I was rummaging through some old papers I’d kept in a cardboard box for years when I came across something embarrassing: a short story.
I’ve always loved to read and write, but in high school, at the tender age of 16, I made a formal effort to craft a story about a sniper/assassin who finds more than he bargains for when he sees his new mark.
It’s entitled “The Mark,” and since my harddrive crashed when I entered college, I had to retype what I’d previously written down, which was the last known copy of this “work.” Only time will tell if it should have been left to obscurity. 😛
Note that I haven’t changed a thing in the story (though I REALLY wanted to in some place; past self, didn’t you know how to use commas?)–not even the structure–so prepare to be hit with a wall of text.
I’ve also decided to split it up into two parts since it would run into “Too Long To Read” territory otherwise.
Without further ado, I give you what a 16 year old thinks is good writing:
The rain falls from the sky with the fury of a legion of angels. The streets are deserted at this time of night. As the cars pass by in the distance a dark figure makes his way up to the clock tower staircase. He seems to become one with the shadows that protect him from the street lamps below. He wears a black suit, a black leather trench coat and a black scowl across his face. He carries with him a black suitcase that contains his only friend in the world. He reaches the top of the stairwell and looks around at the dark cramped room, which contains one window and many rats. He crosses over to the far end of the room and looks out of the window at the nightclub across the street. Through the raindrops he can see the neon colored lights that attract the common people to “have a good time”. He sighs as he prepares for the task at hand.
He is the best at what he does and he knows it. He has been in this line of work all his life. He has never missed a mark and does not plan to in the future, including now. This particular contract is of special value to his employer and ten million dollars says that the job must be done flawlessly. He knows that if at any time he is unable to eliminate his mark, he will become the target himself. “The hunter will become the hunted”, he thinks to himself. He opens his briefcase and begins to assemble his faithful companion who never criticizes him or talks too much. His friend whispers to him in the shadows of the night. His friend has never let him down in any way and has never left his side. Fully assembled he loads a single golden bullet into his PSGI-Sniper Rifle. The bullet is very narrow, made to pass through bone, flesh and sinew with ease. He then raises the gun so that he can look through the scope and at the street below again. He sees his mark emerge from the club and prepares himself both physically and mentally. A wave of power flows through him as he holds his companion close to him. A rush of adrenaline makes him feel immortal and omnipotent as his helpless mark waits to be eradicated by the fury of a god. This rush lasts only a second as his mark stands in the light of a street lamp and absorbs the beauty of nature’s tears.
The sniper is paralyzed. He watches as his mark closes his eyes to embrace the barrage of raindrops that fall on his brow. “Is…that…my…mark?”, the sniper mutters to himself, astonished. His mark is no older than twelve years old. The sniper quickly scans his memory to the description of the mark that was given to him by his employer. “This mark is of the utmost importance to me and must be eliminated at all cost. He wears a white silk Chinese suit with a rose emblem near its collar. He is of Colombian nationality and is well protected.” The sniper looks again at his mark and spots all of the signs that were given to him. He is stunned that such a young man could be of so much importance to anyone, at least not so important as to desire his death.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of “The Mark”!