Combat Patrol

I LAY ON MY BELLY IN THE DIRT, two dozen men attendanton my curled index finger. My feet were crossed. It would stabilize theshot. I had a perfect angle on the target. Adequate blind. Unobstructedline of sight. A sentry exposed and smoking, yawning beneath a low tree.The Major gently patted my ass. The sign to fire.

Above the sentry a crow exploded ina fury of leaves and feathers. The warm carcass dropped out of the treeright on the sentry's head. It was one hell of a shot.

The VC soldier stood bewildered for a second, looked up in the tree, gothis senses and ducked. The earth was extraordinarily silent after themuffled report. The bird had made no sound. Just the branch. Never got asecond shot off. A hidden Marine laughed out loud. Guerrillas appearedinstantly at their defense posts and the surprise attack was a lost cause.But the Major was such a sick and bitter bastard he stood up and kicked myass hard with the point of his boot, climbed over me and signalled thepatrol to go in.

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