Fifteen hours went by without a pull of his trigger. He lay patiently as he waited for the orders to fire. So many targets came and went and yet he could not shoot. All of his training he felt was going to waste. A dead shot from four hundred yards and then some was held back as he waited for the command. It was like a pit-bull waiting to be allowed to eat. The wait was amplified in terms of torture by the sand in his eyes and the bugs that infested his skin. Atop his vantage point on the roof of a half blasted library he could see all that was below him in the city. The main street brought the traffic right to his door step and throughout all of the traffic he could not let loose the dogs of war that were held in the barrel of his M24. Then the order came. One ran across the street with an AK-74 in his arms with the intent to use it. Half way across he dropped before hearing the sound of the rifle. One ran across to recover the body and he too dropped half way. One peeked his rifle around the corner and shot blindly at the ghost of a sniper to no avail. The 7.62×39 rounds flew high above him and in every direction around him. As the shooter peaked out to see if he had made contact he dropped to the ground as a 7.62×51 NATO round pierced his bearded skull. Five more challenged the shooter all to meet the same fate and the shooter himself was unfazed. To protect the grunts that were slowly moving through the city streets was all the information he was given and those orders were followed to a T. The bang, bang of a nearby rifle did nothing to distract his eye from the cross hairs in his scope. Each body and head that popped up was put down without a second thought. He was nothing but a sentry gunner protecting its borders. Each round sent downrange was responded by the word hit by the spotter. Bang, Hit. Bang, hit. They were the only sounds he heard in what felt like a decade. Spent brass collected by his side with each boom. Targets were piled in the streets and the more the piles grew the slower the commotion was. Dark stains of gunpowder surrounded the barrel of gun and highlighted its use. Then the grunts moved up through the street. Only an occasional bang was heard and no one was of afraid of where the round landed. The grunts moved further and each enemies round was met by at least three by the gunner’s allies. Then there was silence. An odd quite after the hail of firestorm was weird for him. Cease fire was the order given and his sword was sheathed. There would be no more targets and no more sounds from his rifle. The lion that was unleashed for a brief moment in war was tamed once again.