the queen of hearts

the sun was beginning to rise from the east and the morning heat was sending shimmering ripples across the desert sands that bordered between saudi arabia and the vast lifeless areas due west of al jubayl. “e.t.a. twenty minutes!” twelve-pack yelled flashing two fingers up as we hit another bump in the desert that sent our helmets smashing into our knees. shit, you would think the 180 degree heat inside a bradley fighting vehicle is the worst you could possibly feel right? but it ain’t. it’s the stink. the god awful putrid stink. that was the worst. cannonball had a weak stomach and everyone winced and looked at him after every time we hit another dune in the sand. “you throw up…and you’re toast motherfucker.” bb-gun told him flatly with a cold stare. i felt bad for him. i happened to know it was cannonball’s birthday. but fuck, you didn’t dare tell anyone something like that over here, not to these mongrels. see, private moore had a real decent nickname once. we called him “spades,” on the count of he loved to play texas hold ‘em poker and all these other poker games that you never heard of in your whole life. i was pretty sure he was making the fucking rules up as he went too, till some other bastard from minnesota showed up and knew all the games too. anyway, spades made the mistake of getting teary eyed one night and telling someone in our unit that it was him and his girl’s anniversary, and boy that was it. he became known from then on as “the queen of hearts.” "five minutes everybody, lock-n-load!" twelve-pack barked with his normally jovial tone alarmingly absent. "hey, queen of hearts," bb-gun whispered loudly so everyone could hear, "when i get back home next month, i'm gonna make sweet-sweet love to your woman." we all laughed, and for the next precious five minutes, nobody could smell anything.

4 comments:

anne said...

Wow. This is really beautiful. Touching, evocative, sweet. This is one of those paragraph novels you wish would go on and on to find out how it all turns out.

camera shy said...

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Leah said...

thanks for the add superflywebpimp. and happy new year to you as well. :-)

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