RICK, you’re like a son to me, now go, draw fire

Rick returns after dark, with 3 corpses and 2 wounded. Drives to aid station. Walks to command tent. Finds Colonel Ozquierda, drinking espresso)

Colonel Ozquierda

Rick, I thought we might have said our goodbyes.


(Over to corner of tent, pours himself a coffee.)

Colonel Ozquierda

We all chose sides. Now it’s time for you to come to the winning side.


Too soon to tell.

CoLONEL Ozquierda

Rick, we are both businessmen.

There are customers one can’t afford to keep.


What some call war, some call murder, what some call murder you call business.

ColONEL Ozquierda

Rick, this might be a good time for reflection.


We both know you are a businessman, not a partisan. You’re a capitalist not a communist.


Don’t be a sap.


The team you had out there were cicadas. In this 17th year, they became husks laying about for the disinterested wind.


Save your poetry, you fuck.

Colonel Ozquierda

Like every locust they were meant to fight, fuck and die.


(Rick turns to leave the command tent)


Don’t forget Rick, that I know your story.


You will never see your new york city again.


With the price on your gringo head, you will be lucky to survive this morning, let alone the day after this war. You are a dead man walking.


Rick you’re like a son to me. I worry. Every father worries about every son, so hijo, last night I thought about your future.


I was shocked to learn this:


You don’t have one.

You can’t go home.

You have no home.

You won’t have Africa.

Europe won’t have you.


And yet, hijo, every man needs a home for his family, and every man needs a family.


Even you.


You’ve loaded your deadhead lorries full of orphans. You’ve watched the widows.


Your services will be in demand. I can put us in a position to provide for those we love and those we serve.


On the hilltop command post, the First Sergeant’s pistol remains pointed at Rick while the Colonel opines.

Rick turns around, lifts the tent flap walks out to his truck, opens the door of the cab. On the bench seat are his satchel, hat and pistol. Hand reaches on top of pistol, Rick hangs his head down, stands there.

Climbs into cab, sits there, still pistol in hand. Closes cab door. Reaches into satchel, pulls out flask of bourbon. Takes a long slow drink. Stares into the space past the windshield.

Cracks open the cab door, puts one foot on the runningboard. Stops. Shakes his head. Closes cab door. Lets out a long breath.

Starts the engine and drives out of the command post. Rain starts to fall. Sound of artillery in the distance. Wipers are torn rubber and don’t work.

Leave a Reply