The Grey Flag

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Black Friday

The moon illuminated the gradually darkening sky. It was a cooling evening but his whole body stank of dried sweat. He had been in the same spot for the past two days, braving the scorching afternoon sun, the cold nights and the occasional light showers. It was a lot to endure, but he did not dare to stray away from his post. That would put all his efforts in the past two days to waste. He looked around himself. He was surrounded by enemies. Every single one of these enemies was in the same situation as him. It was tough, but all of them pushed on. Giving up was no longer an option at this stage.

He looked at his watch, in about ten more minute's time, the gates would open and he would charge in, along with all the others with him out here. He ran through the plan one more time in his mind. Which location should he go to first? Which targets should he prioritize? Was there any flaw in the plan that he might have missed out? Failure was not an option right now, the people back home would be so disappointed, and he was determined not to let them down.

Five more minutes.

The moment was finally arriving. He was finding it hard to contain his excitement. He had waited so long for this moment to arrive. He eyed the man nearest to him who was staring right back him. Just like him, this man had been waiting here for the past two days. They shared the same objective but there was no love lost between the two men. The only exchange they had for the past two days were a series of hostile and primitive snarling. Still, it was good to have a companion in this lonely battle.

The two men glared at each other like two hyenas fighting over a carcass on the African savannah. This man would probably be the greatest enemy later, he made up his mind as he began to devise a plan to negate the threat in front of him. Maybe he could push him as they were running in later. Or perhaps he should be more discreet and trip him instead. No, the best way would be to just run faster than all the others and grab the target before they do. Yes, that would be it.

Last Call

On Chasing Serendipity

Richard stood transfixed for a heartbeat, then wrenched his gaze to the side. His voice, commendably, was just shy of even. "Julia..- How are you?"

A turquoise shimmer, the click of heels against pavement. His eyes returned to the impeccably dressed woman after Ryan locked away the surprise he knew they'd shown. She moved closer and he made no move as a familiar perfume forced its way into his mind, listened closely as she spoke, "Richard, come on. It's not like we're just acquaintances."

They certainly weren't. He pushed off the wall and slid easily to stand before Julia with a lithe ease that very nearly concealed a stiffening of muscles, hand outstretched. Richard returned her regal stare. "Poor manners. It's good to see you."

She gave him a look, lowered her eyelids, raised her eyebrows, tilted her head, haughty as he remembered. Rolled her eyes without rolling her eyes. She moved forward, noting the minute recoil Richard made as he fought the urge to keep the distance. He could not refuse the implicit gesture, and raised his arms. Julia pressed against him. "We're not shaking hands. Really?"

She let go, though Richard noticed she remained standing intimately close. A light caress of his tie yanked his thoughts into the present. "You did great tonight. You and that professional. Her dress was pretty, wasn't it? She was... elegant."

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