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559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
“Mike. Hey Michael, wake up. MIKE, WAKE UP!”

Mike couldn’t tell if his eyes were open or shut, everything was black and the only thing he could focus on was the loud ringing in his ears. Somehow he heard a voice, coming through as clear as day.

“Mike, come on man, we need to get you the heck out of here!”

His vision was slowly starting to come back, first there was only a blotch of white against the blackness but slowly the outline of someone standing over him came into view. Still too blurry to make out what was happening or who it was.

“Mike, that’s right. Get it together!”

The figure reached down an touched his chest. Instinctively Mikes hands shoot up to where he was being touched in a defensive manner but quickly realized that the figure was trying to help. Mike followed the stranger’s hands from the buckles on his chest down to the buckle around his waist. The positive snaps were evident as the heavy load fell free from Mike’s body.

“You’re going to need this buddy.” The figure said as he traced Mike’s hand down to the blow out kit attached to strap of his backpack. Mike felt the nylon bag in his hand as the figure guided it into the pocket of the cargo shorts he was wearing.

By this time his vision had returned enough that he could start to make out the person standing overtop of him. He still couldn’t tell who it was but the standard issue desert camouflage and MICH helmet were impossible to mistake.

“Ok, let’s get you up. Someone is coming and we’ve got to MOVE!.” The figure said as it helped Mike up, first to his knees and then to his feet.

The ringing in his ears was still just as loud as it was a few minutes ago but somehow the other man’s voice made it through loud and clear. It was like a strike of lightning when his vision cleared enough and he was able to finally recognize the soldier.

“Jason!” Mike tried to say, but the name only came out as a low gurgle.

“It’s alright Mike, I’ve got you. But they are coming for you now so we’ve got to MOVE. Ok? Just put your weight on me, I’ll carry you but you’ve got to move your legs!” Jason said as he pulled Mike’s arm over his shoulders to support the injured man’s weight.

He felt his weight laying on Jason’s shoulders as he half limped and was half carried down the rocky path. The pace they were keeping would have been tiring under normal circumstances, compounded now by the many shrapnel wounds up and down Mike’s right side. They kept up the fast pace for what seemed to be at least three miles before both men collapsed in an outcropping of rocks shaded by several tall trees.

“Ok, whoever was chasing you is pretty far behind now, lets see what we can do to get you patched back up. Ok buddy?” Jason said with a smile on his face.

Jason was an optimist through and through, friends with everyone and could always find the light in the darkest of situations. It came as no surprise that when he looked up at Jason’s face he could see a goofy and happy grin across his face, the same grin Mike had grown accustomed to seeing ever since they were kids growing up in the same neighborhood.

“Alright, let’s dig into the goodies bag.” Jason said as the lead Mike’s hand down to the blow out kit that they had stuffed in his pants pocket minutes before.

Mike followed every movement of Jason’s hands as he first applied a cat tourniquet to his right leg, up high on his thigh. He had lost a lot of blood during the run but most of the flow quickly stopped as they tightened the nylon strap. Next they took out pads of gauze and applied heavy pressure to two of the larger wounds on Mike’s side, keeping the pressure for several minutes to help stop the bleeding before taping it down with some of the medical tape in the kit. A few more minutes and the largest wounds on his leg were taken care of, a few minutes later and they had used up almost everything in the kit by patching up almost all the serious and semi-serious wounds along Mike’s side.

“Alright, you need some rest, take these, drink your water and then we’ll hide you and get some rest.” Jason said as he placed two small white pain relievers into Mike’s hand.

Instinctively Mike popped the pills in his mouth, unhooked the water bottle from his belt and chugged down half of its contents.

The next few minutes were spent piling leaves, sticks and anything else within reach on top of Mike to help shield him from whoever it was that was chasing him.

“Alright, that should do it.” Jason said as he helped Mike pull on last leafy branch over his body.

“Get some rest, and as soon as you can, get out of here. OK?” Jason said.

Mike nodded in response, as he quickly fell asleep, the ringing in his ears still drowning out every other sound.

559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike awoke to the sound of a dog barking, barely audible above the ringing sound his ears were still plagued with. His eyes were almost back to normal and he could see the forest in front of him in the now fading light. He looked all around, nothing but the trees and bushes covering the earth.

The barking came again, still quiet to his ringing ears but he instinctively knew that the dog was much closer than it sounded. Somehow he also knew that the dog and whoever was with it weren’t friendly.

He winced in pain as he gathered himself up from under the leaves and branches piled on top of him. Standing wobbly on one good, and one badly injured leg he tried to focus on the dog, no joy. His body was screaming with pain and his ears still couldn’t function well enough to determine the direction of the sound.

Not sure of where he should go next a quick motion caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. He turned and saw his friend Jason, sticking out like a sore thumb dressed from head to toe in desert camo. Jason didn’t say anything but used several hand signals the friends had learned together in basic training years before.

3 infantry and a dog.
Approaching from that path.
Follow me.

Mike headed the commands as quickly as he could. He started after Jason, who had disappeared into the forest, hobbling as fast as he could trying to build distance between him and his pursuers. He could still hear the dog howling and yelping behind him but couldn’t tell if he was losing or gaining ground.

He kept up his trying pace for about twenty minutes when he turned a small bend around the point of a hill and saw Jason sitting at the base of a tree, leaned back and stretched out in a relaxed pose.

“Alright, far enough for now, let’s take a break. You need some more water anyway.” Jason said with a smile on his.

Mike hobbled over and sat next to his friend. He tried to speak again but still nothing came out except a throaty gurgle. He reached up to his throat and felt a huge swollen welt across it.
“Yeah, looks like you took a big chunk of shrapnel to the throat, luckily it was just blunt force trauma.” Jason said looking him over. “go ahead and drink some more water, your going to need it before this is all over.”

Mike followed the directions, but this time a million questions swirled in his mind. What happened? Who is coming after us? Why are you here? And many more raced through his aching head.

He reached down to his pocket, looking for what was left of his blow out kit, trying to find his pill case to help provide at least a little bit of relief from his agony. He finally found it in the bottom of his pocket only to find the pill case was now completely empty. He knew there was no way he had used all the pills, there was enough pain killer and other medicine to put someone in the hospital if taken all together.

It took only a second for him to replay the events that happened earlier. Jason carefully took two of the white pain pills out and handed them and the bottle back to Mike, who managed to pop the two pills into his mouth and spill everything else out to the ground. He wanted to curse at himself for being so clumsy but Jason broke the silence almost as if on cue.

“It’s alright buddy, pain is temporary. Besides, do you hear that?” Jason said, holding his cupped hand up to his ear.

Mike strained trying to listen, other than the ringing there was nothing. He shook his head.

“Exactly. Those pills just bought us the time we need.” Jason said with a smile.

Mike looked at his friend, completely unable to comprehend the intention of that statement.

Jason saw the expression, “You know there is no way you are going to out run that dog in your condition, right?” Mike nodded. “Do you hear it now?” Mike shook his head. Jason laughed a little before he continued, “Don’t worry, there was enough to put the dog down, but only temporarily, now it’s up to those three Mexicali to track you on their own.”

559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
“Now that’s enough rest, we want to make it across the creek down there before we put up for the night.” Jason said as he pointed down the path and started walking that direction.

By the time Mike climbed back to his feet he lost sight of Jason in the woods, but started down the path his friend had pointed to. He his gait was a half hobble and half skip as he maintained a brisk pace while trying to keep weight off his injured leg as much as possible.

Half a mile back down the path Mike had just traveled the three men stood around trying to figure out what happened to their dog who was laying on its side and looked unconscious but occasionally kicked or twitched spasmodically.

Their discussion kept running in circles, to keep pursing the interloper or to head back to their grow operation. They knew that their lives would be forfeit if any of their bosses found out that they let whoever it was that set off the homemade landmine like IED get away. Even though the operation was many miles deep into the national forest they wouldn’t want to take any chance of being discovered, the crop the three men were out protecting was worth too much to take that kind of chance.

Knowing the consequences of failure they decided to keep on the path and hunt down their prey without the dog. They knew they had the upper hand, their quarry was badly injured, as evidenced by the blood and medical supplies at the site of the explosion and where he stopped to bandage himself up, and he had left behind all of his resources when he stripped his backpack off.

They also had the upper hand in numbers, were armed to the teeth and had the benefits of the best modern technology money could buy, include night vision scopes and an infrared scope that they could use to find a human sized heat signature several hundred yards away, even through brush and trees.

They spread out, walking three abreast with about 20 yards between each other to better cover ground and started back down the path. It only took them a few minutes to make it to and find Mike’s last resting spot, a smear of blood on the trunk of the tree made it blatantly evident he stopped for a rest. This gave them a new sense of joy and confidence that they would soon find the injured man, dispatch him quickly, and be back to the camp before dark.

The joy of no longer fearing torture and execution for allowing the grow site to be discovered not only helped elevate their moods but it also kept their attention focused forward. When the first wafts of smoke drifted towards them from the growing fire, grown from the smoldering remains of the IED, they didn’t even take notice.

Mike finally caught up to Jason as he approached the creek at the bottom of the hill. The soldier was sitting on a small dried log, twiddling his thumbs in a teasing fashion.

“You’re taking the creek. Help me roll this in.” Jason said as he leaned over and started pushing on the log.

Mike walked over and started pushing alongside his friend, easily rolling it into the creek a few feet below. As soon as the log hit the water Jason looked over to Mike, “You know what?” He laughed out loud, and then shoved the wounded man into the water. He yelled down from the bank “I owed you one!” before he took a few steps back and did a cannonball into the water below.

Mike scrambled to get his grasp on the log as his friend started swimming quickly down the creek. Once he finally had a firm grip Mike looked up to see the other man, already over a dozen yard ahead of him. Almost as if he knew he was being looked at Jason turned around and hollered back, “C’mon. We’ve got to be quick, they aren’t too far behind, but I know a place that we can shack you up in for the night. It’s about three quarters a mile up on the far bank. You’ll know it when you see it.” He then turned and started swimming again quickly getting far enough ahead that he was no longer visible.

For the next twenty minutes Mike made his way down the creek, mostly under the power of the traveling water. For someone with his training it wasn’t hard to find the site Jason referred to. An abandoned campsite, whoever camped there had tried to hide the mess they left but the way they disturbed the ground and foliage around the site easily gave it away.

559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
More is on the way! Hopefully I'll have it finished tomorrow!

And just to share the idea; I've contacted 6 other survival/disaster genre writers about doing a collaboration of short stories, and donating 100%(not any wimpy percentage!) of the proceeds to wounded warriors, so far 3 are on board, one on the bubble and waiting to hear back from the 6th (who I think will be on board). Then I'm gonna reach out to a few bigger names.

Wish me luck.

559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mike slowly paddled his way over to the bank and pulled himself up on the bare dirt that acted as a beach. He smiled as he saw Jason sitting on a log, already dried off from his swim. He crawled over to the log and leaned back, resting and drying out his wet clothes.

“Alright, I think we hit the jackpot here.” Jason said as he pointed to the end of the log the two men were resting on. Mike noticed it was hollowed out and a bag protruded slightly from the end. He crawled over and pulled it out finding the left overs of a campers backpack.

“Looks like someone never learned that your supposed to pack out everything you pack in. They must have gotten lazy and decided it would be easier to walk back empty instead of taking this with them.” Jason said as Mike started rummaging through the bag. It contained several bottles of water, and a few protein and granola bars. Even though most of the bottles had been opened and several of the bars partially eaten it was still clean and looked good enough to eat.

“Not bad, we’ve had worse before. Make sure to drink all the water, you’re going to need it.” Jason said as he sat back and watched Mike as he spent the next few minutes wolfing down 3 of the bars and drinking all the water, leaving him feeling full and bloated.

“Good, now, you’re going to need to warm up to sleep. You’re in no condition to move more tonight.” Jason said as he stood up and started walking around the old campsite.

Mike took a few minutes to think about what he should be doing, wet, cold and injured. He scrounged around the camp until he found two large plastic garbage bags that the dirty campers used for their litter that were stuck underneath a nearby bush. He let out a sad sigh, he loved nature and hated defiling it like this, as he upended each bag, dropping the contents to the ground. Next he squared up both the bags and tore a whole in the top of one just large enough to put his head through. He worked this bag over his head and torso to check the fit. It would work perfect for his idea.

Next he scrounged up loads of dry leaves and pine needles from the forest floor, stuffing them into the bags. Before he was finished filling the bags it was almost impossible for him to see due to the lack of light, which was a good thing since he was on the verge of over exerting himself. He pulled the bags over to the log he had rested against earlier and set them out to lay in, using the leaves and needles as a buffer to keep the ground from stealing his body heat and the bag to keep it from evaporating away. Even though it was still summer the night would get down into the 70’s, which normally wouldn’t be a big problem but due to his injuries and blood loss he knew he had to be much more careful.

He climbed into the bags and popped his head through the whole he tore earlier, leaving only his head exposed as the two bags overlapped in the middle, covering his entire body. As an extra precaution he curled up into a fetal position, hard to do with his injured leg, and leaned into the log to help wedge himself in the position. A few minutes later the exhausted man was half asleep and half passed out.

The three pot growers kept searching all night going up and down the hills, searching and scanning for the man to no avail. It wasn’t until after midnight that they finally noticed the smell of smoke from the growing fire.

They ran back towards their base camp only to find the path blocked by the fire which was now several acres in size. Working a long arc around the fire they were eventually able to get back to the camp where they loaded up as much gear and drugs as they could into the specially equipped four wheel drive SUVs and drove them to safety.

Even though all three men had tortured and killed in the past, a normal right of passage in the Mexican drug cartels, fear coursed through their veins at the repercussions they would face for the fire and letting the man responsible get away. Losing the crop to a fire might be a failure they could survive, especially since they were able to recover several hundred pounds that they had packaged up in the past two days. Every year the cartel lost several grow sites to wildfires or droughts and they knew it was a standard cost of doing business.

The leader of the trio regretted following the standard practice by calling in the intruder immediately following the blast. With a resolve of knowing they needed to kill or be killed they men set back out to hunt for their salvation.


Almost a hundred miles away a phone rang, “We’ve just had an airliner flying into LAX from Portland report a fire in the Sequoia National forest, you guys tracking that yet?”

“In Sequoia, no, nothing we have on the boards yet. You sure he wasn’t seeing one of the other fires?”

“No, he relayed his coordinates, definitely over Sequoia”

“Great, just what we need another fire to worry about. Hopefully it’s not too big?”

“Not sure, he said it looked to be big enough to be worried about, he will be landing shortly and you can call him direct if you want to ask any questions.”

“No, not necessary, just email over the coordinates and we’ll get someone out to check it out in the next couple of hours.”

The smell of smoke wafting into his nostrils quickly brought Mike back to the world. He bolted upright, as quickly as someone with his injuries could, and scanned the area. He didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, and even though the ringing in his ears was lessened he couldn’t hear anything, but the smell of smoke was undeniable.

“Good morning sleepy head. It’s about time you woke up.” Jason said, standing by a path, ready to go.

Mike dug himself out of the bags and stood up. He started to walk towards his friend, who immediately stopped him by raising his hand.

“You’re beauty rest must have made you forgetful.” Jason said in his witty and sarcastic tone.

Not sure of what his friend was referring to Mike spent the next few seconds trying to think of what he forgot, going from all his pockets, to his water bottle and even checking to make sure his ‘fly’ was zipped up. It wasn’t until he started checking his back pockets that he noticed something he had completely forgotten about over the past few hours. His holster, still neatly tucked inside his waist band at about 4 o’clock was empty. He didn’t even remember to check it yesterday while he was fleeing.

He went back and easily found the gun laying in the leaves of one of the bags and quickly slid it back into the black plastic holster.

“Good. I have a feeling you’re going to need that soon.” Jason said right before he took off down the path leading away from the creek.

559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Out of the corner of his eye the gang member saw a little bit of movement and quickly turned his attention to where it came from. He easily saw Mike easily in the morning light, even though he was several hundred feet away and on the other side of the creek. He hollered back to his two comrades that were fanned out along the hillside searching.

They quickly converged on the creek bank and started running up towards where Mike was spotted a few minutes earlier. When they arrived to the spot parallel they quickly jumped in the creek, rifles held above their heads, and worked their way across the waist deep creek.

By the time they reached the other side they had no view of the man they were searching for but they knew there were only a couple of places he could run and hide from there. Knowing this, smiles crossed their faces as they took a few seconds to dump water out of their boots. Which was followed by another round of cocaine poured expertly from a vial around the neck of one of the men, having been up all night they made sure to use this drug to keep them active and aware during their search.

As they snorted deeply and the powder absorbed through the capillaries in their nose they couldn’t help but notice the strength of the smell of smoke in the air. As they looked around the first tendrils of smoke could be easily seen floating up into the sky.

It only took a few minutes for them to catch up to their prey, he was limping badly and moving very slowly along a steep trail. Letting out loud cries of excitement, partially from elation and partially from the high they were feeling from the drugs, they knew it would only be minutes before they would catch and kill him, allowing them to return to the drug loaded SUVs just in time to get out of there before the fire spread.


“Hey Mike. Did you hear that?” Jason said as he appeared on the trail in front of Mike, who shook his head to the negative. “I think they are getting a little to close for comfort, and we need to do something about that.” Jason said as a concerned look crossed his face.

Mike read that concern loud and clear, his friend was normally unshakable even against overwhelming odds, but he wasn’t stupid and knew the odds of winning in a firefight would be low so they needed to do everything in their control to push the odds int their favor.

Mike quickly walked off the path a little ways to give himself a better view of the chasers, he could see them for only a few seconds before bends in the trail took them out of site again. It would be less than a minute before they would catch up to him.

Thinking fast he ran back down the trail about twenty feet and laid up against the trunk of a fallen tree and quickly began digging underneath it. Luckily the tree was already partly propped up on a large stone and the soil was soft and black and it only took him a few seconds to make a window large enough for him to get his hands through, while still leaving him just enough space to see the trail and the sights of the pistol.

The timing was too close and when he finally got into a good firing position two of the men were already in sight, only about thirty yards away. The first one was close enough that Mike didn’t think he would be able to maneuver well enough to get decent shots so he lined up the pistols iridescent sights and placed the front greed dot right in the upper torso of the second man.

The sound of the pistol going off in the compressed space was loud, but with both of his eardrums already busted it didn’t have nearly as bad of an effect as it would normally. He quickly pulled the gun down out of recoil, and fired a second and then a third shot. Before his pursuers could react, their number was cut down by one as three new holes were created in the man’s chest leaving him alive only for a few seconds more. He was dead before he hit the ground.

Dodging out of the way the two remaining gang members ran across the path, heading down the slope of the hill. This brought the last man of the trio into Mike’s sights for just a second, it was all he needed as he squeezed of another round. A quick recall of his sight picture left him confident there was now a perforation in the man’s side.

“Alright, good! Now we’ve got to move before they regroup, we’re still too out gunned!” Jason said as he flagged mike to follow him up the path.

Extricating himself from his little dugout Mike began his half hobble half run up the path again. He took a quick glance behind him before rounding the small bend that would put him out of sight from the two remaining men. He saw them regrouping near the dead man, one bending over to pick up the rifle he dropped in flight. The opportunity was too good and Mike stopped turned and fired at the men, this time he couldn’t tell if he hit the mark, but he did see the men scatter again and take cover.

He tried to fire again, to give them some more to think about, but there was no bang. He didn’t realize it but in his last volley he ran the gun dry. He looked down, saw the slide was locked back and just dropped the gun, now just a useless club and deadweight, as he turned and started back down the path. He always carried extra magazines with him, but unfortunately they were in his backpack he left the day before.

559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
A quick scan around and they gang members knew their prey was on the run again, or at least he wasn’t shooting any longer and having found his pack yesterday, containing extra magazines, they figured he was probably out of ammo anyway.

The wounded man stopped for a few minutes to dress the wound, a hole going through the fleshy part of his side. It was bleeding profusely and hurt like hell but he didn’t think any major damage was done. The other man used his water bottle to wash out his eyes, having debris and shrapnel in them, large enough to draw blood from his eyes and eyelids, from where one of Mike’s bullets impacted the ground only a few inches from his face.

With the drugs coursing through their veins they didn’t slow down for the pain, and in less than two minutes they were back on the trail hunting their prey.

A few seconds later they passed Mike’s gun lying beside the path and the leader let out a loud screeching war cry and fired three rounds into the air in celebration. He knew the hunt was coming to a close.

“I’ll be flying over your position in just a few seconds.” The helicopter pilot called over the radio to the park ranger. He was on the preliminary scouting trip to determine the details of the fire, while the ranger was checking the fire roads to make sure they were clear and ready for use by any responders that would be using them in the next hours or days.

“Roger that.” The ranger replied.


“Come on man, I know you’re tired but we’re almost home!” Jason said to Mike.

Mike looked up at his friend, even that small movement was causing him pain. The blood loss and exhaustion from the short nights sleep was taking a toll on him, his skin was pale and body temperature dropping. If he didn’t get care soon he knew he wouldn’t make it.

“Ok, here, let me help.” Jason said, taking Mike’s arm over his shoulder again and helping the injured ma into the large clearing before them. This not only helped Mike move faster but he felt better knowing his friend was there to help take care of him in this condition.

Running across the clearing as fast as the injured man could, making good time, Jason pulled to a stop just short of entering the forest again. “Do you hear that?” Jason said, holding his hand up to his ear. Mike shook his head, the only thing he could here now was the ringing in his ears and Jason’s voice. “That’s a chopper or I’ll be damned!” Jason continued with a smile streaking across his face.

The smile didn’t last long as the first crack of gunfire broke the silence. The men turned to see their Mexicali pursuers coming out of the far side of the clearing and they were closing fast. As they ran closer they were firing rapidly at the two men.

“Run!” Jason shouted as he shoved Mike forward down the path as the sound of bullets started whizzing
by their heads.

Just as Mike broke into the cover of the forest the chopper flew overhead. The gunmen, seeing its approach retreated back into the woods they came from, being seen, with weapons out, would not be a good way to escalate the situation. Besides they knew their prey could wait a few seconds while the helicopter passed overhead, it wasn’t going anywhere fast.

“Hey ranger Rick?” the helicopter pilot called over the radio, half attempting to make a joke since he didn’t know the other man’s name. “Looks like we’ve got a distressed hiker, or something, down here in this clearing. He’s definitely trying to flag me down”

“He’s too close for his own good. Let me catch up to your position, stay put and it won’t take more than a minute or two for me to find you.” The ranger replied.

“Roger that, I’ll continue to circle the area… Wait a second, yeah he is flagging, pointing towards the woods and heading in now. That should put him right in your path.”

“Gotcha, you keep circling just so I have a good bearing.”


“C’mon Mike, only a few hundred more feet.” Jason said urging his friend down the path through the woods. The sound of the helicopter could still be heard hovering overhead.

Mike struggled with all his will to keep going, he could feel himself losing control of his body as it slowly went numb. His friend was helping him along, carrying a lot of his weight but he wasn’t sure that was going to be enough to keep him moving forward.

A few hundred feet later they came to a sharp drop off that led down to a small shelf. The two men stopped and looked down at the road below.

“Hey Mike.” Jason said as they stood atop the hill. “You know I love you man, you’ll always be my brother!” Jason hugged Mike tight in his arms, tight enough to make Mike wince in pain.

When Mike opened his eyes again he was alone.

Taking a dazed step forward Mike stumbled down the steep hill, and rolled nearly twenty feet down until he came to a stop on the side of the overgrown access road. He rolled himself over and scanned the area, he was alone. He couldn’t find Jason anywhere, and couldn’t see or hear anything. Everything slowly faded to black.

On the other side of the clearing the two gunmen started a long arc around the clearing, staying under the protective cover of the trees to keep from being seen by the menacing helicopter. They weren’t certain they hadn’t been seen, why else would it still be there? They knew getting caught by the police usually meant the death of not only themselves but of loved ones back home, a gruesome price to pay for failure.

Then the chopper did another path, driving the men deeper into the cover of the forest where they pulled up and huddled under a bush to keep themselves even better hidden. Taking a few minutes to hide they also decided to keep their energy up by snorting more coke. It didn’t take long for the man suffering the gunshot to burst into a spasmodic seizure, the loss of blood mixed with the additional drug threw him into a critical overdose scenario.

Trying to calm his friend the other man didn’t even realize how much time had gone by or that the helicopter left minutes ago. Or that the fire was quickly burning the dry grasses in the clearing and encircling their position.

“Found him!” The ranger shouted over the radio, “he doesn’t look like he is in good shape.”

“Really? He looked alright when I saw him.” The chopper pilot replied.

“Was he alone? I only see one person here.” The ranger asked, not wanting to leave anyone additional out in the woods.

“I only saw one guy too, how bad off is he?” the pilot inquired.

Not wasting time on replying the ranger pulled to a stop right in front of mike and hopped out. Quickly assessing the situation he knew that the injured man needed immediate medical attention, and that might not be enough to save him.

Skipping any formalities the ranger picked Mike up and carried him over to the SUV he was driving and loaded him haphazardly into the back, trying his best to keep from further injuring the man but he didn’t have the proper equipment to do the job right.

The jostling stirred Mike back to half consciousness, “Where’s Jason?” he asked as he looked up at his rescuer. “Jason, we can’t leave him behind.” Mike said before he passed back into unconsciousness.

Startled the ranger turned and scanned the area looking for anyone else, he didn’t see anyone. He ran around the truck, hollering as loud as he could, opened the driver’s door and slammed on the horn 3 times. He repeated the horn, 3 blasts, 3 more.

Scanning around and waiting he went back to the back of the SUV to check on Mike. Then it jumped out at him and he knew what Mike was referring to, a beautifully detailed tattoo on his left shoulder read “Jason Samuels, A brother forever, KIA Iraq 2011”.
Doing a quick three point turn the ranger was on the radio calling for medical transport by helicopter and arranging the pickup.

The ride to the hospital was bumpy but quick and the staff went to work immediately.

Two days later the helicopter pilot stopped in the hospital to check on the young man he saw in that clearing a few days before. As a fellow veteran he felt a special connection with the man who by all accounts was now only alive because he spotted him from the air. He wanted to make sure he was ok, see if there was anything else he could do for to help him in his recovery.

He also wanted to know why in the world he would be out hiking in full desert camouflage in the middle of the lush green forest.

559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Alright, its all up and going now!

You can get the kindle version of this short story at it's only .99 and of that .35 is going to Operation Homefront (that is all of the royalties, no 'a portion' baloney. All.)

To the first 5 people who PM me their email and agree to buy the story and review it I'll send you an amazon gift to cover the cost, all 99 cents of it!

1,820 Posts
I completely missed the post on the 17th. I did just down load the Kindle version though.

EDIT: Please do be sure and post up if your other contributing authors make their works available for this cause.
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