It was 2 pm and I was already bleeding. Shrapnel this time- a cut across my cheekbone. I started to worry after whether it'd make a good scar or just fuck up my face but I caught Marky looking back from the alley he'd made a run for when the shot went off. The shit that goes on in our heads while we're killing people. If any of my mates caught me checking on my own face, I'd hear about it for a week.
The next shot went clear through my wrist. It was my left one, so I don't know how the fuck he pulled it off, what with being on a rooftop and all. I'd gotten to the corner of a building while I was tracing the first bullet. This one blew through the brick of the building behind me as I doubled over, digging some more shrapnel into the back of my head.
Ricky popped under my left shoulder, hauling me up and kicking in the door of the house I was parked behind. I almost punched him, it set off my wrist so bad. It's why we don't feel during combat. I took a look at the dark, frightened faces of the family inside and was glad that I'd given up on giving a shit a good bit ago. Guilt sucks.
"What the fuck, Sarge?" Ricky spit out as he dropped his rucksack and started rummaging about for the med kit, "What were you doing out there, taking crap cover like that?"
"I don't give a shit if you come in on a shining white fucking tank and blow up every damn person shooting at me, you don't get to fucking talk to me like that, are we clear, Private?" I turned and my fists closed. A fountain of blood shot out of my wrist. I almost went down on a knee. Ricky laughed.
"You gonna propose to me or let me wrap up your damn wrist, Sarge? Your face looks like a fucking mess but it stopped bleeding at least." Ricky pulled out a can of VetiGel and got going, plugging the hole in my wrist.
"Apparently I'm still pretty enough that you're going on about marriage," I shot back, "Get me a damn report! Did we pop that bugger or what?" I was pretty damn sure if I didn't do something I'd vomit from the pain.
"Yeah, you're pretty fuckin ugly," Ricky was talking under his breath, shaking loose some gauze and a wrap. At the same time Danny hollered in- "Sure on Sarge, let's all sound off so he knows right the fuck where we are!"
A bullet blew through the plaster wall of the building and buried itself in the floor at Ricky's feet. He gave me a look like he thought he was my damn drill sergeant.
"Radios, Sarge. It's why God invented radios." The woman crouched in the corner, her dark hair a mess and her sari fallen off center, grabbed up two children and ran wailing into a back room. Another bullet blew through the wall.
"No, Ricky. It's why God invented civilians." I reached up to my shoulder and thumbed the button down with my good hand.
(Continue to Part Two)
(Continue to Part Two)