Shot

The “canal” and the roofs.

Some day, in some year past, a combatant-friend was killed in action. The day after, we went for vengeance. I was against it. I’m always for it. Too much hypocrisy in the air.

I got shot in the arm that day. Left brachial artery completely severed. The closest falcon immediately applied a tourniquet, then homeostatic gauze and bandage. Perfect job. Even so, when checked upon, my bravest remark was “I feel sick”. Yeah, I felt like a flat tire loosing pressure. I was protected inside an armored vehicle; I had time to be afraid. A rare luxury. Of course, I didn’t say I was. It was obvious.

I got shot because I was stupid. I will always be that stupid. The fucking car I was in had no gun ports. How was I supposed to shoot? How was anyone supposed to shoot? My friends were being surrounded in the eye of the hurricane. It was a dark night. We were the help. I asked about the hatch. It could be opened. Open it, then! They did. It was mounted backwards. Comical. It protected your frontside (which was your rifle’s job) and hampered your sighting. Your back was facing death. Death came. Almost.

When leaving the base, a conventional yelled a warning. Many criminals in the favela. They would shoot me. Really? Inside, the boss warned me. It was hot out there, I should take care. I nodded. It was dark; I’d see the flames. They would shoot from afar, always scared of the blindado. They would miss the first shots. I’d respond. Hitting them or not, they would stop. The same pattern would repeat until we got to the team. There, things might get more serious. I’d love to disembark. I hoped I would.

We got in by the “canal”. It was the straightest path to Hell, but left us exposed to a wide expanse. I knew I couldn’t safeguard the whole area. We moved on. Only I was really exposed. They would miss. I wouldn’t.

We reached a dead-end where debris was burning ahead. Smartasses. But the correct alley was at our left. We had to go by foot. Delay. Another blindado was already in front of the alley. They were trying some pyrotechnic maneuver Let’s go by foot! No. I was told to wait. I always walk. I hate blindados. They make it all feel unreal. You don’t get the tension. Too protected. It’s like being second on a climb. No serious commitment. No real focus. I hate it.

The other team finally left the dear womb of their vehicle. I had the roof of a short building to cover and the whole extension of the canal, both sides. They were advancing underneath a concrete slab. They couldn’t get hit through there. And the roof was right above my head. No one would come that close. I turned to cover the canal. The motherfucker came through the roof. Ten feet away. Brave, I must admit. Bad aiming, though.

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