Heydrich’s face comes into focus.
Then disappears.

Thanks to Rochelle and Jellico’s Stationhouse, we once again have the perfect photo prompt for a Wednesday/Friday. The bike reminded me of WW II – why? It’s not what you look at but what you see. I looked up Reinhard Heydrich, and he seemed like the perfect recipient for a sniper’s bullet. This isn’t exactly what happened, but . . .

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Oh I like it. Very much. The disappearing face, as if it had exploded with the gunshot. But of course it didn’t. It just sped past

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, the gun misfired, but Jan’s partner managed to throw a bomb that wounded Heydrich. He died about a week later. Thanks for reading and commenting. I always appreciate your input. Cheers!


  2. Lynn Love says:

    This is a fascinating interpretation of the story, Alicia. I was reading an article about the assassination a few weeks ago. Heydrich died from infections caused by the horse hair from the car seats apparently – a fitting end for the man who engineered the Final Solution. Sadly, the reprisals meted out by the Nazis in retaliation for his death were horrific – Czech villages wiped from the earth because of their vague links to the men involved.
    Very well written as always, Alicia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the lovely comment. I also read about the retaliation. So much horror during that war – well, all wars, really. Interesting about the horse hair infection! This fascinated me, too. The Night-and-Fog decree. Why do people make such interesting, almost poetic, names for the nasty things they do?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        The stories from those towns obliterated after Heydrich’s death – just unimaginable. All that for ridding the world of a horrific man. You’re right about the names of things in the UK we had the Wars of the Roses of course and the Pilgrimage of Grace (not a war but an uprising where people died). And there was the War of Jenkin’s Ear, an 18th century war between us and Spain. Very odd, humorous, but still a war

        Liked by 2 people

  3. jellico84 says:

    Loved the story, though difficult to read the small font. Excellent scene of assassination, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. michael1148humphris says:

    If only the world knew how to deal with evil befor it gets out of hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Lish,

    It’s definitely about what you see. 😉 Well done piece of historical fiction. You’ll never hear me complain about that. 😉



    Liked by 1 person

  6. The vagueness of the last image makes the tale strong and lingering. We don’t know exactly what happens, so our minds can make up all sorts scenarios… each more terrible than the other.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is so interesting how we can go in so many directions from one photo. I like what you did with this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Darkness all around. Great job. I thought he had made the shot. Interesting that you didn’t intend it that way.


  9. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Ohhh, I was holding my breath through all this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love it Alicia. I’d never heard of him but you have made him real to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Dawn. I hadn’t heard of him either although I do read perhaps more than I should about WW II. Like Michael said, too bad more evil people aren’t “taken care of” before they cause harm.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sandra says:

    A really interesting story, and I enjoyed reading the informative comments too. Horse hair, hey? Never heard of that before. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved the effort you put into this Alicia. It’s a great interpretation.


  13. rgayer55 says:

    I could just see him pedaling in the pitch black and absorbing the bumps of the cobblestones. You put me right there. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. draliman says:

    Nice piece, you set the scene for a “resistance hit” well.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That was a great piece of descriptive narration. I was almost there.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. plaridel says:

    enjoyed this great bit of history.

    anyway, you can manually change the font by putting <font size=”3″> in the beginning of your story and ending it with </font>. if you want to make it bigger still, you change the number “3” to “4” or “5”.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love the ambiguity of the ending. My first thought was that his face was blown away. Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love how you wrap the night around him, for his attempted covert operation. That ending … I like it, as it portrays how confusing things can be after dark, so you can never be sure what you’ve seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. gahlearner says:

    A horrible piece of history comes alive through your writing. The determination and bravery of the resistance should be remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I always enjoy learning new things. This story was unknown to me. I looked it up.
    Thank you for writing about it in FF. You managed to captivate me. Great write ….
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sarah Ann says:

    Great build of tension and use of emphasis – the right car. Hope he identified it.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Amy Reese says:

    Well told, Alicia. I read it as his face disappeared with the gunshot but I, as I read comments above, it wasn’t that simple. But, at least he was soon dead. I liked your interpretation here.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Michael Wynn says:

    Great stuff and funny how the bike reminded us both of WW2

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Laurie Bell says:

    Great story. Great use of the bike… (i love Foyles war too) beware the dark…

    Liked by 1 person

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