In the morning we’re back on the roof with Sam setting up paper targets held in little metal boxes. I walk back a bit and he hands me something that looks a bit like my shotgun but doesn’t quite feel the same.
“What’s this?” I ask.
“It’s a BB gun,” he says.
“I’ve been using a shotgun,” I say.
“And been missing, right?”
“Yeah, but – ”
“Yeah but I don’t want you missing and shooting your foot or me. A BB’s a lot easier to deal with than a bullet.”
“Yeah, okay,” I roll my eyes.
“Go ahead and show me how you’ve been shooting.”
I put the end of the gun against my shoulder, try to aim and then pull the trigger. There is some kick but it doesn’t exactly hurt – it’s startling more than anything. There’s a bit of noise too.
We both walk to the target and kneel down to look at it. I pick it up and examine it, but I can’t find any sign of the BB.
“Where is it?”
“Out there somewhere,” he points off the end of the building. “You missed it completely.”
I make a face at him.
“Come on back and I’ll show you a few things.”
I walk back and act like I’m going to shoot again. Gently he turns my waist a bit and then repositions my fingers.
“When it comes time to fire, gently squeeze the trigger. Another way to think of it is to roll the trigger back.” He stands behind me, looking over my shouder as I fire again. We walk back to the target.
“Hey! I shot it!” I point proudly to the mark on the edge of the paper.
“Good job,” he smiles. “Now let’s try to improve that aim.”
We walk back and I shoot again. I do about the same, just in different spots, a couple of more times.
“So what do you think is throwing you off?” he asks.
Thinking about it, I raise the gun and try to aim.
“It seems like every time that I try to focus on the spot that I want that the gun wobbles a bit.”
“Very good. We think that we hold things still, but really we don’t. We kind of shift all the time and just don’t see it. So try a very tight grip on the gun, and then before you’re about to shoot, hold your breath.”
I tighten my grip, line up my sight, and take a huge, deep breath. Then I slowly squeeze the trigger. I hurry to the target, my heart jumping from the excitement. This time my BB hit the circle around the inner ring – much closer to the bulls eye than ever before.
“Much better!” Sam says, and I grin.
He sets up another target, and then we both shoot for a while. By the time we finish, I’m hitting the bulls eye every once in a while.
“Thank you Sam! That’s much better!”
“You’re a good student.” He smiles. “Now before we go in, let’s try one more time, with a real gun, pointing at a real target.”
“Do you mean one of the zombies?”
He leads me back over to the far corner with the picnic table. On the ground are more guns, and this time they look more like what I’ve seen like in movies – including with scopes. Sam hands me one.
“What is this called?”
“Do you really want to know, and will you really remember it?”
I think about it and then grin. “No, not really. Kind of like with cars.”
“Un-hunh, that’s what I thought. It’s the pretty black gun, then.” He says.
“Dork,” I give him a dirty look, but he just grins back at me and hands me the gun.
“Look through the scope first.”
I look through the scope, pointing it at the zombies. Oh God. I can see them pretty well. I scan the crowd, flowing through the slow ones until I come to a male that’s standing still. His fingers grip the fence, and without the big hunk of flesh hanging from his cheek reminds me a lot of my third grade teacher. I didn’t like my third grade teacher much.
“Yeah,” I say while trying not to move much.
“Then squeeze the trigger. The kick will be a bit more.”
I slowly squeeze and he’s right – there’s definitely more of a kick.
“Did I get him?”
“Look through the scope.”
“I think I got him in the shoulder,” I point. Sam borrows the scope from me, following to where I’m pointing.
“Not bad. Not bad at all. I think you’re going to be good at this.”
“Thanks.” I like that look in his eyes – that look like I did something right, and he’s proud of me.
Then it hits me. There’s something missing. Some one missing.
“Hey, where’s Cassie?”