a thousand faces

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 02, 2017

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Submitted: February 02, 2017

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A Thousand Faces

When you think of a job that makes you see a thousand faces you tend to think of a plain, meagre and monotonous job like a receptionist or taxi driver, but one job that you’ve likely not thought of is an Army Sniper. That was Cooper’s job, lying dormant like a cocoon ready to suddenly burst, staring at the horizon for endless hours waiting for a target to emerge and to see another doomed face.

In the new age of asymmetrical warfare, the enemy could be anyone and anywhere. Gone were the days where armies distinguished themselves in recognisable uniform, now the enemy could simply be a man on a phone, a woman in a robe or a child carrying a bag. It was Coopers job to decide who lives and who dies, a mind breaking ordeal, one the army simply called Positive Identification as if to make it sound less dramatic and crucial.

Suddenly a figure emerged from the void of the besmirched horizon, a young man by the looks of it. Wearing a long and large coat. Cooper focused his scope on him, watching the man trod about in the middle of a war-zone as if it were just a normal day.

Cooper watched him walk for a what seemed like an eternity, though it was merely a few minutes. Then, just as Cooper was about to withdraw his hawkish gaze, he spotted connected wires protruding from the long dusty coat. He sighed and in his near silent position devoid of any intrusive sounds could hear the thundering sound of his heart beating faster, faster and faster.

“So….are you an amateur electrician...or are you here for martyrdom?, either way you’re planning to light the place up I suppose” He chuckled softly to himself and then sighed at his morbid attempts at humour.

The moment was coming closer and closer, Cooper could feel it. To Regular infantry, tank commanders and combat pilots everything would be over in an instant, quickly skipped through thanks to the unprecedented speed of modern warfare, but for Cooper, it was almost like a slow and painful torture where seconds felt like minutes, minutes felt like hours and hours felt like days.

His finger slid gracefully over his rifles trigger and as each second passed, he would ever so slightly squeeze, squeeze and squeeze. A thunderous sound bombarded his ears and he felt the powerful jolt of the recoil echo through his body. He murderously peered at his target, waiting for impact.

And then it happened, not as many would think, it wasn’t like Hollywood movies where they would be dramatically catapulted upwards like a crash test dummy, instead they’d just slump down like a tired drunk and small pinkish mist would burst out from them.

No guilt clouded Coopers mind, he had done this a thousand times. Instead of the reality that he had just extinguished a human beings life, he simply told himself “Target neutralised”. A cruel and heartless evil ploy, but a necessary one.  


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