This has to stop.
(appears in Flash Fiction 40 Anthology 2009)
An eight-year-old boy saunters down the street, smiling proudly, armed with a powerful new weapon, a gift from his father the evening before.
He slips open the schoolyard gate and surveys the crowd with his sharp, green eyes, so like his daddy’s: Girls skipping rope; boys shooting hoops; teachers chatting amongst themselves, tired and bored. And, sitting by himself, leaning against a solitary tree, reading a book, is his target.
He makes his way over, fists stuffed tightly into his pockets, twitching to keep the grin off his face until just the right moment. He comes to a stop directly in front a pair of white, spotless shoes, rolling the weapon around his tongue, savoring the jagged consonants and tangy vowels. His father’s voice echoes in his ears as he lets loose his grin, pulls the trigger, and fires the word directly into his target’s fragile, tender heart: