Thursday, March 10, 2005

An Original Sketch - Number Four

(The following is a sketch from a collection I am currently working on. It is pretty harsh, so if you don't like that sort of thing I wouldn't read on. )

Number Four

They pushed the fucker blindfolded into the hall. He was brown and naked except for these butt-huggers that were bright white. White like snow white. They were God-bless-America Fruit of the Looms, and I remember how white they were on the fucker's dirty brown skin.

He knew what he had done. There was no doubt. Blew away three marines at close range with an RPG. Too bad for him he got caught. So there he was in the hall, all alone and all but naked, and we gave him to Number Four. Don't ask me Number Four's real name because I won't say and that is the way it is going to stay. Number Four was the driver, and too bad for the fucker he didn't get all four.

So they pushed him out and were shouting at him to get down on his knees, but he just stood there like a dumbass. Just stood there in his khaki rag blindfold and those virgin white butt-huggers till someone finally butt-ended him in the kidney and he dropped like a dog to his knees.

Number Four pulls out a .40 and yanks down the blindfold so the fucker could see it. One eye exposed. Big and round, but still saying fuck you if you know what I mean. Fuck you. Showing some balls.

Well, Number Four works the action of the .40 and points it at the guys head. You know that picture someone took in Viet Nam; the one where one guke is discharging his pistol into another kneeling guke's head, execution style, and you see the moment stopped forever still of this poor guke fucker getting his head blow away? It was like that picture, but real life, and no one had a camera.

So Number Four just points it at the fucker's head and then--this is the kicker, because Number Four is crying like a baby, like he is the one on his knees--Number Four says something in Arabic, and the fucker just loses it. I mean, that's it for the balls. He starts pissing himself, crying and begging and it was the sickest thing I have ever heard. No one except maybe Number Four had a clue what he was saying, but I felt it in a way I still can't explain. It was like the sound a puppy makes when it is hurt bad. It was the real shit.

I mean, we knew what he had done. There was no doubt the guy was guilty as shit. Number Four had driven his buddies back to camp, their gutts all over his windshield. The fucker deserved the same. Worse. But no one could speak. Number Four let the .40 drop and just walked away. Just like that. Gone. Leaving us to put the fucker back in his cell and clean up the piss.


This is one of a set of sketches I am working on as part of a larger work. It is one of the more graphic ones, so if you are disgusted, well sorry (okay, I'm not really all that sorry). The pieces will not take any clear side, but will try to describe small out-of-context events in a way that can explore something about war, human nature (the good and the bad) and something of the realities of being in combat. As much as one writer who has never been in combat can fathom.

I'll appreciate any comments to what I post. Send me email or just post here.

- Jim

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