Ruck Up & Move Out

I sit with my back against the shelves at the end of the health food aisle. I cradle my Glock in my lap. I stare at my backpack between my feet. Coyote tan, two old bullet holes in it, the burn marks small and barely noticeable. I remember when I was shot, just outside of Kabul. Right in the hip. I still have a limp. The Purple Heart’s in a drawer somewhere.

No one will be shooting back here. This really ain’t so bad. If we keep moving, shooting, and communicating, those rotting fucks won’t get us. With two other guys ready to fight, watching the right and left flanks, we could go any damn place we wanted to.

I unzip my bag, pull out the upper and lower receivers of my M4, and snap them together. I turn in Sloan’s direction. “I’m tired of sitting on my ass. There’s a gun shop three blocks east of here. If you two go with me, I lead. I’ve done this shit before. If not, it’s been nice knowin’ ya.”

Everyone turns and stares at me. I realize I haven’t said shit since we holed up in this store.

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