Quiet Afternoon

A small, dark green, toad lay on a smooth rock, exposing it's back to the sun's radiant heat. It was a quiet afternoon in the secluded marshlands of Nebraska, only the rustling of the wind through the tall grasses cut through the dense silence. The toad slowly bent it's knees, bringing it's tiny body above the rock's surface, and started towards the cool, inviting waters of one of the many small ponds. In the distance a cricket chirped, and a heavy, black boot came crashing down on the otherwise serene grass.

Leo's bloodshot eyes darted from clump to clump of grass. They were everywhere. Tiny sniper's rifles peeking out from behind the cattails, Leo saw the laser sights aimed at his camouflaged shirt-yet he had been seeing those little red spots everywhere. His sweaty hands gripped the small, black gun even tighter, blood started to slowly ooze from his palms. Leo's outstretched-gun-pointing arms swung in an arc, surveying the area. His headache pounded mercilessly and Leo popped another Codeine in his mouth, the eighth this hour. A sudden rustling came from a bush, Leo let out a high pitched yelp and shot five times.

The gunshots rang through the open air like a series of explosions, the toad jumped up with a start. It leapt out of the refreshing water, and bounded over to a large rock, which he quickly slid under. Leo kept his gun pointed at the spot and slowly walked towards it. A grasshopper was hopping away unscathed, yet Leo didn't notice it. "Ya got away this time, but next time you won't be so lucky!!!" He screamed to the acres of uninhabited land. Leo suddenly felt tired, his chiseled, tense, face relaxed, he lowered and loosened his grip on his gun. He would just lie down, take a short nap....They couldn't find him here.....Just for a few minutes............


"Yes sir, he had stolen some drugs from the Institution. Says here that he actually wriggled out of his straight-jacket and used the metal buckles to pick the lock. A crafty little psycho."

"It's too bad all these young people are so.....unbalanced these days, lack of moral values is what it is wh-"

"Sir, he was 67."

Alex Sturtevant