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THE SANDY KNOLL (standard:Flash, 466 words)
Author: RamonAdded: May 26 2004Views/Reads: 1983/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A night on the sands of Iraq . . .

THE SANDY KNOLL -- Ramon Collins (444 words) 

“Jesus, the desert gets cold at night.” Nelson turned his field jacket
collar up. 

Sergeant Snyder squirmed over on his side to ease a lower leg muscle
cramp. “Sand don't hold much heat.” 

The sky looked dark and lonely stars glanced at each other.  Occasional
flashes to the  east appeared like small town fireworks gone wrong.  A 
breeze wafted in from that direction and a faint rumbling soon 

“Do you suppose they know we're over here, Sarge?” 

“Now what the hell do you think?” 

“I was just asking . . . you've been around here for seven months and
I've been here three days.” 

“Nelson, they damn well know we're here . . . feel better?” 

“I'd kind of like to see who's trying to kill me tonight.” 

“What's to see?  They'll look the same after yer gone.  If you don't
wanna die, stop joinin' the damn army.” 

Snyder inched his way up the sandy knoll with his elbows, keeping his
weapon out of the sand. Nelson watched, then did the same on the left 
side. ”Keep that goddamn muzzle outta the dirt!” Snyder's hoarse 
whisper startled him. 

“You get sand in the bore and squeeze off a round you won't have a hand
left. We got two enemies out here tonight . . . the fuggin' towelheads 
and the sand. They probably number about the same.” 

Nelson ran his finger around the end of the bore, then propped up a
little higher on his elbows. No lights to the east now, and the only 
sound was the breeze as it  bent clumps of dry desert grass on the 
knoll.  Snyder snaked his way to the right.  “Establish your field of 

The breeze stopped and silence took over. Nelson thought about home. It
wasn't that long ago that he was up at this time of day to deliver his 
paper route. That damn Ralph  Jenkins on Elm Street kept trying to 
stiff him on collection day. Ring the doorbell, wait awhile, then step 
down from the porch and watch  the drapes move on the front bay window. 
The cheap bastard hoped he'd leave.  For Chrissake . . . live in a 
half-million dollar house and stiff the paper boy.  I guess that's how 
people get rich. 

“Nelson . . . hear that? 

“Hear what?” 

Snyder propped himself on an elbow and looked back, over his shoulder.
“I heard a rustlin' sound behind us.” He rolled over, sat up and stared 
into the darkness. Nelson turned halfway around then froze. They tried 
to memorize the empty night. 

“Sarge, if you're tryin' to scare the shit out of a new man, yer doing a
good job.” 

“Is that what I smel --” 

Shots knifed through the dawn. 



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