Larry Snaro turned over and coughed up vomit and blood. He pushed himself weakly away from where the pile was, and lay down. The world swirled around and around and around and around...
He vomited again. He moved to find a clean place in the small woods again, and nearly fell on top of John Frost.
"Colonel?" asked Snaro.
The colonel didn't move. Snaro leaned over and put his ear a few inches from Frost's mouth. He was breathing shallowly. Snaro jabbed Frost in the neck and got no pulse.
"His heart's not beating!" exclaimed the young lieutenant.
He looked around, as though looking for someone to take orders from, realized there was no one, and decided to take initiative. He thought back to distant CPR training he'd had. He threw his fist over Frost's heart, put his hand over the fist, and began pushing vivaciously.
The colonel sat up suddenly, his eyes boggled out, and he made a noise like, "Gaaaaagch!"
Snaro pumped feverishly.
The lieutenant jumped away and let the colonel catch his breath.
"First off," said Frost when he was breathing regularly again, "My heart was beating. You were checking my pulse in the wrong place. Second, you were giving CPR wrong, and third, you'd better damn well not have given me mouth-to-mouth."
"Sorry, sir, I'm no medic."
"A good thing for the medical industry. You are, however a scout. So where are we?"
"Somewhere outside Juala, I suppose. I've been out most of the time, anyway."
"Juala! What are we doing in Mexico still?" exclaimed Frost with incredulity.
"You pushed us here, colonel, remember?" said Snaro bitterly.
The time on the plane flashed back to Frost suddenly.
"Good God," gasped Frost.
A thickly accented voice from the shadows said, "God's got no business with you."
A horse carrying the burden of a warrior trotted slowly out of the trees around them. Two other soldiers were with him. While Snaro had never seen the enemy face to face, Frost had seen many.
This was a Mexican of some clear importance, apparent by his rank badges and medals to be a generalissimo or marshal of some sort. He looked huge and wolfish, as though he would at any moment spring on them and tear them to pieces while foaming at the mouth.
"Get up," said the general in Spanish.
Frost jumped to his feet. Snaro looked at him puzzledly.
"What did he say?"
One of the general's guards fired a warning shot towards Snaro with the huge rifle he was holding. Snaro got the gist and leapt to his feet.
"Now come along, you're to be a late birthday present for the commandant of our P.O.W. camp."
Oso pointed them in the right direction and Snaro struggled along, clearly injured in some way. Frost too had a slight limp.
"Are you all right, colonel?" asked Snaro.
"Fine, Larry," replied Frost.
A bullet punctuated Frost's reply. This time it had come from Oso himself.
"No plotting," Oso said.
They continued along, but Frost was quite obviously not fine. He struggled with every step.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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