What if?: Simon

Monday, April 24, 2006


Lost. He was lost. How in the hell did this happen? He was the great Simon. He never got lost. Years of training saw to that. Yet here he was. Lost. No map. No GPS. Just a compass and good Army training. That's all he'd ever needed in the past.

Off in the distance a twig snapped. Simon stopped, kneeled down close to the ground, and waited. He took in the sounds of the forrest. He could hear the squirrells scurrying about overhead. He could hear birds fluttering about overhead. He even thought he could hear a nest of baby birds. They sounded hungry to Simon. The smells were also there in full force. That's what he noticed first. The smell. What sort of man would go hunting for another man wearing cologne? It wasn't even good cologne. It was that awful Drakkar. It burned his nose.

He slowed his breathing to quiet himself. His right index finger fell instictually to the trigger of the gun in his hand. He was in the prone position. On his belly in the mud. Elbows dug in, steadying the weapon in his hands and supporting his weight. He had taken great care to make himself a ghillie suit. He had fasioned it from an old uniform, some burlap, camo netting and assorted bits of local vegetation.

Simon remembered sniper school as if it were only yesterday, instead of the seven years since he attended. The lessons learned there were ingrained into his very being. The words of the instructor were in his mind every time he put on a ghillie suit.

"The ghillie suit is your best friend. Your silhouette makes you a target. Without a ghillie suit you stick out like a sore thumb. Here you will learn to make a ghillie suit. You will learn that antenna and rifles are straight and nothing in nature is. You will learn that the human form is one of the most recognizable things in the world. You will learn to be silent. You will learn to be deadly. You will learn to be the baddest of the bad motherfuckers on the planet. You will learn that the only thing that can stop a sniper is G*d himself. And boys, even G*d doesn't fuck with snipers."

Entrenched in his little hilltop hiding spot, Simon waited. This was no big deal to him. Sniper school taught him how to wait. Sniper school taught him how to ration his food and water so that three days worth of food and water could last him twelve. Simon was a machine when he was in "sniper mode". He was attuned to his surroundings. He was capable of great patience. He was capable of staying in the prone position he was in currently for days at a time without moving an inch. This was like home to him. This was where he was comfortable.

Three meters to his left he saw the tell tale signs of an untrained human opponent. Granted the smell had preceded his foe by almost ten minutes. The mistaken step onto a dry, brittle branch had been five minutes before that and Simon knew then it was only a matter of time before this man would make himself visible. He didn't expect what he saw though.

This man was dressed in camoflage. BDU bottoms and top. A Marine cover on his head. Camo paint on all his exposed skin. The man must have thought that camo makeup was invisibility potion or some other sort of nonsense. He didn't stay low to the ground. He was upright and walking at a normal pace, with a normal stride. He wasn't taking any care into where or how his feet fell. He was like the proverbial bull in a china shop. Coming ahead and announcing to the world that he was here. No caution at all. Bullheaded and proud of it. And dead.

Pop. Pop. Pop. Simple as that. The one shot one kill thing was for the movies. Three rounds. Two to the chest and one to the head. The first shot usually did the trick. The other two were for "insurance".

Bright pink exploded against the man's chest. He let out a yelp and placed his hand to his chest. From out of the woods a whistle blew. Simon rose from his postion a mere five meters away. His opponent looked dumbfounded. Simon just smiled.

"Be glad they weren't bullets"

This is an excerpt from my soon to be self published novel. I'm in the editing process as we speak (or type as the case may be). Input most definitly welcome. Thanks for the invite!


Blogger Daniel said...

Interesting hook. As a short story, I don't actually like that it was just a training exercise - but as a lead into more of a story it works.

Not sure the relevance of the lost opening. You could almost lose the first paragraph and it would be stronger for it.

9:27 PM  
Blogger c.m.p. said...

Only thing that I'd have to say is that your syntax repeats at--

He could hear the squirrells scurrying about overhead. He could hear birds fluttering about overhead.

Other than that-great work!

12:12 PM  

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