Ridges were pushing in from left and right into the distance. They looked like fingers pushing in between each other interlocking. Yes, they looked as dry and brown as the dried and dirty work hands of a redneck pa. Only straight down ran a weak river twisting left and right past the ridges. He could count the ridges into the distance: one, two, three, and four. Four more ridges to night camp were left. They had run out of gas, the gas that was firing their boots. Those dusty, dirty army boots were stepping along an old Bedouin path.
Earlier that day, their eyes had half been on the sheep shit pebbles on the path to avoid stepping on them. The other half had been admiring tall black burned bushes with all branches facing up to form a cage, itsy little bit yellow flowers on a pale gray flower, true cacti with their spikes on green flesh. The sun, heat, and dryness had beaten all flair de vivre out of them. Their eyes were solely fixing the fourth ridge in the distance, the thumb on the topographic map, and the rapidly lowering sun.
They were crossing a field of grass. The field was flat. The golden grass was thick and thigh high. By any other measures, it could have been a summer dream dancing through the fields of Italy with barefoot kids pulling kids. Yes, this morning at mission briefing in the air conditioned office, their captain holding a cup of fresh coffee with steamed milk in the hand had said that it were a vacation: Protect a ridge next to a natural hot springs. "Sit in the Jacuzzi, pet the rubber ducky with one hand and the other hand on the barrel." That's how he had explained their mission. This field of grass had the grass dried out long ago in the desert heat.
Dried out and mind numb, so were Sergeant Major Blane and Corporal Sookie. Blane looked at Sookie's ass, as she was wading through the grass in front of him. With the overnight backpack towering over her back, her camouflage print fatigues were the only sexy spot of her body exposed. Thank the lord, for black women with their juicy asses. The point of an ass is not to walk. The point of an ass is to have the bulges and curves in the right spot to trigger a massive dose of brain chemicals to be released inside of males. The curve on the side of her ass, at the smile of her ass, and in between her ass cheeks, those were the drugs that helped him move on. They helped him forget the dried out nostrils plugged with desert dust that plagued him since hours.
As they reached, the end of the field, they saw movement at the slope below. They quietly cowered behind a thigh high rock. "Looks like a perfect hiding spot, the only rock in this goddamn flatness. Keep the enemy guessing, where possibly, we could be hiding, dirt diver." "Fucking shit, Betty Blue." Blane's call sign was "Betty Blue." Betty Blue is a French film with the French title of "37.2 degree Celsius in the morning." That is the normal body temperature of a pregnant woman. Blane was infamous for the pregnancy scars at the academy, yet lucky enough to have gone scotch free so far. Sookie's call sign dirt diver should have an easy enough to imagine background.
It was like it always goes. They were shivering and tense from adrenaline. Yet, their crouched position gave them enough of their own body for a self hug to self nurture. The thighs, where pressed on the chest. The arms were rapped around to hold the M16. The right hand would shift from the trigger to the grenade on the vest. Blow 'em up or shot 'em down?
"Yeah, that's what the last scum bag said, too. They hand out IPod's with those phrases now."
"Code Papa-Uniform-Sierra-Sierra Papa-Alfa-Lima-Alfa-Charlie-Echo"
Sookie scrambled for the dog eared code book in her pocket. Flags, color coding, symbols, dates were circled, pointed, and abandoned by her index finger. It was the right daily code.
"Are we good now?"
"No, the last fucker had found the same fucking book on a dead body. You move and I blow your head off."
"Venga, dame eso y para ya de tocar los cojones! Scrap the bullshit, you blunt idiot of a toad. We have been marching for days to extract a piece of shit package. You blonde son of whore with green ears and pee drops in your panties, when I get my hands around your bloody rotten throat, I will ram my dick up your ass so high that it'll tickle your throat. You fucking fuckup, you...."
"Definitely American! We are coming out now. We are two Rangers behind the only rock around here."
Five scrawny Asians in camouflage climbed up the hill. They were quiet. Their faces had the plainness of a long day of walking. Their officer shared that they had seen some action. They were bringing their target home for tagging and identification. At first Sookie and Blane exchanged faces due to the lack of a stretcher, coffin, or any other means to transport a human being. However, as the men walked past them in file on their way out of the combat zone, they saw the head tied to the back of a back pack. The head was cut off at the throat. The messy and sweaty curls sticking to the forehead were the most memorable. It had been a man with dark eyes and dark hair. Now, he was pale, drained of blood, and with its eyes closed. The next soldier walking past them carried his hand on the backpack, presumably for finger printing. They were glad that the ghastly convoy had moved on.
An hour later, they arrived at a river crossing. He had already gotten his boots wet earlier during a mishap. So, he carried her across to spare her still dry boots. She stood on a rock. He squatted down. He grabbed in between her legs with the right arm. The left arm grabbed her arm and pulled her on his shoulders. Her chest and belly were now lying on his shoulders and top of the backpack. She lied on top of him like a wet and slack package. He could not get much joy of the idea of the possibility of feeling one of her boobs through the uniform, shoulder strap and all the crap hanging on him. The water felt oddly good. He was looking down at the only refreshing and vividly alive thing in this desert. He negotiated the best stepping places between the greenish rocks in the water to avoid them falling and getting soaked. Horse shoe marks right at the egress of the water. A mounted unit must have come through. The sun was barely over the horizon.
When the sun was down, the reddish shimmer showed them the jungle that they had to cross. The map said that on the other end was their camp location. The map was too old to tell them about the swamp ahead. The river had widened onto soft sandy banks. The water had grown thick vegetation and standing pools of water. The Bedouin trail had run into a wall of green somewhere: A shallow river branch with tall reed on the other side. They had to find their own way to a camp that may not exist anymore.
They doubled back to the beginning of the sand banks, where the river was still defined. On the other side, a faint animal trail lead under willows and in between thick bushes with a million leaves. The green coverage and waning daylight made them turn on the flashlights. The beams of the flashlights were running over sand and little branches growing out of the sand. Half a klick into green jell-o was a sand bar with an old metal foldout chair and black fire circle. Sookie thought that it might be the camp site. Blane thought that it was straight out of the computer game Half Life. Father Grigori would have set up a hangout spot like this to down beer, while he was shooting zombies. They walked on.
They had to turn the flashlights off. With the protection of the green jell-o behind, the light might give them away. In front of them was the mountain slope. In between was a patch of grass and spread out trees. Meandering through it was the continuation of the Bedouin trail that would lead up the mountain in a gully. That was for tomorrow. For now, they needed to put up camp. The hut and low walls up front may be the camp ground.
Sookie had a worried face. She clutched his belt hard, as she was following his lead closely. They were advancing in a low crouch along a wall towards the hut. The M-16 was at the ready with the security off. He set the fire mode selector was set to burst mode. A burst of three bullets per click would raise the chances of one bullet bringing down the prize without emptying the whole magazine on a single target. Most of the time, your heart is beating like mad for another empty dilapidated piece of nothing. The few times a bogie pops up, you wish that you had been vigilant a second earlier.
"Let's pop a grenade and blow the whole hut to shreds," whispered Sookie. She clearly didn't like the tension of sneaking up on the hut. "We'd be watching our six the whole night for all the cockroaches that we'd wake up in this whole valley." Sookie stood flat against a tree. She seemed to be carrying utterly too much for her body. The straps of the backpack, canteen, and M16 made for an intricate work of webbing. Her face was tense and focused on the task at hand.
Her barrel was lowered and aimed at the hut. Her trigger finger moved from a safe position along the barrel onto the trigger. Blane's fingers counted down to three. He jumped up and over the low wall in front of him. He dashed towards the hut. He broke down the door. He swiftly moved the gun sight through the corners of the hut. The hut was utterly empty. There was not even a floor on the ground. His boots were standing among bleached white bones. The white was so stark that it was almost phosphorous. The bones were long and large, probably harmless and bovine.
He got Sookie to fall back to the green jell-o, before she realized the bones. He knew a spooked soldier, when he felt her wet hands clutching on him. Father Grigori spooked him. So, they went back pushing through plants looking for a good night spot.
A dry sand bank lighted in the now risen almost full moon light provided an inviting place. The loose sand would be a soft bed to sleep on. A few branches burning in a circle in front of them provided much needed cheer to scare the ghosts out of their bones. The warm food would give the belly courage. The green jell-o would hide the light of the fire.
The tent was set up swiftly: Packs at the entrance, boots knocked against each other stuffed next to the packs, the sleeping bugs puffed up and rolled out, the dusty overclothes kicked off and rolled into a corner. "Do you want to fuck?" "Yes, let's fuck."
Life returned into the movement. Hands were gliding under the open sleeping bag. Panties were pulled down. A hand reached for a boob. A mouth snatched a kiss. A rubber was pulled out of a pocket with strain. Teeth bit a neck. "Is it in?" "Can you put it in?" Good feelings rolled. Bodies rolled under the sleeping bag to find each other for more skin contact. Sweat collected on an eye brow. A hand found a boob in between the fabric and underwear. A foot caressed another foot.
"Flip over, your crotch makes me hard" Sookie turned on her stomach. Blane pounded her from behind. His fingers feathered her clit. Then, his hands held her hips, as he drove his soul down and into her. Sookie moaned softly into the puffed hood of her sleeping bag. He warned her about imminently coming. He came. She had already come. A minute of afterglow, then hands fumbled under covers to securely wrap the wet condom in tissues and put it in a safe place. "That's why I like oral better in the field," were Blane's thoughts.
When he awoke again, it was night. The tent ceiling was covered with thick pregnant water drops. Sleeping in the midst of a humid river sand bank had not been a good idea. He did not want to move to accidentally kick the water on Sookie and him.
The morning light roused him for a second time. Sookie was sleeping on her back. Her face was red and squished from the night. A boob lurked out from under the half open sleeping bag. A crease was running across her brown firm breast. She had been lying on her chest earlier and a fold of fabric must have pressed into her. He was ready to get busy with her again. The atmosphere in the tent felt like they were simply on a camping trip out in nature for fun and sexual frolicking.
During breakfast, the sat phone rang. The patch of dirt that they were sent to protect turned out to simply be a patch of dirt worthless to protect. The wise wizards at the Pentagon ordered them back for a new mission.