"Why can't you just accept the facts? They're right in front of you."
Right in front of you.
Right in front.
In front of you.
Pryor squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head. He couldn't get her words out of his head. "Right in front of you". He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, opening his eyes to survey his surroundings. An empty street. Darkened windows loomed over him. He had to find a way to get back to the base, destroy any evidence, and disappear. He looked around one more time, then began to quickly walk down the street. If he stayed in the shadows he should make it back to the base in 45 minutes.
He'd been moving for about ten minutes when the sound of a dog made him duck into a doorway. He listened for the sound of footsteps. Nothing. He eased his body slowly out of the door frame and started his journey when a voice called out from behind him.
"HALT!! Identify yourself!"
Pryor stood still, collected his thoughts, and then turned around. He held his hands up, smiling as he approached the two men. He didn't recognize them. He hoped they wouldn't know who he was.
"Gentlemen! What can I do for you?" He widened his smile. They couldn't have been more than 18, 19 years old. Probably both still virgins.
"Identify yourself! State your business!"
Pryor let his left hand reach towards his top pocket, his right hand casually wrapped around his weapon. He pulled out a chewed up cigar, lit it, and exhaled a cloud of smoke into the faces of his interrogators. They tried not to cough as their eyes watered, blinking furiously.
"Well boys, it's like this. I was on my way to Madam Cleopatra's. I don't suppose either of you would be interested in joining me, would you?"
Pryor laughed to himself as he watched one of the lads lower his weapon as his eyes widened in eager anticipation. The second dropped his guard for a minute, then shook his head in order to center himself. He tried to keep his voice firm as he continued his interrogation.
"Your name sir! We need to know your name and unit. Identify yourself now!"
Pryor took another drag on his cigar and appraised the situation. He didn't want to kill these two, not out of any sense of brotherhood but because he didn't want to give away his position. He was running out of time. He needed to move on. He took a step closer to the two men. They both tensed and raised their weapons in anticipation of trouble. Pryor did his best not to rattle them.
"Come on lads. Let's stay calm now. No need to be alarmed."
Pryor moved quickly and knocked the wide eyed boy's gun out of his hand, throwing him over his shoulder and breaking his back. The interrogator was shouldering his weapon as Pryor moved behind him and grabbed him by the neck, snapping toward the left, the bones cracking. He slumped to the ground. Pryor surveyed his work, then started to look around for a place to hide the bodies. A door opened, flooding the road in light.
"Hey you! Soldier man! Come here. Bring those bodies in here!"
Pryor squinted into the light, seeing only a silhouette in a doorway. He slung both bodies over his shoulder, then made his way over to the stranger. He walked inside, a sharp laugh of recognition escaping from his mouth.
He was standing in the entrance of a charnel house.