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Water Sports

July 20, 2011

This time was different. This time the door stayed open for more than the thirteen seconds it had the…how many times?

He had lost track. Hazard of being deprived of sleep.

Now, besides the Marine private and corporal who had been taking turns waking him up, there was a major sitting in the chair they brought in. He was looking at the bars on his breast, attempting to identify any he could. But it had been a long time.

“I’m God.”

“Uh. What?”

“God. As far as you’re concerned, I am the Almighty.”


“Well, when I said I had a few complaints for management, I had no idea—”


“Hm. You know I expected you to be…”

“What? Taller? A nice old guy with a fluffy white beard?”

“I was going to say better looking. Perhaps not so miserable. And without the halitosis. Bologna for lunch? Are you and Mrs. God having issues?”

Not a single twitch or titter from either guard. Damn…tough audience.

“You can save the smart ass talk for the interrogators. I’m just here to listen to your complaints and then tell you to f*** off! You don’t get to s*** unless I say so.”

He farted.

“Oh, sorry. Was that allowed? All this hostility must be upsetting my stomach. So, I don’t recall asking for the wakeup calls every five minutes. Is that—”

“Don’t worry, cupcake, when the interrogators arrive, you can ask them in between gulping for air.”

“Can’t I just ask you? I mean why is it that you and CIA plan to detonate a small nuclear device at the Sears Tower before the next election? Seems to me that could have unforeseen consequences. What happens to Illinois’ electoral votes? Can you be sure—”

Now the corporal twitched.


Heightened awareness had its drawbacks. Sometimes, often times, you couldn’t separate the important details from the unimportant ones. Something you saw could get stuck in your head and you’d spend hours or days analyzing it’s value. Chewing it up to bits like a dog with an oversized bone. Sometimes it was like reading tea leaves.

Not this time!

The twitch was all he needed.

“Don’t worry, corporal. She might survive. If she’s lucky, she won’t even get cancer or have burns like…have you seen the photos of survivors of Hiroshima? Not a pretty—”

The Major’s boot caught him along the side of his face. He was dizzy for two or three seconds before sitting back upright.

To the Major, he resembled a jackal or some other cur that needed putting down, especially when he saw the blood-stained teeth. He smiled, red and white.


He spat a bloody, frothy puddle.

“You know what they say about water sports, Major.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s like riding a bike. Ridden the board once, you never forget.

“Well, almost never.”

“Won’t matter to you.”

He dismissed the guards and closed the door. When he turned, he pulled his sidearm in a practiced, smooth motion.

“Won’t matter to you. And no one else will know. You just killed those two by shooting your mouth off. Training accident. Barroom brawl. Suicide. Whatever works.

“I’ll have to call their families and thank them for their sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice.”

He flicked off the safety.

“I’m always amused by how sociopaths like yourself blame other people for your acts of murder. As if killing those two kids is somehow something that has to happen. As if somehow, you and the rest of your mentally ill cabal have no responsibility in it at all. Like you’re some force of nature, and not human at all. Really, I wonder if you have any idea what you’re doing at all.”

“Your childish mind games won’t work on me…”

“Childlike. Torture. False-flag attacks. Holy wars and war profiteering: those are childish.”

“You talk too much. Gonna be your downfall.

“The entire middle of the country will vote for our candidate in desperation. They won’t allow another failure. Pakistan and Iran will be blamed. They won’t accept the truth. The American people can believe anything. Anything but the truth. If won’t matter at all what New York and California do when nearly every other state does what we want.

“No one else knows. And it’s going to stay that way.”

He raised the semi-auto casually, savoring the moment.

“Oh, but they do know. They do now.

“I mean, ‘Hail Mary’? Quite a name for an op.”


From → NKINTRA, Short Story

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