Sarah - Training starts

Sarah has completed her phone call to San Francisco, and now she's ready to take her shower.

From last time ....

"Here's your bullets, Thelma."

"Listen, sweetie, the last person that called me Thelma was my old man and that salty bastard died before I got him broke in right. Everybody calls me 'Ma', except for that fucker Jake - he calls me Deadeye. Call your Momma."

"Yes ma'am. Ma, sorry. Hello, Sally? Sally, I need to call San Francisco."

And now ....

Ma Gleason had found her some blue jeans and some plaid western style shirts and a couple of nice pair of hiking boots, and there was some underwear her daughter must never have worn so she was pretty well set. As she stepped in the shower, all the tensions that had built up in her over the last three days just broke loose all at once. She curled up in the corner of the shower stall, her body racked by sobs, letting the hot water run over her and steam her soul.

She thought about The Kid and how he died and he never knew how she felt - how she wanted to stay with him - how she had never forgotten the flight into Vegas and the little cargo area in the back of the plane. And how he saved her life and Jerry's and Mom's. And she thought of her indecision. How she wondered if all this was such a good idea. How she almost just pointed the car toward the mountains and California and her son and her Mom and safety. If I get myself killed out here no one is ever going to find me and Jerry .. my poor Jerry. Already he doesn't have a Dad - can I take the chance he won't have a Mom, either? But if I don't, then The kid was just a waste, and what he did was just a waste and that would make me just a waste. And I'm better than that.

She had talked to her Mom. Let her know she was okay. Let her know it was going to be a while before she got out to Frisco. She told her that Janet Pearson, her friend from her flying days, the friend of Sarah's that she was staying with, would help her find a flat, would help her get Jerry registered for school in time, would help her put the money to work in some sound investments. Janet was good people.

The water started to run colder and she knew it was time to get out of the shower. She climbed into the soft bed with the crisp clean sheets and fell into a deep sleep. For the first time since she got off her shift at the casino three days ago, she was able to sleep soundly - and safe.

She didn't know that Ma Gleason sat outside her door, rifle across her lap, reading her latest copy of Reader's Digest. All night. Jake had told her much more than not to ask questions.

"You're right on time. Good. Timing is everything in this business and punctuality is very important. Park your car around back where it won't be seen from the road."

She came around from in back of the building with two large paper cups in her hands. She handed one to Jake.

"I brought you coffee. Ma says you like your coffee black. Is that right, Jake. Do you like your coffee black?"

He opened the door and stepped into the shop.

"Yeah, that's right. Now let's get to it. Pull that rug away from the counter."
"What, you gonna take me downstairs, Jake? I thought I wasn't supposed to go down there."
"You weren't. But now that you've seen it, there no point in keeping you out. Besides, my workbench is down there and we'll need some space to work in today."
"Why? What are we going to do?"
"You, darlin'. It's what YOU are going to do. You are going to learn how to take that weapon apart and put it back together again. You're going to do it over and over again until you can do it blindfolded. You are going to learn everything there is to know about your piece. When I'm done with you, you'll be able to strip the weapon, clear a jam, and reassemble the weapon, in less than one minute. In the dark. With one hand, if necessary."

"One hand? What the hell, Jake. Why would I use one hand?"

"In case you've been wounded and that's all you have available to use is one hand."

She looked dumbfounded.

"Look. Your motto from now on is "One shot, One kill". But what happens if you don't get the kill with the first shot? What happens if you get return fire? What happens if you get hit? What happens if your target is not alone and there are other arms pointed at YOU? There's a reason I built this weapon with a three shot magazine. You have to be prepared for the unexpected. And that's why THIS is going to be your other weapon."
"What IS that?"
"It's a machine pistol. A Skorpion 61. Made in Czechoslovakia. It's brand new. The Slovak Army doesn't even have this yet. It uses a standard Browning .32 ACP round. The big magazine holds 20 rounds. You'll use this for close in work. If you have to. You're going to learn this weapon, too. Just like the BSR."
"Yeah. The 'Bertrett Sniper Rifle'. Standard issue to the sniper corps of the Sons of Nevada."
"The WHO?"
"The Sons of Nevada. That's their flag up there on the wall. But never mind that now. We have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time in which to do it. The store opens at 9 and you have to ready for your physical stuff by then."
"Physical stuff? What physical stuff?"
"You're out of shape. You have no wind. You have no stamina. On order to be a truly effective sniper, you must be in top physical shape. You have to be strong and in total control of your body. I have designed a fitness course for you that you WILL follow and when I'm done with you, you will be the most dangerous woman on earth. Or at least the most dangerous one in the State of Nevada."


Nicole said...

WOW, simple as that.
The transition with Thelma at the beginning took me a second to grasp, but only because the last part has already been a while ago.

Mrs F with 4 said...

I really, REALLY like this!

More? (please)

Loraine said...

You really know how to capture the spirits of your characters!

LceeL said...

Nicole: Did you read yesterday's?

MrsFwith4: Soon, MrsF. Soon.

Loraine: Thank you, Loraine.

Jientje said...

She's going to have her work cut out for her, won't she? It's not going to be easy, but that guy knows what he's doing.

And so do you.