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For our visitors reading pleasure we are serializing some of our short stories and articles.  Be sure to stop by every month and read the latest installment.
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General Jackson’s Last Hurrah

Part Three

While sleeping off a hangover the next evening, the General heard Arturo and Carlotta. When he crawled out to greet them, he noticed blood seeping out of a wound in the man’s chest.
          “Go back to sleep, old man,” Carlotta said. “I’ll handle things.”
The General went wild at the sight of blood. “I knew they’d return. We couldn’t hold them off forever.”
He rummaged in his box. “I must radio for a medic. I can’t let my comrade die.”
Carlotta tried to ease Arturo’s pain.
He pushed her away. “Get out of here before they kill you.”
Carlotta dug up the burlap bag and stuffed her pockets with jewelry. She pressed a diamond and ruby pin into his fingers.
           “Why’d you have to fight with Carlito? You know he’s better with a knife.”
Arturo coughed up blood. “Beat it before the cops get you.”
 Carlotta kissed him on the lips. “I’ll find a way to get help.”
She ran across the street and into the night.
           “Come back,” the General cried, but darkness swallowed Carlotta.
Visions of wounded and dying soldiers from the Vietnam War flashed before the General’s eyes. “Hold on sonny; I’m going for reinforcements.”
He stepped over Arturo and rummaged on the surface of the dumpster for some beer or booze to calm his nerves. Nothing.
The General ran across the street and into the bodega and approached Manny.
          “A soldier is bleeding to death near my home. I need backup.”
Customers strained to look at the filthy vagrant as they waited on line to pay for their groceries. Manny lifted the bum by his flea-bitten collar and carried him to the back of the store.
          “Listen to me, old man. Until now, I’ve treated you like an uncle, but if you scare away my regular
           customers, no more food. Cool it. I’ll call 911.”
The General rubbed his neck. “Hurry, the enemy is gaining on us.”
As Manny called the police, he watched his wife, Rosita, approach the bum.
          “You’re disgusting.”
The General shook a grease-smeared finger.
          “Do you know what it’s like to die in combat?”
A short while later, the stockier of two police officers approached Manny. “Who made the call?”
The veteran arched his shoulders and saluted.
          “General Adam Jackson reporting for duty, sir.”
He leaned into the officer who backed off when the General opened his mouth.
          “They tried to interrogate me, but I wouldn’t talk. My lips are sealed.”
Manny took the officer aside. “The war messed up his head.”
Jackson watched as the officer fingered the handle of his gun.
          “You won’t take me without a fight,” the General said.
When the officer tried to calm the disgruntled veteran, the General lifted the gun out of the cop’s holster.
          “Everybody down. He has my weapon,” the officer yelled.
                                                                                 *****
 VISIT US AGAIN IN THE FIRST WEEK OF OCTOBER  FOR THE FOURTH INSTALLMENT GENERAL JACKSONS LAST HURRAH.  WE PROMISE NOT TO BE LATE THIS TIME.

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