Ambush Patrol

TWO WEEKS AFTER OUR KISS I watched Li Thi's face turn ashen as he learned of Sun's death. He was digging a hole. He responded with extraordinary restraint, asking his commanding officer if her body had been retrieved, thanking him for the expression of sympathy, immediately resuming his digging. The hole would be a grave that living men would inhabit to ambush patrolling invaders.

I awoke sweating cold despite the oppressive heat and humidity and I found a blanket in one of the supply tents to wrap around myself. I sat not far from the sentry. Dull luminescent blurs appeared inland on the horizon where there was harassment and interdiction, illuminated by flares.

I had crossed the actual area of my dream region only the day before on a tangent from my recon patrol,looking for some privacy if only for a minute. Now there was a trap. Li Thi, scout for a VC ambush, was already in the area when strayed. He didn't fire at the lame, lone soldier, either out of caution, sympathy charged by a queer inkling of familiarity, or because he himself was lost--and envisioning his living sister--in dream.

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