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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."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 76, Part 13

"There, you see, Larry, we're all going to buy it some day, but today's not the day for either of us."

Snaro nodded. He didn't say a word, just stopped firing for long enough to clap Frost on the back.

Frost was feeling ecstatic. Things had been rough between he and Snaro for a while. Ever since their falling out in the Mexican P.O.W. camp, their relationship hadn't been quite the same. They had been on speaking terms again by the time of the Winter Offensive, but they hadn't been close. Now, standing beside each other with the risk of death from all sides, they each felt a strong, unspoken bond.

"You know, I never knew my father," Snaro said, as though for no reason.

Frost nodded. He knew exactly what the other man meant, though it had seemed to come from nowhere. He felt like Snaro was a son at that point, and Snaro must have felt the reciprocal. It was amazing the way battle ruined some lives an cemented others in ways that would take years of work in peacetime.

"Larry, I..." began Frost, turning away from his gun.

He was interrupted by a Mongolian battle cry. A female Imp colonel was rushing at them, brandishing a huge sword. Frost was so stunned he dropped his AS gun and stumbled a few steps away from Snaro.

"No!" he yelled out.

It was too late. They were no longer defending each other back to back. He had lost his nerve for a moment and now the young lieutenant was dead. The Mongol colonel had neatly slit Snaro's throat and continued rushing on. Snaro had collapsed forward, his AS gun clattering a few feet from his hands. Frost just stared dumbfounded.

Forever after that moment he was certain he would have died at the hands of any of hundreds of ambushing Mongols if it had not been for one man. Seemingly out of nowhere a flamethrower handler began shooting sheets of flame at the Horses.

He screamed, "Die you Imp bastards!"

They began falling, many of them dead or wounded. The colonel who had took down Snaro was amongst the wounded. Frost knew the man had saved his life. He had just been staring there looking at his friend's dead body, not willing to defend himself.

One of the Monks picked up Larry Snaro's AS gun and fired at the flamethrower handler, detonating his fuel tank. Frost's savior exploded into an inferno of light and heat. Frost felt certain that a Mongol had caught him, because he could feel a pain like a sword through his heart. A scar on his chest seemed to confirm that he had been wounded. He fell to the ground unconscious.

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