Yep – same capture as my most recent work but finished very differently. Abstract color vs. abstract noir (well, mostly noir; I left just a trace of color). Which do you prefer?
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Why Should You Be Any Different
Thirty-six marines tossed their breakfast as their Higgins Boat lurched every which way and one of them, a private of course, actually told the grizzled sergeant next to him, “I’m scared’.
“Why should you be any different,” the sergeant snarled, then noticed another fool private a little in front of him trying to stick his helmeted head over the side of the craft for a better look, and the sergeant grabbed him by the collar and yanked him down to the puke covered deck. “Head DOWN, asswipe, if you don’t want to lose it!”
But the thing was, they didn’t hear battle sounds; no bullets banging on the sides or artillery splashing and exploding into the ocean their craft plopped forward through. Just the loud diesel engine of the boat and the crash of ocean and the constant, violent back and forth and up and down that had sea sickened most of the platoon within sixty seconds of leaving the troop transport. This had the sergeant just a little curious as he knew from discussions with officers there were thousands and thousands of enemy combatants on the island. Surely they weren’t going to let them just waltz in. His was not the first landing craft in but wasn’t far behind. The young officers wanted him there soonest because they trusted his tactical judgment more than they trusted their own, or certainly each other’s. He was a twelve-year veteran of the Corps, had seen action in Central America and had served under General Howlin Mad Smith in developing methods and training troops in amphibious landings. He instilled the most fear and trained the best men and was widely respected for knowing the difference between a well-executed plan and a cluster-fuck.
“30-seconds,” the boat pilot shouted down to them and the sergeant hollered “On your feet! Get ready!” and to a man they clutched their rifles up around their chest where they could quickly swing to a firing position if necessary and crouched just a bit so their legs could spring them forward all the faster. And the 10-foot-wide bow ramp splashed down in four feet of surf, twenty feet from the beach and they all stormed out and then … nothing. Platoons that had landed in front of them were gathered in small groups seemingly just shootin’ the shit. “Welcome to paradise,” some private grinned, his rifle slung over his shoulder and holding a halved coconut he’d been sipping. The sergeant got right in his face and the grin went bye-bye, toot sweet. “Where the hell are the officers?”
The private pointed. “Drop that fuckin’ nut and get to your unit – you think the enemy isn’t watching your ass?” He did a quick visual scan, then grabbed one of his corporals. “That stand of trees thirty yards off the beach – get the men there and get them DOWN. I’m going to go find out which end is up.”
That corporal grabbed another corporal and between them they got the flustered platoon where the sergeant wanted. There was just a slight rise, and the corporal had enough presence of mind to get the platoon prone to the beach side of it, stealing quick glances above to scan the ground beyond. He didn’t see anything. Twenty minutes before the sergeant rejoined them, a lieutenant in tow. The sergeant made a quick assessment of the platoon’s position – nodded to the corporal that he’d done OK. Behind and to their flanks they could hear the barks of other sergeants pulling their platoons into something resembling a military force. The lieutenant had a map, and the sergeant motioned both corporals closer.
“The assumption,” he began, “And you know what happens when you assume, is that last night’s crappy weather let us creep up on the landing beaches – they just didn’t see us coming until we got here, and they hadn’t time to get their defenses into position. We’re here,” he pointed to the map, “Here’s the airstrip, our main objective, and we think the enemy has pulled back into the jungle roughly here. Recon reports the airstrip more or less clear, but there’s likely field artillery that will target it as we move in. Main force is going to move this direction,” more pointing, “To that airstrip, then set up a perimeter past it. We’re going to cut this direction, along with a few other platoons. to here, to cover the flank We’re going to move out in three loose columns; I’m taking center with the lieutenant and I want each of you leading the two aside me. Watch for stragglers. Keep us tight, but not too tight. Don’t lose sight of each other. Low and slow. We’re aiming for this creek,” pointing, “Here, snug against the ocean on our left so nothing gets around us. Questions?”
Both corporals nodded not. But one was clearly intent on studying the map and pointed at the spot himself. “What’s the name of this place?” he asked.
Sergeant said, “That particular topographical feature, Daniel Boone, is ‘Alligator Creek. And this is Guadalcanal.”
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BTW: The photo art and prose included in any given post are separate creations and rarely have anything to do with each other. Duality and such …
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.