It was a hot summer day and Gavrilo was tense and nervous. He was in a team and on a mission. An assassination mission as it happens. Gav was quite a minor player but he was there for the cause. The cause that obsessed him.
But it had all gone very very wrong.
The target was still alive. Very much so.
The first would-be assassin was Mehmed but had been spooked by a policeman behind him and had not thrown his bomb. Vaso was the number two but for some reason he had failed to use his pistol or bomb. The third attempt was by Ned who had his chance soon after, but his hand grenade had got lodged under the wheel of another car so failed to kill the target. But it did injure twenty or so of his entourage. Ned had taken his suicide pill and jumped in the river with the police after him, but they soon pulled him out. He’ll probably be executed. All Gav knew now was that the target was going to the hospital to see those injured by Ned’s bomb.
Gav felt that he and his comrades had lost their chance. He stood by Moritz Schiller’s cafe feeling totally despondent. After today the security would be increased with no more chances for them to get near their target. Suddenly, Gav heard something. It was the car – shit – right here and not moving. They must have gone the wrong way because the driver was trying to reverse in a real hurry. He’d stalled the engine. The car was standing still. This was Gav’s chance. He drew his pistol and ran towards the car. So anxious was he to hit the target that he failed to see the open drain cover that caused him to trip and fall, dropping his gun. He got up – the car had gone.
Gav looked around and was sure that nobody had noticed him or his gun so he turned and ran into the side streets. He felt lost, a failure, useless. He had let the cause down. Gav had failed to make history.
Gavrilo Princip. The man who didn’t change history. His bungling in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 meant that Franz Ferdinand was not assassinated that day. Because of this, at least three empires did not collapse, two major wars did not happen and arguably the basis for the one of the biggest genocides in history was not created.
But Gav knew none of this and all he wanted was a wee. And once he found a suitably quiet alleyway, a wee is what he had.