Night Probe

The rain came down for days, slowing to a fine spray only occasionally. The nights were wet too, the bunkers and trenches full of water, so that the men on guard stayed on top of the bunkers. The probes came often, almost nightly, the enemy firing from the village across the river. The rounds went high because of the angle of trajectory over the hill, and you could hear the faint whisper of their passing.

A machine gun opened on the left, sending a stream of red tracers into the lower hillside. Nothing. Just the movement of shadows from the flares.

“I don’t like it,” one man said. “One of these times it’s going to be the real thing again.”

“The probes have been picking up,” another man said. “It’ll probably be soon.”

“This is it!” the first man said. “Look.” There was much movement in the village. The dogs were silent.

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson

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