Wrecked – Chapter 1
Chapter One – Waves
Sgt. Dewey Beverage awakens on a beach, waves washing up to his waist. He struggles to his feet, his waterlogged uniform weighing him down and staggers around in the sand before coming face to face with captured Pakistani Taliban soldier Akhbar Ali, still shackled, leveling Dewey’s glock at him.
“May I have the keys, my friend?”
“I ain’t your friend, bud. But toss me that gun and I’ll give you the keys, cowboy.”
Akhbar nods. “On the count of three, then.”
The glock and keys pass each other in midair and Dewey catches and points his weapon at Akhbar as he unshackles himself. Dewey fires and a bit of water dribbles out of the muzzle.
“Is that a squirt gun, Sgt.?” Akhbar asks.
Dewey grows frustrated, shaking his soaked pistol. “No, goddammit. This is a real damn gun. Made in America.”
Akhbar smiles. “Well, that explains it.”
Dewey points and pulls the trigger again; a little more seawater trickles out.
“Would you please stop firing your weapon at me,” Akhbar calmly requests.
Dewey holsters his pistol, red-faced. “You did this! You blew our ship up!”
Akhbar holds up the unlocked cuffs before tossing them into the sand. “How, pray tell?”
“Then you had your Taliban buddies blow it up to free you.”
“How many times must I tell you people, I am not Taliban. I do not know any Taliban. I am a simple merchant who was captured by your military and I fully expected our ship to complete its journey to your American torture island of Cuba. Our wreck took me as unawares as it did you.”
Dewey glances up and down the barren beach and thick jungle canopy beyond. “Enough with the big words. Let’s get movin’, Obama.”
Akhbar rolls his eyes. “Do you not mean ‘Osama’?”
Sgt. Beverage starts marching along the beach. “No, I most certainly do not.”
“Michelle Dunwoody, I love you. And I’m gonna be back in Tallahatchee sooner than a coon finds a pig foot at the bottom of a turnip barrel and we gon’ get marri–“
“Dewey, I slept with Hank.”
Sgt. Beverage staggers backwards and almost drops the receiver. “Hank Shirkey?!” he blurts.
“No, Hank Gorky. But actually, Hank Shirkey too.”
“What the dang hell, Michelle!”
“You been gone so long, Dewey. I been lonely. Did you really expect me to wait for you?”
Dewey pockets the ring he’s been fingering in his other hand. “Well…sorta.”
“I’m sorry, Dewey.”
Sgt. Beverage’s cousin-girlfriend hangs up and Dewey stands motionless in the hallway outside the mess hall of the USS Coolidge, as soldiers race by him in both directions. Suddenly the whole ship quakes and Dewey’s thrown to the ground as alarms go off all around him.
Send all hate mail to ethanrbooker@