Down to the Sea
I awoke to find the fire burned out. Not even a plume of smoke came from the pile of ash. I sat up and rubbed my eyes and face. We had the Bic and my Stryker flint if re-ignition were necessary. If we remained atop the island plateau for another day, we’d need the fire. I was hungry, but there would be no food. I scanned my fellow adventurers. My men. Both slept the sleep of the dead, as there was not a snore to be heard. I moved closer and tapped Don’s boot. He opened his eyes with a start and then grimaced. “I used to be able to drink that stuff by the gallon,” he complained, massaging his temples between both hands. Dutch sat up. He didn’t rub anything. I assumed that his lack of obvious pain, from the amount of alcohol, imbibed the day before, had to do with just how much he was accustomed to consuming on a regular basis.
“I’ll build a fire,” I announced, gathering together pieces of branches and twigs we had not burned the night before. I took the Stryker out of the canvas bag. It took only three ‘punches’ down on the device to catch the wood afire. No kindling, or even dry needles. It was amazing. I piled on the smaller branches.
“What are you guys going to do?” I asked Dutch and Don. They looked rather puzzled.“What is it that you command, oh great leader?” Don joked. Then they both looked to the heavens. I glowered. Mutiny in the ranks was ways down the road, but the condition of enlisted troops bonding together to resist officer commands was already evident. It would have to be monitored.