Drop like a Rock

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Caught in a deadlock with two enemy snipers, Kate also faces inner conflict. Remember to comment, like, or/and subscribe!

Submitted: July 27, 2012

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Submitted: July 27, 2012

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That pesky sniper hid inside the house half-eaten by fire about 800 yards away. Between us, a thick, lush ravine straight out of Jurassic Park. I have him cornered, escape only possible by going through my killzone. My rifle, a "borrowed" Dragonuv, falls generations behind my opponent's robot-grade weaponry. I had placed myself on the highest ridge on the opposite end of the ravine amongst the thickest bushes where the ghillie suit will most efficiently. I'm a part of the scenery. I lay with the rifle's stock firmly rested against my shoulder. He wouldn't dare go outside for lack of better camouflage. His desert brown would definitely clash with the green environment. An ant bravely scaled the lens. I'm not going to move an inch lest I lose my sight pitch. The ant slides off the lens. Does it have any idea I'm here? For a fucking ant to ignore me actually reassured my hiding skills. This asshole has help, too: a spotter. Fortunately for me, he's not the brightest. The sun, with its light perpendicular to his position, spread his shadow over a ruined wall. I'll just walk my sights to where he must be standing. At this range, it'll take some fancy gun work to compensate the eventually astray trajectory. Another insect interrupts: a metallic-blue butterfly. I close my eyes, take a deep breath. Flashback to another more simple time when I sat beneath yet another tree, oddly enough, reading a book. Back when my hair was strawberry red instead of copper brown. Back when my mother pestered me about an unkempt room. A time summarized by a pony-tail wearing tomboy with self esteem issues trying desperately to be a lady. Some sad, hopeful girl getting lost in a romance book. Eyes on. Trajectory calculated. Trigger pulled. Previously perched birds squawk and chirp at the disturbance. A few years later, the house's drywall silently explodes in a dusty cloud. The shadow twists violently to the floor. Bogie down. This battle won't be fought forever. One of us will succumb, to hunger at the very least. In the meantime, I must sleep. The usual random, sporadic, irrelevant imagery flashes without pattern during my slumber. Then the spotter makes a cameo appearance. He daydreamt before I killed him. A father playing catch with his son. A young boy whose birthday he missed on several occasions. I'm there as well but as a silent observer. The dream melts away for more incomprehensible gibberish before I awaken. Fog hovered heavily over the dew-soaked foliage. Across the way, the house stood in a deathly silence. On the charred front lawn, the sniper buried his spotter with the rifle serving as the headstone. The helmet, which served him well according to its dilapidated state, had been placed on the buttstock of the spotter's assault rifle. No magazine remained on it. We stayed at this deadlock for several hours before the sniper tossed his rifle out the window. He walked into my killing field with a white flag waving for peace. I fired a warning shot. He didn't flinch. Stupid idiot! You can't give up! Get your gun and finish this. He did an about face to reveal just how unarmed he was. I fired another shot, closer this time. He yelled something inaudible... and with a warm neighbor-like smile. Truly unbelievable. The sniper waited patiently for me. Cautiously and against my better judgment, I fulfilled his request. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I met the rugged man. He seemed amiable despite the circumstance.

I offered a hand, "Kate."

He took it with a firm shake, "Robert."

"Any other instance and I would've gone up to you. But not like this."

"I doubt you could've found me."

"I've had a bead on you since you killed my spotter."

He had me in his crosshairs!

"Why didn't you shoot me?"

"Because I think you're beautiful," he said with hesitation.

How much of me could he see to decide that? I'm still head to toe in camo and anyone could've mistaken me for a man. His smile remained on his face as he emptied his clip, pistol at his hip. Wow, I failed. The last shot resonated deeper. It sounded like a high powered rifle. I fell at his feet with a throbbing in my eye socket. Oh. I'm still asleep and must've fired a round accidentally. Might as well wake up and switch the safety on to avoid another misfire. Everything I observed resembled the dream: burial, helmet, no magazine. And finally, the rifle being tossed out the window. My killer exited just as well with his little flag of peace. Switch safety off. Again, I fired two warning shots. The smile held the same message but I interpreted it with a mocking malice this time. Fool me once, shame on you. Blah blah. My index finger hovered delicately over the trigger, aching, itching to end his life. I pulled it. CLICK. The safety switch was on. Adrenaline buzzed through my veins. Safety off. Same butterfly as before. Would young Kate shoot a man? Too late now. Fire. Hit my mark. The butterfly's obliterated. Young Kate's in the past where she should stay. I meet the man anyway. Today, he tells me, is his brother's birthday. He pours wine from a stolen bottle into two glasses. We drink.

He pours another, "To his death."

"To his death."

We drink, "Well, I appreciate it. A lot. But you know what we must do. It's our duty."

I nod solemnly. After a quick salute, he turns on his heel, back to his "fort." I let the ghillie suit do its job and disappear into the foliage. This time, I don't assume my previous position. Instead, I continue walking onward. I wonder how long he'll stay there before he notices I'm gone?


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