The Release - Short Story - C.G. Buswell
Tartan Noir Writer

The Release

A party of army medics and nurses celebrate Halloween Night. As the evening progresses a Ouija Board is brought out. Will these military heroes be brave enough to allow the talking board to communicate from beyond the grave?

The Release is the frightening new short story from 5-star author C.G. Buswell. It will have you turning on the lights to seek comfort from the shadows that flicker and dance with each turn of the page.

the release
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The bullets whizzed around the courtyard like deadly swarms of killer bees as Scott ran to his buddy. Their pinging noises seemed to be a match in intensity to that of his rapidly beating heart. Two black-balaclava-wearing terrorists were leaning out of the shattered windows, paying disregard to the jagged remains of the glass. They were intent on killing the Brits as their rifles belched out deadly firepower in an inharmonious unison. An explosion shook the earth behind Scott, showering his helmet with chunks of earth and rock which resounded around his ears with each thump. He staggered briefly, momentarily disorientated, but was soon back on track. Then his grimy, booted feet dug into the shingled earth as he halted his momentum and came to a dead stop. He looked down and quickly assessed the situation.

His fallen comrade coughed involuntary as the dust blew up and found its way into his lungs like an insidious foe. Rounds of ammunition continued to rain down on them from the well-protected enemies in the buildings above. Scott knelt and unslung his rifle. He let off a few rounds to where he'd estimated the heavy fire had come from.

He couldn't help a cheeky grin, 'that'll hold them off for a bit. See how they like it,' he thought. Scott looked down at his pal who was now coughing up blood between desperate bubbly wheezes.

'Sorry mate, it looks like a chest wound. Must've taken an unlucky bullet in through the side gap of your body armour. Let's not hang around here.'

He looked to the burned-out car to their left. 'This is going to hurt a bit,' and before he could get a reply he had grunted in anticipation of the load and clumsily heaved the fallen soldier over his left shoulder, staggering with the burden. 'Not like a rag doll at all, more like a dead weight,' thought Scott grimly, 'Let's hope that's not a prediction.' Like a cliched movie action hero he arose from the ground and laid down covering fire as he then stumbled to the safety of the vehicle, each staggering step made his thighs burn with pain as his muscles screamed out with the unwelcome exertion. He continued to fire knowing that he had no chance of hitting his target, but it bought them valuable time in which to get to safety.

As they reached the car's open bonnet Scott could see that the shell of the vehicle had been totally fire-gutted and would afford little protection, rounds would easily punch their way through the rusted carcass. He stopped firing and concentrated on moving further forward. 'If I can only make it to the corner, then we'll be safe,' he thought.

But the enemy had other plans, they sent down a deadly volley that punctured the wounded soldier's body armour and then ripped through Scott's back. Their blood intermingled as it sprayed outwards, soiling their combat uniform and the ground beneath them. Scott could feel the soldier's weight as the dampness of the pumping blood poured from his exit wounds and onto his own back, soaking through his body armour and uniform like a river that had burst its banks during a flood. Bullets continued to pierce through both their vulnerable bodies, as easily as if shooting cans in a penny arcade. As one they fell, into an ungainly heap on the dusty floor of a foreign land. Scott wheezed and struggled for breath as he vainly tried to lift the dead soldier from above him. He gave up the struggle and crumpled to the ground, defeated. His friend's arm flopped over to the side of his head, blood poured down and dripped to the shingly earth. His last sight was of his pal's blood-soaked wedding ring, as if his wife was chiding him for not saving her husband.

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