Desert.

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The sniper sighed and shifted his position slightly, careful not to disturb the smallest rock, anything that might betray his spot to unseen watching enemy eyes. He slowly eased his finger back and forth on the trigger of his rifle and squinted into the sight, grimacing as a bead of sweat rolled down his forehead and stung the corner of his eye.

He waited. High overhead, a hawk wheeled aimlessly in the sky, searching, looking. The soldier rolled over carefully, onto his side and allowed himself a drink of water. He knew it was all about being patient, not losing the “edge” – or his nerve, but still he wished something would happen.

Night fell. He closed his eyes and dozed, a little, stirring once as a bold jackal ventured closer to investigate and sniffed delicately at his boots. Early hours – he awoke and stretched, another drink of water and a bite of chocolate – quick energy boost.

Dawn approached and the desert was painted in uniform hues of grey and silver. The sniper amused himself by focussing and re-focussing his rifle sight and settled down to wait again.

An hour or so passed and he watched a scorpion, intricate and jointed, scuttle across the rock in front of his nose. He knew it was harmless and didn’t flinch from it, momentarily distracted by its hinged legs and shiny carapace.

There! What was that? A flash of movement caught his eye and he raised himself up on his elbows to gaze through the rifle sights, anxious not to miss his target. But. This was not the expected enemy army convoy… a ragged group of men, dressed in what looked like robes and armed with – swords?

And as he watched, mouth agape slightly in shock, some men on horseback appeared – how? – and fell upon the ragged little group. The riders were richly dressed, the blues and greens of their robes stood out clearly in the sepia morning light.

He saw the ragged men fall apart, one man landing hopelessly, clutching at his stomach where rubbery ropes of coiled intestines slipped between his desperate grasping fingers.

Savage yells of pain and rage reached his ears, the whinney of a frightened horse whose rider was pulled from his saddle and set upon in a blur of blades and fists. They hacked and sliced and cut – the watching soldier winced as he clearly heard the wet thubbery sound of blade striking flesh and the myriad sucking, slicing sounds as the swords withdrew and bit again amidst angry roars and yells of pain.

He moved slightly and blinked and what? – The men were gone. Nothing. A swirl of sand blown by the wind made a miniature whirlwind across the patch of ground where seconds before he had glimpsed a horrific battle scene.

Nothing. The sniper sighed, and settled down to wait…

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40 thoughts on “Desert.

  1. Chilling piece of work that gave me vivid imagery of the fight scene. Scary!!! it was as if I was there to see it all too! Powerful but scary imagery! Good morning to you. Virtual tea and biscuits sent your way. I hope you are ok, post college send off?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you very much 💕 yes, we got everything there – I was just so sad I didn’t have the heart to do anything for a couple of days – lol – but I’ve pulled myself together now…I just miss him but he’s settled in fine and the university is lovely! The tea is very welcome, thank you! 💕😺🍵🍪💕😺🍵🍪

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cripes Samantha! This is a powerful bit of writing and what’s weird is it feels like it’s been written by a man.
    Because of the way it built up and some of the phrases and terminology it had the stamp of a blokey chap who’s choice of reading was thrillers and war.

    This sentence: “clutching at his stomach where rubbery ropes of coiled intestines slipped between his desperate grasping fingers.” sent chills down my spine. Very graphic and it built a picture up in my mind and I imagined it. (ewwwwww!)

    It’s an astounding piece Samantha. Well written and does it’s job you told it to do.
    Well done you clever thing!
    love ~ Cobs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you very much for your lovely comment! I do like to try different viewpoints and I’m really pleased it read that way as I wanted to convey the soldier’s boredom but professional attitude..or something like that lol!

      Thank you very much again for the lovely comment and have a great day. Lots of love to you 😺💕xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, that reminded me of Jake and the paranormal brothers watching on in Ghost Walk. Very well written Samantha and dare I say you are improving each time. Putting me to shame in productivity too!! As Marje said, very powerful. Definitely finding your style now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I was considering something spooky for the Halloween event too. I need the pratice!! Looking forward to seeing more of your work. Any decision on the NaNo story yet?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did a few “dark” stories last year – one in the making now after last night’s nightmare…

        I had a look at the website, all gung-ho and intending to sign up, then when I entered my region it came up with 1243 people or something like that in the area so I had a bit of a tiny panic and paranoia struck…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh dear, not much sleep after then?? As for the NaNo site; it may list 1243 people in your area, but it doesn’t connect you to them. You can create your own buddy list with people you know doing it for moral support OR, join cabins which are groups local to you. All that means is a virtual writing cabin where you can see their work and progress and send messages. Often acts as a motivational tool whichever method you use (progress of buddies works the same once you have linked up).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. No, you have decided which. That’s the positive plug. Just set November as a 20K goal. Even if you don’t actually do it via NaNo, you can run parallel to it with your own version. Might be cabins are a better option. The next one will be nearer March I think.

        I found the NaNo system quite easy to use too. Just update the word count now and then and see if the graph stays on target lol

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oooh, question. Hating being pinned down…is that an out of comfort zone feeling? I ask, because that’s my problem with NaNo. Well, not just NaNo…loads of things! Mindfulness and CBT….says I need to step out if the comfort zone though 🤕

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Tried CBT …I’m sure the therapist felt much better afterwards…mindfulness is all right up to a certain point, but I get on better with meditation and crystals. And cats. Of course.

        And yes…definitely an out of comfort zone thing! I hate being tied down to arrangements, schedules…very short attention span. My son says I have butterfly brain…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Me too and I’m not certain I left mine with a therapist doubting their abilities. I think I ended up saying what she wanted to hear in the end!

        Thing is, with comfort zones, if we never challenge them then we don’t really grow. Then again if the comfort zone is well supplied with chocolate digestives… Hmm 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Lol – I didn’t feel much better either, but I think I managed to help my therapist come to terms with his worm phobia and resolve several issues from his childhood…

        And I have switched my allegiance to Jammy Dodgers….😸💕🍪

        Liked by 1 person

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