oh my – some GOOD writing!

After Crane went to work, Margo took his rifle out and shot at the auto-reset target he had welded together for her at his old job.  It had four hanging targets along the bottom that flipped up when struck, and when she shot the fifth target on top, it reset all five.  She repeated that cycle twenty times without missing, reloading for each shot.  She even wore the spongy yellow earplugs that Mr. Peake had insisted on; he’d given her a big plastic bag of them, along with a stack of paper targets.  Then she got the little shaving mirror out of the bathroom and held it against the butt of the rifle and shot over her shoulder, copying one of Annie Oakley’s tricks.  After twenty-some rounds going awry into the side of the hill, she hit the paper bull’s-eye affixed to a piece of plywood, and then she hit it ten times in a row.  The shooting warmed her enough that she could unzip her Carhartt jacket–one of her daddy’s that she had claimed.

At noon she sat on the riverbank and ate a fried egg sandwich on store-bought bread.  Joanna would have baked at least a dozen loaves fresh for the party, plus a cinnamon loaf for breakfast tomorrow.  Margo raised her rifle and aimed across the river at each person who showed up at the Murrays’.  After a few hours, when the wind shifted, she smelled the meat roasting.  She could hear the music coming out of the outdoor speakers.  She aimed at Billy.

“You planning to take out some partygoers?:”

The man’s voice startled her. . . .


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