Author Topic: Operation Blindside  (Read 458 times)

Offline Badman

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Operation Blindside
« on: February 26, 2021, 05:50:53 PM »
(Very much a work in progress ~ 1st draft)

Beth carefully picks her way down the trail through the pine trees following the arrows cut on every fourth or fifth tree. At last the ground levels off and she has a swig of her water bottle before wetting a rag to wipe sweat from her neck and forehead. Everything is so still, the sun raining heat from straight above as she adjusts her rucksack before setting off again. Spotting the glint of water ahead, she picks up her pace looking forward to a cool dip in the lake once Frank has left.

She fancies she can almost taste the wet promise of the lake in the air as her eyes are drawn towards the skeletal firewatch tower rising ahead. Her home for the next two weeks. Two weeks of easy pay and hard study in solitude. Craning her neck, she looks up and catches sight of Franks legs dangling from the edge of the platform.

"Hello Frank!". Her voice seems fainter after just two hours alone getting to this place of deep quiet.
"Afternoon Beth, you made good time!". In contrast, his voice is falls with confidence of a rock from above. A habit for a career serviceman of his age.

As Beth shrugs off her pack, a loop of black rope snakes down to coild a few feet away which she grabs and clips to her pack.

No sooner does she say "Ready!" than it lifts up eventaully meeting Franks pack on its way down. As always she is grateful for Franks skills but most of all knowing he will have left the place clean and ship shape. One less thing to do on her first night on watch.

As she unhooks his pack with his net and fishing rod attached, she hears his boots swiftly descend the forty foot ladder. He's in great shape for a guy older by a decade or more than her father.
He jumps off the last two steps just as she opens the gate to hand him his pack. Part of her wishes he was closer to her age as she glances at his solid body in his ranger uniform.

God, I'm such a mess  she tries in vain to straighten her own khaki shirt and shorts.

"Everything is ready as ususal. I've left you a fresh trout in the cooler, swapped out the batteries for you and Gunther on tower 3 volunteered tonight so you can rest up."

"Thank you so much Frank, I'll sleep like a log tonight", she so wanted to hug him for that but ended up shaking his hand instead.

She held his hand too long after, so it seemed like she was trying to keep him there. He gave a sheepish smile and almost saluted her.

Trying to hide her blush, she turned to the fenced in bottom of the tower and shut the gate before climbing the ladder. After the first half dozen steps she felt herself tense as she climbed higher.
She really hated this bit, just her, the rungs and all that air around her. Her hands and arms already ached from gripping so tight and her legs weren't much better.
Panting and a little shakily, she climbed onto the deck and swiftly shuts the hatch over the ladder.

"Right, I'll be away then. Good luck!"

Shocked she looks down over the rail as Frank actually salutes her before marching off back to civilizaition. He must have watched her excruciating climb all the way to the top.
"Right, I think I need a quick lie down"

Frank was the last one to see her until she was found eight months later wandering by the lake and unable to speak.


“And if people can see themselves for who they really are, they will know that every person has a dark side!~ Aarush Kashyap”