Samael by BloodySpaghetti
“Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” – Job 38:17
I used to be a sniper, I did one tour in Iraq, came back home as a hero, with forty-four confirmed kills to my name. Forty-four people lost their lives to my rifle, my rusty trusty M40A3 Marine sniper rifle. Forty-four souls, the number does not seem so large does it? When talking about human lives, forty-four is a lot. Certain businesses hold fewer employees than the number of people I’ve killed in Iraq. Say each person could have had between three and ten kids this means the potential amount of people whose existence I prevented equals to that of a small village.
I destroyed whole worlds, as each man is a world of his own.
I went to Iraq when I was just twenty-three years old, a kid still, it is still amusing how child soldiers are such a bad thing and yet country keeps sending eighteen to twenty year old children to its frontlines. Anyhow, I was a lone sniper charged with making sure the ECO Marine Company in Fallujah does not lose people, or at the very least lose as little members as possible.
I stationed myself on top of a three-store building at the beginning of a long street in the center of the Al Jolan neighborhood. The street itself was around 950 yards long. I memorized distances based on different objects along the street. This way it was easier. On the rooftop I was stationed at was a wall, around five feet tall so we punched a couple of holes through it, to create loopholes through which I could snipe my victims without being detected. My first kill arrived shortly after I arrived at Fallujah, at around 550 yards from my position three men came about from behind a building. Two of the were carrying weapons and one had a vest on him – suicide vest. I aimed at the man with the vest, and trust me, no matter what they say, once you’re supposed to perform that kill, you see it’s humans on the other end of the bullet, not robots, not shadows, nothing other than humans like you. I got a buck fever there, stressed out, then I remembered what I was taught in training regarding this situation you take three breathes and one deep exhale. This flick makes you stop thinking about your own breathing and this is the perfect state of mind for a person who is about to shoot.
I shot the man with the suicide vest in his lethal T. That is the area in the face stretching from the ridge of the nose to the lips and from one cheek to the other, whenever you hit em’ there the brainstem is destroyed and the victim is dead before the body reaches the floor.
The other two had no time to react; his detonator was connected to his pulse – no pulse, boom boom bang. Goodnight.
The first thought that ran through my mind after that was, “Shit… I just killed three people!” all the patriotic bullshit rolled out of the window on its own, at these moments you realize it’s just two sides with people who fight to defend their homes.
It made me tense and I was no so pumped about this like my comrades down on the ground. My conscience ran wild guilt tripping me left and right like I had done something bad, I had done something terrible. I did not let it slow me down however, I did not like what I was doing, but I could not stop because my fellow Americans would die if I did. It kept me going even though I was exhausted by disastrous thoughts and feelings of guilt. On top of all of that, I had to keep staring into my aims constantly, just in case another Iraqi guy shows up trying to ruin it for my lads. I did not want this to happen to em’. You are supposed to look through a scope for about thirty to forty-five minutes and then rest your eyes, I did not have this option – I kept looking for hours on end.
Sleep was scarce, but during every little bit of sleep I could get I was plagued with terrible nightmares, nightmares filled with the faces of my victims shouting at me, “help us… end our pain… end our suffering”.
These nightmares would only get worse with time – the more people I killed the more faces and screams haunted my mind in my slumber.
Around 13 kills on my count I could not care less how I looked, my beard was probably same as those of the Iraqis by that point and I had become irritable in the company of others, I simply hated being around people, they did not understand the way I felt and I think they were looking at me weird. They… Well him – my spotter.
My spotter is a religious fellow who noticed my growing discomfort with the war and decided to give me an advice – speak to God, it might relieve the stress, he said. I took his word for it and whenever I could, I’d speak to God in my head.
God did not answer.
I kept talking to God in my head whenever the prayers were being played off at the mosque. It became my relaxing ritual of sorts. After 20 kills, God answered, I head this shrill voice, one that sounded like it was coming out of a dry throat covered in rust. It whispered, “hill moh-oh-oh-oh”
Once I heard that my heart began racing, my breath became unsteady and I was visibly shaken – apparently I was out of this reality for a moment as I wouldn’t even respond, so much so that my spotter had to nudge me a bit to get my attention.
I explained everything to him and he had no idea what I was talking about, we both ended up shrugging it off as an accumulation of stress. He wanted to report me so I could be checked for PTSD but I reassured he I was just exhausted. He ended up buying it and did not speak a word about what had happened to me that day.
That night when I was trying to get some sleep but I was jolted wide-awake by what sounded like painful dry as hell moaning coming from somewhere. When I looked around and there was nothing, after a few moments the moaning stopped. Eventually I managed to fall asleep and the faces returned, bloody and painful once more but instead of yelling at me, they were painfully moaning and sobbing. It was worse than the screaming, it’s like I could feel their pain. I woke up in a cold sweat, what had woke me up however was the notion that someone was spying on us while I was asleep – the hiding spot was empty, just me and my spotter, but that dread of being spied on by the Iraqis, or even by my own comrades – it only got stronger with every passing second. I was sure he told them about my condition, I was sure the motherfucker ruined my stay there.
All of this was happening in my head, as I was lying awake under my rifle. I shot my body upwards and told my Spotter to get some sleep; of course, I pretended everything was A-OK. Deep inside I knew this shithole had sold me out.
Once he fell asleep, I began searching for recording devices around the spot, on my person and even a bit on his person. When I could not find anything, I just kept sinking deeper and deeper stronger and faster into my own sense of dread. It had gotten so bad that I couldn’t even get the breathing out of my head anymore – my heart was pounding and my thoughts were running – I was as good as a dead sniper.
Once I reached my limit and was about to break down, the dread was replaced with moaning once again, this time I made sure it wasn’t my spotter who was making sounds in his sleep. Thinking I am getting way too stressed I hissed, “Who’s there?” hoping to get an answer. I woke up my spotter who wasn’t happy he could not get his little bits of sleep like I did and I was forced to apologize, God damn it, this guy was so fucking pissing…
The moaning faded away as it never occurred soon afterwards.
After that night, I’d constantly check for recording devices and cameras in case the fucker actually snitched on me and the moaning, well I had gotten used to it by the thirty-fifth kill I had – some woman with a machete.
The more people I shot the clearer the moaning became.
From, “Haaaaaa… Saaaaa…" To, “Heeeeep… Uhhhhhh… Saaaaf…Uh…” To, “Heeeeeeeeeelp uuuuuuhs…. Saaaaaafe…. Uuuuuuuh” To eventually, “He-e-e-e-e-elp us… Sa-a-a-a-a-a-ve Uhs…”
It was scary hearing words instead of jumbled moans. By then I already knew they were coming from within me, but I did not know why, until I realized that they go silent whenever I pulled the trigger.
I also realized that they would grow louder whenever there was no one around or whenever I’d be completely silent.
By the forty second kill I scored, the words became more violent, more terrifying. As if they were coming out of a shriveled monster’s dry and crusted throat. The moans ordered me to kill… they ordered me to get more people to join them.
After I took out my forty-third target at the second battle of Fallujah, the moaning stopped for a bit and then came back again scrambled, as if unable to form any coherent words, just jingles of dry air running across a mouth.
My final kill as a sniper in Iraq came a week later, during that week, as the moaning inside me became more coherent with each day. I started understanding what have I become.
God had chosen me…
God had chosen me to be his angel of death….
The moaning? Well these are the calls of the dead souls I ripped who call for more company. Many are always marry, as they say. I have become the death dealing and it is my duty to send you to the afterlife. You have suffered enough, my dear friend. Allow me to show you the way please.
It won’t hurt, like hell…
Oh come on, what is with this scared look? Is it the baseball bet wrapped in barbed wire or the Michael Myers mask?
I bet you it is the mask!
Oh yeah, I’m sure you can hear your kid coming up the stairs now – his time has not yet arrived, the moaning do not ask for his soul just yet. Don’tcha worry though man, I’ll come to reap him out of his suffering one day too!