I got a bad feeling about this one, Sarge.
The private’s eyes shone bright and innocent under the moonshadow cast by hibiscus-draped mangroves, hulking and gnarled with age.
I’m gonna buy it out here. I can feel it.
A nightjar’s call pierced the chittering insect liturgy that was the land’s buzz-choked heartbeat. The young man cried out at the sound.
Sarge’s voice twinkled with checked laughter: You’ll be fine, Kid. I’ll bet you’re back home in Valley City before Thanksgiving.
Sure, the young man said, trying to imbue his words with a conviction he did not feel.
And wouldn’t you know it? Sarge was right: the war ended two days later and everyone involved lived happily ever after.