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EXCERPT :: CHAPTER 3 :: The Serapis Fraktur 

(WARNING : PG-13 [L,V] :: The main male protagonist for this book, Charles Dawes, is describing his home, the one he designed, the one he had never seen until now, in the year 2460). 

…”I recognized many of my cherished antique painted American furniture pieces, art, and folk art objects from my previous existence. The paneled den with access from the main foyer even had on display my fishing tackle collection with my many copper minnow buckets, Tenkara rods, and hand-tied flies in fitted glass-front showcases all along one side of the room. 

Opposite the tackle was my collection of fighting knives, including my SOGs. I stared, and walked over to the dozens of edged weapons and opened the middle cabinet door, slowly. Centered before me against a forest green felt background was the blade that had saved my life in a far-off nightmare called Fallujah. A sheen of sweat suddenly glistened on my brow and upper lip. I shuddered and clamped my eyes shut as flashes of my hand-to-hand combat episode passed through my mind with a hot strobe-like effect. My reoccurring PTSD caused my hands to tremble uncontrollably. 

It was the third day of our 24/7 mayhem. I was a Ready-Reserve captain directing a recon element. Most of my men had been med-evaqued already. We were being overrun by drug-augmented nut jobs that had infiltrated the city from across the globe. I saw one asshole attack my men with a bayonet after a marine gunner with a SAW had shot his legs out from under him! It was Sadam’s home turf and it was lousy with wackos of every nationality. We were winning but at a terrible cost. 

I was having a proverbial bad day. Our ammo was exhausted; the CO was dead and Gunny lay eviscerated as concrete dust boiled over us from the relentless mortar concussions pounding us on three fronts. I was the only one remaining and I was surrounded. I remember the heat. The heat, the heat, god almighty the heat, it was like the depths of hell, and it was only April.

My hearing had abandoned me long ago and my mind was mothballed as my body ran on empty. I should have drunk it, but I used the last of our water to flush Gunny’s belly as my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. I was on the verge of collapse. From a close impact my helmet went flying when suddenly a demented zealot dressed in knee-hole Levis leapt into my peripheral vision. Instinctively, I swiveled in time to deflect the butt of his Kalashnikov from crushing my skull; it only opened my cheek instead. I tasted the copper in my own viscous blood, and for an instant, my vision blurred. Strangely I remember the sound of my jaw grinding the grit of a chipped tooth as I fended off a second blow from this maniac. I dodged away from his third lunge, grabbed the sling on his rifle, and jerked it from his slippery grip and rolled to one side with my knees pulled into a fetal position just as he leapt on top of me, which knocked the wind out of his lungs. It gave me time enough to reach for my SOG – the same blade that I once again was holding in my trembling hands – and grabbed him by his beard pulling him onto its serrated edge to send him on his way through the gates of Hell.

I placed the weapon back into its hollowed place under my Navy Cross and once more compartmentalized the memory….

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