Saturday, June 02, 2007
New Beginning 285
The first time Death came to visit George Waterson, it took the form of young Japanese private nervously staring down the barrel of a new Arisaka Type 38 rifle. The sharp point of its menacing bayonet glinted with the rays of the midday sun peeking through the thick jungle canopy. Both men on scouting patrol for opposing armies, startled to come upon each other so suddenly and alone in the dense foliage of the lowland rainforest.
Like small mammals sensing a predator, the men had frozen in place, weapons in firing position. Sweat trickled down from under George's steel helmet. He felt incapable of thought, the image before him seared into his brain but his arms remained steady under the weight of his ancient Springfield rifle. A relic of the first war, but the only weapon made available to the hastily convened Air Corps Provisional Infantry. George found it an unnatural weight, heavy and awkward both physically and mentally. He had never fired it outside of target practice which had lasted all of two weeks. And now faced with the enemy, George was incapacitated.
"George," the Japanese soldier said. "I am Death."
"Shit," was all George could manage as a reply.
"I come back another time," Death grinned. "Not here for you. War keep me very busy. I catch you later, G.I.!"
The second time Death came to visit George Waterson, it was years later and George was racing his Toyota pickup on the 91 Freeway, blissfully unaware that Death was cruising toward him in the black Honda.
Opening: Ello.....Continuation: Kate Thornton