Hard to Say I'm Sorry
Chapter One: "The Mission"
The young soldier could hear others scour the grounds. He started to run down the ravine from which he climbed earlier. To deter any possibility that his scent may be traced and tracked, the soldier sprinted to a stream that parted the hills. The current was swift and strong. To make matters worse, the stream was paved with rocks: some rocks were smooth and slippery; while others were sharp and serrated. His body was growing weak and weary. His legs were starting to wane on him as high-stepped down stream.
Believing he had run far enough to distract his pursuers, the young soldier found refuge against a large tree. What he believed to be a haven for rest ended up being a place of remorse. Unbeknownst to the young soldier, he had camped on top of a nest of “bullet ants.”
The “bullet ant” is an indigenous insect in Central America. Its sting is ranked to be the most powerful among insects. If stung, the victim is known to experience intense and extreme neurological pain for up to 24 hours.
This soldier planted and pitted himself in a position of unspeakable odds. If he screamed from the army of ants as they marched up his body only to cast their campaign of constant stings, then he would give away his location. If he remained silent, then he would have to endure the merciless massacre of ants. Either situation yielded the same result. To refrain from giving up his position, he ripped off a piece of clothing from his blood soaked uniform and bit into it until his body succumbed to the pain. He became unconscious.