The peaceful green valley echoed with the reverberations of a high powered rifle shot.  The supersonic crack of the bullet let everyone behind it, know it had passed.  Down in the town at the far end of the valley a man falls to the ground blood gushing from his head.  He is dead before he hits the ground.  Across the valley another shot rings out.  In the town a soldier is thrown from his vehicle by the impact of the bullet.  Soldiers in the town scramble for cover and huddle behind anything they can, shaking with fear.  Two, not one, but two snipers had infiltrated their lines and are in the hills surrounding their last outpost.

 

Their commander walks out of his headquarters looking around at all his men cowering behind walls, vehicles and other cover.  He shakes his head and in anger shakes his fist at the hills.  His head disappears in a shower of blood as it explodes from the impact of the bullet.  The two men closest to him vomit at the sight of their headless commander slowly falling backwards.  The rest of the soldiers throw down their weapons and stand up with their hands above their heads in surrender.  They stand like that for two and a half hours waiting.  Waiting for the lead elements of an army that uses it’s snipers to good effect.

 

Four APC’s soon roll into town, disgorging four squads of soldiers, who gather the prisoners together in the corral by the barn.  Two hours later the leading elements of the 425th Expeditionary Force roll into town.  Soon the prisoners are fed and bedded down for the night.  As the occupation forces set up command and control in the town, two figures, not looking like men at all, slowly make their way into town.  Dressed in their gillie suits they silently creep by the sentry posts.  Within minutes they are sitting comfortably in the commanders’ tent sipping his whiskey.  They both smile at the commander as he enters his tent to find them already there.

 

“What in the hell are you two smiling about?  And who said you could drink my liquor?”  He shouts as he snatches the bottle from them.

 

“Snipin’ is thirsty work Major,”  the Gunnery Sergeant told him.

 

“Gunny, if you two weren’t so good I would have you in the brig.  You know that don’t you?”

 

“Aye sir!” they both replied.

 

“Now get the hell out of here and get some chow.  And tell Lieutenant Simmons to get his ass in here, on the double.”

 

“Aye sir!” They saluted and stomped out of the tent.

 

On their way to the chow tent they passed Lieutenant Simmons.

 

“Lieutenant, the Major wants to see you in his tent.”  The Gunny saluted as the Lieutenant sped off down the road.  “He didn’t salute me back!”

 

The two snipers laughed as they continued to the chow tent.  They knew the Lieutenant was going to get chewed out and they were the cause.  But they didn’t care.  They were good at what they do and knew it and wanted to keep doing it.

 

As they approached the chow tent and were about to walk out from behind a building, the Gunny felt a tingling on the skin of his neck.  He stopped so quick that Sergeant Jenkins bumped into him.  As Jenkins began to cuss the Gunny held up his hand for silence.  As he sank to his knees the Gunny cocked his head to the left and then to the right.

 

This wasn’t the first time this had happened, so Jenkins was in no rush to try and get the Gunny to continue to the chow tent.  As Jenkins watched, the Gunny removed his cover and placed it on the end of his rifle barrel, slowly stuck it past the corner of the building.  The hat went flying as a loud crack echoed through the valley.  Jenkins hit the dirt as did the Gunny.

 

Soldiers poured out of the chow tent across the road, rifles at the ready.  Two went down before the sound reached the town.  The rest scattered for cover.  The Gunny looked back at Jenkins.

 

“It would appear that someone didn’t get the word that the war is over.”

 

“It would appear so, Gunny.”

 

“Shall we, Jenks?”

 

“You lead off?”

 

“Sure.”  The Gunny crept back the way they had come.  At the far corner of the building he stopped.  Slowly he pushed his rifle around the corner until the scope was pointing in the direction he felt the sniper was.  Slowly, ever so slowly, he crept forward until he could look through his scope.  Jenkins rose, removed his cover and slow stepped it past the corner of the building to another building across the street, thus drawing the snipers attention to him.

 

The Gunny searched the hills in the general direction the shot had come from.  Then he saw a flash.  He heard a scream from a man behind him somewhere.  Steadying his rifle the Gunny lined up his sights.  Movement gave the enemy sniper away.  Gently squeezing the trigger, the Gunny felt the kick of the rifle as the bullet sped on its way to the target.  He saw the man’s head explode in a cloud of red as he fell.  Climbing to his feet the Gunny turned toward the chow tent.  He was hungry.

 

The bullet screamed its torment as it streaked through the air.  The impact was swift and horrifying as the head it hit was shattered by the speed, as it flashed through the bone and brain matter causing the head to explode.  Three seconds later another bullet screamed through the air imparting its momentum in the snipers scope on through to his eye and his brain.

 

Jenkins ran to the Gunny’s side but there was nothing he could do.  The Gunny’s head was gone splattered all over the ground where he lay.  Looking down at the Gunny’s body Jenkins said a silent prayer.

 

“Don’t worry Gunny I got the son of bitch for you.”

Sniper!

Copyright © 2007 by Connor G. Madison

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