On the ground, not daring to move
Lying there, afraid to move, I honestly believed that was just the stupidest thing I’d ever done.
Aside from the fact I could see we were about to be blown to kingdom come by a rocket, I had that split second to decide if I wanted to be incinerated, or in possession of 206 broken bones.
I guess I was assuming I’d survive the landing.
After all the helicopter was only about twenty to thirty feet above the ground and not moving very fast, in fact, it was slowing, and turning away, when the pilot saw the rocket launcher.
I could hear the crackling of fire not far from me, a result of the helicopter hitting the ground. It wasn’t a large explosion, and certainly not accompanied by a hail of red-hot metal parts.
I moved and it hurt. Understandable. But there didn’t seem to be any broken bones, which was nothing short of a miracle. I did try to affect a roll when landing as we were trained in parachute jumping, and maybe that had helped.
Enough time to recover, I rolled over and got to my knees. Ok, that hurt, twinges in my lower back, and a slight sprain in my right ankle. No running then.
Then I heard the gears crunching, so sort an old Toyota pickup would make, followed by an over-revving engine. A novice driver. Or a man in a hurry.
The pickup was coming back to check the wreckage.
And if there were any survivors.
No gun, lost that in the jump. But, as luck would have it, an AK47 was lying on the ground between me and the burning wreckage.
Only one problem. The pickup would be on me before I could get to it.
Is this the very definition of being between a rock and a hard place?
© Charles Heath 2019-2023