The woman rolled slightly to lift the weight from her left side, slid her right hand into her jacket and tugged the bra strap to free her breast from the cleft between her upper arm and chest. Withdrawing her hand, she then squirmed into a more comfortable prone position and took up the slack of the weapon’s sling against her forearm, by repositioning her left elbow.
Aiming down at a target could cause a careless sharpshooter to underestimate the distance. However, she knew the exact range to each point in her arc of fire, stretching from the corner of Stilovic Street, formed by two sides of the high-rise apartment block, and at the other extreme, bounded by the arched doorway of the play centre.
On her first day on this sector of Sarajevo, the initial shot to test the range had bisected the head of a stray dog scavenging close to the roundabout. Four hours later, her assessment of the range was confirmed when she made the first kill of her assignment. The old woman was the beginning of a chain that included two other women, a middle-aged man and a French Legionnaire wearing a flak jacket. She brought him down with a headshot.
Not all of her shots killed instantaneously; she had seen movement after some strikes, but she was confident that the wounded would not get up. A hit with the Dragunov was invariably fatal. The tearing effect of the slug was horrendous, and the resultant haemorrhaging was massive, to say nothing of the shock caused by a strike anywhere on the human body. Read the rest of this entry »
At first, when they found that they were denied passage through inhabited lands, the Hebrews avoided confrontation by prudently skirting these areas. But as they grew in strength and numbers, they began to fight those who would not allow them to pass through peaceably. As they had God on their side, they invariably won these battles, whereupon they took possession of the lands and slaughtered the inhabitants, sparing only the virgins for their own personal use. Of course, they were careful to purify the girls before using them, lest the Hebrew men be defiled. No doubt the maidens felt highly honored to be made use of by such fastidious men.
When they reached Moab, near Jericho, the King of the Moabites worried that his country would be overrun in turn, so he summoned Balaam the seer, offering him honors and rewards to put a curse on the Hebrews so that they could be driven away. After much coy hesitation—possibly designed to drive his price up—Balaam agreed to meet with the king but he made no promises, for he’d heard that the Hebrews had been blessed by a very powerful god.
Balaam climbed on his ass and set out for Moab, but the ass startled him with an assortment of uncharacteristic antics, bolting off the path, squashing up against a wall—crushing Balaam’s foot in the process—and most inconveniently falling down flat on the ground under him.
Balaam’s beatings elicited an unexpected response from the ass. “Hey, don’t blame me! An angel made me do it,” she said.
“An angel,” scoffed Balaam. “I doubt it.” Read the rest of this entry »