Redemption?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Thoughts as end closes in. Contains slight gore and language.

Submitted: March 20, 2012

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Submitted: March 20, 2012

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The bullets arced and spun, pinging off the concrete and shattering against the metal and shattering through glass. They hissed as they viciously cut the air. I could almost feel the heat from the little cones of metal as they spun faster than I could see.
I turned around the corner, facing towards my enemy, returning fire. Many were taking cover behind cars, concrete roadblocks, and various other obstructions. Dust was kicked up from the dry road. Thankfully, there were no buildings for them to take an advantageous position on me. My gun roared and lurched back into my shoulder as it sprayed fiery death down range.
Our orders were to hold this bridge, me and seven others. We were independent contractors, free to walk away at any time, the only risk was voiding our payment. As our enemy pressed on harder and with more and more troops and tanks and air support, the others either died, limped away, or ran. But I? Well, I may have been a mercenary, but I had honor. I didn’t always, but I’m not going to walk away from this, no matter how high the risk.
My gun roared once more, adding more volume to the hollow ringing in my ears. The metal struck two, dropping them both in a spray of blood. However, there were more than enough to return the favor to me, so I ducked behind cover as the metal orchestra played its song.
I steadied my breathing waiting for a break in the fire. I rolled to my right, switching to my grenade launcher and firing. I didn’t stay to watch as the fire blossomed behind their cover, instead rolling to the other side of my cover and firing on those driven out by the explosion but not killed. I saw the bloody clumps of those hit by the explosion. Someone less used to this may have wanted to vomit.
5 hours. I’d been out here five hours. Five bloody hours of shooting, hiding, shooting again. Contract was to hold for as long as possible, at least long enough for the real army to fall back and regroup. I had received radio chatter awhile back saying that they were in the clear. I think that was around hour three. I could leave this position if I wanted, but hell, I was outnumbered god-knows-how-many to one, and it was 45 miles across open desert and scrubland to the nearest settlement, and my bike was wrecked early on. I knew that I was going to die here, I’d made my peace with it. I think that happened around hour three as well.
I checked my ammo. I had about half a clip left, 25 bullets. I heard their shouting as they moved across the bridge. Somewhere, a clock started ticking down from 25. I sighed, clicking on a bayonet to the end of my gun.
One. Two. Three.
I rounded the right side, driving my bayonet through the light armor in ones stomach. I quickly removed it, ignoring the splash of gore on my boots. I unleashed a quick burst into a seconds skull. Pink sludge and blood sprayed outwards. Some would call this cruel, but I could see it in their eyes. These men were murderers of the innocent, rapers, pillagers, scum of the earth. People like me.
Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.
Bullets screamed towards me but I dropped to a prone, firing only three bullets at each enemy, more than enough to put them down. I quickly rolled behind cover, spraying the rest of my rounds blindly and then grabbing my pistol on my hip. As the metal seemed to crawl along the ground like a hungry serpent, I unhooked a grenade and held it in my right hand.
Yeah, exactly like me. That’s why I could kill them with no remorse. One, because I was that way, the other was because I acknowledged I also deserved a similar fate.
Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen.
I rolled around the corner, popping up and picking my targets. One shot each, through the nose. I was disciplined enough to hit them at the distance, ten meters. I dropped the clip, taking a knee to reload. My gun jammed after the first new shot though. Slap. Rack. Pull. Unjammed. I raised it again.
I was a real fucker. High school I ran with a gang. Dealt drugs, did em, ended up killing. It bothered me, but I didn’t stop. I was desensitized to it after a while, and it developed the skills I was using now. I became a merc thinking I could have the same glory and honor as a real soldier but without all the bullshit. Ha, a mercenary is just a better equipped gangbagner.
Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen.
I didn’t even hear the shot, merely felt the white hot jagged shard as it tore from my shoulder down my side, exiting just above my hip. I screamed. It hurt. I dropped down, and felt the blood pour out of me.

Even before I fucked around in the criminal underground I wrecked shit. I looked out for myself. Sure, breaking hearts doesn’t seem bad now, but back then it was bad. Especially when they got so emotionally attached they never get over you. Then die. By their own hand.

Seventeen. Eighteen.
I struggled to move to cover, but only one arm would respond. It was barely enough to pull me over, but gear scraping on the ground. The gunfire stopped, but slow careful steps came towards me. I rolled over, fumbling for my pistol.
What finally made me decide to do better was a man, a conscript in the very army I was fighting. Unlike his bloodthirsty counterparts, he didn’t want to be here. My bullet killed him nonetheless. He choked on his own blood, sobbing about how he didn’t want to be here.

Nineteen. Twenty. Twenty-one.

My pistol was kicked from my hand. I’m sure the sharp kick should have hurt but my limbs were so numb from the shock and lack of blood. I could only feel the large fleshy tunnel as it burned, making my breathing labored. Black fuzz danced on the edge of my vision, but I fought to stay conscious. I regained enough control of my hand to pluck the pin from the grenade. It had a four second fuse. Hopefully it'd do something.
After that, I actually tried to turn things around. I knew it wasn’t going to ever be enough, but I tried anyways. Most of my pay went away towards various charities. I volunteered for high risk missions that would do the most good. Like this one. Right now, all of us, not just me, had saved and were saving thousands of lives. This bridge was one of many, but this was hit the hardest. Luckily rubble had piled up enough to impede armored advancement. Either way, the advance was stalled, and the army had chance to regroup and dig in.
Twenty-two. Twenty-three. Twenty-four.
An enemy soldier stood above me, his black kevlar armor seeming to merge with with blackness around my vision. His face was invisible behind a mask, topped with a black and red helmet, but I could see his eyes. Cold, ruthless, hateful. He raised a black pistol, pointing it between my eyes, which were stoic, fearless, remorseful.
I’d done some good in the past couple months. Nowhere near enough to undo my mistakes or the mistakes of others, but good nonetheless. For whatever gods were watching at the time, I didn’t ask for forgiveness. I didn’t ask for leniency. I asked for nothing. I mean could it be redemption? I thought about this as I raised my right hand toward him. Curiously, he reached down, holding the pin from my grenade that I had drawn earlier. His eyes went wide with fear as I smiled sleepily, the black haze winning as crimson life poured from my body. I’ve done good. There were about to be two less assholes in the world. Redemption? No, but certainly an improvement.

Twenty-five

Bang.

 


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