The Elusive Target

Photo prompt courtesy Sue Vincent

I lie down at the edge of a small cliff, and look at the valley below me, spreading like the sea for as far as the eye can see. I’ve selected this place extremely carefully. It allows me to stay undetected, while I keep one eye on the family in the tent below, and one on the setting sun.

For only when the sun is fully set, can I make my move.

There are three of them, the young boy of three is playing with a big plastic ball with his father, while the mother is trying to get a fire going. It’s too windy for the fire to sustain, but it’s an important night, and so she refuses to give up, and ultimately, succeeds in her mission.

I still need a few more hours before I can embark on MY mission. It has not been easy to find them. They’d left their home without telling anyone at all, friends, extended family, neighbours, no one knew that they were going away, forget being aware of their destination.

But I’m nothing if not tenacious, and so, have finally found them here, in the middle of nowhere. That means I HAVE to start with them, before I move on to my other targets for the night.

It’s night now, and exhausted from the day’s exertions, they’ve retired into their tent. The flashlight keeps flickering for some time, must be the kid trying to read a comic under his blanket, but then, that also blinks off, and now, everything is pitch dark.

I wait for a few more breaths. This tent has made my job trickier, but not impossible. I’ve seen worse, much worse.

I leave my hiding place, and within minutes, am standing outside the tent. I lift the flap, all the while listening for the slightest of rustle, or the tiniest of coughs, but a dark silence pervades the atmosphere, and I know that they do not suspect a thing. It will all be over within a few seconds anyways.

I creep up to the parents first, do what I have to do, and then, move on to the kid. I take a pause, look at his angelic face, and freeze for a moment….but only a moment. It’s just a job, getting attached to a target can only lead to trouble.

I finish off my assignment, and walk out of the tent, satisfied at another job well done, when suddenly, the entire area lights up with huge flashlights. They had been camouflaged within the rocks, and so I had not seen them despite all my precautions. And now, I could not see a thing due to the brightness of the lights shining directly into my eyes.

And it was then that a commanding voice boomed on a powerful loudspeaker, “Keep your hands where I can see them buster. You are under arrest for giving gifts to strangers without an official Santa License.”


Written in response to the #writephoto Prompt – Setting at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.


About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
This entry was posted in Children, fantasy, Flash Fiction, Humour, mythology, Thriller, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Elusive Target

  1. Abhijit Ray says:

    Nice one. Licence Permit Raj being practiced. You may use, but never misuse.

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    I wonder if my kids will accept no presents on Christmas morning if I tell them I didn’t have a licence?? Had a read of your book, thoroughly enjoyed and left a little review, well done 🙂

    • Thank you so much Iain, really appreciate it. This was just a ‘quick and dirty’ collection of some blog posts, but it has now motivated to go in for the big one like you. fingers crossed 🙂

  3. Dwiti says:

    Nice one… was wondering if you were building the script for a thriller there….
    The stage looked eerily similar to one in a Ken Follet book (can’t recall the title though).

  4. Sue Vincent says:

    You built the suspense beautifully 🙂

  5. Pingback: The Elusive Target ~ Anurag Bakhshi #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  6. Wow! Great surprise ending… Well done!

  7. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Setting #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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