Saturday, March 15, 2008

TENSE MOMENTS

He stood with his back to the door, pealing an orange with his pen knife. His clothes were camo fatigue's and his weapon a Colt 45 model 1911 A1, tucked in the waste band of his pants under the belt at the small of his back with his shirt hanging loose around his waist. Sudden heavy footsteps hammered hard on the stair steps that lead to the third story room that the American occupied. There was no exit accept the door at his back. The footsteps halted outside and the door was kicked open. A Viet Cong boldly strutted into the room with a look of dignity surrounding him. Two other companions entered, bent at the waste, one on each side of him. They knelt down one knee on the floor at each side of the door entrance and scanned the room. They carried AK 47 rifles. These were cowboy's. They were friendly South Vietnamese troops by day and thieves and Viet Cong sympathizers by night. 

The man standing slowly swaggered across the room toward the American and stopped directly in front of him. The two stared directly into the other's eyes. No fear could be reflected in the eyes of either. The look of fear could start something that could not be stopped. The Vietnamese's eyes were glazed and he squinted as if he were looking into bright light. He was obviously smoking opium that night and was under it's influence. Without moving his eyes from the American's, he reached out with his left hand and tapped the hip pocket area on the Americans pant. He wanted the money that he knew was kept there as today was pay day. The American did not flinch or move. He maintained the stare. Again, the Vietnamese reached out and tapped the pocket. The American shook his head from side to side transmitting a "no" answer. The Vietnamese's eye's opened wide in fury and he withdrew a long knife from his belt. He brought it up in front of his chest with the sharpened edge turned up and drew his thumb down along the side of the blade slowly. His eyes never left the Americans. Again he reached toward the Americans pocket. The American suddenly smiled, held his hand up palm out and reached down toward his pocket. He felt the grip of the 45 Colt, grasped it and yanked it out and leveled it between the eyes of the Vietnamese. The Americans eyes changed from docile to intense fire. The Congs by the door brought their rifles to bear on the two. The American, without moving his eyes from the Vietnamese, shook his head from side to side slowly and pressed the muzzle of the weapon to the forehead in front of him. Hard! With his other hand he pointed to the door and said "now". A smile appeared on the face of the Vietnamese and the knife was reinserted into his belt. He made some gibberish and the two at the door suddenly disappeared. The American followed his hostage to the door and closed it after all had exited. He instantly dropped to the floor to the right side of the room. Automatic rifle fire erupted and ten holes appeared in the door from the outside. He waited. Fear finally overtook him. He shook uncontrollably. He lay there for over thirty minutes on the floor until he had the courage to stand and carefully exit the room. He thought "no one would ever believe this." But I guarantee you. It really did happen. Life takes many turns. Enjoy it. You never know what's ahead.