No Alarms and No Surprises

Mickey said nothing but sprang up and quickly covered the ground to the wall of the hut. He stood with his back to the wall to the right of the door and Dook sprinted to the left. Mickey checked his rifle was cocked and ready. Neither of them had any grenades left so Mickey used hand signals to say that he would go in first and Dook would support.

After taking a deep breath Mickey, deciding on a whim not to kick the door, gently pushed it in with the barrel of his rifle.

There was a slight creak as it opened and, since the room had no windows, he peered carefully inside and waited until his eyes grew accustomed to the contrast between the stark brightness of the sun outside and the dim interior. He was using the sight on his rifle and could see something in the far corner, a heap of rags perhaps.

He couldn't see any obvious wiring anywhere for a booby trap so he decided to chance a move. He slipped across the doorway and crouched down inside against the wall and scanned the room through the rifle-sight.

The image resolved itself as his eyes became accustomed to the darkness and he realised that he was actually looking at a man lying still on some primitive kind of trestle. He was clearly badly wounded, there were blood stains on the torn white shirt and baggy trousers, and his left hand was draped over his chest. His right dangled down in the shadows below him.

On the floor near the man lay an AK47 and an old fragmentation grenade – pin intact, next to it. Mickey quickly moved close enough to kick them away well out of reach, all the while keeping his rifle trained on the man. Then he backed away again.





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