Friday Fictioneers 12 – 01 – 2021

Friday Fictioneers challenges us to write micro-fiction (<101 words) prompted by a photograph supplied by one of our colleagues. It’s all teed up by our friend, extraordinary artist, and fabulous leader, Rochelle. Click the prompt photo to see her blog page with all the skinny. It’s fun.

Today’s picture has a two-level outhouse indicating politicians up top and voters below. I recall seeing this arrangement in a military cartoon with officers on top and enlisted below.

In the Viet Nam War, officers and radiomen were preferred targets of the North Vietnam Army and the Viet Cong, which is why soldiers did not salute officers in the field.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT by © Lisa Fox for Rochelle’s blog to get all the FF info.

Genre: Military Fiction (War Story)
Word Count: 100
Title: FNG* Down

The new Lieutenant ordered me to be his radio man. Our platoon leader was callow, yet confident and eager. A stickler for rules, he risked soldiers’ lives needlessly. A poor listener with a gung-ho, know-it-all attitude.

He chewed me out in front of my squad and gave me extra guard duty. Bad enough I had to hump the motherfucker’s goddamn radio.

In the jungle one day the lieutenant ordered me to step back, I yelled, “Yes, Sir,” stepped back and saluted him. The crack sound of the AK-47 made me dive for cover.

Our next lieutenant was a big improvement.

Be aware of enemy presence and men with guns.
Mind the gaps, make more friends than enemies, and keep your powder dry.
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being watched.

Click on the soldier to link to the squares, where other stories are being told.

*FNG is military initialism and jargon for fucking new guy.

36 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers 12 – 01 – 2021

  1. That’s a most efficient way to get rid of the FNG! And not a moment too soon, I’m thinking. Nothing worse than that type of guy/gal to work for…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And easy, sort of.
      In civil society we must tolerate them if we can. It’s illegal to kill them.
      But, in combat there are so many possibilities and the consequences so dire.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very dark humour here, Bill. I find your story completely convincing. The only way we will ever eliminate war is by making it unacceptable to take up arms for any reason whatever. I know that’s idealistic, but unless it happens I can see no hope for mankind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Bill,

    Your story is nothing less than brilliant. I’ll admit to laughing at the last two lines. I love the verse tacked on at the end, as well. I feel safe in saluting you this morning. Coffee cup raised.



    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband told me of a raw officer out in Kenya who was so inefficient that he endangered lives. They were all relieved when he shot himself in the foot, even though they had to carry him back to base.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I believe this would be a textbook example of “malicious compliance” that might end poorly for the person doing it. I mean, if the grenade in tent option doesn’t work at least they don’t know who tried it. 😉 Just thinking about it … makes me want to send some positive energy to all our very real troops out there getting it done. Also, great story that made me grin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s difficult to determine the percentage of military killed by “friendly fire.” It’s even harder to tell when/if it was intentional, but no one denies that it happened (rarely) in all wars.
      In this case, the death was the result of an enemy sniper, not the radio man, who is the most obvious target in a platoon. 🙂
      Thanks for the great comments.


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