At a slightly slower speed than they had dispersed, the individuals came charging back once they had realized this volley of fire was only a warning. They were quite determined to show us that it would take more than the sound of gunfire to get them to leave. The gunner manning the .50 cal either had an itchy trigger finger or feeling that now he was the sole target of the crowd’s anger once again he opened fire above the heads of those in front of him, directing the muzzle of the thick barrel at the bullet riddled building again.

The crowd ran from the gunfire again, but this round of fire, however, was answered by others. It had not come from within our building though. We immediately took cover as debris burst forth from in front of our wall on the rooftop, but our stay behind the wall only lasted for a second. Without a command being given, each marine arose in full bloom up from the behind the wall to return fire. Scanning the crowd for shooters I saw none; I had yet to realize that the fire did not come from the crowd, but rather from a few individuals from across the street. The barrel of my rifle followed wherever my eyes went. It would have been so easy to release my tension by squeezing the trigger. Something compelled me to act upon this urge, but I restrained myself.

Somehow my muscles still had enough strength to squeeze in on me even tighter. The only muscles in my entire body that managed to stay relaxed were those controlling my trigger finger. Marines throughout the building failed to hold back their fear letting loose a barrage of bullets at anything that moved. The crowd’s actions had awakened the demon in each of us and many simply let this bastard offspring of fear run its course. I was no longer searching for those who had shot at us, and the crowd again captured my attention. As they ran to get away some of them slipped and fell, some had failed to get up, and some ceased moving all together. I could make out the path of three rounds hitting the deck one after the other; two more followed close behind, each entered the back of a man fleeing the scene. The pool of blood forming around him was clearly visible against the lighter shade of the sidewalk.

Ryan Glennie
Demons of Mosul
Page 1. . . 2. . . 3. . . 4. . . 5. . . 6. . . 7. . . 8