The Professional

The Professional


He saw the two moppets playing in the park. His heart leaped. No parents in sight. He waited patiently. At the right moment, he aimed and shot both. Then, with a smile, he tucked his camera into his bag and walked away.



This is my submission for this week’s gargleblaster #156.The challenge is to give our answer in exactly 42 words to the Β ultimate question ,”Who dunnit?” If you would like to participate too, do hurry up or you may miss the bus for there is a limit-yep,the grid closes at 42 entries πŸ™‚ For more details,click on the url Β


48 thoughts on “The Professional

  1. Hey there! Thanks for gargleblasting this week! Why did the assassin shoot those kids? Why did his heart leap when he saw them? Even though you have a word limit of 42 words, your story must still follow a basic structure that would include an intro, rise and fall in action, climax, conclusion. Your premise is intriguing (and very sad, poor kids) but it prompts more questions than answers. I’d love to see another draft of this before the grid closes tomorrow.

    • I thought the twist in the end made it clear-he was a photographer-he did not really “shoot” the kids,lol!Anyway,will re-think and submit a new one-guess I was unclear.Thanks for the read and feedback:-)

      • Dear Erica,thank you for your kind comment and feedback. I understand that my story has gaps.I am already drafting another 42 words a different story altogether-hope it will do better than my half-cooked first one πŸ˜› Am going to work on it a little more-edit and fine tune it some more and only then post it-hope I am allowed to do that?Of course,I will be removing my first post.If not,please let me know and I can maybe try to re-work the same story with a better structure?Thanks again πŸ™‚

      • Don’t be disappointed, Atreyee! Not everyone’s going to get what you’re going for every time. My partner read mine after I posted it and had no idea what the hell happened. Oops! But if someone (especially an editor) takes you seriously enough to leave constructive criticism, that’s a complement and an opportunity to become a better writer. πŸ™‚ Your twist was quite clear to me, but my reaction was, “What? OMG! He killed them.” “Oh, he’s just a photographer…” “Hey, why’s he taking photos of random children and is his heart leaping, BECAUSE there are no parents in sight? Ew, creepy…” Hence the roller coaster comment. There’s a lot going on in those 42 little words! I still think you did a great job, but I hope you do have a go at redrafting for clarity. (And I’ve now officially left a comment longer than your post!) πŸ™‚

      • That is so sweet of you Tinsen:-)Thank you so much!I understand that and have already started working on another story-have asked Erica if I can submit a new one or if I need to rewrite another version of the same one-let us see what response I receive.I am not a seasoned writer,so am still learning-and I do appreciate the editor’s or my reader’s valued suggestions and feedback.You are so right-not everyone will get what we write everytime and my 42 words do not really tell it well-so there-feeling better already:-)Will come by to read your’s as soon as I finish making snacks and tea as hubby and daughter are home,lol!

    • Thank you Jen-so glad that it made sense to at least a few-but I have to really work hard at sharpening my story telling skills-long way to go …

    • Thank you Sue and as I gather from your comment ,my story definitely is shaky-there was no killer-only the photographer-sigh!Am going to work on my story telling skills,lol!

      • Your story was not shaky at all – it’s just that both photographer and killer – wait patiently and leaping heart. Someone mentioned the no parents but I took that as not interrupted in snapping good kids shots. Your story was great

      • Yes,you got that totally right!Am beaming reading your explanation-thank you Sue ,not only for reading and commenting but also for your encouragement and support:-) I am doing the rounds now while waiting to hear from Erica,our Editor-your story is open on one of the tabs-will go read it now:)

  2. Yay! So we might get two for the price of one from you this week! πŸ˜‰ And with that, I need to be asleep. It’s late, but I keep thinking, “I’ll just read one more…” They’re all so good, but I really should have more sense.

  3. I don’t know if this was edited from your original post, but I followed it, much like Tinsenpup…. I went from what a sicko, he killed the kids… to oh, he just took their pictures…. then to wait a sec, he took pics of random kids while taking special notice of absent parents… ew! Maybe the intentions are innocent, but the framing around it makes me feel they are not! In another comment, I think someone referred to a rollercoaster of emotions – yeah, that’s exactly it!

  4. I think this is great! My heart jumped when he shot them, and then I felt a sigh of relief when he put his camera away! I thought it was very clear…

  5. I feel a little bit like that when I am photographing strangers on the street in a foreign country. If it’s a portrait type of shot, I will always ask for permission first, but sometimes I just want the atmosphere of the street without anyone noticing I am shooting. That was my connection with it, at least.

    • Thank you Marcy-am glad you got my point of the photographer trying to let his “subjects” remain undiluted by external forces:-) I am sure,you being a photographer know that kids and pets are very difficult to photograph unless you catch them in unawares or in a happy mood-so my “photographer” was happy to see such lovely subjects without the hindrance of doting/protective parents πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Atreyee! I love what you tried to do here – the twist, the wordplay. I agree that it didn’t *quite* come through for me, but I understand what you were trying to do. I have pieces sometimes where I feel like I’m physically wrestling the words into place, and the point still doesn’t come across the way I intended it. But it was a really great attempt, and I’m glad you shared it!

  7. Well you yanked my chain quite well. I was shocked and then laughed when you said camera. Of course why he was taking their picture could be very bad. I enjoyed it.

  8. I had the same set of reactions- fear, shock, disbelief and then relief. The camera at the end made it clear for me. Nice, Atreyee πŸ™‚

    • Thank you and I understand your pov though in this instance,he just did not want his “subjects” to be disturbed-wanted the poses to be as natural as possible πŸ™‚

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