Come Like a Tailor, Part 1

Push about, in and out, thimble them cleverly,
Here’s to the King and Donald McGillivray.

Captain Lakshmi Deol moved silently through the marshy jungle of Bangladesh. The steady rain did little to alleviate the heat. She made eye contact briefly with Lieutenant Nila Amra. Neither of them had located the Chinese patrol but they knew it was there. Someone had killed those villagers.

She listened, tuning out the rain. There. The faintest of rustles in the leaves to the left. She focused on that area and glimpsed a small infra-red flash about waist height. “Down!”

Her lieutenant didn’t listen. Instead, Amra rushed the target and tackled him. Bones cracked and the man screamed briefly before his neck was snapped. Deol cursed under her breath as she ran up, shooting the two other enemy soldiers. She glared at Amra.

“What if that grenade had gone off?”

Amra stood up, dusting herself off. She coughed and muttered, “Ugh, he had bad breath.” She pointed to the small grenade the dead man held in his right hand. “It didn’t leave his hand. He reflexively tightened his grip on it when I surprised him.”

Deol shook her head. “He could have dropped it.”

Amra smirked. “And he’d be just as dead.”

“I…” she paused in her rebuff as a call came in from headquarters. She listened to it then said, “Acknowledged.” She pulled the dog tags off the three dead Chinese and turned to go. “Come on, Amra. We’re going to Tamil.”

Amra followed. “That’s a strange place to hunt patrols.”

They walked back through the smoldering village.  A tiger looked up at them as they walked through but it was more interested in the easy meals than in fresh prey. Amra stepped over the remains of a child. “Such a waste.”

Deol glanced at her, wondering if she meant the child or the destroyed buildings. “We’re getting a break from hunting. There’s been another incident and the UN is getting involved. We’re to investigate it and handle the observer.”

Amra groaned, “I’d rather hunt patrols.”

to be continued

Copyright 2011, Kimberley Long-Ewing, all rights reserved