Click

A short story about the mission of a sniper veteran. Inspired by the many great war films that I am a fan of, this is my interpretation of a sniper soldier behind enemy lines. It isn't meant to be written 'well' I just allowed my imagination to write the words for me. I hope you enjoy reading it :)

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1. Click

I lay there motionless. I knew they were looking for me. I was dead silent, not even breathing. They would locate me in a heartbeat if I so much as inhaled. I could hear them talking, confused and fed up. They knew I was there, but they just didn’t know where ‘there’ was. Same old story, this was the 14th time this month. Today was more exciting though, they decided to bring the dogs out. No less than 5 guards with dogs, yappy little buggers. I say little loosely, they were basically bears. But I knew how to handle them. They had a good sniff for me, oh how they tried. But nothing, just barks for the sake of it. And with that, they left. They practically walked right over me and disappeared up the road. I couldn’t tell the time, but I’d gotten used to the routine enough to tell night fall was approaching, so I settled down ready for the real fun to begin. You see, because of the lack of daylight, they feel it safer to move their supplies after dark, oh how wrong they were, or at least will be. So I was lying there, just for a change, about to doze off. But then the rumbling started. You remember the supplies I mentioned earlier? Well today was special, kind of like terrorist Christmas. They had recently stormed one of our bases up north, the main reason I was setup here I guess. They decided that we didn’t want 7 Challenger battle tanks anymore so they ‘kindly’ took them off our hands. This was a problem for us. Those tanks not only cost a lot of money, but are also an extremely dangerous asset to our forces, and even more dangerous in the wrong hands. Therefore, we want them back. So anyway, back to the rumbling. What you have to remember is that 1 of these tanks weighs upwards of 70 tonnes. Now, bare in mind that there were 7 of these things, that’s a lot of weight for a crappy desert road in the middle of nowhere. They rolled straight past, not even a hint of hesitation. Nobody knew where I was, that’s a feeling I’ve always enjoyed. They drove up the road a bit and up to the main gate. When they slammed on the brakes, you knew about it. The shrieking that radiated from those iron beasts is something you don’t forget. As if from a horror film or some Greek tragedy. The gates rolled open and the tanks vanished behind the fortress walls. I say fortress, I mean mud hut with machine gun emplacements.  And with that, my night was over. Job done, time to sleep. So I slept, and deeply too. You’ll be surprised how comfortable the hot sand is at night when temperatures plummet to around freezing. I was awakened by the rookies training on the range. Trust me, they would need a hell of a lot more practice than that. Time for the usual morning call to HQ. Situation updates, ammo count, physical health, they even test for mental illness! Today was the day. Finally time for me to do what I get payed for. Here was the situation. We had a salvage squad en route to recover the tanks, but the problem is those machine gun emplacements were actually surprisingly effective. My job was to decommission them. Just another day at the office. Well….. My office. The start is always the best part, I get to plan out my tactics, heavy metal music and kick ass slow motion bullets are a mandatory requirement in my head. After a few minutes of careful planning, I was ready to go. Quick inventory checklist. Sniper rifle, check. Pistol, check. Silencers equipped, check. Combat knife, check. Ammo, check. Page 3 girl poster for luck, check….. Don’t ask. And off I went. This is the part where it gets serious, if anything, even the slightest mishap were to occur, I’d be on my own. Upon my capture there is a protocol in place that instantly dismisses me and my rank, and the government back home denies any and all knowledge of my presence in foreign countries. And so it began, I snuck up to the first gun emplacement, after a quick sprint from my hobbit hole style encampment. A quick look over the mound reviled 3 guards, 1 of which was facing my direction with the other two facing away. After a final ammo check I leapt over the mound, unloaded a round on one guy’s head and pulled my knife out, all before hitting the floor. The other two guards turned around, but before they could do anything one of the found a knife in his throat while the other took a bullet to his. It’s a bloody business, but look on the bright side, it’s more fun than being a lawyer. Ok, so 1 post done, 2 to go. Nobody knew I had taken out one of the emplacements yet, and I wanted to keep it that way. So I did what any half decent human would have done, rolled the bodies off the mound and out of sight. After all, we wouldn’t want the base to stink. Next, I had to find my way into the service pipe that ran under the main gate across the road, too many patrols to go full frontal. Luckily, there was a grate on the floor just past the first pool of blood. This was probably one of the hardest parts about my job, crawling through pipes. Count my blessings it wasn’t a sewage pipe. Just as I was in the centre of the road, a truck laden with supplies drove overhead. The cloud of dust it kicked up poured through the grating and covered me. How I wanted to cough and remove the dry coarse dust from my throat, but I couldn’t. I had to keep on going with an irritating scratch all through my throat. Second emplacement in sight, this one was easy to handle. There was only 1 guard and he was fast asleep with his feet up. He was in a perfect position for a shot at his head. I looked around, checked my silencer, and then got into position. You have to control yourself when you take a shot. You have to slow your breathing and have a firm controlled grip of the rifle, it’s a skill that requires the highest level in my job. So I lay there, staring through the optics. Cross-hair perfectly positioned on his forehead. Wind low. Breathing slow. Surroundings quiet. Perfect conditions. I waited, breathing slowly. I could feel my pulse slowing to almost zero as I stared through the optics, trying to keep that cross-hair lined. I waited….. Click. In the blink of an eye that guard was off his chair and on the floor. Not a sound and nothing more to see. Onto the last emplacement. This was going to be a hard 1. There were 4 guys, all facing different directions. It would be impossible to burst in and kill them all without at least 1 of them making a sound. Long shots were also not an option because of the slow rate of fire of my sniper rifle. I would have to come up with something clever, and that’s when I noticed it. There was a tin can perched on the side of the mound, within sight of one of the guards. So I kneeled down and took a shot at it, nothing too hard, it was only a can after all. The can pinged off down the side of the mound. The nearest guard saw it flicker in his eye so he approached the side of the mound and had a look over the edge. With that, I took another shot at the can, it pinged off once more. The guard saw this one up close and got very confused. So he did what any curious idiot would do, he walked off the mound and went to pick the can up. This was the perfect moment, so I kneeled down once more, wiped off the barrel with my sleeve, and click…. He was gone. 3 guys left and I now had an opening to get close to the mound. I crawled up as slowly as I could. I was now within ear shot of all the remaining guards, so I couldn’t do anything to make a sound, I was reduced to a snail’s pace.  I got within arm’s reach of the top of the mound when suddenly, and out of the blue, one of the guards stuck his head over and saw me. We made eye contact for at least a second. His dazzling foreign eyes stared into my emotionless face. Before you could blink, I extended my knife and with 1 fell swoop, I carved his neck in two and his lifeless body rolled over the edge, somehow not making a sound. The final 2 were completely clueless. So there I was, 2 kills away from completing my mission, not a soul knew that I was there. This was brilliant. I slowly slipped over the side of the mound onto the emplacement. The last 2 guards had their backs to me. The only problem was that there was a good 5 meter spacing between them so I wouldn’t be able to engage them both at the same time, and they were at least 10 meters away from me, so close quarters combat was out of the question. And that’s when I noticed a small shard of metal pipe sticking out of the concrete floor just ahead of me. So I thought, why not. I took a knee, raised my scope, and took a firm grasp of the rifle. I recited a quick and simple prayer, as is tradition for a sniper. Yay though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. I rested the butt of my rifle against my head, took a breath and then returned the optic to my eye. My breathing slowed, and time seemed to stop around me. Click….. Like something out of a movie, the bullet shattered against the metal shard, and split into several small fragments. They splintered off the shard at the speed of sound and pierced both guards almost simultaneously. As they began to fall to the floor I pulled out my pistol and proceeded to shoot one guard who was only a second away from screaming out in pain. He never got to scream. The other guard lay motionless on the floor. As I approached him he started to fidget in obvious discomfort, but remarkably with no sound. I leaned over his bloody face and he looked up at me with his emotionless eyes. We made eye contact for a good 5 seconds without a word being said. It is as if I had met my worst enemy and my best friend at the same time. I will never forget his face. He then stared at my hand with fear in his face, and that’s when I noticed my pistol was pointing at his forehead. I took aim and held out my hand…… Click .

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