The Crossroads

There's a breathless wind in the air tonight. The tree ruffles and the tall grass shakes. Nothingness, silence. Along the dirt road there is not a sound to be heard. And yet I sit in the trees, watching, waiting. Machine gun cocked, I am prepared to kill, kill anything that moves on the road.

My insignia glistens in the moonlight, I take them off my collar, still with my finger on the trigger. I clumsily undo the frogs and manage to prick my finger. Annoyed I throw the Insignia into the trees behind me, not caring about rank or title. I have one job, kill, kill as many Americans as possible before I get killed. I re-cock my MP40, as my hands shake on the handle.

Suddenly the wind picks and blows and whistles. It sounds like a ghost moaning, eerily, it continues, the low whooping wind. The wind causes a bird to sound off. Then, I heard a twig snap, for a brief moment my heart sank, I reached for my pistol and discharged all 7 rounds into the woods. The shots resounded, like lightning, for miles around. There was nothing there, only an owl who had jumped off a branch and was now frightened to death.

I breathed hard and put my hands on my face, stupid, stupid. I quickly regained posture. "No you are not, you are a man, I am 19, I am a intelligent man." I slumped back on my stomach in prone position and waited.

Time moved slowly, I checked my watch often, the hours ticked away. First it was 10, then in was 11. Not a sound to be heard, no explosion, no gunfire, no engines. Then 12, then 1, still nothing.

Then it happened, two head lights, far out in the night, they where proceeding down the road toward the crossroad. The ground began to very faintly tremble and lights got closer. The familiar rumble of a diesel engine, then the metallic grinding. I held my MP40 close to my face as it got closer.

Suddenly out of the pitch darkness it emerged, as a killer from the shadows, a tank rode down the road headed straight for my position. I panicked, I quickly dashed back for more concealing cover. The tank rode right to the crossroads and stopped. I swallowed hard as I held my gun. Then the latch opened and a man wearing a leather jacket emerged from the iron beast. I held my ground and watched, he flashed a light and began reading a map he had pulled out of his pocket. He was talking with crew about the directions, or so it seemed.

His flashlight illuminated him very well. His hard features cast in the shadows made him look demonic. I waited, finger still on the trigger. For one moment, pumping with adrenalin I made the ultimate decision. The gun let out a bullet, just one, it hit him, the light went out and he fell sideways out of the tank. I had done it, I had taken life. I had little time to think.

For then three more men emerged and dashed and took cover behind the tank, however they where taking cover behind the tank facing me. They obviously didn't know my position.

But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't, they where not even aware, and that would be dishonorable. So I stood to my feet and I let out a yell, and for one millisecond they turned around and saw me. I didn't wait, a nanosecond longer, I let out a war cry and let loose the entire magazine. The gun recoiled and shuttered, blew back and expounded, it let loose the dogs of war and each man was filled with hot iron lead, and breathed no more. All three sank to the ground and there was silence.

Suddenly the tank came to life and began to lumber back, trying to turn around and go back in the other direction. I threw out the old cartridge and loaded a new one and cocked my gun. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me and ran behind the tank. I opened the latch and without thinking, blasted as many bullets as I could into the Iron Clad monster. I heard a scream, and I saw some of the equipment catch fire. I put down the latch and jumped off the tank, which I expected to come to a halt. But it didn't, the tank kept rumbling in the same direction it had once come from. Not letting off the gas it cruised into the cold darkness, the same as it had came.