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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Fantasy · #1811954
One man's obsession to save the World
"Mwahahahaaaa," came the insane-sounding mutterings from the darkness. Well, I say it's darkness, but in actual fact the mutterings were from the only lit area within the darkness. There in the corner, hunched over a workbench was the chuckling silhouette of... well.. we'll come to that soon. The interesting thing to pay attention to here is what he is working ON.

Electrical gubbins and wires were scattered about the desk before him. A white sphere about the size of an orange lay open under his bust fingers, and he was clearly constructing some ingenious device of unknown function. Well... as the observer, I mean. HE surely knows exactly what he's up to, as demonstrated by the fact that he's building the thing.

Sparks fly as he welds more of his device in place. Curses escape his lips as he solders his fingernail by accident. Lights flash as he connects batteries and flicks switches. Motors whir too. I should have mentioned that with the flashing lights. He seems satisfied with the job he has accomplished, and  screws the two halves of the sphere together. Pressing the button embedded in the casing, he smiles triumphantly as the creation becomes the size of a ball bearing. A 6mm ball bearing, for those who care about such details. Success is assured, this strange loner concludes!

Turning on the main lights now, the room is revealed to be nothing more than a dingy bedroom with assorted posters claiming animal domination of the planet and other improbably conspiracy theories. The curtains are drawn, barricading the place against unwanted eyes and sunlight both. The man now reaches into the draw of his desk and removes a pistol, and slides out the magazine. The tinyfied ball of electrical genius slides easily into the clip, which is slapped back into the handle of the gun. Apparently now the man is ready to perform whatever dastardly deed he has in store, for he conceals the gun in his belt and covers it with his jacket. Rising, he turns off the lights and exits the room, heading out of the house itself and onwards into the suburban warzone he perceives himself to be in. Wild-eyed, he studies everything about him, and marches purposefully on.

Something about his expression changes... He has seen his destination! There ahead of him the green of the treeline becomes visible, and his pace quickens and he flexes his fingers eagerly. Inside the woods, he draws his gun and cocks it in preparation. Now the hunt is on, and his wide-eyed maniacal gleam returns to his eyes. He doesn't anticipate that it will take long now...

Deeper into the trees he stalks, carefully navigating himself to be as silent as possibly. He's clearly been practising, for even though he wades through piles of leaves and fallen branches he makes not a sound. How he does it is anyone's guess. I certainly haven't a clue, that's for sure.

He stops. There, ahead of him is a flicker of movement. He freezes still as a statue, and watches. Sure enough, there is his quarry. Its tail twitching, its little nose quivering, the grey squirrel advances from its perch above, impossibly gripping the bark in its little claws as it scurries down the trunk.

The gun is raised, and aim is taken. The squirrel moves around to the side, out of sight now. Grunting something rude that I won't repeat, the man moves forwards until he has the rodent in sight again. He takes aim once more, and another step.


The breaking of the twig underfoot unleashes another unprintable torrent of words that are far too naughty to be described in detail, and the man hurriedly targets the little creature and finally pulls the trigger. The retort is not what one might perhaps have expected, but then this was only a bb-gun after all. You could argue that the twig snapping was louder, even. I won't, though. I have a story to tell.

The squirrel, having been alerted by the noises had looked up, taken in the situation, pondered over it, had a nibble on one of the berries it had just found, written a short poem about the beauty found in the changing leaves of autumn, calculated the trajectory of the oncoming projectile, and made a dash for the second-closest tree. The closest tree was the one it had just emerged from, but to reach it would mean wasting valuable time turning around, and this squirrel had no intention of wasting time. tiny legs scurrying, it reached the tree in no time flat and was leaping up it as though its life depended on it! The crazed man watching this was unperturbed.

The ball bearing, such as it was, had emerged from the barrel with a slight upwards spin, but that evened out after a small number of metres. It travelled directly towards where the squirrel had performed its numerous cognitive miracles, but as soon as the furry bundle of cuteness moved, so too did the tiny sphere of death change its course. Tracking the feathery tail of the retreating prey, it moved through the air with impossible redirection. The squirrel never stood a chance.

Thud! was the next sound, lightly muffles by the earth and leaves, and the slight weight of the deceased animal. The man did a cartoonish hop and skip, and hurried over to retrieve the carcass with unashamed glee. He Scooped up his prize and hung it on a special hook on the inside of his jacket, out of the view of prying eyes, the trotted back the way he came, heading home.

Inside again, he opened up a large steel cabinet and placed his victim within. He marked off on a chart this first success and made an entry into his journal. No more would mankind have to live in fear, subservient to the whims of the assorted creatures of the wild. Victory was now only a matter of time! The war had reached its turning point at last...

Now, back to the workbench. Tomorrow. He needed to prepare for tomorrow now...
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