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This is a short story for the warrior in you or anyone, the mentality needed to be a destroyer and the confidence to walk the line.
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It’s times like this that make me wish I was deep in the bush. I always feel safer when we’re in the bush. When the team and I walk the tiger trail darkness is our blanket of safety, a warm shelter that hides us from the enemy. Darkness is our holy shield and we love it. These base-camp boogers are afraid of the dark. They’re always saying silly shit like, “Charlie rules the night!” The fuck he does, Charlie doesn’t rule the night, Bravo Team rules the night; I rule the night.
That’s why I wish we were out there right now, this minute, walk’n the walk. Tag’n Charlie and then fading back into the high forest mist, that’s the way I like to work it. Bravo Team is the ghost that scares the shit out of Charlie.
It aint napalm, agent orange or Coke-a-Cola. It aint D model gunships or or Puff pounding ass. It aint halftracks and tanks rolling on highway one or coked-out camp boogers doing two hour pussy patrols around the camp wire. It’s Bravo Team walking in their shadow, finding their deepest, darkest, most secret, hiding places and exposing them to the light. What scares Charlie is Bravo Team.
Right now I need to find Captain Lancaster and let him know what’s up. These camp yahoos aint got a clue what kind a shit storms about to jump off. I see the CP (Command Post) bunker up head, hope’n the captains here. Inside the bunker it’s dark and I like that. It’s also ten degrees cooler and I like that too. Fat ass staff sergeant clerk behind desk, don’t much like that.
“Can I help you sergeant?” The asshole looks bored as he leans back in his chair with his hands folded across his beer gut.
“Yea, I need ta see Captain Lancaster; he here?” Asshole peering over the top of his heavy black rimmed GI issue glasses asks, “Ya talk’n about that bush monkey captain?” Wish’n I could slap the shit eat’n grin off his stupid mug, “Yea.”
“Just a sec,” fat dickhead labors up out of the chair and disappears deeper into the bunker. He’s gone for a couple of minutes and then reappears followed by the captain. I look at Cap and he knows. I turn and walk out of the bunker and Captain Lancaster follows without a word. Outside the bunker I stop and wait for Lancaster to catch up. The captain looks around and asks, “What’s up Papa D ?”
“Alice is head’n ta Wonderland sir.” Lancaster looks at me, takes a deep breath and slowly exhales.
“You sure about that D ?” Lancaster asks the question but I can see he doesn’t need me to verify what he already knows.
“Fraid so sir, “ he looks around taking in the camp layout again. The captain looks at me again and this time I can see the icy glint of combat in his blue eyes and he’s all business. “Okay, sergeant-give me the skinny.”
“Well, sir I was out check’n the wire and when I hit the southeastern sector I started smell’n BooCoo dinky dow smoke. Knew it wasn’t come’n from the booger side so I set down to scope it out. I kept the point for a while and, sir, wasn’t nothing move’n or sing’n, ya know, not even a fuck’n bug on the move. Makes me think the big nasty is set’n out there get’n ready ta rock and roll.”
“Think it’ll be heavy Papa D ?” Captain looking around obviously not happy with this news.
“My guess is NVA, sir and from the stink I’m think’n this is gonna be major, maybe no thumpers but wire tubes for certain.”
“Okay, sergeant, you get the team together. I’m going in here and see if I can get this bone-head major to get his shit together. In any case we gotta hit the fence before this shit jumps off.” The captain goes back in the bunker and I head for the GP medium named Motown, where then rest of the team is.
The sun is long gone when Bravo crosses the wire on the northeast side of camp. We part the bush heading west for about twenty minutes, then Zen Ranger, our point man, comes back and tells the captain and me that Charlie is due south and get’n stoked. Bravo Team sets down and waits.
Some time after midnight we can hear when Charlie hits the base camp wire. The slow cack-cack of the AK’s is intermingled with the high staccato firecracker sound of the base camp M16’s. We wait. The fire fight lasts about twenty minutes, then the jungle gets graveyard quiet. Two minutes later Zen Ranger appears out of the dark and says that Charlie is on the move. Bravo Team saddles up and heads out.
Bravo is walking in Charlie’s shadow. Charlie is dead and don’t even know it yet. Bravo is bush walk’n and I’m happy again.
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© 2005 Albert Davis
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