I’ve been working on this story for a while. This is an extract of the first draft. I just thought I’d give you a preview as I haven’t posted anything for a long while. Also, I’m testing something in WordPress for for work, so you have to put up with it for now. I’ll post the finished thing soon, enjoy!…
The soldier cracked a can of beer from the plastic ring that held the six-pack together. He offered it to the other soldier who was sat a few feet away. His companion didn’t reach for the can, he just eyed up the soldier suspiciously. “C’mon, have a beer with me” pleaded the soldier, shaking the beer in the air “It’s not armed or anything. The only weapon round here is that one.” He pointed to where the gun lay in the road between them. A thin film of dust had gathered over its carbon-resin casing, turning it from jet black to a brownish-grey colour. On its side a circular green light throbbed intermittently, indicating that its ammo charge was low but not depleted. The second soldier didn’t move or say anything. He just carried on glaring at the soldier offering him a drink. The first soldier shrugged, placed the can on the floor and opened one for him-self. “Fine” he said. “Have it your way. I’m just gonna leave it here on the floor and drink one myself. If you want it, you can have it. If not, that’s your call.” He took another can from the ring, cracked it open and took long pull from it. As he did so, he looked at his counterpart examining carefully. It’s funny he mused. If it wasn’t for the fact that their armours had different insignias on them, you would swear that they were on the same side. However that wasn’t the case. In reality they were technically the worst of enemies, members of opposite armies that, it seemed, had been fighting a turf war for this planet, a war that had been so bloody, so fierce and raged for so long that they were now the last two soldiers left from either side. “My side won you know.” His enemy croaked in a low, cracked voice that sounded dry with thirst. “Come again?” The soldier replied in surprise with an incredulous tone. Was this guy nuts? How could he think that there had been any winners in this farce of a war? Everyone, well nearly everyone, who had fought was dead. Now they were stranded, forgotten about by their superiors on their respective home worlds who had washed their hands of the whole sorry affair. “Well, technically we won. Until you put a plasma bolt through his head, there had only been you, me and Riley left. Two against one so, ya know, technically we won.” The other soldiers face remained deadly serious as he spoke. “By the way, my name’s Thompson. What’s yours?” The soldier felt a big grin slide across his face and then before he could help himself, he let out a loud, long burst of laughter. His whole body was shaking and his eyes were watering by the time he was able to compose himself. “Are you kidding me? Seriously?” It was all he could do not to burst out laughing again. “Buddy, I don’t think anyone can claim to be a winner in this mess. My names Ward if you must know, Sargeant. You want of these beers now?” Thompson nodded and took one of the cans Ward was now shaking at him. He opened it and took a long, slow drink. His eyes were shut tight as he savoured the slightly warm yet still refreshing beer. He kept swallowing until the can was empty then let out a long satisfied sigh. “You might wanna slow down there, buddy. This shit will go straight to your head.” Said Ward laughing “plus, we’ve only got four of these bad boys left. Best we try and make ’em last.” Ward was no longer laughing by the time he finished. Neither was Thompson. They both knew that once the beer was gone, their was nothing else between them. Nothing but that gun with it’s pulsing green light, telling them it was low on ammo. The two soldiers sat there in silence, staring at the gun for what seemed like an eternity. Ward knew that light meant there was probably only a couple of shots left in it, three at the most. Not that it mattered. Once one of them had it, they’d only need the one. With that on his mind, Ward started to find the silence unbearable. He took another can and rolled it to where Thompson sat, his eyes fixed on the gun. Surprisingly it was Thompson who broke the silence. “Do you think they know what happened here?” He muttered, his gaze slowly moving to Ward “You think they even remember that we’re out here?” Ward didn’t need to ask who Thompson was talking about. He had been wondering the same thing. Before the last battle, the scuttle butt around Ward’s camp had been that there hadn’t been any contact with their home world in years and that it had been pretty much the same on Thompson’s side. At least he thought that was right. In truth, the battle had gone on for so long and been so fierce that Ward was having a bit of trouble remembering anything before it. In fact, his memories of the actual battle had been pretty damn fuzzy. He figured it must have been the beer clouding his mind. It had been a long time since he’d had any alcohol and it had started to make his head spin whilst he was still on the first can. Ward turned to look down the road he and Thompson were sitting by. In a vast expanse of golden desert, the road was invasive strip of primitive concrete. If he shut his eyes, Ward could imagine the race that once called this world home, speeding along it in one of those four wheeled steel contraptions that he had seen thousands of wrecks of in the ruins of city he had patrolled. Now, there was nothing but desolation. As far as Ward could see all round him was the scattered debris of both his and Thompson’s armies. Smoking wrecks of fighter craft mingled with the bodies of fallen comrades creating an atmosphere that to Ward was somewhere between a bonfire and a meat strewn barbeque. And amongst it all, in between he and Thompson lay the gun. The green ammo light on it’s side pulsing to let them there was only a few shots left. A cracking noise from over his shoulder broke Ward from his reverie. He flicked his head round to see Thompson tossing the ring pull from another can of beer. The one Ward had passed him only a moment ago lay empty and crushed next to Thompson’s feet.
Thompson didn’t reply, just chugged the beer down, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, crushed the can and tossed it into the middle of the road. His actions were almost mechanical.
Ward stared in disbelief. He’d never seen anyone drink like that, or maybe he had, he couldnt remember.
He jumped forward as Thompson reached for another can, snatching back protectively.
Thompson sat back, raising his palms in a gesture of peace, an easy smile on his face.
“Relax, Ward. I was getting one for you. No need to get jumpy.”
Ward knew Thompson was right. Out here there was just them and some beers but still Ward felt uneasy. He knew there was something not quite right. He just couldnt place hus finger on it. Maybe it was the gun, sitting there between them, its green light pulsing to tell them that there were only a few shots left.