So it is finally here!!!
My very first ever short story that i am putting out to the world. It is time to let it fly and i can only hope that you enjoy reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it.
I recently wrote about the process of multitaasking on various projects and this was my experiemental result. I wrote a short story based on the protagonist for my novel. I hoped that not only would it give me a fresh pair of eyes when i came back to writing my novel, but also that it would let me explore a side of my character that isnt always apparent. I had great fun exploring this side and it opened up many new avenues for me that i had not previously thought about. I am hoping that this will enable me to push my novel forward in a more emotional and convincing way, so the reader (hopefully that will be you) will feel more emotionally connected to the character.
Please let me know your thoughts and feedback, i would greatly appreciate it. I would love to hear from all of you!
Just remember to be kind in your comments 😉
Well i guess there is no point in me jabbering on any longer. So without further ado, i give to you….Blood Rain by B.B Lewis.
Blood Rain by B.B Lewis
The air was thick with anticipation and I was not about to let my nerves get the better of me. I had been planning this mission for a week now and nothing could possibly go wrong. I had thought of everything; that was my job. The marines never failed and I’d be damned if I was to let anything happen to my boys.
I had tracked this piece of shit to a church just outside the battle torn town of Basra. El Hadji Baba was wanted on 2 counts of genocide. He has been executing men, woman and children to enforce his reign upon those that do not agree. He has a loyal band of evil idiots that wouldn’t dare question him and that’s how he liked it. Only he knew what was best and god help you if you questioned him.
We had been sprawled out under camouflage, in our fatigues, on top of a semi demolished building opposite the church for 4 hours now. It was hot as hell’s hot tub underneath all of this gear but I couldn’t let that into my thoughts. It had not rained for 2 months and the humidity was reaching suffocating levels. We had to move quickly before the wrath of God came down on us from above.
The roads below were disserted, no one was silly enough to be caught out on the streets after dark. That’s punishable by death, and El Hadji Baba wasn’t known for his mercy. He liked to torture his victims to send a message to the others. Do not defy the almighty El Hadji Baba or else. Thunder crackled above our heads and a storm of the highest magnitude was threatening to unleash its wrath upon us, making our line of sight very limited. We had to be quick, in and out like ghosts. We have been chasing shadows for weeks looking for this man. Now we have finally located him and this is our only opportunity to stop the monster of Basra before he disappears underground. He knows we are after him, and if he gets away we may not have another chance. The boy’s are ready. I am ready. This is what we are trained for.
“Right boys, this is what we have been waiting for. El Hadji Baba is in the west wing of that church. He has 2 men guarding the entrance. Our intelligence indicates that there are 8 other men inside 2 of which will be guarding the door to the west wing.” My pulse was pumping through my temple like a high school marching band at the biggest football game of the year.
“You can expect them to be packing things like MP5K’s and AK-47’s. Go in hard and low. Once we take out the first two at the entrance, breach the door and deploy the flash grenade.” Harrison James knew every inch of the mission, inside and out. He was my best friend and I trusted him with my life.
“Once we enter the main chapel, we will split into two teams. Harry and I will go right along the west wall and you two will go left along the east wall. Kill on site. If you come across any of them, put them down. We’re not here to make friends ladies.” I was determined to end this tonight. I couldn’t take the risk that one of these bastards would make it out and then pick up where El Hadji Baba left off. Not if I could help it.
“What’s the plan for when we find El Hadji?” Sampson was always asking question, he was a great soldier and always followed orders to the ‘T’.
“You’ve always got your eye on the prize, Sampson. Well its first come first serve. You see him; you put him in the ground. We are more concerned with completing the mission today than who gets to finish the job. You want him, you get him.” I didn’t care who sent him to hell, as long as he was given a one way ticket. No window seat, no extra leg room, preferably in pieces.
“Let’s get in there and drop him like a hot potato!” Nico was not the most aggressive of us all but he was strategic. He was one of the bravest and smartest men I had ever had the pleasure of working with. If I had a problem, he would always give me a new perspective on things that I had never even considered. He was a major asset at times like these.
“Nico, you have such a delicate way with words” I couldn’t help but smile at him; he had that effect on people.
“Move out!” We made our way to the rooftop door. Inside the stairwell, it was barely wide enough for us to go down one at a time. I was leading from the front with Harry behind me. Then came Sampson and then Nico. The lobby of the ram shackled building had no windows intact. In fact, most of the buildings on this street didn’t have any windows. That was all courtesy of El Hadji Baba and his reign of terror bombings. The front door had been blown off its hinges and we had a clear view of the church across the street. El Hadji’s men were chatting away not paying much attention to anything while they competed to see who could blow the best smoke rings from their cigarettes.
I looked behind me and signaled to the boys to put on their night vision goggles. It was time to Rock and Roll.
In front of the door, there was an old rusting Ford. It had been burnt to a crisp but it still provided adequate cover. Nico crouched behind the hood of the car while Sampson did the same at the rear of the car. Silently, without talking, they took both of the guards out with a single bullet each, in perfect unison. The guards slumped backwards and slid down the wall with a trail of blood following their every move, from the exit wound in the back of their heads. We stuck to the shadows as we crossed the street to the main entrance. There was only one single street lamp on this street, which afforded us a sheet of darkness in which to complete our mission. Harrison and I were on the right side of the door and Nico and Sampson were on the left. Harrison cracked the door ajar only slightly, just wide enough to throw two flash grenades in amongst the pews.
The grenades went off simultaneously sending a deafening boom through us and smoke began to filter through the crack under the door. Quickly, Sampson kicked the door in and shot two rounds into one of the henchmen’s throat. Arterial blood spatter began showering the immediate area like a lawn sprinkler. He grabbed his throat, gurgles and blood bubbles forming at his mouth. He went down without a sound. I filtered out along the west wall looking for more of them. We all had silencers on our semi automatic assault rifles and all you could hear was a quick and quiet zip of air as the bullet left the chamber. I spotted one hiding behind the statue of Christ, up on the altar. I hit him right between the eyes. He didn’t even see it coming.
Lord forgive me for I have sinned.
We pushed on to heavy set wooden door at the rear of the church in the west wall. It had elaborate iron hinges that looked like that had survived many battles of their own. This had to be the room that the fucker was hiding in. I thought he would have come out to face us when he heard all the commotion but there was not a sound to be heard from behind the door. He had no problem letting his men die in his name. They knew the dangers when they started working for him.
Smoke surrounded us and we could still hear the distant roar of the thunder storm that was threatening us from above. The last stained glass windows left intact, flashed magical colours of green, red and yellow as the thunders light filtered through.
“Go,Go,Go,Go,Go” I could barely hear myself over the crack of the wooden door as I shoulder smashed my way through, sending shards of wood flying in all directions, littering everything in its path.
The room was empty.
In the middle of the room sat a laptop on a wooden crate and that was all. I couldn’t get my head around it. Where has he gone? A message was left on the screen, ‘Play Me’. I lowered my weapon and pressed play. This was too surreal, surely this sort of thing only happened in the movies. El Hadji Baba’s face appeared on the screen. He was sitting in some sort of shelter. I couldn’t tell if it was underground but there were no windows in sight and a single naked bulb hung from the ceiling. It had solid concrete walls and what looked like metal bunk beds behind him. There was nothing else in the room, no way of distinguishing where the hell he was. The one thing I was sure of, it definitely was not the church they were standing in.
“Hello and welcome to the church of shadows. As you can tell you have missed me and I am sorry I am not there to pluck your eyeballs from their sockets with my bare hands. However, I have something I would like to share with you. Did you really think it would be this easy to track me down? Do you really think that you would have found me in some godforsaken church that has been half blown to bits? I am offended by your arrogance and how little you think of me. Never underestimate me my friends. This was your first mistake. What was your second I hear you ask. Well, the second would be not getting out of the church sooner. You see, you have about 5 seconds before the bomb in the crate underneath this screen, explodes. I shall see you in hell my friends, be sure to save me a seat Alex.”
I couldn’t believe my ears, how was this possible. It didn’t matter now; we just had to get out of here.
“Run…” I couldn’t even get the rest of my sentence out. We were out of time. I was looking right into Harrisons eyes when there was a blinding flash of yellow and green light. I know there should have been a lot of noise but everything dissolved into white noise as we were blown from the room. The last of the stained glass windows were liberated from their frames. We had failed.
I bolted upright, sweat saturated the sheets were I was lying only moments earlier, I was only wearing my Calvin Klein lounge pants. The sheets in which I sat were now twisted around my legs from where I had been trying to run from the inevitable. It never changed, it never would. It was my own personal nightmare and I was the guest of honor. My throat was dry and hoarse and I was aware of the fact I had been crying in my sleep My cheeks were stained with salty tears that rolled into the corners of my mouth. I untangled my legs and leant back against the headboard and put my head in my hands.. I felt like I had done a full body workout. I reached out and switched on the lamp next to me. Through my half drawn curtains I could see the swell of the current slowly rolling across the sand towards my apartment. The moon was gleaming in all its nocturnal beauty and I began to calm down.
It was a dream Alex, you’re not back there.
I slid out of bed and walked barefoot on the soft beige carpet towards the kitchen and retrieved a cold bottle of water from the fridge. I slid open the balcony doors and leant on the railings watching the swells move backwards and forwards, mesmerizing me in their rhythm. I felt the salty sea air spray my naked chest. My ribs still showed the physical evidence of that fateful night in Basra. I had shrapnel scars all up the inside of my ribcage. Military doctors had taken 4 hours to remove it all and get me stable.
I used to flash back so vivid I would wake up screaming. Over the years, they had now developed into nightmares.
God I missed Harrison. I would never forget him. I couldn’t. He was the best person I have ever known and I had lost him that night to that piece of shit Baba. Although I made him pay for it, it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t bring him back; I couldn’t bring any of them back
I walked back to my bedroom and climbed gingerly into my damp bed. I couldn’t keep beating myself up like this; it had been 6 years already. Harrison wouldn’t have wanted me to. I just had to somehow find a way to make peace with it, if that was even possible. Maybe not, maybe it would haunt my dreams until my dying day. I laid my head on the dry side of the pillow and closed my eyes. Maybe one day I would see Harrison again in better circumstances. Maybe one day we would be reunited. I clung to this thought as I drifted back in to the world of restless sleep.
One day my friend, one day.