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This page last viewed: 2017-06-20 and has been viewed 1543 times
Walking Two Worlds
Summary: Vietnam era, BA POV
Warnings: Just a tiny bit of cussin', but more than you'd probably expect from the Big Guy.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Team, the concept or intend to infringe on any copyrights. I'm not in it for the money, which is good, 'cause there isn't any. I do it for the jazz, man, for the jazz.
Note: Many thanks to HM and Pam for the beta!
Don't know how it happened. It was like I closed my eyes, just for a minute, and all the sudden I'm in the cage again. I can't stand, and I remember it's 'cause I spent the last two days twisted up like a pretzel, ropes and chains round my neck and legs, holdin' me in place. At first it hurt. Hurt like hell. After a while my arms, my legs, got numb and I didn't feel nothin. I ain't sure which is worse.
They musta decided they had more interesting people to pick on. Now I'm here alone surrounded by pain, and mud, and fear, and anger that I can't do nothin' with.
All I can do for now is watch the guys in the other cages. Can't do nothin' from here. Probably couldn't do nothin' if I was there with them. Not the way I feel right now. It hurts, watchin' those young guys - some of 'em just kids, really - dragged off by the guards to the interrogation hut and ain't nothin' I can do. I know what goes on in there mostly. I try not to think about it too much when every now and then one of 'em don't come back.
Seems like they take Face a lot, or maybe I just notice it more. I try to protect him. He's just a kid, too, just a damn kid. He should be sittin' in the sun on a beach somewhere, flirtin' with pretty girls. Not passed out in his own filth half way 'round the world, hopin' to live through to tomorrow.
These guys hate pilots. I mean, *really* hate 'em. Sometimes they take Murdock for weeks. Don't know what they do to 'im, but I can hear it. Hear him screamin'. Screamin' like my legs and back are screamin' at me now. For relief, for rest.
It's the times I *don't* hear him screamin' scares me most.
He looks worse than ever when they bring him back lately.
But at least he comes back. He's still alive. That's all any of us can hope for
these days. Seems like
nobody can get through to him these days. He just sits and stares. Don't eat. I don't know if he even sleeps.
What I see is Murdock tryin' to get to a place where these bastards can't hurt him no more. He's got that place real deep inside, I guess.
Sometimes, I wish I could get to that place, too. But looks to me like it's too hard gettin ' back, so maybe I'm better off here. Don't want to have the Colonel coaxing two of us to eat. To live.
Don't know how long I been sittin' there. My legs and back are so stiff, I'm in too much pain to move. Maybe numb *was* better. I'm thinkin' it can't get no worse, and Laughing Boy shows up. The guard who's always smiling. Not the nice kinda smile, either.
When he was still talkin' Murdock said Laughing Boy grinned all the time 'cause he loves his job so much. Maybe Murdock knows something 'bout that bastard we don't.
I hate that sick son of bitch.
He unlocks the cage and has to drag me out, 'cause my legs won't hold me up. I feel like there's a million pins stickin' in my arms, legs and back.
I'm face down in the mud, and he sticks his rifle in my side and tells me to get up. Time for the hut again.
Well, fine. Got no choices here. May as well go with 'im like a man. What I got to tell them, anyway? I don't know nothin' worth knowin'. Told 'em that, told 'em name, rank and serial number. I stick to the Code. That's all they'll get out of me.
I don't think they care 'bout findin' anything out from me. They're takin' it out on the prisoners to break up the day. 'Cause they're bored.
Laughing Boy says he's got a surprise for me. But I plain can't walk. He and another guard drag me to the interrogation hut. Flies are buzzin' and it's hot in there, like always. Like an oven. It's dark and it stinks. Piss, shit, vomit and blood. That's what fear smells like. That's what death smells like.
He points to a corner of the room and laughs. God I *hate* his laugh. Always means somethin' bad.
I don't wanna look. Got my eyes closed, just like a little kid. I'm shakin', for God's sake. Man like me shouldn't be wantin' his mama, but sometimes I just can't help it. Like now. Mama wouldn't make me look…I don't wanna....
Laughing Boy ain't laughin' any more. He's yellin', 'cause I'm spoilin' his fun. I feel pressure on my neck, and hear the clickin' noise of a round hittin' the chamber. Fine, goddamn it. I'll look. It's better'n dying.
I open my eyes, and then I open my mouth and I scream. 'Cause I was wrong.
Rather be dead than see what they done.
Bastard's laughin' again. "You see him now, right? You see him now!"
He points at a heap in the darkest corner of the room. Gotta look hard to see, and I won't, I can't. I don't want see him, see how he looks now. Don't wanna see don't wanna see don't wanna don't wanna…
"Hey, you okay big guy?" It's Murdock's voice. But it *can't* be Murdock - not with what they done to him.
But it *is* Murdock's voice. He sounds worried.
Only way I can hear him is if *I'm* goin' to that safe place deep inside. That place where everyone's okay.
Bad as it is, I don't wanna go nuts too. I just wanna go home, I want to get away from here. I want it so bad, like I've never wanted anything, anything else....
"Hey, BA. BA! Wake up, man."
The night's black, but my eyes're adjusted to the dark. Fool's standin' over me, shakin' me by the shoulder. Slowly, I wake up, wonderin' where I am, what he's doin' here.
How he can be alive after what they done to him? Wait, though, that was just a dream….
Murdock crouches down next to the cot I'm sleepin' on. "Sorry, BA." He says it real quiet. "You were having a dream. Didn't want you wakin' everybody else up."
I can't help it; I grab hold of his arm. Makin' sure it's real, he's real. That it was only a nightmare. Murdock looks down at my hand, then back at me with a funny little smile. For a moment I wonder how he knows. He always seems to know….
big guy. I'm fine - everybody's
fine. We're on that job in
"Go on back to sleep," he says, with that funny smile again, and takes my hand from his arm. Didn't even know I was still holdin' on. "I'll take your watch." Then before I can say no, he stands up and moves on, almost like he's meltin' into the night.
No sense arguing. Even if I take my watch, fool won't go to sleep anyway. He'll lay there in the dark all night, eyes wide open. Murdock's got some fool idea that nightmares are contagious. I know he won't go to sleep till the sun comes up. Says he feels safer during the day.
I decide I'd better get some sleep, 'cause I'll have to take his shift drivin' like he's takin' mine on guard. I roll over to try to go back to sleep. It's weird, but I feel kinda lucky. Least I wake up from my bad dreams.
Don't know 'bout Murdock, though.
You are also caught with the fact that man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the walls of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experiences of his spiritual pilgrimage.
"The Clowns of God," Morris West
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