It was hot, and things were changing.
The Impasse de Caillous had been quiet for some time now, so the police sniper at the end of the street had relaxed. His gun was leaned up against the edge of his bulletproof cube, and he was enjoying a croissant.
Down on the street, Felix was less at ease.
The ancient rifle he held felt unnatural in his hands. He had never fired a weapon before. The sweat that dripped down his face was not the usual sweat that accompanied the ever-present sweltering heat of the city.
This sweat was cold. This sweat was of fear.
He breathed in and leaned out from behind the dumpster, prone on the dirty cement. He looked up through the iron sights of his weapon at his target.
He knew he would never hit it. The probability of shooting through the tiny hole in the bulletproof window was astronomically small; even if he was an excellent shooter, the weapon he was using was not at all accurate.
And he was not an excellent shooter.
He breathed in and out, trying his best to calm his nerves. Three shots, he thought, I just need to take three shots and then I can go back underground. Three shots and she will love me. Three shots and I will be the hero of the resistance without harming a soul.
He hugged his rifle tight to his shoulder and took brief aim.
"Merde!" the sniper screamed as the bullet hit the glass, burying itself deep into the thick shield that stood between him and anarchy. He scrambled for his rifle as Felix reloaded.
Their hearts pounded as one.
The sniper was still frantically scanning the street below him when Felix took his second shot. This one missed the glass cube altogether.
This time, though, the sniper had seen where the shot had come from. He had calmed down. He was in control now. He knew his job.
Felix had his back against the dumpster, swearing under his breath as he pried the jammed shell out of his rifle and shoved one last round in. He issued a little prayer and leaned out of cover.
A final shot rang out, and then the streets of Paris were quiet once again.