Charlie's in the Bushes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
To Americans, the Vietnam War differed in many ways compared to the Second World War, or the Korean War. For instance, the average age of soldiers during WWII was 26, the average in Vietnam: 18. Also, WWII relied on territorial expansion to determine the weight of success, Vietnam was a war that based it success on Body Count. Clearly a war, but, a war of unclear objectives. Nevertheless, to a soldier, war is war, and there's a job to be done.

Submitted: February 17, 2016

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Submitted: February 17, 2016



Charlie’s in the Bushes

“If only we’d gotten 20 more kills, then maybe we’d be on R&R right now.”

“If only, Jimmy, if only."

" This damn humidity is about getting to me. This whole country is a goddamn sauna.”

“Enjoy it while it lasts, Jimmy. This beats winter’s up in Flint I bet.”

“How do you, figure? Besides, a California boy like you should be use to this somewhat. I bet you wouldn’t last a full day of a Michigan winter.”

“I don’t care to even think about it.”

“Because you wouldn’t last it.”

“Like I said, I don’t even care to think about it.

“I bet.”

“Hold up. Did you hear that?”

“Maybe it’s a tiger.”

“Don’t fuck around, Jimmy. Maybe it’s a squad of those fuckers.”

“That can’t be. We just ripped through the nearest village yesterday. Those poor dumb bastards aren’t stupid enough to resettle here.”

“How do you figure?”

“Simple. If you rob a liquor store, would you go back and rob it again, or head on to another one a few miles away.”

“I don’t see your point.”

“They’d be dumb bastards to come back again, that’s my point.”

“Jimmy, we hit a village in Da Nang a few days back, only to come back two days after that to clear it again.”

“I’m telling you, Mikey, there isn’t anything to worry about.”

“Just keep your eyes peeled, Jimmy.”

“Yea, yea. Let’s spark this joint.”


“Got a light?”


“Damn it.”

“If only we got a few more of those bastards. A ribeye steak would definitely hit the spot right now.”

“You’re telling me.”

“I never thought higher body count meant R&R.”

“They want us to compete against each other.”

“Figures. Man, Bravo Company is full of social misfits, though. No wonder they caught the highest body count. They’ll kill friendlies if it means pounding back a few cold ones as a reward.”

“I still feel uneasy about that.”


“Wasting friendlies.”

“Ah, man. Sometimes it just comes with the territory. Besides, they’re all in on it together, man.”


“Bullshit. Remember a few days back at Ben Suc? That chick with the grenades in her jacket. Supposedly she was a friendly, that bitch blew Greggs and Martins right out of their fatigues, her along with them.”

“Kill em’ all, huh?”

“Shit, better them than me.”

“I guess that’s what we signed up for.”

"Damn straight, Mikey.”

“What would you be doing right now if you were stateside, Jimmy?”

“Honestly, Mikey. I don’t know, I never really thought that far ahead.”


“All I knew is that I needed to get as far away from my parents as possible after graduation.”

“No college, huh?”

“Nah, not for a bumpkin like me. What about you?”

“I guess I’d be in college somewhere right now.”

“Why’d you pick the Nam instead?”

“Hm. I don’t really know. I guess I wanted to get away too, but, now I don’t know if it was worth it.”

“Well, it’s been worth it for me so far.”

“That’s good, Jimmy.”

“I’m just afraid of what’s to come when we don’t have anybody to shoot at anymore.


“Hold up.”

“Yea, I heard it too.”

“Maybe it’s just a little animal.”

“I don’t think so, Jimmy. Charlie’s up ahead, I can feel it.”

“Should we call it in?”

“Not yet.”

“Should we fire?”

“No, not yet.”

“God damn it, Mikey! I don’t like this waiting.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I hate waiting. I hate waiting for Charlie to make a move. I hate waiting in the dark like this. I hate waiting in this heat. I hate waiting!”

“Jimmy, that’s all Vietnam is.”

© Copyright 2019 C. Avina. All rights reserved.

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