the ring of fire

jay skipped the last of the four concrete steps in a full hurdle and he kicked open the rusted metal door to the roof of the u.s. embassy. a strong gust of tropical heat washed over him and jay briefly took a knee until his squinting eyes adjusted to the blinding mid-day light of saigon. the sounds of crackling gunfire penetrated the amber cloud of swirling dust as the huey hovered over the families waiting to be evacuated. jay couldn’t understand what the vietnamese official was yelling into the loudspeaker, but the urgency in his voice was apparent, the embassy was under attack and only a privileged few officials and their families would be evacuated, everyone else would have to take their chances with the approaching vietcong guerillas. “we got three at the gate that need to get through!” a man in a white linen shirt screamed to jay, holding his straw hat down tightly to his head. “evacuation plan "ring of fire" has been activated! hold down the embassy at all costs! you got that soldier?!” jay knew that he would be the last to leave, and it wouldn’t be on a chopper, that luxury was reserved for civilians. jay was fine with that, he was a marine. jay pushed the man aside as the overfilled chopper began to lift off. a heavyset man in dark sunglasses tried to wave him off, signaling with his hands that they were full. jay grabbed the man by the shirt and pulled him out of the helicopter and the man hit the concrete with a heavy thud. jay lifted a small boy by the back of the shirt from the waiting group and tossed him like a ragdoll into a woman’s arms in the huey, then did the same with three more girls. as they lifted off, the woman held onto her children and thanked jay with her tear filled eyes. "no need to thank me miss" jay thought to himself as the thundering bird drifted off into the deep blue saigon sky. “what in the hell do you think you are doing?!” jay’s mother said standing in the backyard with her hands on her hips. “you get down off that roof and i mean right now young man!” the six year old reluctantly descended the ladder into his mother’s arms and she lowered him to the ground. “don’t you ever get on that roof again mister, do you understand me?” jay quietly removed the canteen from his belt and took a long drink and thought to himself, "what the hell do you know about war baby?"

5 comments:

Lizabeth said...

Once again, I loved it! I also love the graphics!

Brian said...

Seriously though, these are some of the best short stories ever, why aren't you making money off of them??

RuKsaK said...

That's really clever stuff, well written - you got yourself a new reader in me for sure. Always on the look out for blogs which actually have 'writing' on them.

finnegan said...

Brian

Our hero is descended from a great line of anonymous (and filthy rich) nobles. His escapades as a world player leave him no time for anything diversionary, save poking his head into Tootsie'® now and then.

finnegan said...

"When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."