Perspective Study

Note: Was an assignment to be based on a news story, written about three or four years ago now. This story loosely based on:

3rd Person Objective

The mayor walked down the street, looking at his watch every few minutes. Mr. Tanaka’s limo was parked a few blocks away. With his shirt untucked, he turned down the street towards the Nagasaki station. His hair was greased back and he smiled and waved to every person he passed. To those that smiled back he tried to give a pin and a flier. Most looked skeptical but smiled and bowed, taking the paper with them.

When Mr. Tanaka tried to give one to a woman carrying groceries, she lost grip of the bags and food spilled everywhere. Immediately he let out a stream of apologies and picked up the food that could be saved. The rest he told her he would pay for. He took her receipt and asked for her address, promising to send her the money. She shook her head, but he smiled and insisted. Looking back down at the ruined food she agreed and gave him her address.

Mr. Tanaka arrived at the station a few minutes later. Just before he turned to walk in the door three gunshots rang out across the street. Anyone within hearing distance ducked. Mr. Tanaka staggered and fell to the ground. A woman close to him began to scream as blood poured out of two holes in his back.

A figure all in black lowered his gun and smiled. He stood there for a moment, then started running in the opposite direction. Policemen were already chasing him. Once they were close he stopped running and just smiled at them. They forced him to turn around and put handcuffs on him. While a car with lights on the top of it took him away, another vehicle with lights flashing took Mr. Tanaka.

1st Person

I held my breath, watching the man stare at himself in the mirror of the limo. He flashed a smile at his reflection, then turned away and started walking down the street. The limo driver offered to take him to his destination, but Mr. Tanaka refused, saying he wanted to help as many people on the way as possible. When the mayor turned away I saw the limo driver wear an expression that mirrored my own. We both knew what a fake that man was. In my mind I dedicated this mission to that poor man forced to drive him around.

The mayor was already almost out of my line of sight. I hurried forward. If I lost him now, I would never forgive myself. This was no man. He was a pig, and if he was re-elected, the atomic bomb might as well be redropped for us. He was unworthy and didn’t respond well to threats or bribes. If he held the office again, we would have even less freedom to do what we wanted.

I shook my head. Those thoughts didn’t matter any more. What really mattered was my aim. That’s all it came down to. I looked around, staring at some of the people who passed me. Some of them now held pins given to them by that pig. They didn’t know, but I was about to save them.

I leaned against a wall as he picked up a woman’s groceries. Like all the messes he cleaned up, they only existed in the first place because of him. The woman looked incredibly nervous, and kept bowing to him. He wasn’t worth bowing to. I’d save her today, too. When he had nearly reached the station, I knew it was my time. I pulled out the gun I had been hiding and held it out in front of me. I aimed as well as I could and shot three times.

He crumpled to the ground so easily. I couldn’t help but stare, smiling. After all this planning, it had actually worked. He would die, I was sure. I realized that I probably shouldn’t be standing around, so I ran back the way I had come. I heard feet behind me, and that’s when I finally understood. I didn’t want to hide. I wanted everyone to know it was me, to know they had me to thank. Smiling at them, I figured they must understand what it was I had done for them. Instead they looked scared and angry. Not understanding, I got into the car.

3rd Person Limited

Mr. Tanaka was excited. Today was the day he planned to at last spread the news about him running for re-election. He was confident that the people of Nagasaki were happy with how things had been in the last few years. They would certainly want him in office again, after all, why shouldn’t they? Nearly everything that was supposed to go up had gone up, and what was supposed to go down had.

Not to say everything had been perfect. The Yakuza had tried their best to get him to do whatever they wanted. He couldn’t count the number of bribes he had been offered, or the number of subtle threats he had received. Still, he wouldn’t let it bother him. Especially not today.

The limo driver insisted that it was dangerous, and that walking out in the open was just asking to get attacked. Mr. Tanaka disagreed. It had been too long since he had been able to simply talk to people about the issues surrounding the election. He didn’t want them to think he was a stuck-up guy, handing out fliers out of the windows of a limo. Instead he decided to take the train, and talk to the people on it.

It was such a beautiful day outside; he couldn’t help but approach the people on the street as well. Mr. Tanaka groaned inwardly when he accidentally knocked over a woman’s grocery bags. She kept trying to refuse his money, but he wouldn’t hear of it. Every vote mattered and it wouldn’t look very good if he just walked away after destroying her groceries.

He was almost to the station now. As he passed by the window he glanced, just making sure his hair wasn’t wildly out of place. After the way the woman with groceries had looked at him, he wouldn’t have doubted it.

Suddenly he heard three loud bangs and felt as if two trains had slammed into him. Mr. Tanaka tried to keep his balance, but then he started to feel the pain spreading from the holes like a worm, burrowing through the rest of his body. He dropped to his knees, then completely fell over. He tried to make sense of what just happened, but just as the word ‘bullet’ started to echo through his mind, everything went dark.

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