Slums and Strangers


One glimpse through the fog of war:

Suddenly the trees were gone and the sky opened up. I couldn't see anything.

"We're in the slum now," Lieutenant Evan Wolf said. "It's a nasty one, too. Some houses are literally made out of cardboard. I would kill myself before I lived here." I have no idea how these people survive without air conditioning and clean water. The environment here in the summer is unrelentingly hostile.

"How did you get into this job?" Eddy said.

"I was in the high tech industry a few years ago," I told him. "I got bored of the cubicle farm and needed to get out of the office."

"You're way out now," Eddy said and laughed.

"I can't wait to get in the office," Lieutenant Wolf said.

"Do you like your job?" Eddy said.

"I love my job," I said. "It's the best I've ever had. Do you like yours?"

"I wouldn't say it's the worst decision I ever made," he said. "It's hard for soldiers. We all want to go home, of course. But we also want to stay and make sure our buddies did not die for nothing."

There were no street lights. All I could see was absolute darkness and the faint outlines of hovels against a backdrop of stars.

(Photo: Totten. Hit his tip jar.)