|Artwork © Paul Hair, 2019|
Staff Sergeant Fletcher fights through an attack by Islamic terrorists who were inspired by American propaganda. The attack inspires Fletcher to take on a new mission in life.
Here’s an excerpt of “American Patriot,” published today at Virtual Pulp.
“Two o’clock! Enemies about to fire an RPG!” Staff Sergeant Fletcher yelled to his soldier in the gun turret of the crippled Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. An improvised explosive device had gravely damaged the MRAP.
Gunfire and explosions continued as the gunner turned the turret. Fletcher aimed his M4 carbine at the Islamic terrorist holding the RPG launcher. He squeezed the trigger. Dust kicked up on the earthen berm his target was using as cover. The man flinched and ducked. Fletcher’s MRAP gunner opened up the Ma Deuce.
The .50 cal blew up the head of the terrorist and ripped through the body of his ammunition handler.
“Get on line!” Fletcher shouted to the rest of his squad. “We’re going to assault through and overrun their position!”
“Aid and litter team have everyone at the convoy?” Fletcher asked one of his squad team leaders, five minutes after they had secured the area. He rifled through the litter at one of the enemy ambush positions.
“Yes, sergeant,” the team leader said. “MEDEVAC is on its way.” He kneeled. “I can’t believe Jones is dead. And Smith doesn’t look good either.”
“Get up and help me search. Focus on what we have to do right now. POW team have the enemy secured?”
“And you didn’t ask him any questions other than if there are any more direct threats to us in the area?”
“No, sergeant. But he’s doing a lot of talking on his own,” the team leader said. “He’s going on and on in Arabic but every now and then he says ‘Sunlight.’ We can’t figure out what he means.”
Fletcher squatted down and lifted an 8-pack of water bottles off a stack of papers. The papers all contained a copy of the same image with Arabic writing captioning it.
“What are those?” his team leader asked. He picked up one. “Oh, no. It looks like a photo of American troops torturing an Iraqi family. I bet you that’s what they used as inspiration to attack us. Man, don’t tell me stuff our own guys did got us killed.”
“I think you’re right that they used this for inspiration. But that photo isn’t what it seems,” Fletcher told him. . . .
Read the entire short story at Virtual Pulp!