“Has this town always been blocked off, Sarge?” I asked while adjusting my BDU. The
heat was making me sweat which was already starting to make everything even itchier than it
already was. “Last time, we rolled through without any blockage at all.”
“Yeah, command said the same thing a
nd said to advise caution. We are to proceed on
though. We’ll just go around. Spread the word, and we’re going to get mobile again,” he said.
“You heard him. Go tell the other squads. Martinez, come with me. We’re going to the
head of the convoy to
inform them,” I said while motioning him towards me.
We started walking towards the front of the convoy, but something seemed off. Thetown was still. There were only about five people in the market. No sounds other than theoccasional dog bark. I glanced out of the corner of my eye at Martinez, and his head was
constantly on a pivot, scanning every single building like I was. I couldn’t put my finger on it,
but the longer we waited here, the worse the feeling got.
“This seem weird to you, Marquardt?” Martinez said from my right, breaking the eeriesilence. “I don’t like this at all. Sitting here, all in a line.. We’re like sitting ducks, waiting forsomething to happen. We need to move. Soon.” His eyes never rested on one spot for long.
ned every rooftop, every door, every crevice. While I didn’t like what he was saying, Ifelt the same way. I just couldn’t show fear. I couldn’t show weakness.
“Don’t worry, we just have to wait for Murph to get everyone back in the Humvee’s andwe’ll be gone. We’re just going to go around the town instead of through it. Quit being such apuss,” I said, trying to lighten the mood.
“aye, shut the fuck up. I’m serious man. This shit is worrying me, no joke.” As he said
this, I looked at his face, and
I’ll never forget the look. Fear, plain as day on his face. He wasn’tkidding when he said it bothered him, and it must’ve have really been stressing him out. Therewas blood coming from one of his fingernails where he must’ve bitten it too far.
alright, Martinez. Relax. We’re almost out of here,” I said while putting my hand
on his shoulder trying to relieve him of at least a little stress. We kept walking in silence for aminute, and we approached the head Humvee on my left. I slapped the trucks ass as I walked
by. “Hey! Candelle!” I yelled trying to get the lead engineer’s attention.
“GET DOWN!” someone yelled from behind me, but it was too late. Just like that my
day took a turn for the worse. It went from a boring patrol of a dull desert to the most intensecouple of hours of my life.Everything flashed in front of me, and I was blown off my feet and flew a few feet back.
Then everything went black. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t hear. All I could do was
lay there. I managed to push myself back up onto my knees, then back up to my feet. I
couldn’t walk though. My ears were ringing, my eyes were burning. I slowly bent over and
wiped the warm liquid that quickly flowed down my face. I tried to open my eyes, but cou