Casualty of Mother Nature
All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of CBS and Ryscher Entertainment. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
I suppose you're wondering how I died, and I'll get to that in a moment. I've always hated rain, the wetness, the chill in your bones, the mud it leaves behind. There are so many reasons to dislike the wet stuff. Now I have the ultimate reason to hate it. Rain killed me. Plan and simple, if it weren't for the rain, I'd still be alive. And I'd just met a beautiful woman with the prettiest brown eyes I'd ever seen. When I looked into her eyes, I could see my unborn children, and for a man, that meant I found my soul mate. I could talk about women non-stop, but I digress. This story isn't about women; it's about how I died. It wasn't as painless as I would have expected, but then I didn't die immediately. After the accident, my best friend knelt beside me; he placed his hand on me, tears in his eyes. He knew I was a goner just as I did; I gave him a weak smile, all that I could do to reassure him it was okay, then breathed my last. But I suppose I should start at the beginning...
"ROLLLLLLLL CALLLLLL," Schultz bellowed entering Barracks Two.
"We don't want roll call today," Carter said looking up sleepily from his bunk.
"Jolly joker, time to get up," he hit the side of the bunks rousing the occupants. "Outside in five minutes and maybe we can get through before the rain starts!" Schultz left with one more bellow.
Colonel Hogan came out of his room hurrying the men outside, he smiled to himself listening to the men quibble and joke with Schultz waiting for the Kommandant to make his appearance. After about fifteen minutes Klink came out and was just getting wound up for what could have been a long speech that no one was interested in hearing. That's when the rain started, a few drops at first, then harder and bigger drops. Mercifully, Klink yelled to dismiss the men as he ran for cover.
"That's the only good thing I can say for the rain," Newkirk said shaking off the water from his coat.
"It looks like it'll last all day," Carter said looking up at the clouds.
"What's for breakfast? I'm starving," Kinch asked closing the door.
"Oatmeal," LeBeau answered taking out a pot.
"Oatmeal? We bloody need more than that," Newkirk declared.
"It's what we have. If you remember, you didn't want to go grocery shopping until the truck arrived for the officer's mess today. I have some raisins I can add to it," LeBeau answered defensively.
"It's warm, hearty, filling and taste good. Oatmeal is just fine," Hogan said watching the men grumble at the same breakfast they'd had for several days. "Hopefully that truck will come today and the rain doesn't delay it again."
A few minutes later LeBeau was handing out steaming bowls of oatmeal. "Andre, get that nasty thing off the table!"
"Why are you calling Felix nasty? He's clean, I gave him a bath yesterday!" Carter defended his pet mouse.
"I will not serve breakfast to a rodent!" LeBeau's eyes flashed dangerously.
"But he likes your cooking," Carter protested.
"You should be pleased it makes one bloody thing that can eat your food," Newkirk teased. LeBeau gave him a dirty look.
"No pets at the table," Hogan said taking a bowl.
"But Newkirk eats at the table," Carter countered with a sly grin.
"Hey!" Newkirk hit Carter with his hat.
Hogan coughed to cover his amusement. "Newkirk's trained, he knows how to use utensils. Felix can eat at the table when he learns how to use a fork."
"Did you hear that buddy? We have to teach you a new trick, and you can eat up here soon," Carter picked Felix up and placed him on the floor by his feet with a bit of oatmeal and a raisin. "It won't take long to teach him, Newkirk learned pretty fast."
"Is this pick on Newkirk day or something?" Newkirk groused.
"Yes!" every man in the barracks answered simultaneously.
"You're a sorry lot!"
"Please don't put food down on the floor! Soon we'll be overrun by rats," LeBeau pleaded as Carter shared more food with Felix.
"It's only a raisin, they're his favorite. Besides he's not a rat, he's a mouse. And the only one we have," Carter answered defensively.
"What about the brown one? Where did he come from?" LeBeau asked.
"Oh, that's Christy and she's a girl mouse. I think Felix is sweet on her. Every other mouse that's tried to come in here he's run out," Carter said.
"That's all we need. Do you realize what male and female mice make together? We'll have a whole nursery in a couple of months!" LeBeau complained sitting down.
"How the 'ell do you tell if a mouse is a girl or boy?" Newkirk asked shaking his head.
"Don't tell us you need a refresher course in the differences between men and women," Kinch asked with mock horror, while the others started tossing colorful comments around.
"Of course I don't," Newkirk was flustered. "I've never looked at a mouse. Some animals you can't tell is all I was saying."
"With a mouse it's really easy. Here I'll show you," Carter went to pick up Felix.
"I don't want to see no rodent's privates," Newkirk held his hand up to shield his eyes.
"Let's leave Felix alone until we're finished with breakfast," Hogan ordered feeling more like a parent, right now, than a commanding officer.
Newkirk looked over at Kinch, "I kinda stepped into that one didn't I?"
"Oh yeah buddy, you did," he laughed.
"Gov'nor, it's been a long time and maybe I should go into town today and get that lady with the pretty eyes to show me the differences again," Newkirk asked with expectancy.
"Nice try, but you're not going to town in this rain," Hogan answered.
"How about me, sir? I volunteer to go do a little recon work," Olsen said with a grin.
"No one is going to town," Hogan said getting up placing his bowl in the sink.
"Who cares about a little rain if there's a girl on the other end!" LeBeau declared. The other men chimed in with similar sentiments.
"Is that how you all feel?" Hogan asked looking at the faces around the table. He received affirmative answers from all. "Good, because there's a lot of sewing that needs to be done and since we're stuck inside it'll be a good day to get it finished."
"I'd rather be holding a girl," Olsen mumbled.
"Why thank you for volunteering to fix the hem on the little old lady outfit Newkirk wears, Olsen," Hogan grinned. "Any other volunteers?" The men got quiet. "I didn't think so."
"Sir, with the rain it's going to be pretty damp in the tunnels," Kinch said seriously.
"It's going to be damp in here," Hogan watched drops of rain start to fall from the ceiling. "Get something under the bad spots. I don't care if you bring the clothing up here as long as someone takes door watch. We're not likely to have any visitors today."
"We'll get it taken care of, sir," Kinch replied.
"I'll be in my office if anyone needs me," Hogan said refilling his coffee cup then disappearing behind closed doors.
Newkirk and Kinch went below bringing the clothing and sewing supplies upstairs passing them around the room.
Now, I know what you're thinking. If the Colonel hadn't given permission for the stuff to be brought up topside and the bunk bed entrance had remained closed, I might still be alive. But it wasn't his fault. Don't let the Colonel blame himself. I knew where the hole was under the bunk bed. Perhaps if Klink had fixed up the barracks it wouldn't have rained inside, but it really wasn't Klink's fault either. If it hadn't of rained then no water would have gotten inside the barracks. Nope, simply put it was Mother Nature that did me in. Although if the Colonel can use my death to get Klink to make repairs to the barracks then I guess it would count for something. I always thought I'd leave out the front gates, not through the pearly gates.
"I'm tired of sewing," LeBeau said about mid-morning throwing down the uniform he was working on. He picked up the broom sweeping under the table. The broom dislodged a raisin that had been dropped at breakfast.
Felix noticed immediately and climbed down Carter's leg, running after it. He'd been lying on Carter all morning for warmth. But the raisin was too tempting a treat to let it be swept away. As the raisin rolled towards the open tunnel entrance on the floor, Felix ran as fast as his feet would carry him. Too late, he ran through a water puddle on the floor losing all his traction trying desperately to stop before reaching the tunnel entrance. He flew over the edge falling below landing with a loud thump.
"Felix!" Carter yelled jumping up and looking over the edge. He could see his little friend lying on the ground unmoving. In a couple of quick steps, he climbed down kneeling beside him. "Oh Felix, I'm so sorry." He placed a hand on the mouse gently stroking his body.
Felix looked up with sad eyes wiggling his nose a small amount then passed away. Carter picked him up cradling him in his hand.
"I'm sorry mate," Newkirk said putting a hand on Carter's shoulder. "I shouldn't have left the tunnel open."
"It wasn't your fault. It was an accident," Carter replied with sadness.
"We'll help you bury him," Kinch offered. "I have a box that will be the right size."
So there you have it, the story of my untimely death. If the floor hadn't been wet from the rain, I'd been able to stop in time. I tried so hard, but the floor was too slippery. Take care of Andrew for me; he's the best human friend I ever had and this will be hard for him. Tell Christy when our babies are born; she should make sure Andrew gets to see them. Perhaps if we have a son, he'll be named after me. Hopefully they'll all have her beautiful brown eyes. Well it's time for me to move on, so I'll say good-bye now.
Felix the mouse