Raid on the Island of the Dead
By Dwayne MacInnes
Jennings slowed the truck down to a safer speed. The undead were behind them and it would not be long before they were on the beach. The men would quickly transfer their cargo into the rafts and then they would be safely in the submarine.
Williams concentrated on driving. He stared ahead and closely followed the truck. When the Opel Blitz slowed down Williams had to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending the truck.
"Dammit, Williams!" shouted Pike from the backseat. "Are you trying to kill the padre?"
Before Williams could issue an apology, Driscoll solemnly broke in, "He's already dead."
The four men in the kubel all cursed inwardly. Pike reached over and closed the chaplain's dead-staring eyes before laying the wet cloth over Brodin's face.
"I guess he's in a better place now," Pike said.
"Man, are you kidding. He's a priest," Quaid said incredulously. "He's got a one-way ticket to heaven."
Driscoll reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He stuffed one between his lips before passing the pack around to his companions. Each man grabbed a smoke.
"Thanks," Pike said. "I hope you have something to light these with."
"You bet. I've got a lucky lighter I always carry," Driscoll replied.
"What makes it so lucky?" Quaid asked.
"It always lights on the first try," Driscoll responded. To prove his point the private flipped the lid and the lighter flickered to life only to have a gust of wind extinguish it.
Quaid laughed, "Lucky lighter indeed."
Driscoll frowned, "Hey, it lit. It just blew out from the wind."
The private flipped the lid again and this time the flame resisted the wind to ignite the end of Driscoll's cigarette. After a quick deep puff that deepened the red glow of his smoke, Driscoll offered the lighter's flame to Quaid.
"Thanks, after everything today I really need this," Quaid responded as he brought his cigarette to life.
Driscoll then reached over towards Pike who anxiously awaited the lighter. As the flame passed over the chaplain's corpse, Pike noticed that the wind had blown the rag aside revealing Brodin's face. The soft flickering glow of the lighter bathed the chaplain's face; Pike dropped his cigarette when Brodin opened his eyes.
"You dumb-ass. He's still alive!" Pike shouted gleefully.
"What!?!" Driscoll exclaimed.
Quaid turned around in time to watch Brodin sit up straight and look around.
"Take it easy padre," Quaid said before he noticed the chaplain's dead eyes turn towards him. "OH Shi..." Quaid started to cry before Brodin reached up, pulled himself up to Williams, and bit him on the neck.
The unlit cigarette in Williams' lips flipped through the air as he screamed out in pain. Blood spurted from his neck and he unconsciously stomped down on the accelerator. Pike and Driscoll wrestled with the undead chaplain in the backseat as Quaid reached for his rifle.
The light kubel burst forth in a fury of speed before colliding with the back of the Opel Blitz truck. The men in the truck screamed in horror as they tumbled out the back. Jennings felt the German truck lurch forward and before he could hit the brakes, the vehicle lost the road and smashed into a tree.
The kubelwagen crumpled upon itself as it slid under the truck's rear, burying itself under the Opel Blitz. The sudden accident caught Corporal Vanders by surprise and the corporal crashed into the back of the kubel killing him instantly. Only Reynolds, who stayed back a ways to act as rear guard had time to react and was able to lay the motorcycle on its side causing both man and vehicle to tumble until they both came to a rest upon the wreckage.
Steam hissed from the truck's ruined radiator. Jennings shook his head; miraculously, he had only bumped his head upon the steering wheel opening a gash in his forehead. The captain wiped the blood out of his eyes and looked over at the two men beside him who were now laying dead halfway out the windshield.
The captain fought to open his door, which finally acquiesced after some kicking and shoving. Jennings stumbled out into the night air. In the scant moonlight, he surveyed the wreck. Underneath the truck's rear, the kubel sat buried with its occupants. A few of the men that were in the back of the truck were lucky enough to be picking themselves off the ground. Some had broken bones others were just stunned.
Out of the dark, Sergeant Reynolds staggered over to the captain. "What happened?" the sergeant asked.
A groan from the kubel captured their attention. The captain and sergeant moved to the back of the truck and looked underneath. There helplessly pinned in the steel body of the German vehicle writhed the undead body of Brodin.
Jennings reached for his Colt .45 automatic and primed it. Then with deliberate aim, the captain put a bullet into the chaplain's head.
"How many men are left?" Jennings asked Reynolds.
The sergeant snapped back to earth and looked around him. "Looks like about half a dozen. I still have my motorcycle, but it looks like we will have to walk from here."
"Okay, get the men..." before Captain Jennings could finish a mournful moan broke out from the jungle.
"Damn!" shouted the captain. Jennings ran back to the truck's cab and pulled something out. He returned to Sergeant Reynolds with a satchel.
"Take this and get on that bike. You have to make it to the beach. Make sure this gets to the Brass," Jennings said as he thrust the satchel into Reynolds arms.
"Sir," Reynolds started to protest.
"Dammit, Sergeant this is an order," Jennings said. The captain began gathering the wounded and stunned survivors. They started gathering rifles and prepared for the undead that would soon issue out from the woods.
Reynolds lifted his bike from the road and started it. Jennings looked over towards the sergeant while priming the Tommy gun still slung over his shoulder. "We'll hold them back. Get to the beach."
Reynolds revved the bike and tore off down the dirt road. It was not long before the jungle erupted into the sounds of rifles and a submachine guns. Occasionally, it was punctuated by the explosion of a grenade. The battle still raged as Reynolds reached the beach and pulled a raft out from its concealment.
As the raft motored out towards the dark silhouette of a submarine, Reynolds noticed that the sound of gunfire died off. The sergeant dropped his head in remorse before he heard the last sound of a Cold .45 fire a single shot.
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on October 15, 2008 5:44 PM.
"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" - Part One was the previous entry in this blog.
"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" - Part Two is the next entry in this blog.
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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