Click (short story)

She leans back in the wooden chair, soft flannel sleeves riding up her elbows as she studies the framed black-and-white photographs on the wall. “The perfect shot is all about patience.”

The man, a stranger she met only five minutes ago, nods slowly, sipping his cup of coffee. No cream or sugar. “For me, being able to get a stable aim is the key. Do you use a tripod?”

“I try to whenever I can, but circumstances don’t always allow.”

He sets down the coffee mug, taps his fingers against the tabletop to a sharp staccato. “True. Sometimes life gives you the perfect shot when you’re least expecting it.”

She inclines her head and adds two lumps of sugar to her tea. “Getting the right angle can also make or break a take, but when you hit it at that prime degree . . .”

“Magic,” he finishes solemnly, the corners of his mouth lifting.

She flashes a glass smile at the man in the black t-shirt. He doesn’t understand me. The exquisite, slow-building thrill of setting up and waiting for the perfect finale. It wasn’t magic. It was hours upon hours of meticulous planning.

He flashes a warm smile at the woman with soft eyes. She understands me. The serendipitous nature of capturing that perfect, candid moment. It was the Universe’s magic. It was something that couldn’t be planned.

She finishes her tea and stands. “It’s been a pleasure talking with you, but I’m afraid I have to run.”

He rises as well, leaving a couple dollar bills on the table. “Perhaps we’ll cross paths again. Until then, may all of your shots be perfect.”

“And may all of your aims be true.”

The photographer walks away from the café, his hands itching for his camera.

The sniper watches him go, knowing she would see him through her scope tonight.

Note: This micro fiction was inspired by a story prompt found on Pinterest.

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