The Case of the Vanishing Shoes
February 5, 2012
Rosebud Lane
February 19, 2012
The Case of the Vanishing Shoes
February 5, 2012
Rosebud Lane
February 19, 2012

The Battle of Grizzly Mountain

I’m lying alone, motionless, in the small bunker crudely carved out of the granite soil as hard as cement. He’s out there. He has no name. He has no gender. He’s an it—the enemy who’s near. I sense the evil force of my nemesis determined to kill me. It lurks in the tall grass resolute to annihilate me. He listens for a cough, a sneeze, a tiny moan. It’s him or me, and it ain’t going to be me.

Hate this waiting. Has to be something better than just lying here ‘til he finds me. I could be looking at the flash of a gun barrel. Why can’t I attack—be the stalker? Yeah, I know. Orders are to hold this end of the field and protect the path to Grizzly Mountain. What orders anyway? It’s me who has to face the unseen foe. Orders come from some safe place away from the battle lines.

Better check my trusty rifle—loaded and ready, waiting for the flick of my trigger finger. Still can’t believe that I’m here fighting this battle. Stupid dare and not even a triple dog dare put me in this hole waiting for death. Nope, I don’t wanna think like that. I’m a soldier here to destroy the enemy. Anyway, it’s hard not to think that death could be a moment away. Okay, think “death to the enemy,” not to me.

Maybe I could slip out of this hole and crawl on my belly toward the foe that’s getting ready to attack. Better to take action and defeat him rather than just waiting until he surprises me. That is the best plan.

Somewhere it says to love your enemy. How can you love someone whose sole purpose is to put you into eternity? Are there higher agendas than love? What about survival? What about protecting my family and the grand ideals of my country? These things are too deep for me to ponder now. What am I suppose to do—jump up and say “I love ya man.”

I gotta go. The generals base their orders on circumstantial data at a moment in time. Things change. Times have changed. It’s time to act. Better to do something than nothing at all. Nobody could fault me for taking action. The battle cry is “charge.” Yeah, yell charge and get your head blown off.

Who are heroes? Who would say I was a hero because I stayed in this hole and let the enemy sneak up on me. Heroes take risks—calculated risks. Taking out the adversary would make me a hero. What about Audie Murphy charging the German tank and dropping a grenade down the hatch? Who can’t forget Gary Cooper taking his stand at high noon? You can’t forget Wyatt Earp and his brothers and Doc Holliday shooting it out at the OK Corral. Risks make heroes—risking their lives for a cause greater than life.

So what’s the cause worth this deadly fight? Someone please name the cause that placed me in this hole waiting for God only knows what. Hold this position. What cause is that? There are many more fields, and forests, and mountains yet to hold. Someone, anyone call out the purpose of lying in this hole with the enemy stalking me. Somehow, it escapes me. Tomorrow no one will care if I held my position. They only care if I don’t hold. If I make it today, they’ll just move me to another meadow and then another.

Time to move. There’s no reason for just lying here. The grass will be my cover and I’ll slither toward the trees for cover until I can escape in the darkness of night.

Checking my helmet strap, I silently crawl like a snake through the tall grass hoping my hay fever didn’t kick in with its consequent sneezing fit. Don’t want to come face to face with a real rattlesnake out here but can’t think of that now. My objective is set and there’s no turning back now. I must face the enemy and defeat him.

“Jackie, it’s time for dinner.”

“Ah, Mom.”