Wrecked – Chapter 11
Sgt. Dewey Beverage & suspected Taliban soldier Akhbar Ali have washed up on a deserted island.
Chapter Eleven – Fire
Akhbar has emptied the gunpowder out of the remaining bullets in Dewey’s waterlogged pistol onto a pile of brush as Dewey rubs two sticks together.
“Knew you didn’t know how to start a fire,” Akhbar mutters.
“Shut up,” Dewey replies.
“You really think it’s wise to start a large fire on this small island?”
“This island ain’t that small. And engulfed in flames it’ll be visible for miles. Somebody’s bound to see it.”
“Yes, and where do we go while the entire island is burning? Do we float in the water like buoys?”
“We climb the mountain at the center of the island. It’s rocky at the top, no trees. When the fire dies down, we descend to shore; or wait for a helicopter to scoop us off the peak.”
“Well, you’ve just got it all figured out, don’t you?”
“Yes I do, thank you very much,” Dewey responds, his nose raised snootily. “Now pass me my heroin brick. Daddy needs a pick-me-down.”
Sgt. Beverage is overlooking his men covertly loading crates upon crates of high-grade Pakistani heroin, vaguely labeled ‘Supplies’, onto the lower deck of the USS Coolidge. Upstairs, CIA agent Chloe Mulligan is escorting Akhbar to a holding cell.
“I want your word Jerrah will go free.”
Chloe smiles as she shackles him to a table in the interrogation room. “She was always free.”
“I just needed to get you on this boat. Your girlfriend is safe.”
Akhbar watches helplessly as Agent Mulligan swaggers out of the room and locks the door.
After three hours of both men trading turns rubbing sticks together and a quick smack nap for Dewey, the gunpowder finally ignites and a flame glows brightly in the brush pile. Dewey & Akhbar leap up and dance around the fire, laughing. They embrace before quickly pushing each other away. Dewey removes his shirt, wraps it around the end of a long stick and collects the flames.
“Now what?” Akhbar beams.
Dewey’s eyes narrow. “Now we burn this mother down.”
The USS Coolidge has been traveling across the Atlantic for a few hours when the door to Akhbar’s interrogation room unlocks. Akhbar lifts his head off the table as a military officer enters.
“The Red Fox, I presume?”
“That is not my name,” Akhbar scowls.
“Figured it was more of a nickname. What is your name?”
“Akhbar. Akhbar Ali. And I am innocent of the char–“
“Yeah, yeah. Listen, Omar. I just gotta ask you a few questions. Strictly protocol. Otherwise someone at Guantanamo might think we had another reason for using this boat than just to transport a dangerous terrorist.”
Akhbar looks confused. “Wha–who are you?”
The man sits down across from Akhbar with a grin and drops a folder on the table. “Beverage.”
“Water would be fi–“
“Sgt. Dewey Beverage.”
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