61 comments

Adventure Funny Contemporary

“Hi, dear! Are you busy?”

“Yes, mom. I’m in a meeting.”

“Ok. Call you back later?”

“Sure.”

**************

I love my mom, but she is absolutely driving me crazy.

**************

The back room of the brothel was a study in unhygienic habits. A thick coating of dust rested on top of sticky-looking grime. Beth counted no less than twenty used glasses and empty beer cans. The table where she sat was littered with the detritus of take-out food and full ashtrays. The smell of stale tobacco and unwashed bodies permeated the air, causing Beth to wrinkle her nose.

“My mom,” Beth said, putting her phone in her back pocket and smiling apologetically. The men at the table stared at her for a moment, then nodded. They understood about moms. Beth noted with amusement that no less than five of the men had “Mom” tattoos on their arms.

Beth opened a large, long case and took out the rifle that was nestled inside. She tested the bolt action and the trigger with an expertise that belied her youth and gender. She adjusted the butt and changed the trigger pressure from 500 grams to 700 grams. She slid the sight onto the rail and looked through it, satisfied that she could make the necessary adjustments. The fifty-inch rifle assured her of an effective killing range of almost a mile.

“Why can’t you guys have back rooms in clean brothels? They have ‘em here, you know. I’ve seen ‘em.” Beth looked around and grimaced. Again.

“We meet where we meet,” one of the heavily-tattooed and muscular men said. He then ignored her and concentrated on inspecting his handgun. Beth got the message.

Upon departure, Beth offered a handshake to the only man in the room who spoke. The man hesitated before accepting. Etiquette, even among killers, must be proffered.

The trip to a remote area outside of Wellington took almost an hour, but the distance was no more than thirty miles. No one moved quickly through Wellington, she suspected. Not even an American assassin.

Beth tested the rifle to her satisfaction, making minor adjustments after each shot. She recorded the barometric pressure, the wind speed, and the temperature. Beth continued to make minor adjustments to scope sighting and trigger pressure until she felt that her weapon was as fine-tuned as she was.

Rrring.

“Yeah, hi mom. Just wrapping up.”

Blam!

Beth checked the scope and made the most minute of adjustments. Her OCD served her well in her profession.

“Lord! What was that?”

“Car backfire, mom. They do that a lot in Greece.”

“Humph! They should buy American.”

“Mom? Really? They aren’t Americans.”

“Aren’t they close to the U.S.?”

“No.”

Blam!

Beth was happy with her adjustments and started breaking the rifle down.

“Lordy, dear. How close are you to these cars? Is it safe in that country?”

“Yeah, it’s safe for me. Listen, gotta go, mom. Can we talk later?”

“I thought your meeting was finished.”

“It is. I have another one, though.”

“Ok, dear. Enjoy your new phone! Do you love it?”

“I love it, mom. Thanks. But you spent too much on it.”

“Nonsense. I wanted you to have it so we can stay in touch and send each other pretty pictures.”

“Sure, mom.”

“Soooo…send me some pictures of Greece.”

“Ok. Gotta run. Bye.”

**************

It isn’t that I don’t want to talk to my mom, but she wants to talk about the most inane things. Who had a baby. What Mrs. So-and-So said at church. How much my daddy drinks. Blah blah blah.

Her getting me a new iphone for my birthday gives her an excuse to call me up all the time. She sends photos that are always blurry and off-center. Her text messages are infused with perfect grammar and are perfectly mundane.

Sure, my old phone had a cracked screen and was scuffed up from rough use. Sure, I needed a new one.  Trust mom to do me a favor that works out well for her.

Yes, I love my mom. I gotta remember that.

**************

“The target will be at his New Zealand villa for a week. He likes to swim early in the morning, so we have a window there.”

Beth nodded. She gazed at the pictures of the man she was selected to kill. Royce Hanson. Running to fat. Not handsome but not ugly. Seventies porn star mustache.

“Your code name for this action is Red Rain,” the man in the suit said, looking at Beth. Beth laughed out loud and then covered her mouth. Everyone in the room looked at her and shook their heads. Code names. What are we, ten years old?

Garrison Anders was the man in charge of this operation, and the one speaking to the room. He was CIA, but in his former life, he was a SEAL. The man looked like he could still bench press a polar bear, Beth thought.

“Wellington, and the surrounding area, aren’t easy places to navigate. Stick to the exfil plan. Ben, you’re secondary. Your code name is Pink Mist. Lark, you’re tertiary. Code name’s Gilligan.”

Several people in the room chuckled. Ben and Lark gave Beth envious looks that were not meant to be friendly. They didn’t like Beth for no other reason than she was a better shot than they were. Her reputation for accuracy had spread quickly, and the CIA was happy to use her for their most important liquidations. Beth, for her part, lost no sleep over the opinions that others had of her.

Garrison waved the support personnel out of the room. Papers were shuffled and everyone but Garrison, Beth, Ben, and Lark left the room. A few final details were discussed. Garrison dismissed the trio of snipers fifteen minutes later.

Rrring.

“Yeah, mom? I’m still in a meeting. I’m gonna have to…”

“Your dad is tinkering with the lawn mower. Lord knows what it’ll cost us to get it fixed after HE fixes it. Hi dear.”

“Mom! I gotta go! My boss is staring at me!”

“Ok, dear. Talk soon. Don’t forget your cousin Alice’s birthday next week.”

“Mom!”

“Love you, sweetie.”

Beth put the phone on the table and gave everyone an apologetic look.

“My mom.”

Everyone nodded. They knew about moms.

**************

Beth showered and ate, ready for bed by 7:00. She would have to get to her nest and be set up by 6:00 the next morning. A knock on her hotel door startled her; she grabbed her Sig Sauer and looked through the peephole. Garrison.

“Can I come in? Just need a few minutes.”

Garrison came in before Beth had a chance to answer. His manner was brusque, but Beth had worked with him before. She understood him. At least, she understood him as much as was possible. The man gave little about himself away.

“Don’t worry about Ben and Lark. They think they should always be a primary on every operation.” Garrison’s gravelly voice filled the room, as did his physique. He sat down and gestured to Beth that she should do the same.

“Sure. They’re good, though.”

“Yes, very good. You’re better. You’ll put Hanson down.”

Beth didn’t know what to say. She knew she was good at putting a bullet in the heads of those that her government wanted eliminated. She never questioned her government’s targets, and this made her an extremely valuable asset.

“Your mom thinks you’re in Greece?”

Beth looked up, surprised.

“Uh…yeah. How did…”

“We monitor phone calls. Especially personal ones. Can’t have you guys giving anything away.”

Beth nodded.

“I know. I had to put Decker Blane down last year for bragging too much about a kill. The man was good, but he talked too much. Me and Ziggy Stardust put two in his chest so his mom could have an open casket funeral.”

“Ziggy…” Garrison looked at Beth quizzically.

Beth held up her Sig Sauer. The handgun gleamed in the dull light of the hotel room.

“Stardust. I gave it a name.”

Garrison shook his head. Assassins. You can never figure out what makes ‘em tick.

“I chose you as the primary because of that. You’re the most mentally tough of the three I had to choose from. Eliminating Hanson is a top priority. Can’t afford to fail on this one.”

“I never fail. I’m too tough to fail.”

Garrison got up and made himself a drink. Beth declined any alcohol. Garrison, she knew, was testing her.

“How did you get so tough? Bad home life?”

Beth thought about it for a moment before speaking.

“When you go to a rural school in west Texas and you’re a lesbian, you have two choices. Get tough or be a victim.”

“Mmm.” Garrison said nothing, letting the silence do his work for him.

“I have a girlfriend, you know. I’m not a monster. She’s a…”

“We know who she is,” Garrison said.

“Oh?” Beth’s eyebrows arched.

“A well-respected vegan chef. Makes decent money. Doesn’t spend outside of her means. Mom and dad own a small accounting firm. They are all,” Garrison said, “as they appear to be. Your girlfriend is acceptable, at least as far as we are concerned.”

“But tomorrow,” he continued, swallowing the rest of his drink, “you need to be a monster. My monster.”

He looked at Beth through cold gray eyes, slightly narrowed.

“Of course. That’s my job. Oh!”

Garrison gazed at her with those icy eyes that Beth found, oddly enough, comforting. You always know where you stand with this guy.

“Yeah?”

“I need some photos from Greece. Not great ones. I need to send them to my mom.”

Garrison smiled, a rare thing during a mission.

“Sure. I got a mom, too.”

The door closed quietly behind him. Beth locked the door and went to bed, snuggling up with three pillows, a T.V. remote, and her Sig Sauer. Each offered her a piece of comfort, and she was soon asleep.

**************

Distance to target: 707 meters. Elevation drop: Almost seven meters. Negligible wind. Two bodyguards on opposite ends of the swimming pool. Security lights just went off.

Rrring.

“Hi mom.”

“The lawnmower is in pieces, scattered all over the garage. Hello, dear.”

Beth checked the barometric pressure. A little higher than I expected. She made a minor adjustment to the railed scope and put her eye to it. Clear sighting.

The sun was rising behind her, its faint tendrils of light starting to claw through the remains of the night. Beth could already feel the warmth creep through her clothing.

“I hired Mr. Jenkins’ son. Riley. You remember Riley, dear. You used to babysit him after school when his parents went out.”

“I remember. He ate his own boogers.”

Royce Hanson came out and stood by the pool, waving his arms around to loosen up. Beth didn’t hesitate.

Blam!

“Lord, dear. Another backfire?”

“Yes, mom. Another backfire. Loud, aren’t they?”

“Terrible, dear. Anyway, our lawn looks like it hasn’t been mowed in a month, though it’s only been a week. No…no…it’s been eight days, not counting today…”

Royce Hanson’s head exploded, prompting a lot of shouting and movement. More bodyguards poured out of the house, pointing towards Beth’s location. Shots were fired, but they were ineffectual at such a distance. Beth knew this, and she calmly broke down her weapon and put it away.

She trekked two hundred yards to a waiting van, loading her weapon in the back. The van sped off to the north. Beth got in a car and they headed east, to a private airstrip. She got on the jet and buckled herself in, waiting for takeoff. Five minutes later, they were in the air and headed for Paris. Beth’s mom continued to chatter.

“Mom, take a breath!”

“That was very rude, dear. I thought I raised you better than that!”

“You did, mom. I’m a bad daughter.”

Silence filled their phones. Finally, the mother sighed and then spoke.

“We all have bad days, dear. I forgive you.”

“Thanks, mom. And thanks for the phone. I’m gonna send you pictures of Greece. Maybe you and dad could go there one day. It’s beautiful here.”

Beth’s mom laughed out loud.

“Your dad? Go to Greece? Never! Now, maybe Colorado, so he could do some huntin’. That might be…”

Fifteen minutes later, Beth hung up. Garrison smiled at her.

“Mom again?”

“Yeah. Mom again.”

“She called you during the mission.”

“Yep. It calms me to let her prattle on while I do my job, and it makes her happy. Win-win.”

“Really?”

“Yep.”

“During the kill shot.”

Beth looked at Garrison, her face expressionless.

“My mom buys me gifts, and if I don’t use them, she’ll lay a major guilt trip on me. One year, she bought me a dress. If I didn’t wear it to school at least once a week, there would have been hell to pay, in the form of making me feel more guilty than a whore in church.”

“I see.”

“No, you don’t. I don’t wear dresses. Ever. But I did for mom.”

“My mother,” Garrison leaned back and sipped a beer, “made me wear Italian loafers to school. I’ve never forgiven her for that.”

“So, maybe you do know.”

“I do.”

“Great. I’m gonna sleep now.”

“Me too.”

The flight to Paris continued, its two passengers sleeping peacefully.

**************

I send mom pictures of Greece. She says it looks lovely but I don’t take good pictures. I tell her I need more practice with the phone camera. Mom is now happy.

My next mission is in Macau. I’ll tell her I’m in Ireland.

And, she says, I need to be more engaging when she calls. That’s a hard no, mom. You’ll just have to hold while I kill a bad man.

Works for me.

April 13, 2023 15:13

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

61 comments

Zatoichi Mifune
10:36 Jun 06, 2023

Very interesting story! Love it! Very amusing too, especially the title.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
11:16 Jun 06, 2023

Thanks, Zatoichi. Gotta love those mother-daughter moments, right? LOL Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Kelsey H
08:20 May 15, 2023

Very entertaining read, Delbert! I love the idea of American assassins roaming around NZ. Also loved her mother calling her all the time, nice touch.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
09:53 May 18, 2023

Thank you very much, Kelsey. I really think NZ killers roaming around the U.S. would be much more fascinating. LOL My mom always called at the wrong moments, so this story was inspired by her. I think all moms have that talent, yes? Again, thank you, my friend. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tommy Goround
07:56 Apr 27, 2023

This title is the tits. Brb

Reply

Delbert Griffith
09:20 Apr 27, 2023

Thanks, Tommy. I've been working on creating better (more intriguing) titles. I'm glad you liked it, my friend. Cheers.

Reply

Tommy Goround
10:01 Apr 27, 2023

The whole story was embracing. You have many notes. This story is in the sweet spot. :)

Reply

Delbert Griffith
10:14 Apr 27, 2023

Again, thank you, my friend. I appreciate the praise, especially since you understand literature so well. Cheers, Tommy!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Amanda Lieser
05:19 Apr 27, 2023

Oh my gosh! Delbert! What an interesting take on the prompt! Goodness, you did an amazing job of diving into the complexities of a parent-child relationship. I love how you just repeated the presence of the mother character-we all got moms. I also really like how you wove such incredible imagery in through this piece. And the way you characterized this MC through the mother was superb! I loved this piece and found myself re reading-since I know more about your protagonist once I get the ending. Nice work on this one-it shall stay with me a b...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
09:18 Apr 27, 2023

Thank you so much for the praise, Amanda. Coming from you, it means a lot, really. Believe it or not, I got the idea from an old commercial! Plus, I have been privy to one side of many mother-daughter conversations on the phone: my sister's side. And, as with many actual phone calls, the timing can be bad. Again, thank you, my friend. I did re-write and revise this piece several times, so I'm glad I didn't ruin it. LOL Cheers, Amanda!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Darya Silman
19:43 Apr 18, 2023

The story could have veered in so many directions, yet, the ending is perfect. I am especially amazed by your knowledge of the guns. Excellent job!

Reply

Delbert Griffith
22:12 Apr 18, 2023

Thank you so much, Darya. I appreciate the nice review and the praise. Darya - that's the name of a character in a Tolstoy novel, I believe. Very cool. Again, thank you. I really appreciate your comments. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jennifer Cameron
06:58 Apr 18, 2023

I loved this! Such an interesting take, I was sad when I finished it because it was so good I just wanted to keep reading

Reply

Delbert Griffith
09:43 Apr 18, 2023

Thank you very much, Jennifer. I always appreciate your reviews and comments. I'm especially pleased that you wanted to keep on reading. This comments has prompted me to consider expanding the tale, maybe think of a series of short stories, or even a larger piece. I have to admit, the mother/daughter relationship can be that thing that makes it unique. Again, thank you, my friend. Your words are inspiring. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
17:42 Apr 17, 2023

Delbert, I really enjoyed reading your story! The scenario is very unique, and I love the understanding within the assassins about moms. I find it intriguing that the daughter’s nerves are calmed by talking to her mom while on the job. The mom’s steadfast pestering is very endearing to me, and I have a feeling that is the day mom STOPS calling, Beth will be quite upset. You really went out of the box for this prompt! Well done! 👏👏👏

Reply

Delbert Griffith
18:29 Apr 17, 2023

Wow, thanks so much, Hannah. I appreciate the praise and the analysis. Yes, moms and daughters and their very unique conversations. I've heard enough of my sister and mom talking on the phone to each other to understand how endearing/frustrating/ special those conversations can be. I may have taken it to an absurdist level, but the love is still there. I mean, sometimes you just gotta keep on working, even when talking to mom, right? LOL Again, thank you, my friend. I appreciate such kind words from an expert like you. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Viga Boland
16:35 Apr 17, 2023

God, this was such a great read! Enjoyed every line, every turn. But of course, best of all was the implied punch line: we’re more afraid of our moms than killing or being killed. I just loved the back and forth between the “job” and mom’s calls. You handled that brilliantly and with such seeming ease. This is the way more writers need to write IMHO. Big “like” for this one, Delbert.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
17:31 Apr 17, 2023

Wow, thanks so much, Viga. I really appreciate the praise. From your mouth to the judges' ears! LOL Yes, I played around with the thing about not disappointing mom, but I took it to an absurd level, just for fun. It's a lot like the times that mom calls at the exact worst times. It never fails! Thanks again, my friend. Your analysis and insights are always welcome here. Cheers!

Reply

Viga Boland
17:36 Apr 17, 2023

Ha ha…from my mouth to judges’ ears? You sound like me, always hoping for the same. At least you’ve scored. I’m still wishing, hoping, praying…like the old song sings,

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Mike Panasitti
15:01 Apr 17, 2023

Delbert, I've been on hiatus for a couple of weeks and I see you've just been churning them out. You made imaginative use of the prompt, but it required quite a stretch of the imagination to believe the main character would answer the phone during assassination runs. Sad thing is that a man who has done some hard time like me had questionably cool things in common with the nagging mother (I can't bring myself to write in contemporary textspeak) and the main character (I always answer when moms calls). Valiant effort, but what I'm really...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
17:28 Apr 17, 2023

Yes, I've been busy, Mike. And I'll write more Westerns, my friend. They're on the brain now. The whole idea behind the tale was an absurdist rendition of conversations a mother and a daughter might have. The assassination going on during a conversation is a spoof of moms always calling at the wrong time. I had a little fun with the premise, you see. Glad to have you back, my friend. I noticed your absence and am very happy to have you back. Cheers, Mike!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
02:06 Apr 17, 2023

This was a really fun read. You did a good job of capturing a mother on the phone in her most inane nagging state. And the dichotomy of the conversation with the mom and mission is great!

Reply

Delbert Griffith
08:46 Apr 17, 2023

Thanks so much, MaryJo. I appreciate the kind words and the nice review. I'd heard enough conversations, on the phone, between my sister and mom to make the conversations seem fairly realistic. LOL I'm also pleased that you liked the contrasts between mundane conversation and an assassin carrying out a hit. Again, thank you, my friend. Truly. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Chris Miller
20:47 Apr 16, 2023

That's a fun and entertaining story. I like the idea that listening to her mother can induce a state of mind suitable to kill someone, albeit by calming her rather than making her homicidally mad or frustrated. Nice job.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
22:53 Apr 16, 2023

Thanks so much, Chris. It's kind of an absurdist take on a daughter and a mother on the phone. It was fun to write. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Russell Mickler
16:18 Apr 16, 2023

Hey there, Delbert - Grin - okay, I’ll admit: you had me at “The back room of the brothel…” great intro, followed by an even more astounding para, “Beth opened a large, long case…” That was just effortlessly flowing specifics that lent heaps of credibility to the narrator. Ha - “car backfire”, “bench-pressing a polar bear” - that was great. The end of Royce Hanson was also quite choice. Very strong narrative and dialogue; felt more like a snippet of a larger story than a story within itself, but it was great! A very powerful read, great...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
18:17 Apr 16, 2023

Thanks so much, Russel. I appreciate the praise and the nice review. I've been working on dialogue, so I'm pleased that you found it to be good. I think I like the mom the best. She's clueless but sweet, and she loves her daughter. This could be a longer tale, TBH. I can see it being something larger, and it would be fun to explore. Nice idea, that. Again, thank you, my friend. I always appreciate a Russell Mickler review. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Wally Schmidt
04:31 Apr 16, 2023

Dark and hysterical-not two words that are typically used together to describe a story, but it sure fits this one. The juxtaposition of the scenes with the mother phoning and the assassin 'just doin' her job' work really well to create a surprising effect. I thought maybe the Garrison character was going to turn out more sinister than he actually was, so I'm glad you kept him balanced. In fact, all of the characters were just 'normal people' who happened to be trained assassins and that's kind of funny to think about. I have a friend who wa...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
09:06 Apr 16, 2023

LOL True, "plausible" wasn't a word I expected to see in a review of this tale. "Dark and hysterical" sounds like you enjoyed the tale to a certain extent. Fair enough. This wasn't my best work, but I quite like the idea of exploring a mother-daughter relationship in absurdist fashion. I know it needs work. Garrison could do with fleshing out a little better. The mother is fine, but the daughter needs more depth. Still, it was a fun write, and I think I can write a similar tale much better when the opportunity arises. Thanks so much for t...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Chris Campbell
04:24 Apr 16, 2023

Delbert, The ice-cold nerve of a female assassin who needs her mother on the end of a phone call to help her focus on her kill. I remember many a long-distance phone call with my mother that had me silently nodding while she ranted about this and that, and recollected snippets of her life - as she remembered it. However, calm it did not make me. This was a great take on a Mr and Mrs Smith type of story - except only one in the relationship was a "cold-calling" killer. I did get the impression that if she did anything out of the ordinar...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
08:53 Apr 16, 2023

Thank you, Chris. I admit, this tale needs cleaning up a little, but I like the scenario where the daughter is killing and the mother is yammering about something very dull and inane. It tickles my funny bone. Believe it or not, I got the idea from an insurance commercial I saw a few years back. Ideas come from the weirdest places, yes? The handler character is where I could use some cleaning up. He needs to be cold, yes, but also a little tolerant towards the odd misstep. Assassins, like writers, tend to follow a slightly different path ...

Reply

Chris Campbell
09:42 Apr 16, 2023

I think he comes across as caring and understanding, but he is all business. I don’t think he needs cleaning up; however, you’re his creator, so you know him best. I’m just watching the latest Mrs. Maisel series and it reminds me a little of your mother/daughter relationship, where Midge is open and secretive with her mother. Well done, again.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
10:20 Apr 16, 2023

You're a prince, mate. Thanks so much for another comment. I always reflect on what you put in your reviews, for they are always worth thinking about. Cheers, my friend.

Reply

Chris Campbell
04:05 Apr 17, 2023

You're very kind. I look forward to your comments too.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Mary Bendickson
16:53 Apr 15, 2023

If the content weren't so serious I'd be laughing and laughing. So good all around.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
19:00 Apr 15, 2023

Thank you so much, Mary. I appreciate the nice review, and I hope you liked it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Absurdist stuff can be fun to write, at times. Cheers, my friend.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Laurel Hanson
16:23 Apr 15, 2023

The title is certainly an attention grabber and the story delivers the goods. Her ruthlessness while chatting with an oblivious mom (being chatted to by said mom) is disconcerting and creates a weird dark humor. Love all the mom tattoos on these hardened killers. The pacing here is really good, quick and no nonsense like the character. That works.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
18:58 Apr 15, 2023

Thank you, Laurel. The mother/daughter dynamic, although parodied to an absurdist level, is something that many daughters can relate to. At least, that's what my sister says. LOL I'm pleased that you enjoyed the tale. "Mom" tattoos deserve their place in literature, I believe. Horribly under-represented, don't you think? Again, thank you, my friend. I appreciate the nice review. Cheers!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jeannette Miller
15:58 Apr 15, 2023

Delbert! What a fun story. You know I love female killers... I like the dynamic of the mother and daughter; although, I'm not sure how the phone becomes a nuisance when she later says it calms her to hear her mom's voice as she does her job. No matter, the story is solid, flows naturally, and is a fun ride. I could see it as a limited series with each episode focused on a new kill and a new mom situation at home. One thing, why does she use a weapon that makes such a loud noise? Is there a gun that makes a noise the mom could hear but not g...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
16:18 Apr 15, 2023

I love female killers as well; they have more personality than the stereotypes tough-guy assassin. The phone is a nuisance at other times. Like during her meetings. All sniper rifles are loud. This is just the way it is. In expert hands, kills can be made a mile or more from the target. This distance really inhibits finding the killer's location quickly. Yes, I researched this thoroughly. You wouldn't believe the amount of information out there about sniper rifles. LOL You have an intriguing idea about a limited series. Very intriguing...

Reply

Jeannette Miller
15:32 Apr 23, 2023

Lol, I did not know they were all loud. I assumed since the sniper guns were used for covert killing, they would be quieter. Good to know! You're welcome :) I hope to get back to writing soon. I've had some distractions lately.

Reply

Delbert Griffith
15:41 Apr 23, 2023

I was wondering why you haven't written much lately, Jeannette. I always look forward to your tales; they are always intriguing and written well. I'm sending good vibes to eradicate your distractions, my friend. Take care!

Reply

Jeannette Miller
15:47 Apr 23, 2023

Thank you! I've got to push through them this week...I have to submit something before I go crazy!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Stevie Burges
14:38 Apr 15, 2023

Great take on the Prompt. I loved that nothing put Mum off from prattling away but it was also commendable how the MC was a delightful daughter - even while getting the shot ready. A good, fun read, written using a great tempo to keep the story moving nicely along, Good story. Many thanks. Stevie

Reply

Delbert Griffith
16:14 Apr 15, 2023

Thank you, Stevie! I appreciate the nice review and the analysis. The daughter IS delightful, despite being an assassin. Cheers, my friend.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Susan Catucci
13:20 Apr 15, 2023

A really grand study in contrasts going on, Del - you nailed the mother/daughter dynamic - which everyone, most can relate to - alongside the cool, calculated assassin, a machine in complete control. Then mom comes along to grind everything to a screeching halt but Beth has it all (mostly) figured out. This was such a pleasure to picture in my mind (Tarantino better call, if he knows what's good) because the characters are so rich and the world they live in, well crafted and effective. Just goes to show, nothing can disarm a cold-bloode...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
14:04 Apr 15, 2023

LOL "Just goes to show, nothing can disarm a cold-blooded killer better than a mother." Thank you so much for the kind words, Susan, but this story was going nowhere fast until you assisted me with it. It may take a village to raise a child but, for me, it takes a Scat to churn out a story worthy of reading. I can't thank you enough for your astute observations and great suggestions. Every tale I've written in the last few months have your imprint on them. If any of them suck, that's on me. LOL Again, thank you for your terrific insights a...

Reply

Susan Catucci
14:15 Apr 15, 2023

Cheers back, Del. When a partnership works, you don't question; you bless your lucky stars - and I'm doing plenty of that!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Rebecca Miles
19:49 Apr 14, 2023

Oh Del the situational humour in this is so spot-on! I could just picture these hard nuts in this seedy brothel ( great opening imagery to really crank up the eugh factor) chatting about their mums. And then every time the mum called up, at the least inopportune moment- so funny. You saved the best till last of course with the irony of the mum thinking Beth can't take a good ( holiday) shot. Is it just me, or are you getting seriously clever with the structure of your stories? You seem to have taken a let's-chop- it- around, shake- it -on -d...

Reply

Delbert Griffith
20:39 Apr 14, 2023

Thanks you so much for the praise, Rebecca. It means a lot to me that it comes from a writer of great skill. Yes, very astute of you to notice my change in writing. I've been trying to go for the hard-hitting ending that still stays true to the character - and avoiding the dreaded Deus ex machina endings that can creep in. As long as I create characters that have a reason to do impactful things, then the actions they take should seem natural. That's the idea, anyway. I do find that I'm often frustrated with how to develop my characters, but...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.