A hitman is a person who kills people for money. A professional assassin.

But that isn’t what this write-up is about.

While digging through my box of old short stories, I came across this. I probably wrote it in ninth grade. I’m sure the idea isn’t that original (now that I look at it I’m reminded of the Running Man), but I certainly enjoy it.

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(Fade in)

ERIC: Hello. I’m Eric Pardel, and welcome to Hitman, the reality show where contestants kill to get money, literally. Today we have Senator McNabb of Illinois. Senator, what was your reaction when BIGOTA Network contacted you?”

(Cut to senator)

McNABB: Surprised. I’ve always been a fan of the show.

(Cut to ERIC)

ERIC: Great because today Mr. Robert Banfil of Dallas, Texas will have the chance to win nine hundred thousand dollars if he can assassinate you.

McNABB: Bring it on.

(Cut to BANFIL)

BANFIL: I’m coming McNabb!

(Cut to senator)

ERIC: Senator, do you have anything to say to that?

McNABB: I just want to let you know that I’ve got security like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve got heavily armed MPs, all who can recognize the contestant. I’ve given them orders to shoot on sight.

(Cut to ERIC)

ERIC: And you’ll need those MPs and I’ll tell you why. In just a minute, folks, McNabb will exit the Dallas studio, enter a motor cab, and take the same route JFK took before being killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Banfil has five hours to kill the senator. Can he do it? Will he win nine hundred thousand dollars? Find out today on Hitman. We will now switch to our contestant’s head-cam.

(Cut to head-cam)

ERIC: You can see at the edge of the view the automatic hunting rifle we got on loan from Winchester. It was originally designed for blowing the brains out of deer and other defenseless animals, but today it will serve a more noble purpose; to entertain you! The loyal fan who makes shows like this possible.

(Camera swings wildly as if the camera man is running)

ERIC: You’ll notice as Banfil runs that the streets are clear of pedestrians. To prevent civilian casualties we had the Dallas PD clear out the area. Yes, folks, WE are in control of Dallas.

(Camera tilts around and an MP comes into focus)

ERIC: Oooh… Well he won’t be serving this country any more, and I thought Banfil was kidding when he said he took a course on fire arms. You’ll notice the gapping bullet wound in the skull. You see, other lesser reality shows will censor graphic images, but not Hitman. You see this is how we deliver the pure entertainment factor. Plus, this show is endorsed by Jerry Falwel, so you know it’s family entertainment.

(Fuzzy gun shots come over the camera pickup)

ERIC: Two more of the United States’ finest taken down. For those of you just tuning in this is Hitman, your alternative to a kick in the crotch. Today we’re featuring Senator McNabb of Illinois. The assassin is Robert Banfil, a life time resident of Dallas Texas, who has a wife and two kids. Make the fam’ proud, Robert.

(Camera tilts around a fence)

ERIC: Mr. Banfil has chosen an unusual direct attack on Senator McNabb’s motor cab. This could work; Mr. Banfil has already shown himself to be good with guns. That or this’ll be the shortest episode ever.

(Another MP goes down)

ERIC: Can we zoom in on that?

(Camera zooms in)

ERIC: Would you see this kind of entertainment on HBO Family? I don’t think so!

(Camera zooms out)

ERIC: Uh oh! Banfil has to reload and THERE GOES McNABB’S MOTOR CAB!

(The gun appears on the screen again)

ERIC: Banfil is back and firing. Folks! I think the driver’s been hit! Yes! The car has crashed into a light poll. I think this the end of Illinois’ least popular liberal!

(Camera approaches McNabb)

ERIC: This looks like McNabb’s goose is cooked. Wait! Folks, the senator has pulled out a gun and has opened fire on Mr. Banfil.

(Camera tilts crazily and hits the ground. It now shows a view of the sky. Blood flecks the lens)

ERIC: Folks! The senator has just pulled off a surprise victory! Let me confirm that… Yes, the senator has killed Banfil. Senator any comments?

(Cut to a sweaty senator)

McNABB: Thought he had me there.

ERIC: So did we senator, so did we.

(Cut to ERIC)

ERIC: Well folks, that’s it for today. Tune in tomorrow when we will feature gay rights activist Lisa Annropes being chased through a dense wood by an insane Milwaukeean. Until next time I’m Eric Pardel signing off.

(Fade to black)

At some point in my high school career (senior year?) I took a creative writing class. I submitted this story for review by my fellow classmates. I wish I could find those reviews so I could put them here. They range from humorous to down right absurd. One wonders if they even read the story. The only one I remember clearly is the one from a girl who thought the whole thing was too intense. Okay, whatever. I don’t think it is intense at all, but I suppose it is up to the reader to decide.

The above story may have gotten a C or D. The teacher’s excuse was something like, “Don’t you think it’s too violent?” I told her that most of the violence is never actually described. The only thing you “see” is flecks of blood. She told me that I have talent but I need to pick better topics to write about. I replied that what I want to write about is my own business and that grading people on their chosen topic instead of quality of content was nonsense (I wanted to say bullshit, but I suspected that was a really bad idea). I don’t remember what she said to that, but I do remember it wasn’t satisfactory.