The Night Shift

Discussion in 'Tall Tales & Fabrications' started by Bill Boggs, May 21, 2015.

  1. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    As a young man I once had a job where I and a buddy had to crawl up a hill, quietly as possible, and observe any activity below on a well worn trail. The grass on the hill was high and in order to maintain silence we inched our way up, parting grass in front of us as we neared the point where we could look over the edge and observe if anyone was on the trail and send word back to the boss. If all was clear the boss wanted to position other people so that if we were spotted by someone and they got angry we would have them boxed in.

    I was almost to the top and in position to take a look when I parted what appeared to be the last of the grass. As I scooted forward I came eyeball to eyeball with a coiled snake. The hair stood up on my head and my impulse was to jump back. I didn't move. Instead I stared into the snakes eyes, almost afraid to blink less he misinterpret my action. I whispered to my buddy out of the side of my mouth, less the snake read my lips, "What kind of snake?"

    He whispered back, "Pit Viper."

    For the love of God, what's a pit viper?

    Poisonous.

    My right hand was already sliding along the ground toward my waist. Watching the snake's eyes I learned then and there snakes eyes do not blink. My hand found the long knife handle and slowly started moving along the ground upward toward my right shoulder. I couldn't see him but I knew my buddies' eyes was glued on me and the snake, waiting for him to strike.

    He whispered, "What you going to do?" My right had extended now out from my right shoulder, my weight silently shifted to my left hip and arm. I whispered, I don't know, as I swing the knife as fast and as hard as I could from my prone position. My knife struck the snake's neck about two inches behind the head which went flying, barely missing my buddy, who ducked, a look of fear on his face.
    My mouth was dry, my hands shook. I holstered the knife.

    A man crawled up behind us, saying, "What's the holdup, the boss is pissed"

    "Tell the boss we're almost in position," I whispered. And my buddy handed the soldier the tail of the snake and said, "Give the Lieutenant this. It was the hold-up."

    In position I was finally breathing normal, my buddy, a Korean national, assigned to me personally to see to his training, leaned over and whispered, "You A number one."

    I gave him a thumbs up and whispered back, "You, too."

    It was dark. We stayed in positioned all night, watching a dark trail, on a moonlit night, and leaving at four A.M. and making our way back up the MLR at daybreak, another recon patrol over and all present and accounted for? Time to hit the sack.
     
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    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  2. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    That was an adventure I would not have been able to stay a cool as you did, I do not like snakes at all, not that I see them often. When I see the tv shows that have all of the things soliders have to do I take my hat off to them.
     
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  3. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, Pat. One of my memories from that forgotten war.
     
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  4. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    @Bill Boggs, now that is an example of why I like to read your writings. Your details are so alive, and a person can "feel" the action. Although I have never been in such a position, I can get a sense of what it must have been like.

    I bet you have stacks of adventures just setting on a shelf. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a book or two, even three laying around. I hope you are thinking of putting them together, if not for a book, then for your descendants.
     
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  5. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    No, Ina, I don't have anything written up. Occasionally I recall some incident or memory and I will write it up if I have someplace to put it. Over the intervening years I have written up probably hundred articles but have deleted them all except a couple. I have written a blog since early 2007. I've had four different blogs at different times. I'd write six or eight hundred little stories then delete them all, delete my blog, then after a few days or weeks I'd start another Google blog. I'll stop one of these days because memory is beginning to fail. Hope things are good with you./bb.
     
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  6. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    @Bill Boggs , Oh Why? You have a superb way of conveying your thought, and the few stories I've had the privilege of reading always had a thought provoking effect on me, that is why I feel such a loss at knowing all those stoties are gone.

    You have a gift my friend, and wether or not your writings have produced monetary value, (and I can't believe they didn't), they are still now making a difference to people on the forums. I think you are seeing a different type/group of people on this forum, your stories would be welcomed by most of us.

    Write for us, and I think you'll be surprised at the responses you will get. We are all having memory problems, so make your stories shirt, for you and us.

    JUST DO NOT QUIT WRITING!!!

    I would feel the loss.
     
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  7. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina Isobe Very Well-Known Member
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  8. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, Ina, but I'm getting a little long in the tooth. Be well.
     
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