The Union Creek Journal

A Chronicle of Survival

Archive for the category “Parallel Stories”

Relief Pitcher

As Pitcher and his men crested a long rise, a fertile valley spread out before them.  Below were the signs of started crops, hillsides dotted with cattle and the pungent odor of hogs kept in confinement.  Although it reminded Pitcher nothing of his home in the Georgia swamps, it felt welcoming after more than 1000 miles over treacherous dirt roads.

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The Fight

The fight began just before dinner.

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Shock & Awe

The FEMA camp that had become General Wei’s headquarters was a hive of activity.  Wei sat on the rooftop of the former high school, an umbrella shading him from the warm May sun.  As he sipped a sweetened ice tea, Wei watched with approval as his own troops combined their efforts with the men under Lanigan’s command.  Surprisingly, despite the language barrier, the groups were working together quite effectively.  A handful of the Chinese U.N. troops were capable English translators.  Their abilities enabled the two groups to work together in a relatively seamless fashion.  None of the Americans spoke either Mandarin or Cantonese.

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The Musings of Wei

After Lanigan left his quarters, General Wei picked up his snifter and swirled the warm liquid, watching as the light played in the intricate colors of the 20 year-old bijiu.  Wei inhaled deeply and then took a sip allowing it to play over his tongue and then down his throat.  The general raised the glass, as if in a toast, and followed the first sip with another.

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Pitcher Full

Pitcher turned his head as far to his right as it would go and then pressed on his jaw to stretch the muscles and ligaments in his neck.  It had been nearly six months since the Blackhawk crash that broke his neck.  Of course, there had been no X-rays to show the damage to his vertebrae, but the pain and temporary paralysis had been evidence enough.

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The Armory

Gravel crunched under the tires of the big diesel pickup.  Tanner braked the truck to a stop and leaned forward, his arms crossed over the top of the steering wheel.  Behind him, two more pickups rolled to a stop.  The wear indicators on the brakes of the middle trucked squealed slightly signaling that it was time to replace the pads.

Tanner looked up at the sky and noticed a Red Tailed Hawk circling overhead.  The sun glinted on the windshield causing the big man to squint even though he was wearing polarized sunglasses.

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The Beginning

Lawrence Lanigan gave Schmidt’s body a shove with his boot.  The body flopped over face up as Schmidt’s daughter screamed through the duct tape covering her mouth.  The girl shook free of the two men holding her arms, stumbled and then rolled over to her father’s body.  She put her head on his chest sobbing.

“Get her back in the Hummer,” Lanigan ordered the three men standing near the rear of the HMMWV.

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On the Nose

Wind rushed through the open cargo area of the Blackhawk as Manny accelerated away from the airstrip.

Pitcher attempted to shout over the noise, “We need to finish these guys off!”

Manny looked back over his shoulder, shook his head and tapped his ear.

Pitcher made a circling motion with his right hand, mimed a two-handed firing position in the general direction of his M240 and then pointed toward the cabin and mimicked the motion of firing rockets from the pilot and co-pilot controls.

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Center Punch

Lawrence Lanigan sat on the hood of his newly acquired HMMWV cleaning his fingernails with his pocket knife.  As he flicked the crud from the blade of his knife, he watched a lone figure trudge wearily in his direction.  Three of Lanigan’s men stood, rifles at the ready, eyes peeled watching for any sign of trouble.  Lanigan didn’t expect Marcus Schmidt to cause any trouble, but it never paid to be careless.

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Midnight Requisition

The early spring night was unseasonably warm.  By Pitcher’s estimate, the humidity was nearly 100%.  Even the slightest movement caused perspiration to bead and trickle.  Pitcher’s shirt was soaked through.  Streaks of sweat had washed lines in his black face paint.  His eyes stung from the salt of the perspiration.  A mosquito landed on the back of Pitcher’s neck and began to gorge itself on his blood.

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