The Adventures of Chartan: Squeeze


(Last Sunday: Chartan doubts himself.)

            Brazil leveled his M16 and prepared to squeeze the trigger at the dark shadows creeping slowly towards him some 50 feet away. This was that moment that had haunted him for 50 years, only now he was in Kyiv. Crouched by him about five feet away an American veteran from the Afghan war opened fire.

            Brazil jumped forward, landing on his stomach. There was no return fire. He instinctively went into an alligator crawl as did the other vet until they reached a dead Russian soldier.

            “Why didn’t he fire?” asked Brazil, still on his stomach.

            The vet stood up. “I could have been wrong,” he said. “But this time I wasn’t.”

            ***

            Chartan, in bed on his back next to Gina, looked up at the ceiling. “I wonder what Brazil is doing right now?”

            Gina put a warm hand on his chest. “Just pray he is safe. What else can we do?”

            “Worry. I’ve become good at that.”

            “Do you worry about me?”

            “I just love you.” The words came out immediately without thought. His heart pounded. This moment was the only truth in his life as his wife squeezed him.

(Continued next Sunday)

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