I am drenched in black like a shadow in the night. I cannot be seen nor heard. I have an endless amount of equipment on my body. I will stare death in the eye without a single doubt. I feel the cold steel of a nine millimeter in my hand. I am fearless, yet cautious. I am apart of the elite SWAT force.
One cold, dreary afternoon, I was down at headquarters with a few other members of the team. We had just ordered a pizza and were watching the game on the big screen in the recreation room. I noticed the phone was ringing. I, nor anyone else in the room, knew that this phone call alone would change us all for the rest of our lives. I locked my eyes onto the captain as he walked across the room to the telephone. I watched him as if I were a wild animal getting ready to pounce its prey. He picked up the phone as if it were a live grenade. He moved slowly and cautiously, as if he had already known that something horrible was going to happen. He was too far away from me to hear what he was saying. Then, I made eye contact with him. For that moment I could see his face, his eyes glistening with fear. Something was wrong, and the look in his eyes gave me a cold chill down my back. He hung up the phone and said, “Alright boys, lets go. Got shit to take care of now!”
I sit motionless in the chair in the corner of the room. As if my body were numb, I didn’t move an inch. I watched everyone scurrying around to get their gear and suit up. It seemed time had slowed down and everyone was moving in slow-motion. I was in a trance. Déjà vu maybe. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. It was such an unexplainable pain.. I had a feeling tonight would not be a good night. I feel the crack of a whip on the back of my head. It was the captain. He slapped me again and said, “C’mon son, we don’t got all damn day”. Maybe it was the captain’s backhand, but I snapped out of it and got my gear together and suited up.
The crew and I loaded up. Two groups in two white vans. Same routine as always. As I listen to the captain go over our entry procedures, I find myself dazing off again. I hear a few words here and there. “Flash-bang” and “Support fire”, but I never really paid much attention to what was going on. I didn’t have to either. I’d been doing this with these same guys for more then five years. “Hit the glass, and throw the gas”. It was our main strategy.
We arrive on scene. The ride itself only seemed to be a minute or so. Probably because I was getting that bad vibe and off in a trance the whole way there. Really, we were on the road all the way across the city. We parked, and around the corner I see a large broken-down house. The same house that was holding the supposed eight dangerous suspects inside. What I didn’t know was the horrific events that would occur in that same damn house. We unload and split up into two groups. One group for frontal entry, and one for back entry. I, of course, was in the frontal entry group as I always am.
The sun has now disappeared out of the sky. It was such a dark night. There was no moon or stars. Just a couple street lights and loud music down the street. It was still very cold out. Snow began to drizzle from the sky. There was a thin layer of fog low to the ground. I had an eerie feeling. I was soaked in sweat. I was getting that “bad feeling” again. I began to tremble I was so nervous. I kept thinking, “something’s not right”. I look back to check everyone. Everything’s fine. I’m trying to convince myself I’m overreacting and I need to just calm down. We approach the door and get the signal to make a move. With a large crack, Sgt. Hooper kicks in the door. With such smoothness, we filled the room from wall to wall like a lethal gas. The room was clear. I was stunned to find it empty. There wasn’t a sign of anyone. The eerie silence left an evil aroma in the house. It was quiet, way too quiet. By now we should have heard something or seen some movement. At least the other group should have made some kind of noise when they entered the house.
Following the few moments of horrible silence I heard the single noise that always brings chills to my bones and bad memories to mind. It was the sound of an automatic weapon firing off like a jackhammer. I hear the deep scream from my captain on the headset to come lay support fire in the upper level of the house. The other guys and me sprinted up the stairs. I make it to the top to see the flashes of the gunshots in the reflection of a mirror down the hall through a doorway. I must have frozen up for a few seconds, because a moment ago I was leading my group, now I’m behind them all still standing there. Right then it hit me. This was the feeling I had felt all that afternoon since the phone call back at headquarters.
As I enter the room where all the firing was coming from, I see my fellow men lying on the floor. Every last one of the other group had already been shot and were bleeding or completely motionless. My men around me were dropping like flies. As I look around the room it felt like time had completely stopped. I see about eight different figures scattered around the room. Behind a couch, under a table, crouching in the corner. They were everywhere. It was so dark, they looked as if they were only demons. There was no form, just a shadow. I then look again to my left and right to see that I’m the only one left that is still standing. I can feel my heart fill with hate and anger. My hand clenches tight onto the cold steel of my gun. Still, as if time were moving so slowly, I begin firing with rage. It was almost like I could see the bullets exploding from the chamber of my gun. One by one, I aim at each dark figure in the darkness of the room. It should have been so loud inside that room with all the gunfire. But I could hear a single bullet casing bounce off the rotten wooded floors I was standing on. What seemed like an eternity, was only a few moments.
Reality set back in. All the gunfire had stopped. It was silent now. Not that same eerie silence. It was a silence similar to that of a funeral. A sad, disheartening feeling. Still so dark, I can’t tell if there are any of them left. I hadn’t realized until this very moment that I was the only person still alive in the house. I look around the room, scattered, the men I’d spent the last five years with, were all dead.
I dropped to my knees. I feel my hands unclench off of the trigger of the gun. It falls from my hand and bounces across the floor. I feel my eyes swell up with tears. My heart grew cold and felt as if it had turned to stone. I see nothing. I hear nothing. I feel nothing.
BY CHRIS JOHN KALFAS, ENG 101-50