Aphelion Issue 233, Volume 22
October 2018
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Norma in Dallas

by Matthew Spence

Norma brushed some of the hair out of her face as she checked her aim one more time. She was in the sixth floor of the Texas School Bookstore Depository. It was a dim room, lit only by a single sixty-watt bulb that cast a pale light on the white brick walls.

Norma checked her watch as sunlight broke through the clouds outside. It had been raining a light drizzle earlier. It was getting close to One P.M. She could hear the crowds on the street below beginning to cheer as the sound of his motorcade approached. She knew precisely where the caravan would be passing the Depository as it made its way past the old courthouse and the new Dal-Tex Building on the way to Dealey Plaza. There was no way for her to miss at this range, not after what the disturbed young Marine who had given her the rifle had taught her. She knew that he would be blamed for what she was about to do, but she also knew that her own sacrifice would be greater, even though no one would ever know.

I loved you once, or thought I did, Norma thought. The crowds' cheers became louder as she heard his car coming closer. You told me that all I had to do was wait, that we'd be together. I suppose we will, now...

Norma remembered the last time she'd seen him. It was after her final overdose, when she'd woken up from her coma and was told by the doctor that the rest of the world believed her to be dead. He came later, to tell her that it was over, and she had died inside then. She stayed hidden, as he asked her to, only to wait and plan for this moment, not content to live under another name while he pretended that it never happened between them.

Norma felt the crowds' cheers rising up like a wave as she saw him, smiling and waving, his wife at his side, both of them unsuspecting as she focused her aim at the back of his head. There would be questions, conspiracy theories. Oswald himself would be blamed, for putting her up to it, but this was all her idea, her plan. She'd make sure they'd remember that.

She pulled the trigger, the butt of the rifle kicking against her shoulder. The shots echoed as the poison she'd taken an hour before took effect. The cheers turned into screams as Norma heard the sound of her own breathing grow fainter as she lay down on the floor. As she fell into a deep and final sleep, the last thing Norma thought in her dying mind was how much the echoes of the rifle shots sounded like the beating of a drum.


2017 Matthew Spence

Bio: Mr. Spence was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

E-mail: Matthew Spence

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