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File: 1577908402965.jpg (353.27 KB, 1280x1053, The Drumhead 1.jpg)

 No.19330

The artwork was a commission drawn by deermary over on Furaffinity.
____________________________________________

Alice leaned up against the edge of the berm, breathing through her nose and keeping as still as possible. She looked through the sight of her rifle with her right eye, keeping the other one open so she’d have a sense if someone approached from that side. She was well covered though, and it was unlikely the enemy knew she was here. With the end of her weapon resting on a mossy log atop the berm, she prepared for what would likely be a long wait.

Every few seconds, she silently adjusted the rifle to the left, and then the right. She was responsible for watching the grassland between her and the tree line, and relief wasn’t going to come for at least eleven hours. It was quiet here, other than the odd breeze disturbing the grass and foliage, or the chirp of distant birds. As she watched the peaceful meadow, adjusting herself to find the most comfortable spot, Alice couldn’t help but let her thoughts drift elsewhere.

She knew she wasn’t supposed to; an inattentive soldier often became a dead soldier. Still, this particular post was a tertiary scout position, well behind the furthest forward lines, and it rarely saw any action. After all, that’s why she was the only one out here at the moment, in the middle of the day.

Her wandering attention landed on the events of last night, as she mutely observed shadows falling sporadically on the grass from the partly cloudy sky above. She moved her weight to one foot, allowing the other to rest. It pounded painfully in the too-small boot.

[i]What a fucking prick[/i], Alice thought, anger rising in her gut. [i]I hope Tom gets blown up out there.[/i]

The fact was, she wasn’t even supposed to be on this stupid extended watch. It was just punishment for the party last night. That’s why she hadn’t even been given a spotter. This wasn’t a real sniper post; it was a time-out corner. And she had that cunt Tom to thank for it. He was the only one of her squad who got asshurt that she and the rest were up celebrating. They had every reason! Their patrol had uncovered an attempt to install a machine gun entrenchment near Echo camp. Tom was the only one to refuse to join in their get-together after. He went and got some Captain Stick-Up-His-Ass to break them up, and the rest was history.

[i]Oh fucking well[/i], she thought, momentarily returning her focus to her “task” and sweeping her scope across the vast field. [i]At least I didn’t end up on tree felling duty for Foxtrot camp like the guys[/i]. She had escaped the worse of it, she supposed.

Shifting her weight to the other foot, it seemed like a poor consolation. What kind of jackass punished a group of soldiers for some harmless fun celebrating a job well done, anyway?

Something moved in front of her, and she detected it with her other eye. Leaning back from her scope for a second, she saw a Monarch butterfly flutter down and land on the end of her rifle’s barrel. It flapped its wings slowly, apparently content on its metal perch.

She smiled at it, forgetting for a second her woes. It was like the kind of thing you read about in a war poem: the author would be making some pretentious point about juxtaposing the serenity of nature against man’s cruelty or some stuffy shit like that.

A gunshot rang out, making her jump in surprise. Her training didn’t allow her to panic, and so she lowered herself, putting her cheek back on the stock of the rifle and peering down the sight. The shot was pretty far away, from the direction of the forest across the meadow, but that was all behind their forward lines. Her ears perked as best they could under her helmet, and silence prevailed as seconds passed.

Then another shot sounded, a bit closer, then several more in quick sequence. If her ears were correct, and they usually were, she was hearing the sound of at least two different weapons. One sounded like her army’s standard issue infantry rifle, and the other…

Another shot, and this time she was sure. The other weapon she heard was of the caliber used prominently by the enemy. Their snipers often utilized it; one must’ve made his way between the lines and decided to take shots at something. One of her fellows must’ve returned fire.

Out of the corner of her non-scope eye, Alice detected movement in the trees. Adjusting at once, she scanned the edge of the forest, looking for the slightest sign of an enemy sniper. If he made it all the way here…

A shiver ran up her spine, and she contained it as best she could. This was supposed to be as safe as place as there was on the front. A time-out corner, she had called it. Now an image swam to mind unpleasantly of her taking a shot through the forehead from somewhere in the trees.

One more shot, and this one was right at the tree line somewhere. She zeroed in on its location, and placed her finger on the modified trigger. Tall grass was disturbed at the tree line. Someone was moving through it, and she tracked the movement, ready to fire.

Someone popped up from the grass, running perpendicular to her line of sight. Immediately, she squared her sight at the center of the target’s mass. Whoever it was wasn’t wearing a helmet, and didn’t appear to see her. He was fleeing, that was obvious. His uniform was torn and dirty, but appeared to be that of an enemy scout.

Hesitating no longer, Alice fired. Her shot was north of its target, and hit the running man in the neck. He dropped like a stone into the grass, and largely disappeared from view. Yes! she congratulated herself. [i]He never had a chance![/i]

Just as she was patting herself on the back, several more shots rang out from the trees. There was more movement, and it was clear someone was now behind one of the trees she could see clearly from here. This person was apparently aware of her, for perhaps he just saw his comrade get smoked in the grass.

A hand emerged from behind the trunk, red furred like hers. It made a series of deliberate gestures and signals, and she stopped looking through the scope. This was one of her soldiers, giving her the “Don’t shoot; I’m friendly” signs.

She poked her head fully above the berm, and bellowed as loud as she could: “COME ON OUT! I GOT HIM!”

It was hard to tell at first, but it looked as though her messaged had been received. Two people emerged from hiding, jogging toward her out of the trees. Briefly peering through her scope again, she verified that these were friendlies. Shouldering her rifle, she climbed out of her nest and broke into a light run, on a course to meet them. She was giddy with excitement, impressed with her shot from a hundred and fifty yards or so.

The two soldiers diverted toward where she had dropped the scout, and as they reached him, one bent down in the grass next to him. He was doing something with his hands, maybe checking him for orders or taking his weapon. As she moved toward them, Alice couldn’t help but notice the kneeling soldier was still fiddling with something, and she slowed to a power walk in order to see better.

He was bobbing up and down, while the other soldier looked on. [i]Wait a moment…[/i]

He was doing chest compressions. She came to a stop fifteen feet away or so, and sure enough, she could see the rough outline of the man she shot, and her fellow soldier earnestly attempting CPR on him. The other grunt was looking right at her in horror. She didn’t recognize either of them, but the one standing up was a Corporal.

“What did you do?” he asked quietly as she walked forward again, dreading what she was going to see. “Did you shoot him?”

“I…” Alice’s attempt at an answer was cut off by the full view of her victim. He was one of them, all right. He was a fox as well, and with a terrible pang of guilt, she realized she knew him. This was Tom, her squad mate. She saw the hole in both sides of his neck, and realized why he dropped so fast: she had torn through his spine. There was an additional wound in his gut that bled through his shirt, but her’s was definitely the kill shot. He must’ve died before he hit the ground.

The soldier kneeling by him ceased his life-saving efforts, falling backward onto his butt. He looked up at her, blood on his face and hands. His expression was that of disbelief, and not understanding.

“Why did you do that?” he demanded, panting and shaking his head. “Why?”

All Alice could do was stare, her eyes moving between him and the dead, unseeing face of her former pain-in-the-ass comrade. “I didn’t mean to…” she said, for that’s all she could think of. She hadn’t meant to. His uniform was filthy, and the red bloodstain must’ve played a trick on her mind. He hadn’t looked like himself from all the way back in her nest.

The eyes of both soldiers were uncomfortably fixed on her. The first climbed to his feet, and stood considerably taller than her. He was still shaking his head, incredulous. He was a Sergeant, she now saw.

“We need to report this,” he said. “We need to get back to camp.”

Alice was snapped to her senses. “I thought he was an enemy scout… I heard shots.”

“There was a sniper,” the second soldier said, moving to her side. “He got him in the stomach. But we got him.” He gestured at the trees. “The guy’s body is back there.”

Alice was wide-eyed, and she couldn’t muster up a defense for herself.

“Give me your weapon,” the sergeant said, extending a hand.

She didn't, and instead backed up slightly. “I didn’t know…”

He drew his own rifle to his shoulder, and pointed it directly at her chest. She was so surprised, she froze.

“Don’t make me shoot you, Private,” he said. “Surrender your weapon. You just killed one of our own. You need to come with us.”

She was still rooted to the spot, but the other soldier moved suddenly, crossing the distance between them and seizing her rifle in both hands. He wrenched it from her, tearing the sling from her shoulder and retreated from her with the weapon. The sergeant stepped forward in that instant, gripping one of her wrists in one hand while he dug in one of his cargo pockets for something with the other.

“Give me your other hand,” he said gruffly, and she complied, still in total shock. She was just looking down at Tom, who lay silently in the grass. There was a massive crimson pool underneath him. Something clicked behind her, and her wrists were squeezed together tightly by what she recognized to be a zip tie.

Without speaking, the sergeant put a hand on her shoulder and pushed her forward. He moved purposefully along the tree line, with the corporal in tow, carrying both his and her rifle. They marched in silence, as nobody seemed to have anything to say. What was there to say, anyway?

They were moving toward Echo camp, likely where these two boys were from. They likely just wanted to report to their chain of command, even though she herself was based out of Delta camp.

Alice just hung her head the whole time. Shock was turning into horror with every step, and guilt tore through her flesh, wringing her insides. How had things gone like this, and so quickly? Her life had been turned upside down in a single split second.

The perimeter fence of Echo camp came into view after twenty minutes, and they walked right through the guard station. Drawing stares from the dozens of men walking around, they proceeded inward, past tents and makeshift buildings, on their way to the very center. There was a command building there, and that was the obvious destination.

The three of them stopped outside the main building’s entrance, and the sergeant leading her spoke up.
“Keep her here,” he said to the guards flanking the door. “We need to speak with Major Darren.”

“What happened?” One of them, a Private First Class, inquired.

“That’s for the Major’s ears only,” came the response. The guard acquiesced, and took hold of Alice while her two companions headed inside. She stood quietly as several soldiers looked at her while they passed by.

After only a couple minutes, the door opened, and her arresting sergeant poked his head out at her. “Come in, Private,” he said with dead seriousness.

She did, and found herself ushered forward as soon as she crossed the threshold. The sergeant pulled her helmet roughly off her head as she entered. She was maneuvered to a desk off to the left, where sat an older fennec.

“Sergeant Holden’s just let me know what happened out at Nest Three,” he said, his voice strangely high. “You may go, Sergeant,” he added, looking over her shoulder.

“Tell me what happened,” he said kindly.

“I don’t know, sir,” Alice said, her voice shaky. She did her best to stand at attention despite her tied hands. “I heard several gunshots that I perceived to be from the enemy. I saw movement in the bushes, and them someone came running out.”

“Did you identify who it was?”

“No, sir. I thought from his uniform that he was an enemy scout. Once I made that determination, sir, I fired.”

The fennec Major nodded sadly. “This is very serious. According to Sergeant Holden, the man you fired at was a Private Niles. He was one of us.”

She nodded, looking at the floor. “I know, sir,” she said miserably. “He was in my squad.”

“Really?” That seemed to surprise him. “And you didn’t recognize him? That’s a damn shame…” His voice trailed off. “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.”

She nodded again, not looking at him. She felt like crying, but that wasn’t what she did. Perhaps she was just too out of her mind.

“I wish there was something I could do for you,” he continued. “But this is going to be up to your commanding officer. Who do you belong to?” She told him.

“Under Colonel Miller?”

Alice swallowed hard. The fierce face of her wolf commander flashed to the front of her mind. “Yes, sir.”

The fennec sighed. She could guess why, given the Colonel’s reputation. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to refer this to him, since both you and the deceased were under his command. We’ll have a jeep come and pick you up and bring you back to Delta. Meantime, I want you to take a seat in the waiting area by the door.”

She looked at him finally, and there was pity written on his face. She mumbled another “Yes, sir,” before turning on her heels and walking alone to the few wood chairs near the reception desk at the door.

Sitting down, and leaning forward, wishing she could put her head in her hands, Alice couldn’t remember ever feeling worse in every way possible. She was guilty for killing her squad mate, of course, but it was far more than that. All she had done was talk shit about him, and now that made her feel even worse. Not only that, but there was no telling what Colonel Miller was going to do to her when he found out.

[i]I’m going to prison[/i], an intruding thought said. [i]I’m going away for a long time. Maybe forever.[/i]

She didn’t have long to wallow in misery, because just a few minutes later, she was hauled into the passenger seat of a jeep driven by another private, a kid named Walters. They set off under the cool breeze and pleasant sunlight of the early afternoon, a day she certainly would’ve enjoyed if things were different. She found herself longing for the punishment watch she’d been on, and fantasized about waking up to find she’d fallen asleep at her post. It would make logical sense, she told herself, attempting to will that into becoming reality. She had been bitching about Tom, so it made sense to have a nightmare about him.

She didn’t wake up, of course. They rumbled along an uneven dirt road through the thick forest, bouncing up and down in their seats as they headed for Delta camp. After a few minutes more, an odd smell found its way to Alice. It was smoke, and it was strong.

Walters seemed to detect it at the same moment, for both of them began looking around for the source.

A distant boom echoed from somewhere in front of them, and they both snapped their heads forward toward the source. It was then that Alice noticed a plume of black, billowing smoke above the trees in the direction of her camp.

“Do you see that?” she said to Walters. He was looking right at it.

“Yea,” he said back. “That’s not Delta camp, is it?” He sounded frightened. Several more, equally far away explosions sounded from the same direction.

“Step on it!” she half-shouted at him. “They might need us!”

Walters punched it, and they flew toward their destination as fast as they could. As they got closer, it became more and more obvious that the smoke was coming from Delta camp, and that only made them more anxious. For Alice, it was a welcome change from the abject misery she’d been stuck in. She couldn’t stand the thought of losing any more of her squad, but perhaps if the Colonel was incapacitated…

They turned a final corner in the forest road, and saw the carnage that had been Delta camp. Gunshots rang out in a mixed cacophony, and she could see at least a dozen buildings and tents on fire.

They drove right through the perimeter fence, where no guards were currently stationed. They must’ve been fighting, and as the camp became properly visible, she could see people running everywhere. Shots still sounded from somewhere, and Walters pulled forward, though it was unclear where he was going.

“Pull over!” Alice shouted. “We need to—”

She was interrupted by a hail of bullets striking the front of the jeep. Several passed through the windshield, missing them by inches in some cases. Walters yanked the wheel hard to the right, and she nearly flew into his lap as the vehicle turned so sharply it nearly flipped over. The wheels broke loose in the dirt, and as he tried to correct, the jeep slid right into the side of a burning building. The front end smashed through the wall, and part of the fiery roof collapsed on the hood, threatening to set the whole car on fire.

The two of them bailed out of their respective sides, Walters stepping over the door and Alice falling ungraciously to the dirt. She hit the side of her face, unable to catch herself. As she tried to stand, more fire hit Walter’s side of the jeep, and she saw him collapse to the ground like a sack of potatoes. She could seem him, from the gap under the jeep. He was facing her, open mouthed and surprised. Half of the top of his head, including one of his eyes, was completely gone. A puddle of blood formed under him and spread out.

Gasping in panic, Alice scooted backward on her rear, desperate to get away from there. She slid around the side of the building, where the incredible heat felt as though it would set her ablaze just by proximity. Snatching her head around, there were bodies everywhere, some were her people and some weren’t.

Gunshots still echoed around, but they were fewer as the seconds passed. [i]Oh god[/i]. Had they lost?

Someone came sprinting around the corner of the building, and nearly tripped over her. Her heart flew up into her throat, but it was a friendly, a coyote. A staff sergeant, and he looked down at her in total confusion before pulling her to her feet. Now that she saw who it was, she felt intense relief. She knew him; he was in command of the Military Police for the camps Delta though Foxtrot. His reputation preceded him, and she could hardly be safer with anyone else.

“Keep your head down!” Staff Sergeant Ayers said. “We’re pushing them back, but they’ve still got a little nest over by the command building!”

Alice obeyed, and followed her savior back the way she came. They turned away from where the jeep wreckage was, taking a roundabout way toward the center of camp. The staff sergeant had a submachine gun, which he carried at the ready. They skirted around toward the command building, using the still-slowing gunfire as a guide.

He turned a corner, and then immediately jumped back behind the cover of a tent when a smattering of bullets attempted to greet him. He put a hand on Alice’s chest, and pushed her backward onto her butt.

“[i]Stay here[/i]!” Ayers hissed, and then, staying low to the ground, darted out from behind the tent again, sliding behind a pile of sandbags not far away. From there, she observed him poke his head above just enough to take aim and return fire.

His every shot hurt her ears, and she moved back from the engagement. After several exchanges between he and his target, he stood up suddenly. Abandoning his cover completely, he peered out at something, and lowered his gun. He stepped forward and out of sight, and she could only assume that it was safe to come out.

So, clambering to her feet with difficulty, Alice followed out from behind the tent, and took in the full scene at last. No shots rang out at all now, and there was panicked chatter from every direction.

The command building was a smoldering ruin. It was just a blackened shell with a collapsed roof, and there didn’t appear to be anything or anyone surviving within. Ayers was over by an overturned jeep, and was inspecting the bodies of two individuals. Hyenas, by the look of them. Standard infantry for the enemy.

Alice waddled awkwardly over to the staff sergeant, stepping over chairs, tables, boxes, and equipment that lay scattered everywhere.

“[i]Pieces of shit[/i],” he growled as she neared him. He yanked one of their weapons, a portable machine gun, out of the death grasp of its former owner. He let it fall to the side, and spat on the face of the conquered soldier. Then turning to her, he seemed to really regard her for the first time.

“I know you, don’t I?” he said. “Why are your hands bound?”

In spite of herself, and everything that had happened, Alice felt herself blush, and words failed her. She looked away from his intense gaze, preferring to stare at the partially burned ground.

“Private!”

She looked up at him obediently. He was looking her right in the face, and she just wilted under his stare.

“I’m sorry, sir,” she forced out. “I was out on watch, and there was a friendly fire incident. I was being returned here when we stumbled on the attack.”

The staff sergeant’s eyebrows raised and nearly disappeared under the rim of his helmet. “What the fuck happened? Wait—” He stopped himself. “We’ll deal with that later. What’s your name?”

Feeling slightly disappointed that he didn’t know it already, she spoke. “Private Grant.”

“Grant?” Staff Sergeant Ayers looked away for a second, appearing to think. “Alice, right? You’re in Roberts’s squad, aren’t you?”

With a little flutter in her stomach, she answered. “Yes, sir.”

He looked around, taking in the scene and seeming to think again. “Alright,” he said after a second. “Come with me. I saw the Colonel just a bit ago. We’ll let him decide what to do with you for now.”

They set off together toward the far end of the camp. Along the way, he asked her what happened, and she recounted the tragedy with shame.

“Fucking shit,” he said in a low voice. He shook his head. “That’s awful.”

She wasn’t sure what position he was taking, but as she wondered, he clapped her on the shoulder.

“Chin up,” he told her. “It’s fucked up, and I’m not going to tell you it’s ok. That was as bad a mistake as you could’ve made. That said, it’s over. You can’t take it back. Just take your punishment on the chin, and move on. That’s all you can do.”

“Yes, sir.”

 No.19331

File: 1577908492683.jpg (309.69 KB, 1280x890, The Drumhead 2.jpg)

They reached the far side of the camp, where a large collection of soldiers and officers were gathered. Right in the middle, barking out orders in his deep, menacing voice, was the intimidating figure of Colonel Miller. The grizzled wolf was emphatically directing the troops around him, and she wanted to stay as far away from him as possible.

Ayers wasn’t having that, though. He walked right into the group, taking the place of a lieutenant who’d just run off with his orders.

“Colonel!” he said as he approached, and the wolf turned to him.

“Sergeant!” Colonel Miller growled approvingly. “Glad you made it. I need you to head over and check the weapons cache. I think they tried to burn it, too.”

“Yes, sir!” Ayers said. “I need to drop off Private Grant. She was supposed—”

“Oh, hell,” the Colonel said. “That’s right. Echo camp radioed about her situation before this all went to hell.” He looked at Alice with a glare that made her quail. “I haven’t forgotten about you, you little cunt. We’re gonna deal with you shortly.” He extended his arm, pointing behind her. “Sit your ass down by that tent, and don’t fucking move unless you want to be shot.”

Alice quivered involuntarily at his words. She had expected a nasty response, but not like that. She took a couple steps back from him and fell on her backside. She sat there quietly as the Colonel turned to the other officers still waiting for instruction.

Ayers made to leave, placing his hand briefly on her head as he passed by. One by one, the crowd around Colonel Miller thinned, and finally he was down to the last couple. As he told them what to do, Alice feared for what would happen when it was just the two of them here.

That didn’t happen, thankfully. Some low-ranking officers came back, hauling equipment and weaponry with them. Two of them were carrying a wooden mess hall table, and they set it up in the clearing at this edge of camp, back nearly where the forest began.

Someone else brought a chair, and a Captain was seeing bringing a pile of documents to set upon the table. As she watched, the Colonel took a seat at his makeshift desk, looking down and spreading out papers. He looked at each in turn, shaking his head and growling things she couldn’t make out every so often.

A slender lizard bearing an MP armband arrived after about half an hour, and he joined the Colonel at the table. They spoke for several minutes, during which time they both took turns glancing in Alice’s direction. Her heart leapt in terror each time, but they said nothing to her directly.

Then, the lizard MP came over and hauled her to her feet without a word. Guiding her toward the desk, he stood her right in front of the furious Colonel.

“Remove her gear, for god’s sake,” he told the lizard. “Not like she needs it.”

The MP walked behind her, producing a knife that he forced between her wrists and used to cut the zip tie. Once her hands were free, he spoke in an oily voice.

“Strip off your gear,” he said, reminding her unpleasantly of a snake.

Shivering in fear, Alice unbuckled the front of her pack and let it slide off her shoulders into the grass behind her. It was a great weight off her back, but she didn’t feel any better. If anything, she was more naked now without her things.

“Give me your hands again,” the lizard hissed, and bound her with a zip tie once more. It was, if possible, even tighter, digging unpleasantly into her fur and skin. Once done, he stepped behind the desk, next to the Colonel, who spoke now.

“That’s better. Now, I really don’t have time for this shit, so let’s get right to it.” He leaned forward, placing both hands on the wooden desk. “You shot Private Tom Niles, did you not?”

“Yes sir,” Alice said in just more than a whisper. “But—”

“And you delivered the fatal shot after he was wounded by an enemy sniper?”

“Yes sir,” she said, trying to make her voice louder. “But—”

“Then we don’t have much to talk about,” Colonel Miller said bluntly. “You had a history with Private Niles, as reported by your sergeant. You two hated each other.”

“Sir,” she said desperately. “I didn’t—”

“I had to deal with you before, didn’t I? When the two of you came to blows a couple months ago?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And now you’ve managed to kill him. ‘By accident’.”

“Sir,” Alice said, panicking. “When I saw him in my sco—”

“I really don’t want to hear it, Private,” he snarled at her. “The mere fact that I’m forced to sit here and deal with you while my headquarters is in smoking ruin says it all. I lost twenty great men and women today. And now twenty one, because this sniveling little cunt in front of me decided that murdering her comrade for breaking up a party was a fine thing to do.”

Tears of terror welled in Alice’s eyes. “No!” she said. “Sir, I didn’t know he was one of ours! His uniform—”

The wolf raised his voice and nearly scared her into taking a step back. “Private, shut up! I’m done with you. I’m washing my hands of you. Shits like you will make us lose this war. I will not let that happen.”

Colonel Miller leaned back in his wooden chair. “I find you guilty of premeditated murder, entering in the log that your personal feud with the victim was your chief motivation.”

This can’t be happening. She just stared at his glaring face, wide-eyed and afraid.

“Furthermore,” he continued, continuing to lock eyes with her. “I hand down to you a summary sentence of death, to be carried out tomorrow at dawn.”

Alice’s blood ran cold. Feeling light-headed, the world spun in front of her, and she felt weightless.

He spoke again, but his words sounded far away now. “Your execution will reflect your crime: You will be shot in the head or neck, whichever I feel like when we get around to this tomorrow. May god have mercy on you, you pathetic little fuck.”

Alice’s mind was blank, and all she could see was a small tunnel at the center of her vision. She was aware that the lizard MP had led her somewhere, and that she was shoved into a building of some kind.

It was light in here, from a window up near the ceiling, and there were a couple of unlit lights on opposite walls. This was, or had been a storage shack of some kind. There was a rickety wood table, a chair to match, and not much else other than a few crates scattered and stacked around.

The lizard left her here, and all she could do was stand still, in a silent trance of disbelief and pure, primal horror. She had no idea how long she stood there, but she was disturbed finally by the door opening behind her.

Alice turned slightly to see Staff Sergeant Ayers enter the room and shut the door behind him, looking somber and serious. She became aware that she was shaking like a leaf, and curiously, even to herself, she found herself feeling disappointed for putting on this childish display in front of him.

She said nothing to Ayers, but remained quiet and unengaged.

“I’ve been ordered to keep watch over you,” came his low voice. It almost sounded sad. “You’ll be staying here tonight.”

She gave the tiniest of nods in acknowledgement. He walked up alongside her, placed a hand on her shoulder, and turned her toward him.

“I’m sorry, kid,” he said. “I don’t think you did it on purpose. I don’t know why Miller has it out for you.”

“Doesn’t matter why,” she whispered, not looking at him.

He sighed, and gently guided her backward.

“Sit,” he commanded, and she obeyed automatically. She found herself on a small stack of crates up against the wall.

He turned from her, and headed to the table, sitting in the chair with a loud creak. Alice just sat where he left her, staring off into nothing, unable to muster a thought or desire to move a muscle. Her heart pounded painfully, as if trying to spur her into action, but it was no good; she was in shock, and may as well have been dead already.

They sat in silence for over an hour, during which time Alice was no less than statuesque. Her blank gaze was fixed on a specific wooden floorboard.

Another hour passed, and the room began to dim in the lowering sunlight. Ayers got up, paced around the room, and seemed to be, in her peripheral vision, trying to find something to say. She didn’t need him to say anything. It didn’t matter. She was dead, and he would obey his order to keep her here until it was time.

“I’m going to go out for a bit,” he announced suddenly, attempting to make eye contact with her. “Colonel Miller didn’t really want you to be given anything to eat, but I think what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”

She didn’t engage, but remained staring at the floor.

“So,” he continued after a minute. “What would you like me to get for you?”

She summoned as much energy as she could find, and it culminated in the smallest of head shakes. In response, Ayers walked over to her, and knelt down in front of her. He placed a hand on her knee, and used the other to bring her chin up to look at him.

“Look,” he said softly. “This is a terrible situation, but there’s no reason you can’t have something nice to eat. It’ll take your mind off things. What’s your favorite meal out here?”

She shrunk away from him, retreating into the wall as far as her body could go.

He sighed again, and stood. Stepping to the door, he opened it, and seemed to look back at her again before leaving and closing it behind him. She heard the lock click.

How long he was gone, she couldn’t say. There wasn’t a clock in here, so the only indication of passing time was the steadily darkening light outside. Before long, she was sitting in the dark, observing the last orange rays of light from sunset.

A key turned in the lock, and her heart jumped just a little. It was exhausted, though, and could hardly muster more adrenaline. A tall shape stepped inside, and she saw its eyes glint and it shut the door behind it. Something smelled interesting, but she couldn’t bring herself to care.

“There are lights in here, you know,” the voice of Ayers said. He walked over to the far wall, and suddenly the shack was bathed in a golden glow from the two light bulbs. It seemed that Ayers was carrying something, and he set it carefully on the table.

Then he was standing in front of her again. A hand came down, grabbed one of her arms, and pulled her to her feet. She acquiesced, unwillingly, but submissively. He left her standing, and walked behind her. Something sharp worked in between her wrists, and then they were free as the zip tie was cut. Ayers put away his knife and dragged her crate stack to the opposite side of where his chair sat at the table. He walked over to the chair, and patted the seat expectantly.

“Sit down,” he told her when she didn’t move. Slowly, Alice shuffled over to him, and he helped her into the old chair. Then he walked around the table, taking a seat on the crates and looking at her.

She saw now that the thing he brought appeared to be a covered plate, and he pushed it toward her.

“Take a look,” Ayers said patiently. “I know you don’t feel hungry right now, but I think you might be pleasantly surprised at what’s under there.”

Alice silently declined, staring now at a small hole in the table. Ayers was persistent, though; he reached forward, pushed the plate right up to the edge of the table, and then took the metal cover off himself.

In spite of her, Alice’s eyebrows raised a little at what awaited her underneath. It was a beautifully grilled, fatty, bone-in rib eye steak. It was as big as her face, and accompanying it was what looked and smelled like creamed spinach, and to her utter disbelief, a slice of pumpkin pie. Ayers set the cover down to the side, and rested his chin on his hands.

She really looked at him for the first time in hours. Forcing her mouth open, and pushing her unwilling throat to make a sound, she finally uttered a word in a croaky voice. “How—?”

“Magic,” he said, smiling slightly. “Don’t worry about how I got this. The point is I did. It’ll be here all night for you, though that steak is freshly grilled, so I recommend you at least sample it now.”

Alice just looked down incredulously at the dish. He’d managed to collect every one of her favorite foods, against all logic. “But how…How did you know about this?”

“Lots of people know you around here, kiddo,” the lean coyote said. “I just asked around.” He took a napkin out of one of his breast pockets, and laid it by the plate. Wrapped inside was a fork and knife.
“That thing’s not overly sharp,” he observed. “But I still hope you won’t try to kill me with it.”

She looked into his eyes, and saw nothing but genuine kindness. Something about his gaze in that second broke part of the depressive spell she was under. Bringing her eyes back down to the steaming plate, she realized her stomach had in fact been trying to speak with her this whole time. It had been a long time since she’d eaten, and she was starving.

Abandoning her dignity, she picked up the juicy rib eye with both hands, and tore into it with her teeth. It was so tender, it fell apart and melted on her grateful tongue. She put on a ravenous display for a couple minutes as she devoured it like she had never done before. The fat caps were wonderfully browned, and the flavor was beyond any expectation.

Soon there was just the bone left, and she picked it clean like a woman dying of hunger. Then she regained her composure for a moment, using the napkin to wipe the carnage from her lips.

Ayers was still just staring at her, and he wore a soft expression. “I’m glad my intel panned out,” he said.

“It’s wonderful,” she muttered in return, feeling a strange combination of shame and numbness, with fear threatening in the wings. Rather than let it catch back up, she dug into the spinach next, savoring the homemade quality of it, perfectly cooked and bursting with salty flavor. It was gone in a minute, and she decided to leave the pie alone for now, pushing the plate away so she wouldn’t be tempted.

“Uh-oh,” Ayers said. “Did I get that one wrong?”

“No…” She couldn’t find the words to express herself. “Why did you do this?”

He appeared to consider her. “You don’t deserve what you’ve been condemned to. It’s not right. I just thought I could make things a little nicer in the meantime.”

Their eyes met, and her panicked and worn out heart was filled with something else. It was something she had forgotten in the stress of the day. It was like her normal mindset was trying to reassert itself, and remind her that from the moment she laid eyes on him weeks ago, she’d been smitten with his lean physique, intense mannerisms, and leadership qualities. He was confident, kind, and fierce. She looked up to him in every way possible, and her heart let it be known in the depths of its misery that she had wanted him.

“Thank you,” she murmured, her voice failing out of shyness now more than shock.

“There’s something else, too,” he said. “Just give me a moment to go and get them.” He stood and headed right for the door. Before he left, he turned to her again. “I’d appreciate it if you’d keep your hands behind you. Just in case someone walks in.”

Alice did so, and he flashed a mischievous smile as he left, locking the door behind him. A few seconds after he’d gone, her eyes drifted to the abandoned steak knife on the table. Without thinking, she reached forward and pick it up, turning it in her hand for optimal stabbing, and brought it down to sit hidden her lap.

For about thirty seconds, Alice sat there, perfectly quiet and still. Then her heart spoke up again, and it expressed dismay at what her logical brain was planning. Guilt erupted within her. What was she doing? She wasn’t going to get away. Even if she managed to kill Ayers, they would get her within minutes. Was she really about to kill the only man who showed her kindness in this awful situation?

She answered herself as she brought the knife back up, and replaced it on the table. Then she put her hands behind her back. Right as she did, the lock clicked again, and the door swung open.

In from the night came Ayers, and he was dragging a cot with him. It had a mattress pad, blanket, and pillow. There was also something else on top that was hard to make out. He moved with haste, bringing it inside and quickly shutting the door behind him. He caught her eye and grinned.

“I took this from one of the burned barracks tents,” he said. “Pretty much untouched, right? It smells like smoke, but we can’t have everything, I suppose.” His eyes fell on the table, and then back to her.

“Decided not to kill me, after all?”

Too late, she realized she hadn’t put the knife back down where it originally was. She hung her head. “You don’t deserve that.”

A thunk indicated he placed something hard on the table. It made a clicking sound, and then static burst from it, soft and familiar. She looked up to see a portable radio, and Ayers adjusting its dials. He found a working station, and it was playing a slow, smooth jazz number. It was soft and romantic, and she felt like she’d heard it before. He left it alone, and then extended a hand to her. She gazed up at the man towering over her, failing to understand.

Ayers bent down, gently taking one of her hands in his. He brought her to her feet, which she accepted submissively. Her heart was pounding again, but now for a different reason. He placed his other hand on her hip, and swayed her softly in a playful manner. Catching on, Alice brought her free hand up and wrapped it around the side of his chest.

Smiling reassuringly, he took the lead, guiding her in a series of slow dancing moves that she didn’t know. She tried to keep up, looking like a clutz all the time, and eventually he settled on swaying back and forth with her, moving slowly around the shack while the beautiful instrumental tried its best to set the tone. She let go of his hand after a moment, and wrapped it around the other side of his chest. She pulled him close, placing her head on his shoulder and squeezing him tightly.

In response, he moved his other hand down, so both rested on her hips. His deep breathing was soothing, and so was his steady heartbeat. A leader of men, she thought. Stoic always. His strong hands squeezed her in return, sending waves of excitement up her body. Her breaths were shuddering, though it was no longer clear what the primary cause was.

 No.19332

File: 1577908576777.jpg (214.64 KB, 1280x920, The Drumhead 3.jpg)

All at once, Alice disconnected from him, stepping back suddenly. He was surprised, and in fact apparently had his eyes closed as they embraced. In that second, she had made a decision, and wasn’t going to waffle about it. She reached up to her dirty shirt, and started unbuttoning it, staring him dead in the face while she did. Her mouth was clenched shut from nerves, and she saw his eyes follow the progress of her hands as she undid button after button.

She reached the bottom, and pulled it off one arm at a time before dropping it to the floor. Now she just had her grimy tank top on, and it showed. Her nipples made themselves known through the thin fabric. He looked at her chest, and then up to her face.

“What are you doing?” he asked quietly.

“I’ve always liked you,” she said, voice shaky but determined. “And I’m about to die. I’m not going out without taking my shot.” She walked up to him, and grabbed one of his hands. He resisted, but not wholeheartedly. She brought it up to her breast, and pressed it against her, hoping desperately he wouldn’t pull away.

To her relief, he took over from there, taking her neglected breast in his hand and squeezing it with conviction. That was all she needed; she pulled the bottom of her tank from her pants, and pulled it over her head in one smooth move. Then onto the floor it went, and Alice stood there, displaying herself for the man who was her only light anymore.

He came in close, and pulled her into another embrace. This time, he bent down and kissed her fiercely, using her jaw to encourage hers to open, at which time he stuck his tongue into her mouth. He twined it with hers, and explored every inch of her as she tried to do the same. He was in control, and she was fine with that.
After a moment, their lips parted again, and Alice decided it was time to do something she’d thought about for a long time. Actually, she had pleasured herself more than once to the thought…

She descended down onto her knees, placing her hands on his chest and sliding them down to his pants. He didn’t have a belt on, so she just undid the buttons keeping his uniform pants up, and they sagged down helpfully. Alice pressed her face into his crotch, feeling his cock beneath thin boxers. He was semi-erect already, and she nuzzled him, taking in his strong scent, and using her snout to push his waistband down. Finishing the job with her hands, he was exposed in his half-masted glory, his partially unsheathed penis glistening as it stood face to face with her.

Alice leaned in, and kissed it softly. Running her hands up the back of his thighs, and gripping his toned ass in both hands, she brought him forward, letting his cock push past her lips and into her willing mouth. It was very warm, and it pulsed gently against her lips and tongue. The rest of it slipped out of his sheath, revealing a knot slowly growing at its base.

She pulled him closer, and his dick moved further along the inside of her mouth, and she tasted it with eager delight. He hadn’t showered in a bit, that was clear, but the scent and taste of his pulsing member didn’t put her off at all. In fact, it got her going more than she had been before.

She began to work his shaft, first very slowly, and then picking up speed. All the while, her flexible tongue wrapped his now throbbing cock, massaging it while she kept her lips tightly around it.

Ayers’s hand fell on her head, and she looked up at him. He was panting silently, looking down at her with a mixture of affection and gratitude on his face. She gave him her best “I love you” eyes, purposefully moving up and down his shaft while keeping eye contact. A little spurt fired into her mouth, salty and hot, and she accepted it gladly. That wasn’t the main event, she knew. Just a little shot of appreciation.

Her head bobbed back and forth, letting it out of her mouth for only enough time to sensually lick it from base to head while looking up at her guard. Then it was back in, and she ran her tongue all over while increasing her speed. She sensed he wouldn’t be long, and—

He tapped her on the shoulder. Looking up at him again, she saw he wanted to say something.

“I’m about there,” he said. He meekly tried to pull her head away from him, but she resisted. She shook her head up at him as best she could. There was no chance she was going to let a single drop of his gift be wasted. She had always been a spitter, but not today. She cupped his large balls in one hand, tenderly gripping them while grabbing his ass with her other.

Only a second later, she felt him pulse more powerfully than ever, and the first shot of thick, hot cum fired into her, hitting the roof of her mouth and falling onto her waiting tongue. Then came another, stronger one, and it formed a pool in her mouth already. His seed was pleasantly salty, savory, and wonderful. He fired jet after jet of cum into her, and she took it all with gratitude. Making a point of looking up at him while he filled her, she was delighted to see him lost in ecstasy.

She was forced to swallow as she ran out of room, but he just kept shooting into her. His cock jumped a little with each spurt, and as it finally weakened, she pulled it out. Her lips cleaned it of excess ejaculate, and a think rope of cum connected her lips to the head as they finally separated. Leaning in and taking the tip into her mouth again, she licked it with gusto before letting it go finally.

“Thank you,” she said up to him.

Ayers reached down and guided her up to her feet. Leading her to sit in the chair again, he sat opposite her. She felt a little exposed, and hoped he wasn’t done with her now that he’d gotten off.

He pushed the plate toward her again, the piece of pumpkin pie still on it. He set a canteen on the table as well.

“Want me to get your shirt?” he asked as she took a bite.

Trying and failing to answer through a full mouth, Alice settled on shaking her head. Then, as if to expand on that thought, she lifted her breasts in her hands, letting them fall back and jiggle as they did so. He chuckled at that, and she did as well, nearly spitting out pie as a result.

She carved off another piece with the fork, and then moved the utensil across the table toward Ayers.

“No,” he said, putting up a hand. “That’s just for you.”

“Please,” she responded. “I want to share it with you.”

Reluctantly, he opened his mouth and allowed her to feed him. Closing his lips as she withdrew the fork again, he chewed while maintaining eye contact.

“Man,” he said as he finished. “I wish there had been a higher quality pie around. You deserve better than that.”

“Actually, it reminds me of the kind mom used to buy around thanksgiving,” Alice said, taking a drink for the canteen of water. “It takes me way back. You did good.”

“I’m really glad to hear that.”

The song on the radio changed to a faster number that reminded her of a tropical beach, with what sounded like bongos accompanying the lead saxophone. She hoped it wasn’t loud enough to attract attention from outside. She would’ve hated for the night to end like that.

As if thinking the same thing, Ayers reached for the radio and turned it down slightly. They sat there for a few minutes more, as Alice savored what she knew would be her final meal. Still, she insisted on giving him a bite between every couple of hers. Somehow, it felt better to not experience it alone. While he was clearly uncomfortable, he accepted her gifts without protest.

When it was done, she looked at the empty plate. She should be more upset; that was the last thing she’d ever eat. On the other hand, she was comfortably full, and she supposed that was a good thing to be at a time like this.

“I wish…” Ayers said, struggling to find the words. “I wish I could just let you go.” He looked over his shoulder at the door wistfully.

Before she knew what she was saying, Alice answered him with a shake of the head. “I wouldn’t make it a hundred yards. Then you would be thrown into the same grave as me.”

He nodded silently, returning to look at her again. He looked profoundly sad. “Are you tired?” he asked after a silent moment.

She shook her head, depression threatening at her door again. With that, he got up, and paced slowly over to her. Rather than reach for her hand, he scooped an arm under her knees, put the other behind her back, and lifted her up into the air. Instinctively, she flung her arms around his neck.

He cradled her, and she couldn’t help but feel a kind of carnal pleasure at that. Ayers walked her over to the cot, and laid her gently upon it. He stood up, and her heart sank. Was that it?

No, she discovered with relief. He was just pulling off his own shirt, tossing it toward hers on the floor. Using his thumb, he pulled the waist of his boxers down to reveal himself again, and he was clearly ready to go.

Alice inhaled sharply, anticipating what was going to happen. Her breasts had fallen to the side when she was put down, and she used her arms to squeeze them together so they looked pleasing to him still.

He crawled onto the edge of the cot, and lifted her legs up onto his shoulders. Then, one at a time, he unlaced her boots and pulled them off her aching feet.

Oh, god, she thought. This is happening. Now came her pants, as Ayers undid them deftly and pulled them down, underwear and all. She glanced down at herself and felt immediate embarrassment; she hadn’t trimmed in quite a long time. She had a bit of a jungle going on down there.

“Sorry,” she said, realizing how silly that sounded while he worked her pants off completely. “I haven’t had a chance to trim in a while…”

“Yeah,” he said, gazing into her eyes. “I’m so offended, I think I’m just going to stop. I mean, how could you not maintain peak hygiene while lying for sixteen hours a day in a foxhole?”

She knew it was alright, and that she should laugh in response, but her anxiety prevented her from doing so. Sure, he was joking, but she cared too much about what he thought of her to brush it off.

“Alice,” he said, putting his hands on her bare knees. “I haven’t showered in nearly a week. You know we just don’t have the same opportunities to preen out here on the battlefield. Don’t worry. Besides,” he continued, opening her legs at the knees and looking down at her full glory. “I have kind of a thing for hair.”

As if to demonstrate his earnestness, he dipped his head down, guiding her legs over his shoulders again, and wasted no time in making contact with her waiting pussy. His powerful tongue worked her over, starting low near her butt and coming upward in an almighty lick, and she felt in additional embarrassment that he was taking in her every smell and taste, unpleasant as that may have been.

He didn’t seem to mind, though, as he continued feeling out every inch of her womanhood. He found her clit in short order, and rather than work it with his tongue as well, he leaned further in and to her surprise, tenderly bit it with his front teeth.

Alice jumped as he moved it between his teeth. It hurt, but in a way she’d never felt before. Then he released it, and instead wrapped it in his lips. He sucked inward powerfully, and she quivered as the suction forced blood into her clit in response.

His head popped up suddenly, and there was a predatory excitement on his face. He crawled over on top of her, pulling his pants down further and letting his cock swing free. Once he was as bare as she was, he put his weight down on her, pulling her into a fiery kiss. He didn’t need to guide her legs open again; they were still spread and now she wrapped them around the small of his back, encouraging him forward.

He accepted her suggestion, and she felt his rock hard dick brush against her pussy, and with a slight adjustment, he penetrated her. She moaned happily through the kiss, and he pushed into her, expanding her like she hadn’t been in well over a year. It was a tight fit, and she hoped it felt as good to him as it did to her.

Ayers brought his hands under her, squeezing her in a tight embrace and finally releasing the kiss. He glared fiercely into her eyes as he pumped with focus and power. Each time, he went further in, until she felt his knot threatening to enter her as well. He increased speed, and she closed her eyes, unable to match the intensity of his gaze. She quailed under him, and let her primal instinct take over. She was his to command, and she loved it.

Not only was Ayers moving quicker now, but he was going harder as well. He pounded her, slamming into her with every thrust, with the ferocity of a wild animal determined to impregnate his mate before leaving her again. This buildup of energy and passion lasted several minutes, moving toward a crescendo she couldn’t yet imagine.

Alice whimpered in pleasure, and realized in that moment there was nowhere she’d rather be. She felt herself spasming, and her building climax overtook her in body and mind as he pumped harder still. He moved her whole body up and down along the cot several inches with every pounding gyration.

She moaned out loud as she reached her peak; her whole world exploded in vibrant, pulsing sensation as she lost herself to an orgasm like none she’d ever felt in her life. On queue, as she felt her pussy squeezing his cock, he made one final push, and his knot slipped into her.

“Oh, god!” she said as that additional sensation overloaded her ability to process anything coherently. As soon as he was locked in, he fired jet after jet of cum, with barely a fraction of a second between them. He was poking her cervix, and the combined feeling of that with his continuous shooting inside her was actually somewhat uncomfortable, but she wasn’t about to complain. It was a little thing, and it was drowned out by the combined absolute pleasure of everything else.

Ayers filled her to capacity, but he didn’t pull out. He continued to throb and pulse as he leaned down and kissed her again. She gladly accepted it, and they held each other so tightly that she thought they would never come apart again.

She loved him. That was a strange thing to think, but it was true. She had never felt this way about any man before. She didn’t care what was going to happen in the morning. All that mattered was the love she’d found before the end.

She didn’t mean to say that out loud, mind you. Somehow, though, words escaped her lips as their faces parted.

“I love you,” she said before she could stop herself.

That seemed to surprise him, and he looked down at her. It was as if he was thinking about something.

“I love you too.”

“Oh…” she laid her head back and closed her eyes. It was perfect. He had given her the greatest gift she’d ever received, and she had no idea what to do now. Her cervix ached, but she didn’t care.

She felt him start to lose his erection. It was inevitable, of course. It all had to come to an end at some point. Gently, he pulled out of her, and she felt a decent amount of his cum go with it. She found herself sincerely hoping she kept the majority of it inside her.

Ayers sat on his heels at the edge of the cot while his cock retreated into its sheath. He breathed deeply, and they looked at each other. He got up without a word, and placed her legs flat on the bed. Pulling the blanket out from under her, he laid it on top of her, tucking her into it and adjusting the pillow under her head. He kissed her again.

“Please don’t leave me,” Alice said.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he replied, and walked to the table. Instead of sitting, he dragged the chair to her bedside and sat down in it there.

“I mean,” she said. “Please don’t leave me tomorrow.”

He looked troubled. “Well…Do you really want me there? I don’t want to see it happen…”

“Yes,” she said with finality. Her voice broke just a little. “I want you to be there so I don’t die alone.”

“Of course,” he relented, as if he hadn’t thought of that. “I won’t leave your side so long as you’re on this earth.”

She nodded, satisfied. Under the sheet, she touched her soaked pussy and wondered how much of that was her, and how much was him. “What do you think they’ll do with my body?” she asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it.”

“Do you think they’ll dump me in a grave? Or just leave me out in the open to be eaten by animals? I don’t know which I prefer.”

“Please stop,” he said. “I don’t want to hear that.” He placed a finger to her lips. “Let’s just be here together. What’s coming tomorrow will come. You don’t need to worry about it now. Just sleep like you’ll wake up tomorrow, and it’ll all have been a dream.”

“Except this,” she responded. “I don’t want this part to be a dream.”

He smiled again. “Nor do I.”

At some point, she did finally fall asleep. It was peaceful and undisturbed by nightmare or interruption. All too soon, though, it ended.

 No.19333

File: 1577908643130.jpg (180.71 KB, 713x1280, The Drumhead 4.jpg)

She was shaken awake roughly, and opened her eyes to find several people standing around her. Most she didn’t know, but with a horrible jolt she saw Colonel Miller standing next to a fully dressed Ayers a few feet away.

“Rise and shine, you little cunt,” the Colonel said viciously. Someone tore the blanket off her, leaving her stark naked in front of everyone. She covered as best she could, but she was dragged to her feet immediately.

“Time to go,” he said, and her hands were forced behind her, where they were bound once more.

“Sir,” she started to say. “Can I get my clothes—”

“No, I don’t think so,” he interrupted, looking at her pile of clothing on the floor. “You want to live like a whore, you can die like a whore." He addressed the others in attendance. "Bring her out.”

She was marched from the shack into the first light of dawn. The cool morning breeze raised goosebumps all over, and to her embarrassment caused her nipples to harden. There were dozens of people outside already, and each and every one of them stared at her nude form as she was forced down a dirt path toward where the Colonel had set his outdoor desk up.

Alice glanced behind her to see that Ayers was following the procession, and the Colonel was giving him an earful. Please, she thought in desperation. Don’t hurt him. Let him escape this nightmare unscathed.

They reached the clearing by the trees, and her guards stood her with her back against a beautiful maple tree. A crowd formed, standing around her in a half circle, all come to see their former comrade be killed. Had she really been that unpopular?

Ayers walked up to her, and she felt her heart swell with love. He had a piece of cloth in his hand.

“I want to put this over your eyes,” he said very quietly. “I don’t want you to see it coming.”

“Okay,” she said, barely audible. “Be good.”

He reached around her head, tying the blindfold and planting a subtle kiss on her cheek while he did it. Her world was dark now, and once his hands left her, she lost track of where he was.

She shook on the spot, afraid of peeing herself in addition to everything else. There was indistinct chatter from all around, but something cut through it all: the terrifying click of a magazine being loaded into a rifle. She heard the action slam forward, and a voice said, “Ready, Colonel.”

She bared her teeth in sheer panic, panting hard. Somehow, not being able to see was making this worse.

Colonel Miller’s voice sounded, loud and authoritative. “Any last words?”

 No.19334

File: 1577908691083.jpg (218.58 KB, 690x1280, The Drumhead 5.jpg)

She thought for a split second, and tried to speak. Before she could get a word out, there came an almighty BOOM, and she was gone.

 No.19335

File: 1577908715698.jpg (241.06 KB, 1280x872, The Drumhead 6.jpg)

Colonel Miller gave his gunman the silent order to fire as soon as he saw she was going to say something. She didn’t deserve to speak after all, he decided.

As the bullet struck her dead center in the forehead, it blew out the back of her skull and painted the tree with her brain. A .30-06 had done the job, that was for sure. Perhaps he should’ve opted for a smaller caliber; she might’ve suffered for a moment.

As it was, he observed as she fell sideways and struck the ground on her side. She was dead the instant that thing blew her brains out. She rolled on to her back, and her blindfold slipped off; it now hung limply by one ear. Her eyes were mismatched, one wide and the other dull and droopy. She twitched a little, her head jerking up slightly, her leg spasming briefly, and he could swear he saw a little urine running from her hairy cunt.

Her chest moved up and down a few times, but the Colonel knew that meant nothing. It was called Agonal Breathing, he thought he remembered. It was the body freaking out as it hadn’t figured out it was dead yet.

A pool of blood grew rapidly under her head. She was a shitty soldier, but at least she died acceptably. He reviewed her naked body with disdain. So she had tried to seduce Sergeant Ayers, huh? Like he would’ve ever consented to fuck that miserable, simpering piece of shit. Still, it gave him an idea.

 No.19336

File: 1577908738903.jpg (308.92 KB, 1280x968, The Drumhead 7.jpg)

The colonel walked over to her body, retrieving his combat knife as he approached her. Placing a boot on her chest, he leaned over her, gripping the top of her head by the hair and pulling it backward. Her throat was stretched taut before him, and he reached down with his other hand, dragging his blade across her slender neck and flaying it open to the bone. Her arteries squirted weakly, getting blood on his hand and knife. Her cut throat spasmed slightly, and he didn’t stop there. He worked the blade between the bones of her neck, expertly slicing through the connective tissue, and then he was cutting the skin at the back, and her head came free in his hand. He stood up straight, boot still pressing an imprint into her chest, and held her head up to the gathered troops. Her expression was almost hilarious.

“Take a good look, men,” he called out to them. “This is the fate of cowards, of traitors. This is what we do to those who turn on their own and slay them in cold blood. This cowardly whore tried to save herself by seducing her guard.” He turned her to face him briefly, and spoke directly to her. “How did that work out for you?”

A few laughs rang out from the crowd. He turned her to look sightlessly out at them again. “Still, no reason we can’t honor her wishes in death. Catch!” With that, he tossed her into the gathered soldiers. One of them caught her, and looked uncomfortable.

“She’s yours, boys,” Colonel Miller said. “Have your way with her while she’s still warm and wet. She’s ready for the taking over here, too,” he continued, moving her limp corpse under his heel. “’Course, I don’t know how many of you are into dirty sluts with fuckin’ forests on their crotch, but hey, if she looks good to you, take her! That’s all she was ever good for!”

 No.19337

File: 1577908777504.jpg (300.4 KB, 1280x942, The Drumhead 8.jpg)

With that, the colonel took his foot off of her and walked to a nearby Lieutenant. Directing him to tie her up to the tree so the men knew where to find her, he walked away, leaving behind the obnoxious fox he was very glad to be rid of.

 No.19387

Not gonna lie, a good start to stories in 2020. Although I prefer my methods slow, the build up and added pictures really sold this one on me, good job!



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