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Night Raid!

by Lore 

Posted: 24 June 2003
Word Count: 508
Summary: A Rhodesian War Story.1972

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

We knew they were there. Now and then some of them made a noise when they went to get water. Otherwise during the day they were quite. We posted a few ‘recces’ now and then, saw nothing much, they were good. Tried an ‘O.P.’ to spot them but no luck, team leader reckoned that we would get some this night.

Night, was their soft spot. They always seemed a bit chatty after dark. It would give them away!

We set up the ambush brilliantly. The ‘Old Man’ (Team leader), reckoned the two of us could handle the job, so we picked up prepared weapons. Thankfully it was overcast. The bastards might have spotted us. We moved quietly from tree to tree. Stopped once or twice when we thought we had been spotted.

The other three were back at camp. They would know sooner or later if we were successful or not. Team leader told them to leave a few lights on, that way they wouldn’t expect our surprise attack. For the first time in ages he allowed them to play the radio softly. A clever distraction. As we moved off nervously, I could hear the smooth crooning of Justin Hayward, ‘Nights in white satin’. Somehow it helped to settle my nerves.

There was a small pond of water in the area and we knew they were using it. That’s where we headed.

This time, we were gonna get em. This wasn’t the first time we had tried.

Just before we had reached the cover of some bulrushes, one of them made a noise about 3 feet to the right. We had stumbled right on top them!

Shit, Shit, Shit, The Old Man, gave me the sign and I opened up with all I got; as he armed the huge weapon in one smooth stroke and brought it on instinct into full play. We were in trouble and the adrenalin was racing, if the old man missed we were fucked.

I turned on my torch and caught the frog, croaking away on the lily pad. Before it could draws it’s next breath, the Old Man brought the shovel down and the frog was airborne.

6 foot it went up, as the shock wave pounded the fish pond and bellied up a few Goldfish. It’s hard knock life. A few innocent citizens, caught in the cross fire.

The exploded corpse, guts hanging out a surprised mouth, came down and plopped at the Old Mans feet. With a deft swish, he scooped it up and flicked it neatly over the hedge into the next door neighbours garden. They were a strange lot, didn’t mix in, so no problemo airmailing the croaked croaker.

We went back to the house, celebrated our success with a 'quiet' cuppa. At last we were able to sleep well without that abominable din for the first time in days.

In future attacks, perfection was attained. As the corpse plummeted earthwards, I could connect the shovel to it. This got a far better distance into the next doors.

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Comments by other Members

llydstp at 20:40 on 24 June 2003  Report this post
I suppose this is meant to be humorous, but I'm afraid that I find it rather distasteful. Also, it is not very well written. In fact, some of the English is pretty awful. For example: 'This got a far better distance into the next doors.'
Sorry to be so negative about your first piece of writing for WriteWords, but believe it or not, I am trying to be helpful.

Ioannou at 20:50 on 24 June 2003  Report this post
Sadly, some things are distasteful. I don't know if I am reading too much into this from your summary but it does capture the obsessions that men at war seem to find necessary in order to keep going, to feel they are living. And the detachment from suffering of others that also seems (I have never been to war!) to be part of the soldier mindset. Got the feeling you've written it in dialect to give a sense of the person telling the story, which works, because I was left with a sense of character, of who these people are. Love, Maria.

llydstp at 21:13 on 24 June 2003  Report this post
What makes you think this is about war? Surely it is about killing a frog because of the irritating noise it was making?

Ioannou at 21:23 on 24 June 2003  Report this post
Hey, Steve, it was just from the summary of the piece at the top 'A Rhodesian War Story.1972' - and something about how the people were organised, a team with a team leader. I found it quite grim to read to, but then I remember having to put books outside my bedroom door when the words on the page were just too ghastly. Love, Maria.

llydstp at 21:27 on 24 June 2003  Report this post
I love the idea of you putting books outside of your bedroom door because the words were too ghastly.
Take care

Jabulani at 10:16 on 25 June 2003  Report this post
I keep thinking about this piece....it's a bit of a strange coincidence given my exercise posted on the Beginner's section (Rhodesia 1975). It certainly seems that this was not written from a politically correct English perspective and clearly not for the enjoyment of a politically correct English audience. I also found the piece shocking...it articulates an aggressive fantasy that shows a quite frightening callousness...particularly as it apparently is meant to be funny.. I can't help wandering where the story might have led if it had stayed with the night raid in the Rhodesian war. Is this piece an allegory for something ghastly that happened to the writer in the war.....or was it an acting out of a child's feelings at that time....it was a strange time to live through with vioence and guns and inevitably had a deep effect on people at the time. I would love to know why Lore wrote this.

old friend at 14:04 on 21 September 2003  Report this post

I don't know what all you above are wittering on about. When a piece is badly written it is just badly written.

I think this is a great pity for Lore does show a creative ability with the idea of linking frog-murder to a military exercise. This, Lore achieves very well. Nevertheless I don't like this and feel that Lore may be capable of producing far better work. However Lore must learn English and read the work very carefully.

old friend, Len

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