BOOTLICKER

5264

2006-08-04

He’d lost another three medals sliding down the soft cliff face, and spent a considerable amount of time hunting through the soil retrieving them.

A man sat eating his lunch (a cheese sandwich) on a treestump in clearly defined front of the tiny minefield. At his feet lay a battered tin lunchbox, its hinged lid resting on the grass. If the boy’d’ve payed attention, he would have noticed several bullet holes pimpling its surface quietly.
The boy dusted himself off before attempting to scale the pathetic barbed wire fence. The wooden stakes at either side of the boy collapsed weakly from rot upon application of pressure to the fence.

The man looked up.

He swivelled on his treestump: “Y’all right?”

The boy froze: “I dropped my medal -”

“YOUR medal?”

“My grandad’s medal,” the boy corrected himself.

“I heard it fall. You’re lucky. The weeds don’t grow on the mines. Try not to bother me again.”

And with that the man turned his back on the guised boy and returned to his nourishment.
The minefield was only a few paces across both ways, and the environment within it was markedly different from that of the meadow it lay in. Desert sand comprised much of its soil, dying grass and weeds littered the arid earth.