Well That Escalated Quickly

In a nondescript outhouse in the joint security area of Panmunjom, Joo-won watches as the enemy completes its theatrical changing of the guard. Joo-won is wearing shades – his own side’s concession to the drama.

Opposite him now is Ji-hoon. Ji-hoon understands the lunacy of their situation. Facial ticks and eye twitches help each communicate a shared humanity.

To the side, tourists watch the charade. Larry, a rotund Chicagoan with a bum bag, offers a polo to his wife Bella, but she is clumsy and the polo falls to the wooden floor, rolling sickeningly across the line that divides the room.

‘Darn it,’ says Bella, who steps forward.

Ji-hoon, drawing on a lifetime of training, raises his weapon and barks an unintelligible command. Bella smiles at the man, crosses the line and picks up the sweet.

Ji-hoon stares at Joo-won, who offers a minuscule shake of the head. Ji-hoon says sorry with his eyes, focuses back on Bella, and shoots her through the head. Her brains splatter the floor, covering Larry’s grey slacks and white trainers. Joo-won raises his gun, shoots his friend and vomits.

Within two hours, three million are dead.


Mt first-draft of this came in at a very annoying 354 words, so had to decide whether to extend it to 500 or cut it to 200. I’ve gone short, but will expand it soon. It escalates a little too quickly for my liking 🙂