Wrecked – Chapter 8
Sgt. Dewey Beverage & suspected Taliban soldier Akhbar Ali have washed up on a deserted island.
Chapter Eight – Tunnel
“So you are CIA, my friend?”
Akhbar Ali is sitting across an outdoor dining table from a smiling older gentleman in a pakol.
“Mr. al-Roqu, I don’t know what your child soldier told you, but there seems to have been a misunderstan–“
“Eat your soup, Agent Ali.”
“Sir, I am not an ag–“
Taliban leader Abdul al-Roqu points at the bowl in front of Akhbar and he reluctantly picks up his spoon.
“Enjoy this meal, for it will be your last. You will be executed as soon as the next drone flies overhead, so your death will be broadcast in full view of your fellow imperialist sympathizers.”
Akhbar stares down at the lukewarm khichra he’s stirring. “Well in that case, may I have a kebab?”
Akhbar & Dewey’s breath is visible as they huddle under a large leafy bush, their third consecutive sleepless night in the cold jungle.
“We need food,” Akhbar mutters weakly. “We need shelter. We need fire.”
“This is a jungle, man. There’s food all around us. These plants are food. Bugs are food. Hell, this dirt is food.”
“Dirt is not food.”
Dewey scoops up a handful and shakes his fist at Akhbar, his eyes wild with insomnia. “This is jungle dirt. Fulla nutrients.”
Dewey stuffs the clump of dirt in his mouth and immediately starts projectile vomiting.
Back in his Taliban cell, Akhbar starts digging at the dirt floor under the rickety wall made of loose wooden boards with the soup spoon he’d pocketed. By midnight he’s dug a hole big enough to shove his arm under and begin loosening the wooden slats. A stray dog stuffs his face through the hole from the outside, whimpering softly. Akhbar shoves him away and by sunrise he’s loosened the board enough to wiggle his wiry, hungry frame outside.
Akhbar’s hobbled a hundred yards away from the camp when the surrounding desert floor is lit up by flood lights. Akhbar is swarmed by armed military as troops storm the camp, opening fire. Nearby, Sgt. Dewey Beverage looks on from behind the wheel of a Hummer.
Back on the island, Dewey continues projectile vomiting as Akhbar looks on queasily and pats his back.
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