-“Yo. I’m Rick Timothy Houws. A large black man if you will. Don’t mind my deep voice, it comes with my size. I’m six foot six and most people call me Brick House. I started gaining my height in fifth grade. In high school I was on the basketball team and was damn near unstoppable. Well, that’s assuming I didn’t have to run too much. You see, I had a severe case of asthma, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. I’m almost 39 now, and I never went to college. Actually, I hated school. It’s not that I was bad at it or anything like that, it’s just that I didn’t like hanging out with other kids. Right after graduation I joined the military and served fifteen years special operations, sniper. My partner was Scott Hall. We’ve been through thick and thin together. We both got deployed in Iraq. We were there on our third tour when an IED got him in the leg. He was one lucky son of a bitch though. The armor plating on the truck took the blunt of the blow, but he still got laid up for three months.
After that things sort of went downhill. I was assigned a temporary partner – a foolish young kid just out of training. They were desperate to get more snipers out there, and his number came up. The poor kid got his head blown off the first week. It’s weird how things work out sometimes. If Scott would have been with me, it could have been him instead. After that, we let our numbers drop off. We packed up and returned to Colorado.
He and I both work for Black Lake Construction now. It’s a job. Not much use for a skilled sniper in the private sector. I’ll tell you what though – I could shoot a fly off a bullfrog at one hundred yards. Oh well. Outside of the military not much has changed for either of us. We’re both still single and barely surviving. I don’t know what happened. I suppose we got overly involved with our training that we forgot we had to make a life for ourselves afterwards.
Anyhow, we wanted to spend the weekend up at Shadow Pines, right next to Hawk Peak. Scott and a couple of buddies from work all decided they wanted to go shoot some guns, so I figured what the hell, it’s not like I had anything better to do. We didn’t plan on hunting, well maybe a squirrel or two but that was about it. The other two guys were Ron and Jarren. Ron can be a jerk sometimes. He’s the guy that walks around with a bottle of Jim Beam in his jacket. If you ever wanted to find him just check the local watering hole. Drunk or not, he was our Foreman which is why he could get away with being a dick most of the time. As for Jarren, he’s a bit of a squirmy shit. He’ll weasel his way out of just about anything if he could get away with it. If you didn’t know him, he’d walk all over you. Anyhow, since we were gonna be in the mountains shooting, I thought I’d show off my Springfield M1903. It’s one hell of a long ranged weapon. Figured I’d show that Foreman how the pro-dogs do it.
On a more personal note, one thing you should know about me is that I’m a survivor, but I do make mistakes – just like anyone else. Sure, okay, I won’t lie, but you can’t tell the others I told you this. Sometimes I lose my head. I see RED. I don’t know what triggers it, but when it hits, I’m a madman. The downside is that when I lose my head, others lose theirs. I feel bad enough as it is. I wasn’t thinking. Bullets were coming at us from all directions. I freaked out. I knew it was only a matter of minutes till one had my name on it. I told that kid it was time to move out. Rather than digging in like we were supposed to, I flipped instead. I switched over to my M-16 and told the kid I’d cover him. He was brave, and he looked up to me. I’d been there for years, and he’d only been there for a week. When I said run, he got right up and started running. It’s a damn shame too because who’d of thought a god damn RPG was just about to hit. Soon as he stood up, his head just kept going. I never told anyone. After that, I flipped the fuck out. I got up and started unloading led. I couldn’t even see what I was firing at. When the dust settled, all that was left of that kid was a pair of boots.
I don’t like thinking about it, but it reminds me to keep my cool. If shit were to ever hit the fan again, I can assure you one thing though, my ass will be alive. Whatever gets in my way WILL go down, but once I flip out, I can’t make any more promises. Let’s just hope that don’t happen again.”
Genre – SciFi Horror
Rating – PG-13
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