Shooting Picasso by Vanna Tessier


The 9/11 surprise attack on the World Trade Center creates unimaginable chaos and grief in New York City. Ruthless opportunists try to take advantage of the ensuing panic, but a promising young reporter known for her no-holds-barred story-chasing hunts them down and soon finds herself at the heart of a criminal underworld.

How deep into that underworld, and her own past, is she willing to go? And more importantly, will she have the strength to face a drastic life change?


Inside the airplane, a swarthy man rushes out of the restroom. Concealing a razor knife within his fist, he stomps along the aisle. A lean-faced flight attendant stretches out one arm.

“Slow down. Take it easy. It’s not safe to run around here,” she says to him.

Jerking back his left arm, he grabs the slender flight attendant and shakes her.

“Quiet!” he shouts. He rams his razor knife against her throat. She fights back and scratches his face, leaving the red marks of her nails on his bristly cheeks. He pounds on her shoulder, shoving her against the side of a seat. Frowning, he threatens everyone with his razor knife.

One of the passengers, a sturdy man in a checkered shirt, pushes his briefcase against the attacker’s legs. The hijacker turns around tripping over the briefcase. The flight attendant frees herself from the terrorist’s grip.     

The hijacker regains his balance. “I have a bomb here.” He opens his blazer and he points to the bomb strapped to his waist. “Do as you’re told or you’ll get into trouble,” the hijacker warns with his harsh voice. His short, cropped hair can’t hide a few bald patches on the back of his pear-shaped head.

The husky passenger springs up and, with both hands, he circles the hijacker’s thick neck and squeezes it tight. The terrorist’s face becomes purple and his eyes seem to pop out of their sockets. He grimaces and stabs the passenger whose bulky body shakes in convulsion. A dark red stain of blood spreads, soaking through the passenger’s checkered shirt. The man gasps for air and flops back down onto his seat, his head lolling on his shoulders.

About Vanna Tessier

Vanna Tessier writes about the world we live in today. She believes reason and modern technology can enrich the quality of life allowing us to face changes affecting modern society.

Her fiction is at times broadcast on CBC Radio and her book reviews appear in The Edmonton Journal and The Edmonton Sun.

Gypsy Drums, her collection of short stories, was a finalist for the Howard O'Hagan Award. Another collection of short fiction, Thistle Creek, appeared before her book Sandweaver. She translated from Italian, The Last Waltz of Chopin, a novel by Gilberto Finzi. 

In 2002, Peppermint Night won The Poets' Corner Award.

She examines the challenge of survival within a forever mutating environment influenced by the onerous demands of our civilization coping with the threat of terrorism.

The author agrees we could find a refuge within the realm of our imagination leading us to discover a balance between reality as is and as we would like it to be.

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