Mike Holmes    Delta Co. 1st Recon Team Duckbill 67
 
     
 

1.

The green-clad men came up to that smoking pit and looked down into the glowing fires of a smoky
hell. The pit stared back and beckoned, a bugle blew, and they climbed down.

All thought and sign of civilization vanished in the thick smoke.

Small, savage brown men who awaited them bit and clawed and hacked at the white faces and great
round eyes; their viciousness bred by a thousand years of savage fighting. Those round eyes slitted,
and the white skin turned red with their blood and great gouts of flesh torn from the other.

Howls and roars rose above the thick smoke as bare feet and webbed boots shuffled and slipped in
the thick slime beneath them. Rifles boomed, great fighting knives chopped thunk-thunk as a head
rolled in the muck, teeth chattering a death beat. No quarter: this was primordal man against those
who quickly shed the civilization that had softened them and high-pitched screams began to sound
as their devils were unleashed.

Back and forth the killing moved, hemmed in by the bloody walls of the pit. This was not war, nor
even combat, but insane creatures stabbing and clawing and shooting while Lucifer laughed above
them. His amusement wafted over the aimless rolling of a gouged eye, finally crushed beneath the
slime-caked boot of its blinded owner, and the sudden spray of red as huge bullets thudded into a
small face from an inch away.

The bodies of the little brown men, ripped and shredded, remained in a pit now ankle deep in blood.
But the faces of the soldiers, white only beneath the caked filth with great staring eyes that had
looked inside the soul of the universe and seen what they should not, appeared at the top as the last
soldiers clawed their way out.

Their countrymen awaited them. Saliva sprayed from the mouths of some, dripping wetly down the
muck already beginning to harden into a sort of armor. Hearty backslaps brought the weaker to their
knees, and even the soft caress here and there merely sculpted trails in the still-smoking filth. The
men moved slowly together, holding to each other in an effort to remain upright and straight.

Soldiers only to themselves now. For an unknowing country or uncaring people blind to the red line
the men had held saw only lost, damned souls to be regarded with a mixture of awe and contempt.
Many mocked them for the filth which most would never quite cleanse.

Finally, swaying, bloody, knock-kneed and panting, they formed ranks and shuffled off down the
years of their generation to the great nothing which awaited them.

 
     
 

2. Tick Goes Tthe Clock

And so, because it's inevitable, we pick up our pack and rifle and
trudge again down the trail. Tail End Charlie turns slightly, waves quietly
to those still around the small fire, and moves on around the
bend..............

A small puff of red dust settles back into his boot print...........

"Tick!" goes the clock.........

 
     
 

3.

Six for pallbearers, two for roadguards, and one to count cadence........

 
 

 

4.

"ENGULFED BY OILY SMOKE I STAND,
MY LEGS ASTRIDE THE BARREL;
AND A CAPPELA (NO BRASS BAND),
I SING THIS GRATEFUL CAROLL."

"One- two - three - four
I love the Marine Corps;
My stick held high, with stained side out,
while round and round swim barrel trout."