Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Through The Godless Hours (81)

Captain Farid’s eyes were smarting as he sped back around the ringroad, in the direction of the mothballed housing development. But the stinging there was nothing compared to the mental scars events at Endang’s had inflicted upon him. Scars that would have no time to heal. Taking one hand off the wheel, he rubbed at the salty dryness, something that provided only temporary relief. Although his blubbering had long since ceased, the military man’s expression was hardly one of calm – more that of steely determination, tinged with an element of frustration that it was taking so long to reach his destination. The occasional heavy twitch provided further evidence of the latent energy that seemed likely to burst from him at any moment.

Finally reaching the highway spur, he forced himself to slow the car before swinging through the long sweep that led to the entrance gate. The sound of the car’s tyres was different inside the deserted compound, alternately scrunching over rubble and splashing through the odd puddle that had yet to evaporate following the afternoon’s downpour. Barely noticing, now, the unfinished buildings that had previously stoked such imagery in his mind, the Captain stared resolutely ahead, while the shadows cast by his headlights danced left and right.

At the end of the muddy road he brought the car to a halt, once more facing the untidy patch of land that had once been fertile rice paddy. Captain Farid killed the engine and switched off the lights: the stillness in result mirroring the calm that now descended like a cloak over his body. His mind, equally, had reconciled itself with the inevitable. The end of the road… he repeated in his mind, without mirth. Slowly reaching across to the glove compartment, he took a few silent breaths before quietly opening it and lowering the flap so that it, too, made no sound. It took a moment for his fingers to locate the object for which they searched when once again, cold to the touch, the instrument of death was in his grip.

Bringing up the gun slowly and deliberately, Captain Farid once more pressed the oily barrel against his lips…

Bellies half full of rice, the pair of street kids were kicking through the discarded bottles, cans and other rubbish that littered the lifeless patch of earth in front of the lean-to serving as their home. Raising their heads simultaneously, they were suddenly drawn to the irregular flashing of headlights approaching from over on the other side. Their eyes followed the car until, ultimately, it came to rest. Nudging each other, they began to make their winding way across the wasteland, careful to remain low lest they be detected. The brothers had often crept up on the occupants of cars that made their way out to this isolated spot, where lovers came to grope, or illicit deals were cut away from the glare of prying eyes. They were just the kind of kids Captain Farid had always loathed. The type of lowlife offspring he had, on at least one previous occasion, blithely exterminated. Unaware of the potential danger that sat in wait across the waste ground, the boys’ excitement blotted out all else. Their fervent hope, this hitherto uneventful evening, was to surprise a courting couple and perhaps get a glimpse of some female flesh.

Barely able to suppress their giggles, the boys circled around in a wide arc, undetected as they then approached the Timor from behind. In their excitement, they failed to notice the military plates; the darkness such that the car’s telltale shade of green was also obscured. Stooping, their pace had slowed by the time they reached the rear of the vehicle. There, the brothers exchanged a knowing look, before dropping to the ground. Crawling forward while making as little sound as possible, they monitored each other’s progress by glancing sideways beneath the vehicle until, simultaneously, they came level with the car’s front doors. On a whispered count: one, two… three! the boys suddenly bobbed up either side of the car, their faces pressed hard against the windows.

posted by Kirk at 12:12 pm  

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