Cayo Elina 46

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The Germans were late. Elina paced up and down the beach, keeping her eyes trained on the endless waves, trying to spy out the ship as soon as it came into sight. Gus was by her side and the rest of the villagers who would be making the trip were back in the bombed out town, resting for the most part. A few were up the beach, casting nets into the waves in an attempt to catch some fish. The rations that Perry had sent had been consumed over the last thirty hours, they hadn’t seen a need at the time to hold back because they had been expecting the Feist to arrive by now.

“I don’t like this, moley.” Elina said, “Can you see…” She let the question hang there as Gus shook his head.

“I know we get to Miami, I’m pretty sure we take a boat, so they’ll be here.” Gus answered.

“Will it be soon enough?”

Shrugging his shoulder Gus didn’t respond. Instead he picked up a piece of driftwood and used it to scrawl lines in the sand. He watched as the waves came in and slowly eroded and destroyed the marks he had made. When the sand was pristine and smooth again he repeated the process.

“Learning anything?” Elina asked.

“I’m exploring the transitory nature of mankind’s impact on the world.”

“Oh?”

“We’re small bits of carbon on an insignificant planet circling a tiny sun in an out of the way portion of the universe. What impact can we really have?” Gus asked.

“Hmph, well…” Elina started, “We might not be players in a galactic sense, but the things we do have meaning for us. That has to count for something.”

Gus looked at her and they both started laughing. The impromptu meeting with the village last night had not united the people around a single banner. The ‘Ramonites’ resented losing power and could not believe the man who had orchestrated their rise had gone back on his plan. Most of them refused to consider travelling to Miami. Together with their sympathizers almost half the villagers had opted to stay on the key when the Germans arrived.

“How do you think Perry is going to react when only six hundred of us land on the beaches to storm Miami?” Elina asked him. This was the third time she had asked him the same question, although she had phrased it differently each time.

With a sigh Gus answered again, “Can we do the job? I don’t know, he wasn’t exactly forthcoming with how many boots the Cubans had on Miami Beach. I’m sure we are just supposed to be a distraction, something to let him counterattack and win the battle.”

“What do they call them? Distractions?” Elina asked.

“Cannon fodder? Except we’re more like snakes in the grass; no one will see us coming and we’ve got fangs.”

“They’ll know the Feist is coming, so they’ll have an idea about what that means.”

Gus nodded, “Sure, but are they prepared to deal with an invasion by sea? We’ll do fine, probably hook up with Hector and his boys. Heck they probably have the Cubans all mopped up by now. We’ll just get to wander into Max’s place and have a few beers, maybe a tall blood for Ricardo.”

“Dreamer. We both know they were landing troops and Perry didn’t think they could hold the bridges.”

Gus drew another line in the wet sand, then watched as the sea devoured it. “Nothing ever changes, Elina. Instead of bonding together we’re at each other throats again. Terrorists, zombies, Cubans, Ramonites. It’s just circles within circles within circles. I’m losing faith in humanity.”

“After we clean this mess up things will be different.”

“I’m sure that’s what Hitler said. ‘Just one more push to clean this mess up and the world will be perfect!’ I can hear his voice echoing down the ages, along with the voices of everyone else who sought nirvana.”

Elina cocked her head sideways, “My aren’t you in a morbid mood today. Tell me this, oh wise sage, what do we do about it? The here and now I mean?”

Gus let out with a short laugh, “Sometimes events catch you up in them, don’t they? We could stay here and be lynched by the Ramonites, or go with the Germans, who are going to land us in the middle of the Cubans. Either way we’ll be fighting for our lives.” He shook his head, “Yeah, I’m a little down. Nothing ever changes. I think, when we’re done with this, if we live through it, I’m going to go.”

Frowning, Elina said, “Go? Go where?”

“Anywhere. The world’s a big place, there’s gotta be somewhere I can settle down and just live, without any drama or people trying to kill me.”

“I was right, you are a dreamer!” Elina said with a laugh.

“Now who’s being morbid?”

Elina chuckled and cast her eyes toward the sea again. “I see them, Gus.” She said it without excitement or preamble. “They’re coming.”

“And we’re going.”

“Yeah, we are.”

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