Flies in the Ammo Shack

(A Vietnam War story about Flies, 1971)

It was a hot afternoon in the ammo dump, inside the ammo shack-consisting of two rooms, walls made out of plywood, floors or inlays of long wooden boards-flat timber for the most part, you could see through their cracks, placed crooked alongside one another; also the shack was a smite lopsided, almost wobbly, and very broken. Planted on four by four beams underneath the floorboards, about a half foot high, amongst the soft white sand that surrounded it, 17 wsm ammo   giving a playground for the lizards to engage in recreation, unnoticed.

I carried a semi old ‘Stars and Strips,’ magazine with me when I had to go to the ammo shack (where us soldiers did our paperwork for allocations and distributing of ammunition to the convoys arriving from several locations within the vicinity.

I carried that old ‘Stars and Strips,’ magazine for a month, until a new one came out, and used it to swish away flies. They were everywhere in the ammo shack-we were infested with them, with their buzzing around as if we were invaders: fat and thin bellied files; some dark others light shads of dark, long and short winged flies, biting your hands and face, and ears, behind your neck, swarming around you, sneaking up your shirt sleeves, diving into your eyes as if they were small punishing missiles, trained by the Vietcong to annoy you.-me, us!

There were dead or dying flies, also walking flies on all the three desks within the two rooms of the shack, filling the atmosphere with putrid debris, aiming towards one’s mouth, but quite content if they missed, and simply landed on your lips. They contaminated everything, clinging, and climbing, and even some crawling, in their fastest gait possible, especially the big fat bellied ones, they’d try to get away but I’d swat them, unfortunately leaving a dumpy-bloody mess, I really tried to simply scare them away, but like I said before-or implied, they were already brained washed and ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *