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Wrecked – Chapter 7

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 04/18/2016


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

Chapter Seven – Cave

Sgt. Dewey Beverage is standing at the mouth of a cave on the side of the mountain at the center of the jungle island.

“Should we light a torch?” Akhbar wonders.

“No, I don’t think that’ll be necessary,” Dewey replies.

Akhbar turns to his shipwrecked companion with a grin. “You don’t know how to start a fire, do you? That’s why we’ve been left shivering and freezing the last two nights.”

“That aint’ true at all. I can light a fire anytime I like. I just don’t particularly choose to at this juncture in time.”

Dewey tentatively pokes at the cave walls with his spear as if expecting them to come alive.

Akhbar prods, “Are we going i–“

“I’m fixin’ to!”

“Alright boys, let’s bag up as much of these poppies as we can carry.”

Sgt. Beverage fingers the bulky brass ring on his left hand as he surveys his men pillaging the poppy fields of a captured Pakistani heroin farm.

“How we gon’ get all this smack back to the states, Sgt.?” one of Dewey’s privates asks.

Dewey taps his chin. “We’re gonna need an excuse to take ourselves a plane or a boat.”

Another private drops a heavy bag at Dewey’s feet. “When a high-level target is acquired and set for transfer, they sometimes take a freighter; because they’re afraid if the prisoner escapes on a plane he can take the thing down, but ya can’t take down a boat.”

“An iceberg could, I reckon,” the first private muses.

“Ain’t no icebergs in the Middle East, dummy,” the second private responds.

“Boys,” Dewey interjects. “Shut up. I know what we finna do. We gon’ acquire us a high-level target.”

Dewey & Akhbar are slowly tip-toeing into the pitch-black cave, like a couple of old-timey cartoon burglars. Dewey repeatedly stops to blithely inspect a wet leaf on the ground or a crack in the cave walls that he ponders is an ancient cave painting, hoping with every hesitation that Akhbar will take the lead and walk in front, to no avail.

“Oh, look at this. Is this bauxite?” Dewey pauses, holding up a small stone to the single ray of sunlight.

“It is another rock. Sgt., are you frightened?” Akhbar asks, a scent of a grin on his unseen face.

Dewey tosses the rock to the ground. “I ain’t scared a nothin’!”

The boys’ petty argument is interrupted by a low guttural growl from deep in the bowels of the mountain cave. Dewey & Akhbar clamber over each other in a desperate scramble to escape the cave and the distant beast within.

Mere days before Dewey Beverage is to begin his service in Pakistan, he’s in the Tallahatchee Hospital at the bedside of Bug Powell.

“I want you to have this,” the gaunt Florida drug lord mutters, removing the bulky brass ring from his skeletal finger and handing it to Dewey, his hand shaking, vibrating from weakness.

“I can’t take your ring, Bug. That’s the boss ring. You’re gonna need it when you get outta here and get back to work.”

“I ain’t gettin’ outta here, kid. You the boss now. Clem will keep an eye on things stateside while you over there increasing our inventory.”

Dewey chokes back tears. “I don’t want you to go, Bug.”

“I don’t wanna go neither, kid. But my immune system got other ideas.”

“Ain’t you scared, Bug?”

Bug shuts his eyes, whispering with his final breath, “I ain’t scared a nothin’.”

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