Routine Patrol

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A war thriller, full of suspense and an ending that you couldn't see coming

Submitted: May 07, 2008

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Submitted: May 07, 2008

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“Are you ready?”
The muscular, arrogant command officer shouted over the background noise of distant Black Hawks. My first day in the field, and already I was getting shouted at. But, after weeks of brutal training, you get used to it. I don’t even flinch anymore when I hear bullets fly past me faster than the eye can see. After months of training, I finally have been deployed in Iraq as another soldier in the ever-constant war on terror. But I have a greater sense of duty, especially after what the terrorist did to my…
“Pay attention private! Your squad will be split into pairs for the patrol mission. Don’t think just because you’re new that those suicide bombers won’t blow you away to hell. Stay together; cover each-others backs and most importantly, don’t die on my watch.”
The officer gave a wicked grin as he saw the expression on my face. Though this was routine patrol; car bomb, snipers and suicide bombers were still as active as in the daytime. In a squadron of six this would be easy to combat. But with an army of two, anything could happen. As I approached the chopper, a knot of nervousness formed in my side as I awaited my destiny.
Sweat poured down my face as we crouched behind a low wall in the deserted streets of the town we were assigned to. My partner, Frank Scott was a veteran and only had two weeks left of active duty. Expressionless, resolute and relentless; this was an ideal person of my inexperience to be teamed with. If this patrol was successful, I was hoping to receive high praise from him, which turn could advance my rank.
“Cover me.” He mouthed as he jumped over the wall and went for his next source of cover, a parked car on the side of the street. We just had to check this last building and then we’re finished. Frank looked back, pausing to make sure that I hadn’t broken my cover yet. I looked back, trying to figure out the reason for these sudden thoughts from the veteran.
BANG! The sound echoed long after the bullet hit its’ mark. I crouched lower, my palms were sweating and my heart was pumping out of my chest. It all happened so fast. Frank barely had time to…
BANG! A sniper. I saw the flash from the empty building as another shot was fired into Frank. Just thinking about it made me gag. Should I check on Frank? Should I go after this sniper? So many thoughts were running through my head. I didn’t even realize that I had…
BANG! A bullet whipped over my exposed head. Unconsciously, I was lifting my head over the wall. Now the sniper knew where I was. But he didn’t know what I was planning to do next. I let out warning shots then laid down and crawled to the other end of the wall. I was about to do the thing he never expected me to do. Enter the building which the sniper was shooting from.
I crouched trying to build up the courage to do what I planned. I visualized the three stories of the building in my mind. The flash had come from the second story but the “army” thing to do would be to storm all three. Alone. I could feel the desperation of my situation creeping in. If I didn’t storm all three floors, another sniper could be waiting to shoot me as I leave. On the other hand, I have limited ammo and skill. I was the wrong soldier to be in this situation.
I jumped over the wall and sprinted over to the car that Frank was originally going to use as cover. No gunshots. I looked over at the bloody body of Frank. His face, his expression, his eyes could have made anyone turn away from war. The doorway was only fiver meters away but it seemed like the longest run on my life. I slid the last meter and ended up on the side wall of the doorway. No gunshots. I peered through the doorway into semi-darkness. This would be harder than I envisioned. The first step would be sweeping the first floor. The first step seemed so hard.
I charged the entrance way and found myself in an apartment style building. I decided to only check rooms that faced the street. The first room was empty. The second room was empty. I was almost feeling confident when I went into the last room.
“Hands up!” I shouted as I saw an Arab man sitting cross-legged on the floor. A second look at his apartment showed a crib and his wife, who was crouched next to their child. The man, from the tone in my voice, automatically put his hands up. He looked like he could fight but obviously wasn’t brave enough against a gun pointed at me. He had a smirk on his face, as if he knew who would win the war. His wife didn’t look startled either as she stared back at me. Maybe he killed Frank. That’s why he was smirking, it had to be. My fear and paranoia were battling each other to influence my decision. Do it for Frank. Let it be a lesson. They can’t win this war. They can’t…
BANG! BANG! BANG! The man’s body was filled with three holes. Blood had already covered his plain shirt and his wife ran over to him almost too quickly. He could have been the sniper I convinced myself. It was me or him, I thought as guilt was finally setting in. How could I kill a man in cold blood? When he had a family? When he had a future?
I ran out of the room and crept up the steps onto the second floor. I looked down both hallways before sitting down on the top of the steps. My hands were shaking and my eyes were filling with tears. Am I a monster? I had no proof of anything but still decided to kill him. He had a family to support and a new baby to take care of. I looked down the stairs, where my darkest thoughts lay. I pulled myself together and moved into the hallway of the sniper.
I opened the door of the first room. BANG! I instinctively ducked and slid into the room. The room was empty. But what was the noise? More noise was coming from the next room. I crouched and opened the door to the second room. Gun pointed, I jumped into the open space where the noise was coming from. BANG! I laughed nervously as I realized what it was. What was the chance of a TV being on while a sniper was in a room close? A war movie was being played as it reached the climax of its story. I left it on, not to alert the killer with silence and continued my search. The last room. The room of the sniper. I left the second room and entered the last, ready for my destiny.
I threw the door open as I aimed at the ominous figure before me. I cut him down before he even had time to react. Gun still in his hand, he slid onto the floor which we both occupied. I had to see his face. The face of a killer. The face that’s haunted me since Frank was killed. I pulled his body over and looked triumphantly into his face…
A child. I recoiled in shock. He barely had a moustache and yet he was dead. My world was turning upside down. Everything I had been taught seemed to fail me. I was so shocked; I didn’t notice the footsteps behind me.
“Hands up!” A thick Arabic female accent shouted, dripping with sarcasm. I could feel her gun pointed on the back of my head. I turned and faced the woman who I had felt sorry for only moments before. I saw my life flash before my eyes. Then, I saw my destiny.
TO BE CONTINUED


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