It was a long shot; not impossible, but pretty impressive; 447 yards, according to the range-finder. There was a significant breeze, blowing from who-knows-where, for which he had to account. Once she was squarely in the crosshairs, he took two deep breaths, slowly but steadily pursing the second one between his lips.
It seemed like the trigger action was at least three inches long. He was sure she would spook before the powder explosion could push the lead through the barrel and across the chasm that separated them. He swallowed as hard as he could, certain that anything less vigorous would have resulted in him choking on his own heart.
She dropped instantly, giving up the ghost almost before her head bounced off the ground. He raced toward his prey, first sliding down one side of the canyon, then struggling up the other. By the time he reached her, his heart felt like it would leap from his throat again, this time from anaerobic shock.
Five more minutes passed before he could think and breathe at the same time. He took the selfie-stick out of his backpack and attached his phone to it for the first time. The first few attempts were blurry, partly because he was in such a hurry that autofocus didn't have time to adjust, and partly because his hands were still trembling.
When he finally got the shot he wanted, he uploaded it to hootsuite, so that it could be uniformly spread on all his social media platforms at just the right time. He struggled to compose the perfect text to accompany the photo, uncharacteristically at a loss for words. Finally, inspiration came:
"I've pursued her relentlessly through the wilderness for nearly 40 days. At several points, I almost convinced myself that she didn't exist, but I had to be sure."
The picture's caption simply read: Certitude has finally killed Faith.
© 2015 Todd Jenkins