The jungle

Now that the winter garden chores are done, aphids have invaded the Oleanders.

I’ve spent some time in the yard pruning dead wood out of the Texas Rangers (sage) and watching birds. Horace seems to have recovered enough to take command of “his” feeder again and he chases off any hummer daring enough to approach. He is way outmatched when a woodpecker sips nectar although that does not happen often. Our new neighbor has a feeder that attracts finches (ours attracts mostly doves and wrens) and they have been using our water for a drink. Pretty birds.

For some reasons, I’ve been thinking about my year in Vietnam, especially the jungle. Beautiful place, but the jungle was ominous. Trees could reach 150 or 200 feet in height and ground vegetation could be sparse to dense. Little light filtered down to the ground and there were more shades of green than a person could name. There were times when brush would close in so quickly that we had to hold on to the Marine’s pack in front of us. Although we were in shade, the heat was horrible – near 100 degrees and over 90 percent humidity.

Leeches, skeeters, and monkeys were a nuisance but tigers, cobras, and pythons were dangerous. As were the humans who were hunting us.

Anyway, here’s a story I wrote. 54 words so it qualifies for true flash fiction.

The Jungle

Heat and humidity were wearing on him. Sweat rolled down his body. He wiped his forehead with his shirtsleeve. The enemy surrounded him. He slowly parted leaves-more enemy. Damn, there’s a lot of ’em. He raised his weapon and squeezed the trigger, killing dozens with one burst of soapy water. I hate aphids.

 

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