The Taking of Martin Hill


A chill wind  went through the entire forest, blowing some of the late summer leaves off the trees. Darrin lay behind one of the larger rocks on the ridge, providing him with just the right amount of hiding space and protection. It allowed him to avoid the view of the enemy and still keep watch on what some of the sentries were doing near the top of the hill. He had silenced his walkie-talkie an hour ago when he realized the rest of his team had been taken. He saw the three others being marched up the hill,hands tied behind their backs while they were flanked by guards on both sides carrying their weapons. Darrin hoped they weren’t going to be tortured to give where he was since he was the only member of the team still free. it was up to him to help liberate his mates, including Jessica. She was the first female they had in combat with them and was wondering how she was faring now that she was a prisoner of war.

Darrin wasn’t just worried about her because she was fighting in his unit. They had developed a special bond over the last few weeks as they spent time together training over the summer. They had practiced nearly every situation that could come up, including what to do if caught. Darrin knew Jessica had great resolve, but there was a big difference between practicing with the rest of the unit and it really happening.

They had been trying to take Martin Hill all summer long, with setback after setback turning them away. Things got so discouraging that they even brought in a new leader for the unit, Greg, who was now being held with Jessica and the fourth member of their unit, Tom. Tom was the brains of the outfit, helping Greg lay out the maps and strategies that they had hoped would bring them victory today. Things weren’t looking good at the moment.

Darrin knew he had to act. Just sitting behind the rock wasn’t going to accomplish anything at all. He took a quick inventory of what he had left as far as weapons. He still had three grenades but the ammunition for his rifle was just about gone  he had three, maybe four shots left and that was it. It might not be enough, but it was going to have to do for now. He was only going to get one shot at this and he had to make it count.

He stealthily crawled up the hill, trying to move quickly and as quietly as you can on a carpet of twigs and leaves. The only sounds around him were the few birds around since the sun was starting to go down. He had circled around and reached the top of the ridge in no time at all. The enemy must be on the other side of the hill looking for me, he thought to himself. He crouched down behind a few bushes and peered up the structure on the top of the hill. He could see one sentry guarding Greg and Tom, who were sitting on the ground, tied back to back. he could hear some shouting and laughing go on inside the structure and then heard Jessica yell out “Go to hell,” and more laughing from the inside. They must be interrogating her. Darrin had to do something now.

He whistled the bird whistle the whole unit had learned as a signal. Tom perked up when he heard it and began to look around to see if he could notice anything. He met Darrin’s eyes as he spotted Darrin about 10 yards away. Darrin signaled to Tom that he was going to work further up the hill and then come up from behind. Tom knew that meant he had to distract the sentry somehow. He immediately began a series of short breaths and then feigned having some kind of respiratory attack and fell over onto his side, taking Greg down with him. The sentry looked down in a panic as he saw Tom struggling to breathe. Darrin inched closer and closer, his rifle at the ready. “What’s wrong?” he heard the sentry gruffly shout. “He’s having an asthma attack,” Greg yelled. “His inhaler is in his pocket. Get it out and help him or he’s going to die.” The sentry bent down and began to go through Tom’s pocket searching for an inhaler Greg knew wasn’t there. He glanced over and saw Darrin moving forward at a rapid clip now, weapon drawn. “I can’t find it,” the sentry yelled as Tom gasped louder and louder. As the sentry went to stand up, yelling for his cohorts in the structure, Greg quickly swung his legs around, clipping the sentry and knocking him to the ground. The stunned sentry tumbled back into the turf with a loud thud. Darrin was on him quickly and fired a direct shot right into his chest, eliminating him.

The two in the structure were out now due to the ruckus and Darrin fired one shot into each of them, striking them dead center before they could even react. He quickly untied Tom and Greg as Tom looked and smiled broadly, happy that the ruse they had worked on all week had actually paid off. They quickly informed him that they had their weapons taken. Darrin was down to one shot and his grenades. He then heard some shouting off in the distance. Darrin reacted quickly and peered into the structure. It was empty. He saw Jessica being dragged towards the other side of the hill by one lone person and he took off in pursuit. He knew he couldn’t throw a grenade and risk something happening to Jessica.

He had gotten close enough where he was finally able to yell “Halt!” The soldier froze, and put his arm around Jessica’s throat. He grinned directly at Darrin, knowing he had him. Jessica stared at Darrin, not showing any fear. She may have even cracked a little smile as she saw Darrin draw closer to them, raising his rifle. “Let her go,” Darrin yelled, as the soldier gripped Jessica tighter. “Take him out Darrin!” Jessica yelled. “Just do it.” No one knew he had only one shot left but Darrin. One shot and he had to make it perfect. The soldier grinned again as he began to raise his pistol from his hip. Darrin could swear he saw Jessica roll her eyes as she swiftly elbowed the soldier in the chest, striking her elbow right into his diaphragm, knocking the wind right out of him. As he bent and gasped, Jessica pulled away, turned, and he kicked him right in the groin. The soldier shrieked and crumpled to the ground. Darrin was astounded as he saw Jessica move away. She yelled to him to snap him out of his stupor as he moved closer and quickly fired into the prone soldier on the ground.

Jessica went over to the soldier lying and the ground and rolled him over. She reached into the front pocket on his shirt and removed the red flag that was there. The soldier looked up at him in anguish. “Your flag is captured Jerry Nelson,’ she said with a smile. “Martin Hill is ours this week.” He looked at her in anguish, still reeling from the kick to the crotch. He looked down at the water splotch on his shirt from the shot Darrin had fired. “And that kick was for trying to kiss me before, you jerk,” she said as  she pulled her leg back as if to kick him again. Darrin reached over and pulled Jessica away as Jerry cried out and went into a fetal position.

Tom and Greg came running over to Darrin and Jessica and saw Jessica holding the flag. “Yes!” Greg shouted. Darrin beamed with pride as he got slaps on the back from Greg and Tom, who quickly grabbed the flag and did a victory dance over Jerry, who was still on the ground. Jessica sidled up next to Darrin and slowly reached down and grabbed his hand, gently squeezing it. “Thanks for saving me,” Jessica whispered to him as she kissed him on the cheek. “Although I could have done it myself,” she said as she nudged him with her shoulder. Darrin knew she was right. She was clearly the toughest 14-year old girl on the block. For today though, he would savor the moment of being the hero and getting the girl. “Success at last,” he thought to himself as he watched the sun glint off the metal jungle gym on top of Martin Hill.

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