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Shadow of a Life

Novel By: M K Brown
War and military

Craig joins the Royal Marines hoping to find a challenge for the first time in his life. He finds more than he bargains for. He falls in love with a woman he has never met, he tackles the stress of his first deployment and then, when he finally sees things settle down; he has to cope with an invasion of the United States. The enemy advance catches everyone by surprise and when the UK sends forces to assist their long time ally, Craig must choose between rescuing the love of his life from the grasp of a brutal enemy, or doing his duty and standing by his friends. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Sep 25, 2013    Reads: 18    Comments: 5    Likes: 3   

"Sit there," the Lieutenant tells Craig as he barely breaks a stride on the way into his office.

Slumping down onto the chair, his demeanor says it all; the slouched shoulders - the blank, white face - lethargic movements - all speaking to his state of shock.

Hearing footsteps, he looks up; spotting Brooksie walking towards him, Craig refuses to look away and stares back at him, setting his own lips in a firm line. The corporal stops in front of him holding his gaze.

After a few moments, Brooks lets out a sigh of relief and breaks out in a slight smile. "... I know they aren't yours. It's goin' to be hard to prove though."

Craig allows his head to fall forward into his hands; some of the shock and fear falling away, knowing that someone is on his side finally unclogs his throat.

"I've never had anything to do with hard drugs; I mean, like virtually everyone, I dabbled with weed when I was a teenager but dealing? Fuck no! And now 'cause of some prick plantin' that shite in m' gear am goin' to be binned," Brooksie gives Craig a compassionate look as he picks up on the despair in his voice.

"In the words of The Terminator, "I'll be back," and with a sad smile from Craig, the corporal turns and leaves the same way he came in.

More footsteps and Craig looks up to see the MP sergeant looking at him with contempt.

"Bastard!" something in Craig snaps as he covers the distance between them in two strides.

"It was you..." he slams his fist brutally into the sergeant's solar-plexus; winding him and preventing him from answering.

"Devious..." he hits the MP again, connecting with his cheek. "... fucking..." and again, this time he hears the crunch of cartilage in the other man's nose. "... Prick!"

Seething with rage, Craig looks down on his victim - who has since collapsed to the floor, struggling for air - and with a merciless gleam in his eye he lifts his foot ready to stamp down on the man's head.

"Wallace!" Craig looks up to see Sergeant Dickson glaring at him with a look like thunder.

"It was him," is all Craig says, before turning back to the target of his rage.

The foot descends as his anger-fogged mind decides to take the plunge and kill the man responsible for the end of his dream. The MP flinches in expectation as time slows and Craig revels in his power, smiling maliciously, coldly upon his enemy.

A thrill of satisfaction runs through Craig as he sees a wet patch spread across the trousers of his intended victim. He stops, leans forward, eye-to-eye and with a smirk, swings his fist in to knock him out cold.

"Go on then Sergeant Dickson," Craig says turning and holding out his hands.

"I didn't see a fuckin' thing but if you hit any superior again I'll kick yer arse and personally frog march you back to that shit hole you call home."

The lieutenant comes out and avoids looking at the prone, unmoving body directly. He just raises his eyebrows at Dickson.

"He slipped, his face hit the wall, then the chair and then the floor," the sergeant replies; with a straight face and a shrug.

"Wallace, follow me. I need some air. Dickson, get someone to clean this mess up."

"Yes, sir!" they say in unison, Craig following Lt. Smith out and Dickson winking as he hauls the groggy MP to his feet.

The wind hits craig hard and his body shudders a little from the blast of cold air. Deliberately, he walks a few paces behind the lieutenant as they walk across the base grounds, the silence becoming unbearable as he tries to guage his CO's mood by reading his body language. Then gives up when he realises he has the perception of a doorstep.

"Fuck," he mutters.

"Isn't this where you try to cnvince me those pills aren't yours and that you didn't just try to kill a superior?" the lieutenant says mildly.

"Is there much point, sir? I'm not sayin' they were mine but they were found in my things," Craig says, then under his breath adds... "... by the very prick who planted them."

"That's enough; do I seem like a fucking soft touch tae you?" Lt. Smith rounds on Craig, his face suddenly full of fury and voice slipping into his natural - Scottish - accent.

Craig's eyes widen in shock at the instant turn of mood.

"You assaulted a Military Police sergeant; for that alone, you can be thrown out of here on your arse."

All Craig can do is gaze beyond the lieutenant's shoulder and stand at attention. The respect for his CO over-riding any natural aggressive response.

Then Smith stops, as quickly as he started, he runs a hand through his hair and suddenly looks exhausted. "Come on, let's get this over with."

On the walk back they both see Brooksie marching back from Craig's barracks dragging someone along by the scruff of the neck. Recognising the one being dragged Craig stiffens and subconsciously steps up the speed towards the barracks; desperate to find out what is going on.


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