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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."

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 60, Part 1

Abd Qajar came running up the dune as fast as he could. He tripped once, sliding a considerable distance back down the dune to the delight of al-Xyz's men. When he finally reached the top of the dune, Mossad al-Xyz was staring at him.

"General al-Xyz," he puffed out between panting breaths, "I need support. My left flank is beginning to crumble. The rest of my men are fighting as they should, but the left is failing. You must spare me some troops."

Qajar grabbed the larger man and began to shake him.

"Do you hear me, al-Xyz? I must have some of your men! You must help me! Answer me!"

Slowly, like a rock ambling along a slight incline slowly but surely, Mossad al-Xyz pushed Abd Qajar. The smaller man flew a few feet back and landed on his ass in the sand. This seemed to sober him up fast. Al-Xyz slowly trudged forward and pointed one chubby finger down at the battlefield.

"Look," was all he said.

Qajar bobbed his head like a bird and scrambled around to look where al-Xyz was pointing. It was quite obvious on the battlefield which troops belonged to one general and which belonged to the other. To the right of the battlefield the troops were grimly going about their business, pushing forward slowly and making certain all enemies were wiped out before pressing onward in a slow, inexorable advance. To the left the troops were jittery, uncertain, striking this way and that, seemingly unorganized, but fighting savagely and making brief jumps forward only to be pushed back and then push forward again. Both sides were having equal successes and equal losses.

Al-Xyz's troops on the right were slowly moving left towards Qajar's crumbling left flank. The troops met and, from the height of the dune, seemed to be battling each other, they were both so different in strategy. They struck a balance and then began to push forward again.

"At this rate we'll take Cairo by tomorrow! Oh, al-Xyz, you're a brilliant, brilliant man! My Allah keep and bless you! I must return to my troops! Farewell! Farewell, and thank you!"

Qajar was about to run off but found he could not move because of a steely grip on his shoulder.

"Qajar," al-Xyz said, carefully enunciating each word, "You'll return the favor to my forward troops?"

It was more a demand than a question, but Abd Qajar took it as a question. Looking out at the battlefield he could see that, just as his left flank had begun to disintegrate, al-Xyz's forward troops were beginning to also lose.

"Yes, yes, of course! I'll get to it right away!"

He ran down off the sand dune which was Mossad al-Xyz's headquarters, muttering questions and answers about stratagem to himself. General al-Xyz general had begun to slowly give terse orders as the other left.

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