Fiction

Hospitality

By: Carlos Delgadillo

So many noises were filling the air. Screams, the shouts of soldiers, and of course, a bang! Noah jolted awake, and followed immediately with a wince as a shot of pain radiated from his left leg. He quickly revived his senses and his eyes raced from one line of sight to the other.

A bewildered expression formed on Noah’s face as he searched, he wasn’t in a trauma unit, a battlefield, or a mass grave. Instead, there was an old wooden wall at his right and a dirtied window above him. It took Noah up until now to realize only some blankets separated him from the dirty floorboards beneath him. His eyes trailed off to his left, where he was greeted nearly immediately by a moving figure at the edge of his vision.

Noah’s eyes were swift to focus on them, instantly recognizing the badge on their right shoulder. He reached for the holster on his right, but it was stopped by a cuff on his right arm.

“Hey, calm down,” a poised woman’s voice assured, nodding toward his handgun on a nightstand. “Even if you killed me, you wouldn’t get very far,” she gestured toward Noah’s leg.

“Why am I here?” He growled, “I’ll die before I talk! I’ll–”

“‘Thanks ma’am I’m happy I’m alive. I’m so glad I’m not bled dry in a field.’,” she looked at him, “I took a risk for you.” Her eyes faced downward and crossed her arms, “I’m tired of leaving people behind.”

Noah’s fingers curled at her statement, he was dispensable. However, his grip loosened at the fact he was alive, and faced toward the floor.

The woman looked back at Noah, “Come on, not even a ‘thank you’? I know it’s an old shack in a forest, but I really couldn’t find a better place.”

Noah paused, without looking back at her he mumbled, “When’s everyone else coming?”

“I’m not here to interrogate. We set up camp nearby and I’m gathering stuff around here as an excuse to check on you.”

“So you…” he trailed off and looked back at her, “you really saved me?” Noah struggled to wrap his head around it. “I don’t really remember when that last happened.”

“Well, this stuff doesn’t happen every day now does it? Now, what’s your name?”

“I… uh…” he paused, “2814F–,” that’s not a name! He reprimanded himself, “N–Noah.”

“Noah? I’m Allie,” she grinned and extended her hand.

Noah stared at her hand, and then looked at Allie. He only remembered it from whenever two of his superiors met. After carefully inspecting it, he uneasily met the palm with his own.

“I’ll find some fruit for you nearby, alright?”

As she stepped out the door, Noah looked back up toward the window. It was an unusual feeling, but he hoped she’d be back soon.

Categories: Fiction

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