A quick short story that I wrote a number of years ago for a short story post thing.
It came so quickly, it hit so fast.
They usually do.
The fire was spreading and it pinged off the exterior armour.
It was not the heat and burning fire that was pinging the armour, it was another type of fire.
The situation was hopeless and everyone was going to die today. It did not seem so only five minutes ago. After rolling out of the unofficially named camp of “Camp No-Where”, the squad had been designated a patrol route and had made their way down the road.
The squaddies were all piled into their HMMWV’s and were making the slow roll down the road, a road that had been swept for IED’s that morning and would be swept again in another hour.
Why hadn’t they left after the sweep? It just gave time for the damn Inny’s to fill the road again.
Command wanted the nearby village swept first, which meant going ahead of the sweep in an hour. They drove slow and the lead vehicle kept its heavy calibre fifty on the hills surrounding the valley. The rear vehicle watched over the back and the left while the lead watched front and right.
Chitter-chatter had passed between the men but they were on edge. Jefferson’s squad had been hit on this road six days ago but the Inny’s would not hit another squad again so soon? Especially an armed force like this.
He wanted a tank or an APC at least but command said no. A simple patrol they said.
They could go to hell.
The best eye in the squad was in the lead vehicle and watched out of the IED’s. The SL was in the lead vehicle, against regulations but he wanted to keep an eye on too.
That was when the world went upside down.
The lead vehicle was now flipped and hell was unleashed upon them. Where was command? Were they not sent to hell with them?
Jack could hear the gunshots outside, he couldn’t move but he could hear a fifty unleashing, he could hear the 5.56 flying, he heard the whiz and ping of the heavier 7.62 coming their way too.
The high ping of a high calibre round pinged through the upturned HMMWV.
“Dishka!” Someone cried outside as the door creaked open. Someone was pulling him out.
“I got you boss-man!” The rifleman groaned as he pulled Jack out, using his teased nickname. The other vehicles had covered the hit lead vehicle and was now firing into the hills.
“Sit rep.” Jack groaned as he reached in and pulled his rifle into his hand.
“IED Sir.” The rifleman spoke, Jack could not see who it was, the world was still shaking.
“I get that, I mean what’s happening.” He replied with a terse tone but kept his cool.
“We’re fighting back, the other HMMWV has…” The rifleman didn’t get to say anything more as he slumped forward, a grey and red mix pooling on Jack’s leg.
“Medic!” Jack yelled but knew it was too late the silent rifleman. Why could not he remember his name? He could not even see his face anymore.
“Med…” He began, only to see it coming. The slow motion of the world as it flew towards him. The spiralling rocket and the ploom of smoke.
He closed his eyes and took a breath as the world died.