A Roll of the Dice


His eyes peered through the leaves, adjusting. Slowly, oh so slowly, his hand reached out to a branch and gently moved it aside.  Not even the birds nearby noticed the movement. No one did.  A hint of a smile creased his lips for no more than a moment.  It wasn’t time yet.  Soon.

With a quiet sigh his left hand reached inside his breast pocket and touched his Talisman. It was old. Very old. He had taken it from an elderly man who no longer needed it. That was years ago. Another life.  It started him remembering where it had all begun.

As a young man he was interested in what he couldn’t see. He wanted to understand what made people do what they did. So, he enrolled in a psychology course at a University. But all that did was make him ask more questions. The army told him that “He Could Be All That He Could Be” with them so he joined. He got great training. Turns out he was an OK soldier but he learned more than they expected. While he was soldiering overseas, he discovered that he had a particular… appetite. He was always very careful never to indulge to excess. And then he retired. He was still a relatively young man, so he embarked on another career. He drove a truck from the top of North America to the bottom. It was a great job. Weeks on the road allowed him to indulge his . . . appetite quite freely. But it did require planning.

He glanced down at the park below his perch.  It was almost time. Soon more people would be arriving. The children would mostly be at home for dinner and the adults would come out to play. Fair game. He would have to be quick, before he lost the light. But it would only take a few moments. And then he would move on to the next town, the next city, the next park. It had been more than a decade and no one had figured it out.

With the talisman in his hand he rolled the dice on a relatively level spot on a nearby branch. He used to have a pair but one was lost many years ago.  One still worked. Of course, it meant a lower number. How many people would be shot today?

It’s funny, a single dice is called a die.










29 thoughts on “A Roll of the Dice

  1. Murphy's Law

    Yikes! This story scared the bejesus out of me Pam! I kept waiting for your ‘twist’ so I would end up laughing. Nope. I went around and checked that all doors and windows were locked. Your imagination knows no bounds. You outdid yourself!

    Now, if I could just get my BP down and my heart to stop racing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. K.L. Hale

        I don’t typically choose the “good” guy but ever since I saw Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma as “bad” guy he would be a perfect fit for someone that served his country and flips sides out of PTSD? Anger? Loss? Confusion? All of it…I’m a Western nut so that’s where my minds goes first for characters

        Liked by 2 people

      2. quiall Post author

        hmmm, now I’m thinking. I originally thought of him as ‘tall, dark and handsome, with a twinkle in his eye and a big smile for everyone. He is the ‘boy next door’. Also he doesn’t kill. He shoots to incapacitate. That is what makes him a better shot.


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