Day Five

After breakfast, with them both cleaned up and teeth brushed, they played hide and seek until it was time for lunch. Bud had asked to play, but Christopher’s concern of being caught unaware preyed on his mind. The fort provided him views in every direction over a great distance. Not seeing anyone for two days helped. Only one thing concerned him, the dim light in town.

As Christopher was preparing lunch, he thought, “If they were to stay here, they needed to resupply.”

After lunch, they spent the day at the fort. There they scanned the countryside on both sides of the mountain. Christopher that day taught Bud a basic military skill of observation.

Christopher holding the binoculars looked at Bud, “You want to look through the binoculars? Maybe you will see someone playing hide and go seek?”

Bud with a look of amazement, “Can I?”

“Of course, but you have to look for anyone playing hide and go seek. You can’t look at your fingers.”

“If I find someone playing hide and go seek, can we tag them, it?”

“You and I can play it, but this game is fun too. In this game we hide and the other side hides. No one wants to be found. If we can sneak up on them and tag them without them knowing we are there, then we can tag them.”

“That sounds boring.”

“You told me you were a big boy? I’m a big boy and I enjoy the game. It’s fun sneaking up behind others and tagging them. Let’s see if anyone is playing hide and go seek in the town. You get five points for everyone you find.”

“Playing find the bump is better, but I will play this game.”

Christopher adjusted the binoculars for him and taught him how to move binoculars across the terrain. After 10 minutes, “I see one, I see one hiding. I get five points.”

Christopher looking at Bud, “Not so fast young man. I need to see who is hiding to give you the points. Where are they?”

Christopher took the binoculars as Bud pointed to the town. “You see that ugly yellow house? Look this way, you’ll see her.”

Christopher, seeing where Bud pointed, looked in the binoculars in time to see a girl, maybe sixteen, running between houses.

“Ok, Ok. you get your five points. Now you need to follow her and see where she goes. If you find out where she is hiding, you win the game. I’m going to the cave and bring something back. You keep watching.”

“Sure. I’m going to win. I’m going to win.”

“Is she hiding?”

“No. She is still running from house to house.”

“OK, I’ll be right back.”

Christopher ran to the cave, picked up the rifle and ran back to Bud. Christopher laid beside Bud, “Well, have you won the game?”

Bud silent, suddenly, “Yes, I won. I won. What do I get for winning? I found out where she’s hiding.”

“Hold on big guy, you can’t say you have won and collect the prize. Where is she hiding?”

“She went into the building with the big red letters. You can’t see her now. But that is where she is hiding.”

“You keep looking. If she comes out, it’s not her hiding place.”

Christopher looked through the rifle’s magnified sight and found the building Bud had referenced. Unable to read the words, it looked as if it was a grocery store, “She shopping for food.”

Christopher looking through the sight, “Is she still in the building?”

“She is still there. She is for sure hiding in there.”

 “Well, young man, you won again. You are good at this game.”

Bud turned to him with excitement, “What is my prize?”

“All the candy you can eat.”

Bud squinting his eyes, “You have candy and you haven’t shared it with me. You are supposed to share.”

“Don’t be mad. I have eaten none of the candy. I was saving it as prizes for whoever won our games.”

Bud, understanding Christopher was not hiding the candy, looked through the binoculars again, “She’s coming out. She has bags with her this time. She has candy for sure.”

Through the sight Christopher saw the bags of food. Christopher and Bud followed her back to the house.      

“Can I get my prize now?” Bud asked.

Christopher sitting up, “Of course young man. First see if you find anyone playing on this side.”

After one last check, they headed back to the cave for dinner. After dinner Bud got his prize. Twenty pieces of hard candy.

Bud, seeing the candy, looked at Christopher. “That is not much candy. Are you holding out on me?”

Christopher, his hands up, “All I have id the twenty pieces. If you walk tonight, we’ll get more candy. What do you think?”

Bud looked up as if he was thinking, “How much candy?”

“How much can you carry?”

“Can I take my backpack?

Published by M.Short

As a 19 year old CW2 helicopter combat pilot, M. Short served as an aircraft commander being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and eleven Combat Air Medals while serving the U.S. Army in the Vietnam war. His passion for Science Fiction and his experiences in combat as a pilot gave him his inspiration for the series -A Saga of Dogs of War. A Mercenaries Story. His series starts in 2235 after the Earth starts to heal from a cataclysmic event. The series follows the lives and experiences of one mercenary clan as they reclaim the Earth for their corporate sponsor, XTECH.

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