The Insurgent

This was something I did for an old prompt. I decided since the story it’s from is a long ways from being written, I’ll post it here.


Bullets tore through the air around me.

“Sara, take cover!” Clark shouted.

I dove behind a tree. Where was the enemy? They were somewhere in the jungle doing a very good job of keeping their heads down.

I brushed soaked hair from my eyes.

Lightning cracked overhead, giving me a view of the land around me.

A bullet slammed into the tree, throwing wood chips onto my head. The tree wasn’t hiding me. I scanned my surroundings. The jungle vegetation wouldn’t block bullets.

About ten feet away, the land dropped off like it concealed a creek or ditch.

I bolted from the tree.

My feet slipped. I tumbled over a bank and fell onto someone.

His yelp of surprise was cut off as my body shoved him underwater. I scrambled off him, my chest aching from where his head slammed into it.

The soldier lifted his head and wiped black mud from his face.

Lightning lit the night again.

He lifted his rifle. An insurgent.

I’d dove for cover in the same spot as the enemy, and now he’d kill me. My rifle lay somewhere in the dark mud, and I couldn’t draw my pistol in time.

The battle raged on around us while we crouched frozen in six inches of stinking mud and stagnant water. Why hadn’t he shot me yet?

The sky went dark.

I bolted from the creek and ran from the fighting. Lightning lit up the land again, giving me just enough visibility to dodge a tree.

“Stop!” the insurgent shouted in English.

I ran faster.

Branches tore at me. In the darkness, I couldn’t see where I ran. I slammed into a tree.

I fell, half-winded.

Lightning lit up the insurgent. A few more seconds and he’d be on me.

I scrambled to my feet and ran. I couldn’t be captured. Better to die.

The ground under my feet turned to rock. I tripped and landed hard.

“Stop!” the insurgent shouted as I climbed to my feet and took off again.

Lightning illuminated my surroundings, just in time for me to realize I’d stepped off a cliff.

I twisted and grabbed the edge of the cliff. Sharp rock bit into my hands. My legs flailed in the air, unable to gain any purchase. My hands slipped on the wet rock. I’m going to die.

A rough hand grabbed my arm and yanked me to solid ground. “I said stop.” He released my arm.

Lightning illuminated the insurgent standing in front of me.

I tried to dart around him.

The insurgent tackled me.

I reached for my pistol.

He grabbed my hand and slammed it into the hard rock. The pistol fell from my hand.

I thrashed. If only I could get the pistol.

He pressed down on me, his fingers squeezing my wrists.

Clark’s words came back to me. Fight to the death. If they capture you, they will torture you. 

I thrashed again. My struggles did no good.

The lightning never stopped, leaving us in the light more than the dark.

I gave up and lay still. For the first time, I met his gaze.

He couldn’t have been any older than I was.

“You’re a girl,” he said.

A chill, more than something from the rain, shot through me. Was that why he hadn’t killed me; because he had other uses for female prisoners?

The teenage insurgent shifted his weight and pinned my wrist with one knee. With his free hand, he pulled my shirt up, exposing my belly to the cold rain.

God, help me.

“You have a belly button.” The teen stared at me. “You’re not one of those plastics.”

I lay still, too shocked to fight. What was he talking about?

The teen grabbed my pistol. “If you promise not to jump off the cliff or try to kill me, I’ll let you up, understand?” He only had a slight accent, too slight to tell if it was Spanish or Portuguese.

I nodded.

He scrambled off me. A rock tripped him. Before I had a chance to take advantage of his error, he caught himself and stood.

I climbed to my feet, aware of every bruise I’d gotten in the last ten minutes. My muscles would be aching tomorrow, provided I lived that long. “What are you going to do with me?” I fought to keep the fear out of my voice.

“I’m taking you to camp.” He paused. “It’s okay. We don’t kill people, especially girls.”

Rage overwhelmed my fear. “Those were people back there!” I pointed in the direction of the ambush.

The teen’s eyes widened. “You mean they were people, not plastic soldiers?”

What was he talking about? “Plastic soldiers?”

“The crazy soldiers without emotions. They follow orders, won’t talk not matter what you do, and they don’t have belly buttons!” He looked around, like a hunted animal.

I’d heard rumors these insurgents were nuts, but this took the cake.

He grabbed my arm. “Come on. My friends will be wondering where I am, and I’ve got to show you to them. This changes everything.”

I let him lead me. I needed to escape, but I had to bide my time.


About Jessi L. Roberts

I live and work on my family’s cattle ranch in eastern Montana. I have a flock of chickens, a hyper golden retriever, some cows, and a few horses. I enjoy fantasy and science fiction and my head is full of wild sci-fi story ideas, some involving apocalypses and others involving aliens. I have been published twice in Havok Magazine, an imprint of Splickity.
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