Hidden bravery

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
An unexpected night for Private Richards.

Submitted: July 17, 2017

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Submitted: July 17, 2017



Private Richards wasn’t known to be the bravest of soldiers. After the draft, he managed to smooth talk his way to a position in the radio tower. Sure it was behind enemy lines, but it was still far from combat. His main job was to act as a link between the base camp, and the soldiers in the field.

There have been rumors lately, of guerilla like terrorist groups, making advances on the base. No big deal, Richards thought. After all, there were traps laid out all around the tower, to be activated on his command. All he had to do was push a button.

“This is radio tower. How are you guys doing down there? Over.”

There was no answer from the team down below. The forest looked thick, but surely some trees were not enough to jam the signal of 21st century military tech.

After a few more attempts, one of the soldiers responded. “This is private Wayland to radio tower. Sorry about the delay. Had my headphones in. Over.”

“You listening to music now? Staff Sergeant will be pissed! Over.”

“Yeah, well the Sergeant can bite me. Over and out.”

There was a rather varied assortment of traps spread across the forest. Anything from mines to holes in the ground. Basically the entire spectrum going from primitive to advanced technology. Private Richards had the map in front of him, showing the location of each trap. Despite all this protection, he couldn’t shake the feeling that there were far greater evils, lurking in the depths of the thick vegetation.

The night proceeded without interruption. A few bad jokes were made through the radio by private Wayland. Not that Richards had anything against it. At least it passed time, keeping his ass from falling asleep on duty. Before long, the laughter turned to sighs of frustration. The radio appeared to be malfunctioning. “That’s what you get for your budget cuts. Thanks Mr. President!” Nothing about the radio itself seemed broken though. He looked up. Is something wrong with the tower, he thought as he prepared to climb.

Private Richards choked up as he investigated the tower’s signal transmitter. It was broken. No...not broken… SABOTAGED! A chill went through his spine. It was clear this must have happened mere minutes ago when the signal went out. He climbed down in a rush, getting ready to turn on the backup communications. What he saw as he came down left him with a knot in his stomach. My rifle… it’s not here.

Still in shock, Richards moved the spotlight across the forest, praying it would not reveal what he feared the most. If the terrorists were this close, that means they somehow managed to get through the traps. While hyperventilating, Private Richards checked the chamber of his sidearm. It was loaded. I’ll die before I let them take this tower!

His fear turned to anger. He wanted them dead. Torn apart and butchered like the useless animals they were! There was someone in the bush where the light was pointed. Private Richards ducked behind cover, racking the slide of his gun. He took a deep breath to focus his nerves on the threat. It’s me or them.

The sound of movement got louder. Just as Richards decided to come up from cover, he noticed his vision getting blurry. Blinded by rage, the disorientation caused him to fumble around. As his sight and hearing deteriorated, he eventually found himself looking at the moonlight before passing out.

He woke up the next morning to the sound of soldiers carrying him towards the medic. “You’re quite lucky,” the medic said. “The terrorists were getting rather close to your tower before some animal killed them. I’ll be back with bandages.” Private Richards examined his own body, surprised he wasn’t dying due to blood loss. He looked for the source of the blood and covered his mouth in terror as he found no wound. The blood… it’s not mine.

He glanced towards the terrorist corpses being dragged out from the woods. They looked just as he had imagined them in his fit of rage. Torn apart and butchered like the useless animals they were. Richards made sure to hide his long, sharp fingernails before the medic came back.

© Copyright 2017 A. L. Braysy. All rights reserved.

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