twilight of the shining moon

evans hopped out of the rolling jeep with his rifle and ruck sack as the muddy vehicle slowed to a stop in front of the remnants of task force kirkland. operation “shining moon” had taken its toll on the small unit and evans was called in from chumunjin to fill in one of the “gaps.” chumunjin was a tiny trading port about seven miles south of the 38th parallel where the best meal money can buy comprised of a few chicken feet and a little river rice. he didn't mind, they were soldiers, nobody complained. evans was itching to join the forces already in the field, and due to the recently unfolding events, the us military was more than willing to oblige him. evans was informed that task force kirkland was departing for nam-do that night. nam-do was a sparse island that hugged the low lying plains just north of p'yongyang’s forces. they were given explicit orders to take out the enemy command. how they were to achieve this impossibility was left completely up to them. here, victory was simply expected. the energy and excitement ran through the small unit like an electric current as the men hastily prepared for the impending assault. only absolute necessities were to be taken: ammo, weapons, radio. intel said the best entry point was through several miles of waist deep marsh during the cover of night. the enemy patrol and booby-trap elements were thought to be anywhere from light to moderate. it was never easy, you got what you got. intel here was about as shifting as the summer rains. nobody trusted it. “murray” a soldier said as he stuffed ammunition into his pockets for him. “evans” he replied. the man handed evans a black marking pen and turned around lifting his shirt, “type o positve.” evans removed the cap on the pen and began writing murray’s blood type across his back. “no sir mr. evans!” the nurse said taking the ink pen from the elderly man’s hand. “we do not write on others.” the nurse led the old man carefully back to his small room at the veteran’s nursing home. she helped mr. evans back into his small bed in the corner of the darkened room. “we'll need extraction teams on the ready.” he told the nurse as he held onto her arm. “i know you do mr. evans, i know you do." the nurse walked out and quietly closed the door behind her. evans slept with his rifle that night on the small uncomfortable cot in the corner of the sweltering tent. he didn’t mind, they were soldiers, nobody complained.

5 comments:

Mere Existence said...

“we do not write on others.”

This is so condescending... I love it. I want to work statements like this into normal conversations.

superflywebpimp said...

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.

pablo picasso

Perfect Virgo said...

"...a few chicken feet and a little river rice." Do you mean to say there is no vegetarian option? Disgraceful sir!

Mike said...

For a moment there I thought i was on the Mekong Delta.

Thomas said...

For a moment I thought I was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve.