SHORT STORY: Armed Verbal Conflict

I had this one lying around for a while. Again this story was just for fun, not for competitions or anything. 

They stared at each other, their mutual hatred festering further, breathing hard, eyes refusing to blink. Though both unarmed they were well within arm’s length of their weapons, and they refused to let that change.
 
The one stood there, clad in mottled greens, browns & yellows that barely contained his bulging muscles. His cropped strawberry blond hair poked out beneath his black beret slanted to the right, ice blue eyes only flinching to ensure he was seeing all his adversary’s slightest movements. His right hand twitched next to the trigger of his machine gun, eager for the chance to use it.
 
The other stood at the opposite end of the cavern, his shoulder-length black ringlets and beard faintly wavering in the midday breeze. His sandy brown turban and robes lent themselves well to blending into the cave walls, and concealing his chiselled physique. His seal-brown eyes kept an equally hard gaze on his enemy’s movements, and his left hand made sure to stay within 2mm of his AK47’s trigger. Though their skins contrasted like day & night, their faces were equally flushed with simmering crimson fury. Their lips were likewise clenched in readiness for action of some sort.
 
“Why are you here?” the first man spat in his regimental English accent. The man before him stayed silent. “I asked you a question. Why are you here?”
 
More silence.
 
“Do you speak English?” demanded the soldier, annoyance blossoming into full-on anger. “Can you understand me?”
 
The second man, reluctantly, opened his mouth and replied in a deep semi-Arabic accent, “Yes but I ignored you because your question was foolish.”
 
“Sorry?” said the Englishman, finger just hovering over the trigger.
 
“Why am I, a native Egyptian, here in Egypt?” the African man relayed. “I should be asking this to you.”
 
The questioner sneered, “I’m here on behalf of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces of Great Britain, fighting terrorism in your country.”
 
“What you mean is,” corrected the Egyptian as he waved his hand dismissively, “you’re a man trying to implement a ruling system that failed at home, in a land you have no knowledge of whose people don’t know you. Yet you have the cheek to say we have terrorism here.” With a titter he finished, “Spoken like a true terrorist.”
 
“I fight for peace and freedom!” said the Englishman in a raised tone, which triggered an outburst of unabashed laughter from the Egyptian. In fact, he laughed so heartily he completely withdrew his hand from his gun.
 
“Fighting for peace in a place where no war was declared, fighting for freedom by invading a nation that neither needs nor wants you,” the Egyptian laughed. “Utter fool.”
 
The Brit winced at his enemy’s brazen words. Unsure whether to be worried or offended, he stated, “Sir if you do not desist I will be forced to use lethal force.”
 
Drawing enough breath to still his laughter, the African retorted, “Against what? Words of criticism? Is that what your Queen trains you to do? Is that your democracy?”
 
“Sir you are trying my patience,” the Brit said, ever more annoyed.
 
Staring at him square in the eyes, the African said – slowly & deliberately, “When your patience runs out what will you do?” He crossed his arms to make his reach from his gun even farther. The Brit’s eyes twitched back and forth to the unmanned AK47 as the Egyptian took slow deliberate steps toward him. “Still claiming the moral high ground, while running amuck amongst unarmed civilians to end a threat of your own making.
 
“The wolves have become the shepherds, and now you cry because the rams are growing horns.” He sneered then turned around to walk back toward his weapon.
 
The Englishman’s finger was on the trigger at last. And he pulled it. 
 
 
© ONE TAWNY STRANGER 2013 
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