Thursday, November 5, 2015

Operation Eradication

Standing in the middle of some God-forsaken jungle with the remnants of my platoon - William, Manny and Bernstein - tracking the creature that has systematically and mercilessly eradicated our team, regrouping after its most recent attack and realizing the handwritten note I keep in my right vest pocket from my four year-old daughter Anaya (whom I have yet to meet in person) is gone.

"Daddy, I miss you a lot. One of the best things that has happened to me is you. Please don't die, Daddy. I love you. I always will."

I keep it together for the sake of my teammates but on the inside I struggle with the most profound sadness that I have ever felt. Take everything I have but please, let me keep that letter. It is all I have of her . . .

"Alright gentlemen," whispers William, our squad leader. "Let's find and kill this fucking thing so we can all go home. Ooo-rah?"

"Ooo-rah," we all echo.

We begin planning our follow-up offensive. I propose setting off an incendiary charge in a nearby field to draw the creatures attention, thereby setting the stage for an ambush. I volunteer to rig the explosive myself while the others dig in and establish a classic L-shaped ambush formation. The charge is set without incident and I take my defensive position just in time to watch everything go to hell, starting with Bernstein being skinned alive.

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