"That's it, lean in close, cheek against the barrel, not too hard - you don't want it to take half your face off" he said.
"Okay..." carefully, I mimicked his early instructions, cheek against the barrel of the shotgun, weight on the right foot, -slightly forward, left hand on the trigger. Poised.
"Close your right eye, keep your left eye on the target...and when you're ready, let me know" he coughed into his tartan hanky, wiped his nose and scrunched it back into his vest "ready?"
"Ready" I said, though clearly, I wasn't.
"3,2,1...." he released the target "NOW follow the target...wait for it to hang...and hit it at 6'0'clock"
Breathing deeply, I scrunched my right eye shut, followed the target... up, up, up. I squeezed the trigger, hoping against all hope that I'd just hit the bloody thing. The butt of the shotgun pulled back into my left shoulder, and though padded I could feel bruises already forming under my skin. Big girls don't cry, so I didn't say anything.
"Oh, good shot -but you opened your right eye at the last moment..." he shook his head.
"Ah...well I tried" a nervous giggle caught in my throat.
"Yes, now I want to you to do that again and hit at least five more targets"
Five more targets? I bit my tongue. Could I do that?
"Ready?" he asked, wiping his brow with the tartan hanky.
"Ready" I said and lifted my shotgun.
A/N: My sojourn to the countryside flew by so quickly! There was much reading, writing and relaxing, and I even managed a little clay pigeon shooting, which I had to write about. The shooting coach was a funny little character with far too many medals to mention. As I listened to his excellent instruction, I thought -this pounding shotgun into my shoulder is a little like writing, its repetitive, it hurts, but the exhilaration of hitting a target far outweighed the pain. At least, thats what it feels like this week, how about you? And, yes, dear friends, I may be addicted.