[Didn’t name it when I wrote it for the last of my dys fem flash fic pieces. Suggestions welcome. I’m considering ‘Grit’. Wrote a longer version before trimming it down, and foolishly didn’t keep it.]
My father told me I was a fighter, just before he lost his own fight. ‘The most beautiful fighter he’d ever seen.’ He imbued in me not only his resilience, his spirit, but years of training. I clip my hair short to mimic his own style. Joining the Forces seemed natural. I sailed through the Academy despite the snickers of my male peers, and graduated with the highest distinctions… then I asked to fight. They said no but I pushed back, then the media got involved. General Barnett, head of the Eastern conflict, publicly condemned my request: “No girl will fight while I’m in charge.”
So I’ve gone off the grid. Disappeared. Dad was gone anyway, who else cares? Now I fight alongside my brothers, albeit from a distance and under a cloak of anonymity. The soldiers tell stories of the ‘Shadow Sniper’, a brilliant rogue marksman. Little do they suspect. I lead the Forces’ best men by 14 kills. The desert is unforgiving, but my ‘weak’ female body survives. My father’s spirit, his training, lives within me.
I bide my time. The kill count rises, and the story finally breaks in the media. I’m a household name, once more in the papers. Who is this ‘strong, mysterious figure’? Strong. Too right. My crosshair falls upon its final target. General Barnett collapses to the ground and I smile. A week later, I walk into camp, to turn myself in…to a hero.