Jay Waitkus

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Illusion of Grandeur by Terry Conrad

Aug 14, 2011 by Jay Waitkus, in Editing Credits

Excerpted from Illusion of Grandeur by Terry Conrad

Private investigator Nick Frye and cult expert John Van der Zee search for a teenage girl who has run away to join a doomsday cult. What starts off as a simple extraction turns into a race against time, as the group's leader, the enigmatic and ruthless Daniel, seeks to turn his twisted visions into a horrifying reality...

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Chapter 1

THE room the sniper had chosen to take aim of his target was absolutely perfect. He couldn’t have chosen a better place if he tried, and the fact that he had found so perfect a spot only further confirmed his belief that God supported his mission. The sniper was hidden in an abandoned building just across the street from where his target had a speaking engagement, and the warehouse had quite a few windows which would make it harder for anyone to know exactly where the shot originated from. He had planned this moment for years now, and so far, everything was progressing just as he had planned it.

The gunman carefully loaded the cartridge for his M40A3 rifle, the same kind that the US Marine Corps use, and adjusted the telescopic sight so that it was aimed for where his victim would exit out into the open air.

A sweat broke out upon the shooter’s brow. New York certainly was hotter than he had expected it to be this time of year — maybe there was something to all this talk about global warming after all.

As he sat there in eager anticipation of the climax that he had been anticipating for quite some time, the shooter began to think back on other famous assassinations in US history. Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. all came to mind, but this would be bigger than all of them — this will be the biggest assassination in United States history! 

The sniper had to bring himself back down to earth — he was starting to get a big head about this task. This was not about him, it was about doing God’s will, not his own. He knew that deep down, but he cursed himself for having let his ego surface. He didn’t want or need to take credit for the kill — to God be all the glory. Any minute now and the event that would change the world would be done. I cannot turn back now. This is God’s will and I must obey… 

As the trigger man adjusted himself and got into position for the shot, his sleeve drifted up his forearm just enough to reveal a tattoo of Jesus, his beloved ancestor. He kissed his tattoo and said a short prayer that his mission would be accomplished on this day. He would likely not have another chance to take out such a high-profile, heavily guarded dignitary, and he would be lucky to escape without being caught. He knew he would succeed though, God was on his side.

The shooter briefly peeked his head out the warehouse window to see if the congregation of people had begun to exit the building across the street. He looked at his watch. Six o’clock on the dot. However, no one was outside, at least not yet.

Not too long now. It’s starting to get a little darker outside, so I hope his speech doesn’t run on too much…

Finally, the crowd began to exit through the front entrance. They lined both sides of the sidewalk, making a path for his prey. It was like the Red Sea parting for Moses, he thought, except that this man was certainly no Moses! 

Finally, the target emerged, waving his hand to greet all those who had shown him support today. He was completely unaware of the fate that would soon befall him.

Everyone here worships this man. I know better though. In order for the reign of Christ on Earth to begin, this devil, this anti-Christ must be eliminated. I am the one God has chosen to take him out. I must slay this Anti-Christ! The Beast must die… 

The assassin checked the aim on the firearm, directed it towards the victim’s heart, and pulled the trigger. Bang! Almost instantly blood stained the shirt of the victim as he fell to the ground. It was a direct hit, just as he had envisioned it would be. Chaos ensued out onto the street as every eyewitness panicked and headed for cover that was nowhere to be found. Bodyguards pulled out their guns and began to frantically search for where the bullet came from.

I don’t have much time; I must escape immediately!

The shooter hastily packed up his rifle and darted through the door. Just seconds after he entered the hallway, he already heard instructions being yelled by someone outside to surround the building and to cover all exits.

The shooter, however, didn’t panic at the sound of the enemy approaching. He had prepared, yes, even anticipated that he would have to escape another way. The shooter located the first room on the left, and entered it quickly. When he opened the window in the room, he was pleased to find his hand-made escape ladder was still in place. He descended down the rope ladder quickly to the small alley below where his car was stashed away. He removed the tarp covering it, and hopped in.

They probably thought I’d use the fire escape on the other side of the building, but I brought my own fire escape!

Driving away from the scene of the crime, thoughts of what he had just accomplished raced through his head. Although it was all for God’s glory, he couldn’t help but feel a little pride in a job well done. As he started his car and drove off, he gave the steering wheel a few hearty thumps — he was just glad that it was all over.

As he rounded the corner two blocks away from the mob scene he had created, he gave a quick glance into his rearview mirror to see if anyone was following him. No one seemed to be tailing him so he instead focused on the road ahead of him. Little did he know, but he had an armed visitor crouched in the back seat of his car, biding his time until the moment was right for an ambush.


Formats: Paperback, Kindle

Publication date: 8/14/2011

Publisher: Elizabeth River Press

ISBN: 9781257958061

Author: Terry Conrad

Editors: Jay Waitkus, C.B. Cooper, et al.

Cover image: NZ Graphics

Illusion of Grandeur copyright © 2011 Terry Conrad. All rights reserved. Image and excerpt used by permission.