Date: 8/13/20–
Location: North Carolina, Camp Mackall Special Forces training base. Approx 25 Mi. SW of Ft. Bragg
SITREP: Special Forces Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape Training

“Where is the other team!? We can sit here and beat the shit outta you all damn day meaker, all you gotta do is spill your guts.”

“Meaker, Sergeant, 610-18-6877!”

Thwack. The sound of the blow was quickly followed by the thud of Meakers head bouncing off the wood floor. His face was badly bruised and cut, His shirt had been removed to allow easier access so his captors could inflict damage to his body, he had cuts and burns all over his torso. There wasn’t a spot on him that wasn’t bruised to some degree. His arms were tied behind his back by a bloodstained rope, wrists were raw by the tight lashing holding him secure.

Meaker lied on the floor, resting his head on the dirt covered planks of wood. His ears were ringing and his vision was blurry, he had gone numb from the pain. The tall man beating him grabbed Meaker by the throat and lifted him up, only to promptly elbow hit him back to the floor.

Meaker spat up blood, his cheeks were swollen in his mouth, the taste of blood had left his senses. Closing his eyes tight he painfully lifted himself to his knees defiantly. His eyes refused to focus on the Instructor standing in front of him, he didn’t care to worry if the damage was permanent.

“Meaker -”

Barely after finishing his name he was knocked back onto the ground a third time by a swift punch to the face. He had passed out before his head even hit the floor.

An hour later as the sun was setting on Camp Mackall North Carolina, Meaker was woken by more beatings, The Drill Instructor who was normally fond of Meaker had him back on his knees. Meaker was in a small house, no more than five rooms including the jail cell where Meaker had spent a few nights, very small and only used for training. The windows didn’t even have glass in them, the trees could be seen dancing slowly in the wind, a cool breeze that was denied access to Meaker who was sweating profusely. Mosquitoes leisurely flew in and feasted on Meakers draining supply of blood; He didn’t feel a single bite.

The instructor looked at Meaker confidently. ” You know, I gotta give you credit kid. Your one tough egg to crack, But I’m gonna get those coordinates outta you, even if it not only kills you.”

The man motioned at the door, before long two other instructors dragged in a beaten man. It was Garner, one of Meakers Squad mates. The two dropped the man onto the floor who struggled to climb to his knees and look his Squad leader in the eyes. Garner was in bad shape, his face looked like it had been used as a punching bag.

“How are you doin gonorreah?” Meaker quietly asked the young man.

“Ain’t doin good Sir, they got all of us and are beating the piss out of em all, your the only one who knows what they want” Garner spoke to his Squad leader with pleading in his eyes, he had been crying for sure, the dirt and mud caked to his face had lines running down his cheeks where the tears had fallen.

Suddenly Garners head was jerked backwards from the Black Instructor. ” Meaker I know you already know whats coming if you don’t tell me what I want, and I’m pretty keen on bettin you don’t want that. So just tell me what I want and it’ll all end. I hear your Name Rank and Serial Number one more time and I’m gonna make Garners life here twice as bad as it is now.

Meaker couldn’t help but notice Garner begging him, pleading with everything he had to tell the instructor what they wanted. His eyes felt heavy looking at Garners speechless begging before mouthing an apology to him and looking into the eyes of his Instructor.

“…Meaker, Sergeant…610-18-6877…”

The instructor sighed and shook his head in frustration before turning and proceeded to pummel Garner mercilessly. Garners cries for help were worse than Meaker could bare.

He closed his eyes to avoid watching his friend be beaten to a pulp, but even through his closed eyes he could almost see his friends agony.

“For gods sake tell them pleeease!!!”

His friends voice burned into his brain, as long as Meaker could keep his mouth shut till Garner passed out he would be fine.


The sun was replaced by the moon when he slowly opened his eyes, he had hoped upon waking that he was still home, maybe it was all just an awful dream. Meaker stayed still on the floor of his cell till he heard whimpering coming from the corner of the caged room. He rolled over to see his friend sobbing in the corner, his right arm sat limp on his lap while he embraced himself with his left. His tears had run dry but the man still wept like a small child, rocking back and forth in hysterics.

Behind the uncomforting sound of his friends anguish he found sanctuary in the surrounding forest. Although it was night the air was filled with the orchestral chorus of life, frogs and toads chirping into the night, accompanied by every type of insect tossing its own harmonious banter. He only allowed himself to relax for a moment before dragging himself to Garners aid.

“Hey man… You ok?”

“Nah man… I… I think they broke my arm.” Garners voice was shaky, his whole body was trembling with shock. Meaker could see the fractured forearm without even moving, his arm was swollen, purple. ” I cant do it man, I cant take this shit. I aint gonna be able to shoot no more, they will kick me out of the Army man. I got nothin else but this job man, I gotta quit now and get my benifits so they dont kick me out, I gotta give up Sarge, I cant take this shit no more.” Garner spoke quickly and filled with hysteria, the shock was affecting his rationale drastically.

Meaker grabbed Garner firmly by the shoulders. ” Listen soldier, you stow that shit right now god damn it. Your Fuckin Airborne man, This shit ain’t . I’m gonna help you through this mess, then were gonna be fuckin Green Berets. Elite of the elite, so don’t you sit there with your busted arm and act like a damn regular. Were the best for a reason, because we can take anything. You can hack this shit no problem, come on say it with me.”

“I… I can hack it” Garner slowly repeated himself with Meaker till he convinced himself he could. After five minutes he had forgotten about how much pain he was in and smiled weakly at his Sergeant.

“Thanks Sarge”

Meaker smiled and wiped the sweat off Garners forehead.

“Get some sleep” Meaker said, and by the time he had dragged himself back to his own corner Garner had passed out. Meaker slumped against the wall and looked at the cage keeping the two from freedom. The iron bars were only about as big around as a quarter.

On his long drift into sleep he formulated his plan for escape. Garner would slow him down, and if his squad really was in the same area they would add another challenge. The next three days would be the Evasion part of the S.E.R.E training. Finally pleased with his plan he smiled at his work, a bold plan he was sure would suprise the shit out of his favorite Instructor. He looked at Garner and said to himself ” Hooah man…Fucking Hooah.”

3 Responses to “Survival”

  • Ladies and gentlemen, the 2008 winner of the Oscar for most least-Zyracuse-related short story is…

    Check your racism at the door, man. The instructor’s not so black that it needs to be pointed out three times in the middle of a beating. It makes it seem like you have another agenda at work.

    Do we ever get to find out why Meaker is committing an act of insubordination? Or why those coordinates are so important? Or why garner’s name isn’t capitalized consistently? Or what those quotation thingies are doing hanging out in space like that?

    I know you’ve got your fans out there, but is this character going to set foot inside the Zone? Operation: Zombieclause has been in draft since before Christmas!

  • 1) Not racist, just trying to be descriptive while writing a story at midnight.
    2)Its not Insubordination its part of the S.E.R.E training, they show you what its like to be a POW. They say they don’t overdo the physical abuse… they are Special Forces they do what they want. They don’t overdo it in the sense that you are guaranteed to live, but most likely wont enjoy it.
    3) The coordinates they need are the coordinates where Bravo team is, if Meaker tells them, he fails S.E.R.E. Training and wont be SF.
    4) Capitalization wasn’t my top priority, getting this done so I could sleep was. Plus I knew I could Edit it later and fix my mistakes.
    5) We will never know the answer to this one.
    6) Planning on writing the other Parts to this story eventually, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape.
    7) Ill get to Zombieclause eventually.
    8) Thinkin about doin a story about Meaker training his Company in CC, will I get to it is the question.

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