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Wrecked – Chapter 4

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 04/02/2016

Wrecked

Sgt. Dewey Beverage & suspected Taliban soldier Akhbar Ali have washed up on a deserted island.

Chapter Four – Validation

“I’m afraid we cannot help you, Mr. Ali.”

Akhbar Ali is seated in the permit office for the local government of Ogra. “I do not understand. I have renewed the permit for my kabob cart without a problem for the past three years. What has changed?”

The permit clerk, a gruff older man well-respected in the neighborhood, looks down at his desk and shuffles some papers. “You were seen being led away from the Venus Cafe by American forces several days prior.”

“They just wanted to ask me some questions.”

“That is what concerns us.”

“It was a harmless misunderstanding,” Akhbar pleads.

“I’m afraid we cannot help you, Mr. Ali.”

The clerk shuts Akhbar’s file and he gets up and sullenly exits the office.


“A kabob cart? Goddamn, don’t tell me that. I’m starving.”

“And what did you do for work before entering the military, pray tell, Sgt.?”

“I was in the, uh, pharmaceutical industry.”

Sgt. Dewey Beverage & Akhbar are trudging into the island jungle, armed with sharpened spears.

“You really think there’s a black panther on this island?” Dewey asks.

“That, or a jaguar. It would explain the howling we heard last night.”

Dewey stops in his tracks and spikes his spear into the mossy jungle floor. “What if this ain’t even an island. What if it’s one of them archaeopteryx? Or a pteranodon?”

“If you’re referring to archipelagos & peninsulas, then…” Akhbar hesitates. “Well, I suppose the thought hadn’t occurred to me.”

Dewey picks up his spear and starts back in the direction they came.

“Where are you going, Sgt.?”

“Back to the beach. We’re gonna span the shoreline until we can find a way off this archaeopteryx.”


Akhbar Ali is exiting the permit office onto a dusty windy Ogra street when he is approached by a freckled brunette in a keffiyeh.

“Akhbar Ali?”

Akhbar looks up, his sullen expression sinking further at the sight of a white woman in his rural Pakistani village, holding out her hand.

“My name is Chloe Mulligan. I’m with the CIA.”

Akhbar shakes his head. “Oh no, I want nothing to do with whatever you’re selling. I already spoke to your military officers and that meeting cost me my job.”

“What if I had another job for you.”

Akhbar pauses, turning tentatively. “What kind of job.”

Chloe smiles. “Mr. Ali, how would you like to serve your country.”


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