“Relax, John Boy. That was nowhere near us,” Gunner softly said.
“Do you not care about dying?” Johnny asked with a mix of disbelief and annoyance.
“I have no plans of dying.” A grin spread across his face. He liked Johnny and didn’t want to be off-putting. He changed tone. “This, survival, makes sense to me. I can wrap my head around either kill or be killed. Insurances, interest rates, board meetings, smartphones...that, I just don’t get. Most of the time it just seems like a bunch of people inventing ways to entertain themselves.” Gunner had been turned down by the military twice for failure to pass the physical.
The Uprising was supposed to be quickly and quietly taken care of. A year later, panic had set in, and Gunner’s physical inefficiencies were now overlooked. He and Johnny, thought for dead, were on a three day march out of the rebel woodland. They had been in the foxhole for nearly a day now. Gunner’s watch never let up.
“All right. The other two left. I will take care of the one no problem and be back with what I can. Sit tight until I get back. We’re almost out of this.” Gunner quietly slipped away to the rebel shack.
Although he thought the man mad, Johnny had to admit, there was no one else he’d rather be stranded with. He was as sleek as a cat, and his strike was as dangerous as a cobra.
Gunner approached the shack and let out a clandestine whistle about twenty yards away. A young boy met him and ushered him inside. Without talking, Gunner took out a box of ammunition from his backpack. The boy gave him a bag of food in exchange, and Gunner exited.
As he trekked back to Johnny, he saw vultures circling overhead. The wet, sweltering heat covered him like a blanket. His mind returned to his mission. He vowed to get Johnny home safely, and he always kept a promise. He had no side in this fight; he simply felt free...and he didn’t want it to end.