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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."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 54, Part 2

Frost awoke quite suddenly. He was battered, bleeding, badly hurt. He tested himself to see the limits of his movement, and he found it was unlimited, aside from the sore aching pain.

The colonel looked to his right, where he saw Snaro in a bed, resting uncomfortably. He wondered suddenly about that. The Mexicans had only ever given the prisoners wooden slats with minimal cushioning before. Then his eyes fell to rest on a red cross on a background of white. They were in a hospital.

He was in his underwear, but his uniform was sitting on a chair nearby. He slowly sunk out of the bed and put the uniform on. It had long since grown tattered and threadbare.

No one else was in the room. He and Snaro were completely alone. He looked out the window. His heart began to pound furiously in excitement. There were no fences and only one guard. Only prisoners who were too badly wounded to escape were sent to the hospital - or so the Mexicans thought. Frost could make it. And Snaro could if he was conscious, Frost reluctantly thought.

He ran over and began furiously shaking his comrade.

"Snaro! Snaro, wake up!" he hissed.

The lieutenant woke blearily up and looked at Frost.


"Yes! Come on, this is our only chance to escape!"

"Where will we go?"

"It doesn't matter. We've just got to get out of here. Can you walk?"

"Yeah, I think so."

Larry got out of bed and groaned in pain. He slowly, deliberately began to put on his uniform.

"Come on, hurry!" Frost insisted.

Snaro soon finished and they were headed toward the door, when the younger man stopped himself and his superior.


"What is it?"

Snaro grabbed up a syringe and a bottle of liquid.

"Anesthesia. We may need it to knock out any Mexicans."

"Good thinking. Come on!"

They both snuck carefully out into the corridor, but seeing that no one was there, they made a dash for the nearest door. In the Juala Prison Camp Hospital, there was only one floor, and so no stairs to go down.

Outside, Snaro nearly ran over a Mexican doctor, who nearly let out a scream before Frost put his hand over the man's mouth. Snaro injected him, and then let him slip to the ground.

"Let's go," whispered the lieutenant.

They stealthily walked up behind the guard. Snaro jammed the syringe into the man's neck, and he fell to the ground almost instantly, but his gun went off as he fell. A stream of shotgun shells went off into nowhere.

"They're bound to have heard that. They'll be coming. We've got to head out now, and quickly," said the lieutenant colonel.

They both ran off as fast as they possibly could, into the desert. They got only two or three miles before Snaro collapsed of dehydration and sunstroke again.

Frost got down on his haunches and turned Snaro's head.

"Larry, can you hear me?"

The second lieutenant nodded.

"You're not going to die. Do you hear me? You won't die."

Snaro nodded.

"I know," he coughed out, "I've never been worried about dying from the heat. I know I won't. I've never been worried about being killed by a bullet. That's why I've never been afraid around bullets. Guns are the bane of other men, not me. I know exactly how I will die, I just don't know when it'll happen."

Snaro pointed at his jugular vein on his neck.

"Right there. My neck. When I die, it'll be because my neck is sliced open, right there. I've felt it, all clammy like the pallor of death. That's how I'll die. The only man I fear is one with a knife coming at me."

With that, he fell unconscious again. Frost stood up. He felt about ready to go out cold himself. The sun was making the air seem hazy from the heat. Off in the distance...was it metal, glinting in the sun?

He turned his eyes away. There was something out there. He could almost hear the sound of engines revving and troops marching. The metal of the tanks were burning his eyes. He waved his arms wildly, in a perversion of semaphore, just to get their attention, if they were there. Maybe it was just a mirage. Just a mirage...

He collapsed on top of Snaro's body. Two minutes later the American army came onto their position.

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