Deer Hunter


2 May 2011 – 1:05 AM

“Echo, Bravo, Charlie!” the voice clamored through his earpiece as he swung his legs over the side of the attack helicopter. The desert night was cool and crisp, even for May, as the four choppers flew in over Peshawar and the glittering lights of Islamabad gradually came into view.

“Full Metal Jackets!” hollered the next instruction and, as Will Stanforth locked and loaded his M16, he gazed up into the star-pocked sky knowing that the President of the United States was watching from the Situation Room.

“Abbottobad dead ahead!”

The mansion seemed deserted and its windows looked like sleepy eyes opening as the flickering red lights of the helicopters approached at high speed.

“Remember you are Seals!” shouted the commander as the repelling ropes slinked down the sides of the aircraft under the churning blades.

*

21 May 2011 – Upstate Pennsylvania

The deer was maybe only a mile away. The droppings were fresh and the grass recently pressed. He was getting closer. He hoisted up his hunting rifle and peered through the cross-hairs, swinging the barrel of the gun back and forth. Almost there, he thought, as the adrenaline kicked in and he pulled his cap down lower over his eyes. The orange sun skittered through the leaves of the deep, muted forest.

*

10 May 2011 – New York City

“What’s the matter, baby?” she asked as he stared vacantly into the cold dregs swirling at the bottom of his coffee cup. As he swivelled the cup with his forefinger, he felt the power. His young body; packs of muscle rippling across his chest. A body trained and built to kill without hesitation upon any given order. He could kill a man twice his size with only his index finger – jabbed at just the right place on the throat.

“Who am I, Jilly?” he asked, earnestly, his eyes moist and full of unknown longing.

“What do you mean, Will?”

“I lost myself”, he said, slumping back in his chair. “I don’t know who I am”.

*

2 May 2011 – 1:08 AM

The corridors were dark and musty as the red lasers of the assault rifles swept back and forth, searching. As he burst into the room, he saw him: tired, drained and supplicating. Without hesitation, he fired and the man’s head exploded – bits of watermelon brain tissue splattered across the walls – etched and oozing across a tapestry of anger and grief.

“Outstanding, Will!” congratulated his commanding officer with a hearty pat on the back. “You are the greatest American hero no one will ever know”.

He lowered his gun and wiped the blood from his face.

“My whole life has come to this”.

*

21 May 2011 – Upstate Pennsylvania

The deer was in his sights. Majestic. Male. Full of powerful sexuality as he shook his young antlers in defiance of the rifle’s scope.

Will Stanforth prepared to take the shot but as he looked directly into the eyes of the buck staring back at him, he lowered the gun, placed the barrel under his chin and pulled the trigger.

*

About Requiem for the Damned

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