USA24-TheSlingShot
Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
Under the blazing sun, the campground buzzed with an eclectic mix of characters. The meek young man, an enigma to the campers, slipped in, eyes darting nervously. Among them stood a determined ER doctor in scrubs, a pensive corporate lawyer, and a nondescript teacher perched on a bench. Whistling to the birds, a mischievous ventriloquist added whimsy, while the master illusionist observed all from his seat. Lunchtime arrived, but so did tension. The meek man revealed a sinister side, brandishing a gun. His demand was clear: valuables and wallets into a reusable grocery bag, no phone calls allowed. The lawyer pleaded, “It’s not worth it!” Another camper echoed, “Thou shalt not steal.” But the gunman remained unmoved. Then, a mysterious whisper reassured the camp nurse: “We’ll handle this.” She eyed the veteran, who retrieved something from his backpack. Suddenly, an authoritative voice boomed, “Thou shalt not steal!” Was it the ventriloquist’s trick or the magician’s illusion? A blinding flash followed. In the chaos, a small steel ball struck the gunman, rendering him unconscious. The hidden slingshot wielder vanished, leaving campers in awe. The cops arrived, arresting the man. As they tended to the injured, curiosity buzzed—a heroic secret carried away, like the cherry-sized steel ball rolling across the campground.