The games people play by Andrew Lilly

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SUMMARY: I love the works of Ernest Hemingway, but sometimes the terse dialogue and macho themes become a little unbelievable. This is my attempt at a parody of Hemingway's style.

"It's hot."

"It's always hot."

"How's your leg?"

"I'll live."

"I think I should have a look at it."

"I'll be fine."

"It might get infected."

"I never get infected."

I stood up. The blood from my leg had plastered the leg of my pants to my thigh, and then clotted. When I shifted, the cloth ripped away from my leg and it started bleeding again. It only bled slowly.

I said, "Let's go."

"You sure?"

"Damn it George! I said I'll live."

"Let's go."

I picked up my gun. It was a big game hunting rifle.

"Did you hunt, before?" said George.

"You mean before...?"

"Yeah."

"Yeah, lots. I used to go to Africa and hunt."

"Have you ever tried going after lion?"

"Yes."

"Lion is the only thing I could hunt if I ever had to stop doing this."

"I couldn't ever go back to hunting animals."

"Neither could I. But lion would be my first choice if I had to"

"This is a hell of a game."

"Hell is right."

We were walking southwest. It was hazy, but it didn't matter. The foliage was so thick you couldn't see far even in clear weather. It was quiet except for the birds chirping.

"We're going to have to shoot point blank."

"Should have brought some shotgun shells."

"You figure the other guys might have thought of that?"

"I don't know."

We were in Germany. Me, George and Al had parachuted down from an old army airplane. Three other guys had been dropped a little ways upstream. I didn't know any of them. George had talked to them a little on the plane but it was noisy and they didn't talk much.

"Do any of those other guys have any experience?"

"One of them does. He's seen action three times he said. The other two are rookies."

"They shoot damn well for rookies."

"Not really. They were just lucky. If it hadn't been for Al we'd have won the skirmish."

"You ever been to war?"

"A real war?" George shook his head, "No. This is as close as I get."

"This is better than real war. Real war you've got to take orders and dig ditches and march in neat little rows. This is where the real action is."

"I didn't know you were in the army."

I nodded. "I saw action in the Balkans."

"Were you drafted?"

"No. Volunteered."

"For kicks?"

I nodded again.

George said: "What do you figure our chances are?"

"Bad." I spat. "Real bad. Why did that fool have to go and get himself killed? We could have beat those rookies."

"We'll still beat them."

"We have no chance."

"They'll be ours next time we meet up."

"Which one was the guy with experience?"

"Frank. He's the big blond one who carries a rifle with a bayonet."

"We should go after him first of. We should have done that the first time. If he's down the rookies will be easy."

"They shoot damn well."

"They don't take cover properly. They both kept sticking their heads out too far when they fired. We'll pick them off easy once Frank is gone."

"Hey Nick...I don't figure I want to tangle with that Frank guy and his bayonet close up. Let's find a good place to hole up and wait for them."

"When we ‘chuted down I noticed a bit of a hill to the south.

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