The uncharacteristically cold St. Augustine jungle seems to open up and swallow you in the still, tense darkness of the July night. You wonder why you’re shivering for only a moment before you realize you’re drenched in sweat and remember you’re clad only in a flak jacket and a pair of OD green cotton pants. The salt of your body watts into your body nose as the droplets of sweat blaze intersecting paths down your arms, colliding, covering, and finally collecting in dollops at your elbows, trembling under the almost nine pound weight of your fully loaded M16.
You've become separated from your squad, and the calm silence of the jungle around your does little to assuage your fear and isolation. Instead, the anxiety bubbles and churns in your belly, foaming up into your throat before escaping your mouth in a series of desperate whispers. You see the silence not as a relaxing sign of safety but as a morbid herald of an inevitable ambush. Surely it will only be moments until you hear the series of snapping twigs and rustling branches that announce the approach of your killers.
You wish that you could stand and fight, but your plastic base was blown off by the last round of mortar fire. All you can do is stare at the stars, begging for a return to your molten plastic roots, crying for the soft embrace of your mold, praying for a quick death at the wrong end of magnifying glass instead of the impact of a callous sneaker and an agonizing eternity buried in the dirt of a suburban backyard.