I saw the ad in my local paper: field sniper. I’d been laid off from the Wal-Mart in Orem.

Brenda was ragging me about my target practice, scaring squirrels at the bird feeders. So,

she said, go talk to this guy. Put yourself to some good use. We thought it might be to

control the deer population. Could get some venison. Who knows?

So, I met the man who calls himself Fred in Sugarhouse Park close to downtown.

When I pulled up I noticed the bumper sticker End the Fed. And the impressive gun rack.

Got one just like it in my Ford pickup. He wore camouflage hunting gear.

We walked while Fred hammered on about guns and the NRA. Told me people need to

wake up, buy semi-automatics. Before they start controlling everything. He used the

words social chaos. “We got to stand our ground without getting attention from the

authorities. Before it’s too late.”

I was a little confused. “So, what is this position for? The field sniper?”

He ignored me. “Any day now, the feds are gonna set up camps all over the country.

They already stored guillotines, racks, electric chairs. Have over a half million caskets in

the south, someplace like Alabama.”

The hairs were beginning to stand up on my arm. “Caskets? For the soldiers in Iraq?”

“Some day very soon, maybe tomorrow, the government will declare martial law.

Then the feds will move in to round up, kill folks like you and me. Civilians.”

He pulled a videotape from his jacket. “Watch this at home. You married?” I nodded,

looking at the tape in my hands. “Do yourself a favor, watch it when she’s not around.”

He got back into his truck, started it up. Rolled down his window. “Training starts

tomorrow. Directions are on the video, where to come. You in?”

I shrugged, forced a smile. “Sure.”