The sky threatened another searingly hot day for tomorrow. Dusk was approaching, as the Mosques called for prayer.
It was peaceful.
Weston, Bentz, Harris, Tony and 8’s were headed down the rubbish strewn 2nd Street. It had been several weeks since the cluster fuck helicopter crash.
We were back in a routine and rested up. Intel suggested a building just a few blocks away was being used for a staging area. Bravo was going to check it out.
Harris the new Heavy Weapons guy was quietly wise mouthing with 8’s. The two of them were funny guys. 8’s funny in the way that he liked to make origami out of dollar bills. 20’s if he could get them !
Harris was a west coast drop out who had thought seek some level of fame by filming everything we did on a web cam attached to his helmet.
Well you tube didn’t think he was that good, nor was he that funny. It hard to see the humor until AFTER the firefight Monk thought to himself, sometimes its never funny.
We crossed Avenue B. The streets cleared rapidly.
“hey heads up team” I called. This is a bad sign I thought. We took a knee and scanned the windows, doors and alleyways. Nothing. Bentz called “this ain’t right Monk….this ain’t right.” The mood had changed from that daily routine type of feel to one of dreaded anticipation.
He was right. From the windows and doors opposite a hail of bullets caught us. I was in the middle of the intersection. “cover” I called. I ran towards the insurgent closest to me. It stunned him. He was not expecting me to charge him, on my left Tony our Medic hustled with me to drive some lead into the prick.
Bullets kicked up around me, stitching the ground around us. I heard 8 ‘s yelling at the insurgent opposite him. It sounded like he was hit.
Tony & I rushed the insurgent, firing at him dropping him in the doorway. Tony headed to Crazy 8’s side as I covered his movement. 8’s finished off his assailant as well. 8’s was pissed and had headed down the street limping with what looked like a minor wound to his hip. A dark staining was already seeping thru his webbing and uniform.
As 8’s rounded the corner he was struck again. He fell to the ground writhing in pain. Harris dove for cover, as the buildings on either side of the squad came to life with more tangos. I called to the squad to tighten up, as they had spread the length of the block. Weston was yelling at 8’s, who was firing aggressively down the street to close up.
Bullets started to come at Bravo thick and fast. Every single window was now alive with tangos. As they fell more replaced them.
The men from Bravo exchanged rapid looks among each other.
Monk looked up and down the street, there was nowhere to run, and no cover. He shot one insurgent aiming at Westons back, blood and grey matter smeared the doorway where he had stood. As Monk redirected his attention to fire coming at him from above , yet another enemy steeped to the bloodstained doorway. The chatter of the AK-47 in that doorway , drove Monk to roll away.
He was suddenly on his own.
In his own little world.
The muzzle flashes seemed to be coming from all over. Monk was disoriented. 2 bullets hit his vest forcing him back to the ground, as he was attempting to roll into firing position.
Grimacing he realized this was it. Really. “IT”.
Glancing away up the street, he saw Weston spun by bullets clutching his back as blood and visera spewed from his chest. The shots came from right above Monk. He had failed to save his teammate.
2 more bullets found their mark on Monk. One bullet struck his leg another high on the arm. His weapon fell to his side, his right arm useless. Scrambling for his side arm with his left hand he howled in pain. “Fuckers” he roared. Shrapnel seared his face as bullet fragments and cement cut him.
Tony the Medic turned to come towards him. Monk waved him off, “ No” he yelled thru blood and spittle. “No, get to base…arrrrgh….shit this hurts. ” He said to no one. He heard footsteps close by, twisting to see and aiming for the target he stopped.
A 12 year old boy. Much like his son would one day be he thought. Except for the hate, the anger in his eyes and the snarled lips full of hateful words. Much like the son he would never see again.
Yet still a boy.
With a huge fucking gun pointed right at him. The kid screamed at him. Monk sat back, breathed out slowly. Everything slowed down and the shooting stopped. He could not shoot the child. he lowered his weapon
He waited for it to end.