Episode 48 - An enemy is anyone who tells the truth about you

With another winter approaching, we started stocking up for the cold months ahead. Ammunitions, food and fuel; among other things, were included with this week’s shipment brought by Corporal Greg Baxter. Along with Redman and Rodrigues, I got stuck at Base Camp unloading the truck. Corporal Malloy led the remaining of the men out on pond patrol, for the first time after Willis’ death. Rodrigues and I were in charged of unloading the Humvee, while Redman organized the goods inside the storage tent. It was hard work. Some of the crates weighted over 100 lbs. To make matters worse, the sarge and Corporal Baxter just stood a few feet away watching us struggle with the heavy cargo. I couldn’t even complain. I wrote a letter to Aunt Ann last week. I debated over sending it through Captain Schneider or through Greg Baxter. It had to be sent secretly. If the Special Operations Command got a hold of its content, I could be finished. I know too much. I would never be able to help Ben from the outside. I need to be here. I need to be inside the Mulberry Ridge. Unfortunately, I can’t do everything alone. Aunt Ann could contact some people for me. As desperate as it seemed, that was my plan with the letter. I opted to send my “cry for help” through Baxter, since he was the first one to arrive this week and besides, he was a friend of Ben. After we unloaded the last crate, I left Redman and Rodrigues to separate the shipment. - We are all done here, Sir! - I told the sarge. Greg still stood by his side. Then, a tumbling noise came from inside the tent. - Rodrigues!!! - yelled Sergeant Palmer. I lit a cigarette and called Greg to the front of the truck. The sarge made his way to the tent where Rodrigues was having trouble with the crates. - I need a favor Greg, it’s a big one. - I told him. He looked at me concerned. - It’s all right Johnny. What is it? - Greg replied while setting his arm around the back of the Humvee. I stood there, looking at the ash of my cigarette. I didn’t know how to ask him. We looked at each other for a few seconds. I finally took the letter out of my back pocket and asked him: - Can you send this out for me? It’s for Ben’s Aunt. - He looked at me like I was crazy. - A letter? What’s the big deal? - He asked me almost laughing. But just when Greg was about to grab the letter out of my hands, I held him by his left shoulder and looked him straight in the eyes: -Well, you have to send it yourself. This letter can not go with our regular courier mail. That’s the favor Baxter, get it? I already took care of the postage. All you need to do is drop it in a mail box, once you get in the Town of Arcadia. - I explained it to him. Baxter was skeptical. He looked around and picked the letter out of my hands. Suddenly, a high-pitched screech came from the back of the truck. It was Redman closing the Humvee's back gate. When I looked back, Baxter already had the letter inside his shirt. I realized giving him the envelope could’ve been a mistake. I started to freak out but it was too late. The sarge was heading towards us. Right before Greg got in the Humvee’s cabin; he looked at me, smiled and told me: - Don’t worry! I’m with the good guys, Johnny! - He got in the truck and drove away. Back at the storage tent Rodrigues was trying to put together an old British PIAT. I couldn’t help but to ask him: So…are we the good guys Rodrigues? He shrugged and without looking at me he replied: - I don’t know Harris, sometimes we can be...

Starting this Friday (Sept. 02 06 through Oct. 15 06), St. Marks Coffee House (in Denver, CO) will be showing a photo exhibit featuring 30 pictures from the internet series PondPatrol.com. The pieces will be for sale and a “closing night party” will happen on Oct. 03 06. Along with the photographs, the show will also contain contributing art work from MagnetMafia.com and Patricia Christiansen.

by Corporal John Harris, August 31, 2006