Alicia Lush eyed the bright red apple through the sights of her sniper rifle. The apple was pinned on a sharp wooden pole. Hold your breath, she told herself. The X floated around the red target. For a second, the X rested on the apple. Lush pulled the trigger, her hand jerking every so slightly as her finger applied the pressure. There was a slight kick as the silenced rifle went off but the apple sat undisturbed.
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“Shit!,”Alicia screamed. “Motherfucker!,”she shrieked in her whiny, spoiled voice. Her boyfriend, Mark Vladimir, broke out into a bemused grin.
“Give me the rifle,”said Vladimir, putting a large joint out. She smiled slyly and gave it to him. “You think too much about shooting. The expert sharp shooter doesn’t think at all. It’s just like life; if you waste your time thinking about things, you lose your concentration, you become fearful.”
“I’m not afraid of anything.”
“Yes you are or you would have blown that apple away. The art of shooting is not thinking and not caring. Do you understand?”
“Yeah, I understand. You’re so wise.”
“Here, watch me kill this apple.” She loved to watch Vladimir shoot. Infatuated, she watched Vladimir slide the rifle off safety and raise the sights, letting his long flowing hair fall over the rifle. Vladimir was tall and lean with long brown hair. A dangerous gleam always shot out from his catlike green eyes. Vladimir took in a deep breath and raised the rifle. Like a robot, his body moved with perfect precision and didn’t shake at all. He pulled the trigger and the apple exploded, shot through the center. “I’ll set up another one,”he said. He pulled a pinkish red apple out of the bag and walked over to the wooden pole. He impaled the bottom of the apple on the pole, making sure it was sturdy. Then he walked back to Alicia’s side.
“You’re doing good, Alicia. You need to stop shaking when you pull the trigger. It’s a tiny movement; just your finger.” Vladimir was the second best marksman in the world. Just last year, in Tokyo, Vladimir had won the Olympic Silver Medal. He had very nearly won the gold.
Alicia didn’t say anything. She just picked up the rifle and took it off safety. She walked to the line with a picture of Mark’s motion in her mind’s eye. Gently, she raised the sights to the apple. Like a corpse, she felt no movement at all. She simply fixed the sights on the apple and put the pressure on the trigger. The first shot killed the apple but she held the trigger down for ten seconds, sending a gushing stream of bullets through the piece of air where the apple had been. As is the case with many extremely feminine women, there was a vicious streak running through her core.
“Let’s go inside.”said Vladimir. They were staying at his parent’s vacation cottage in the California desert. The sun was mercilessly hot, burning up everything it touched. Inside, the air conditioner was on. Vladimir looked at Lush happily. She was incredibly beautiful. He had never seen a girl so stunning. He was happy as long as she was near.
They fixed tacos and margaritas and had them on the black dining room table. The furnishings were very elegant; everything was state of the art. After all, his parents could afford it. His father, also named Mark, was the founder and CEO of Nexus, one of the most powerful internet companies of Silicon valley.
When the two were done with lunch, they retired to the bedroom for an hour or so. Then Mark fixed them another round of margaritas. “Let’s go shoot some more.”said Vladimir.
“No, but I’ll watch.” She wanted to quit with her victory.
“Go set up a cherry at a hundred yards,”said Vladimir. Lush did so, using a smaller pole. Vladimir took another cherry and ate it. He had been playing with rifles since he was five or so, when his father had started training him. It was fun.
When she was back and safely behind him, he took the gun off safety. Robotically, he raised the sights. It was late but the sun still beat down scathingly. A bead of sweat ran down his forehead. The X found the cherry and rested there effortlessly. The gun gave a slight kick and the cherry was gone. She watched in admiration.
“We should go now,”he said.
“Yeah, let’s.” They packed their things into his Black Ferrari F50. The powerfully built car was state of the art racing technology. The sleek, powerful build of the car reminded Vladimir of a fierce prize stallion. “A knight like me needs a horse like this”, he thought. The car had cost Vladimir’s parents about a million dollars. He looked over his black baby adoringly. The sleek racer was stored in the garage and was perfectly cool, despite the burning heat of the desert. “This is my favorite toy”, he thought. “No, Alicia is.”
On the road, Vladimir was a speed demon. He slashed around turns like a lightning bolt, practicing masterful control of his machine. Alicia was a rather daring girl but even she cringed as the shiny Black Mercedes shot down the desert highway at 120 miles per hour.
Halfway to L.A., a cop car blared its siren behind them. I could outrun them easily, thought Vladimir. Instead he pulled over. The pudgy red headed cop that came to their window was amusing. “You were going sixty miles over the speed limit,”the cop said, savoring the moment.
“Hurry up and give me the ticket, dipshit,”Vladimir replied coldly. There was something in Mark’s eye that brought submission to the cop’s pudgy face.
“Yes, sir.” The funny looking cop wrote out a ticket as Vladimir took the cop’s name down in a little book he kept in his glove compartment. The red headed cop gave him the ticket, deferentially. He looked at it; it was only fifty dollars. Before the cop was back in his car, Vladimir drove off, quickly gaining speed.
The couple reached Vladimir’s plush L.A. apartment at 10 o’clock.