Everybody lies. It's true. Actually, it's a fact. Every guy I know's lied; to his mom, to his girlfriend. "How are things?" "Things are great mom, really, couldn't be better. Sure miss them potatoes though." Everybody was tryin to look tough when we were all scared as hell.
Spooked by the noises at night. Damn monkeys made coconuts or sumthin fall off them trees and we ran to our guns. Some of the guys even slept with them, kinda like those security blankets we all had as kids, the kind your mom buys for you when you're a baby, but its big enough so when you get older it still fits you know? Until you reach that majical age when you're "too old" for that kinda stuff.
Yea, too old. We were all babys cryin for our mammas. On the outside we weren't. No way chief. Yes sir! No sir! Nuthin in between.
Malone. Man, Malone never showed nuthin. Yea he'd crack a joke here and there with us, maybe play poker, kicked all our asses at Texas, got raped at baseball though. Kid just never wrapped his brain round that game. Wasn't your all-'round card shark ya know? We've all got our thing. Him an Tony though, man they were tight. Call 'em homos or brothers, doesn't make a difference, I personally think, well doesn't really matter what I think, whatever floats your boat right? Those two guys, like glue. I swear they were never more than 5 feet away from each other. Kinda creepy but war does stuff to you I guess.
So this one night we were camping outside this village. Ray had shot up some village kids and came back with their beer. Guess even congs like a good party. That stuff wasn't really beer though. Tasted like shit but we didn't care, we were all pretty much drunk twenty minutes later anyway. Malone was down $42 and Tony was making his way to the crapper. "Ha! Ha! Smoked your Johny!" "Man, go smoke your own Johny you're still $30 in the hole." Ray was serious when it came to poker. He might not be able to see his cards but he'd never lose.
Malone was wasted and wasn't about to let Ray remind him how much he owed.
The cards were flung to the floor. "Screw you two I had a full boat!" "Shutup Mouse you suck at poker!" "I don't SUCK!" Ray threw the first punch. Left hook right on the money. Mouse was swoll. His face turned red as christmas lights.
Then a deafening scream came out of the jungle. Ray flipped. Literally. Slipped on a card, don't know how the hell it happened but that saved his life. The bullet would have run him straight through the chest, hit Jello right in the forehead.
Damn fine shot. His big round face turned white. Maybe it was all the blood gushing out, just like in the movies, or maybe he saw it comming and had time to get scared. He went kinda cross-eyed. Lookin where the bullet was I guess, don't think he could see anything. Three more hit him in the chest. Looked like he was doin the backstroke or something, don't think he'd ever fit into a speedo. Our CO had to special order his uniform. Took three days for the girls to sew it. The one thing that stays with me though are his legs. Legs the size of a guys head, they just kept giggling. The fat just didn't wanna stop living I guess. Looked like they'd stuck some vibrating contraption to him. I swear you could hear it. Womp Womp womP. Slower and slower. Then there were explosions. Lots of small ones. Like the grand finaley on the fourth of July. When you're laying on the grass in the park with your girl just watching her watch the sky turn colors. Then everything just erupted in flames and those vc's went running like ants away from a shoe.
Malone had been heading back to bed once Ray and Mouse started fighting when he say Tony, still crapping, and a soldier pulling a knife on him. The grenade went flying before anyone had a chance to react. The guy just kinda caught it with his stomach which ended up on his face. But that didn't matter. We all guessed that they'd been planning to light our camp up. Like the "beer" we didn't know what it was, but they'd spread some kind of highly flamable fluid around the trees and that all burst once the grenade went. Tony pulled his pants up and we all went to sleep.
Two weeks later he landed on a mine. Him and Ray had their fight. That left hook's a killer. Went down $5 in the hole. Finally won a game of baseball.
Then he exploded. It was quite a site. I'd read about guys being drawn and quartered back in the day, never thought I'd see anything like it. His arms man, and his legs, they just ripped. Like close on the playground. No one slept that night. Cept Malone. And he never woke up.
They say if you see yourself die in your dreams you die in your bed.
Malone saw a guy blown to mush after a left hook. Guess he didn't get that immage out of his mind before he passed out.