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Cheap Goggles: Chapter 1

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It always feels cold here.  Even with so many layers.  I take another puff of my cigarette, my hands are freezing, as I scan the area around me.  As I exhale deeply my goggles begin to fog up.  Should not have cheaped out on the goggles.  At least it keeps the wind out of my eyes, even though I can’t see very well for half of every breath I take.

I glance down at the ground, my boots crunch softly on the frozen landscape.  I always feel like I’m going to slip and embarrass myself, at least there aren’t too many people around maybe I could get away with falling on my butt.  At least I didn’t cheap out on the footwear, seeing is fine, but not being mobile provides a greater danger to my safety.

I raise the cigarette to take another puff when a loud thud startles me from off to my left.  My hand instinctively drops to my side grasping the handle of my pistol, didn’t cheap out on that either.  My breathing begins to increase, the goggles fogging up with each large exhale as my eyes dart from left to right trying to find the source of the sound.

“Woah there!” a gruff voice shouts from in the distance.  “Damn it I said woah!”

I blink uncomfortably wondering if the voice is referring to me or something else.  Can he see me?  My attire isn’t exactly camouflage but..  I barely have time to finish my thought before the loud sound happens again, closer.  Suddenly I recognize the sound, galloping.  The brush ahead of me shifts violently as a large horse comes bursting through.  Broken reins streaming behind it, well that explains the sound I suppose.

My heavy breathing continues, each time the foggy lenses clear the horse keeps charging towards me.

“You’ve got to be kidding me..” I mutter to myself as I begin dashing back towards the treeline.  Boots crunching loudly on the ground with each step, satchel banging against my side.  It won’t run into the tree, just need to get to the treeline.  A large oak comes into view and in one swift motion I orbit around and drop down behind it.  Taking refuge behind the large oak tree I continue listening for the sound.  It’s still getting closer, louder.  Suddenly, the large oak I had taken refuge behind shakes violently with a large thud.

For a moment I’m speechless as I peer around the side of the tree.  The horse teeters about drunkenly and collapses to one knee.  It really did run into the tree..

“How stupid can you be Frank!  Running into trees, for goodness sake!”  The apparent owner of the horse approaches.  Frank neighs quietly still clearly disoriented.  “Not only that you seem to have given this fellow here a fright.” the man glances at rubbing a gloved hand over his full beard.  “Sorry about that stranger, Frank isn’t the smartest horse around, but he’s the strongest if that means anything.  Name’s Joe by the way.” he finishes as he extends a gloved hand.

The grin on his face is oddly comforting, and he doesn’t seem armed so I get to my feet shuffling forward to shake his hand.  “Allen.” my muffled voice doesn’t travel well through the scarf.

“Nice to meet you Allen.  Well, Frank let’s get you back to the convoy, never knew trees would be your great weakness.  Safe travels Allen.” Joe says grabbing the broken reins of Frank and begins leading him off in the direction he had come.

I wrinkle my nose a bit, well that was uncomfortable.  Pivoting around I make back towards the treeline when another large sound knocks me off my feet.  The sound of collapsing tree branches begin to surround me, ears ringing from the shockwave of the explosion.

“What the..” I begin to think to myself, quickly becoming disoriented, before the world suddenly goes black.


Written by andrewsnafu

February 10, 2010 at 11:42 pm