Tuesday, July 18, 2006

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# 10

Funny how your loyalties can change so quickly, Sarah Lee thought. Twenty minutes before she had thought that Sandberb was a jerk. Hell he was still a jerk, but he was one of her jerks now. Sarah was not impressed with his story; cops did that kind of thing everyday. Not the same cop everyday, but somewhere in the world a cop acted, when others stood and watched. She wasn't even impressed with the medal thing, brave deeds were done by men couldn't find it in themselves to run away. That was the fine line. Some people could lie and await their fate, and others had to do something. The ones who ran were the flip side of the hero, not the ones who cowered in a hole.

No, what she was drawn to was the fact that someone attacked him for something every cop has done to a lesser extent. If you don't think a child rapist and murderer is tortured, try watching them being interrogated. The cops will go just as far as the bosses will allow. If the heat comes down it is the detective’s ass, but they don't even think about that.

Sarah gave the TV guys a quick glance then said, "If you are going to shoot the battle, you need to set that Buck Rogers shit up over there, she pointed to the down side of the hill. Otherwise you need to leave, you are in my way."

The newsies looked hard but didn't plan to spend the morning taping a bunch of fat re enactors. Sarah walked back to her wooden tripod topped by a wooden box camera. It was set up for infinity and as large an aperture as the lens had. The exposures would be slow speed but not as slow as her portraits.

She didn't even look at Sandberg as she went to her camera. All the adjustments had been made and remade a dozen times. She noticed with some satisfaction that Sandberg looked a little lost. She couldn't decide whether to give him the order of battle or watch him trying to do everything at once. She decided that if he ask, she would talk, if not screw him. She giggled then whispered to herself, "like hell."

The Yanks entered the field from the north side, the success hid behind the rail fence and in the gully. The blue bellies were going to get slaughtered. Suddenly the fife and drum could be heard rolling again over the Georgia countryside. The Yanks came from the woods and then formed into a skirmish line. Sarah had her spot picked out. Sandberg was looking a bit lost as he changed lenses on his camera. Sarah had no idea what he had expected, but the battle had begun.

"You okay over there?" Sarah asked it with what was almost an audible giggle, but she managed to suppressed it.

"You are enjoying this aren't you." Sandberg said it as he fumbled with the pieces of his camera.

"Of course I am. Do you have a matching Mickey Mouse watch." At that point Sarah could not contain her laughter.

"I think I finally figured out who you are," Sandberg said it without any humor at all. He didn't like appearing inept at anything.

"Oh?" Sarah asked.

"Yeah you aren't the cookie lady, you're the Cookie Monster." Sandberg didn't know what he had expected. What he had not expected was for her to break up in laughter.

"You better hurry hero, they are about to charge." Those were the words that managed to make it out between fits of laughter. The laughter was nervous, but Sandberg didn't know that.

So he thinks I'm a monster, Sarah found that amusing. Those who really knew her, wondered how the soft-spoken, church going, lady could be a tough cop. Sarah was a true chameleon. She changed when she changed clothes. If she hadn't learned to cope, she would have been diagnosed as mpd, multiple personality disorder. She might still slip over the line at any moment.

Sandberg finally got it all together. Sarah's attention returned to the battle. He had been distracting to her on more than one level. His trouble with the press interested her, but she wasn't interested enough to ask. Things would reveal themselves without an interrogation. At least that was her belief at the time.

The yanks were moving toward the reb lines when she had the right angle for her shot. She had ignored all the clicking coming from beside her. At least Sandberg didn't move in front of her camera. After the shot she pulled then reinserted her film holder. She pulled the dark slide so that she was ready when the hand-to-hand melee began. The rebs began to fire and the yanks began to fall. They didn't stop though, they just kept on moving forward.

"Stupid bastards," Sandberg said as he clicked away. "What a waste."

"Different times Sandberg," Sarah said as she waited for the men in gray to rush out. When they did, she fired the shutter then switched the film holders and did it again two more times.

The men disengaged and the battle lulled. Suddenly the cannons roared and the groups came together again. It took over an hour for both skirmishes to end. While Sarah was packing away her camera, she heard the siren. It sent a chill down her spine. It was out of place on a day like that, but with all the death, even fake death, it seemed somehow appropriate.


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