the bull’s belly

There was nothing extra-special about Colby T. Mustard. He was just a young man — a kid, really — from Columbus, Ohio. The typical Americana of the era surrounded Colby as he grew up. Radio, soda fountains, horse racing, baseball, apple pie. He was coming of age as the depression was beginning to wear off, like the sun finally burning through a late-morning, hazy mist. About a year ago, at eighteen years of age, Colby Mustard was drafted into the United States Infantry to fight against the Axis powers. He made the most of the situation, even taking on an exaggeratedly stern war-like demeanor as he prepared for his deployment. Colby scowled, he grimaced, he furrowed his brow.

Colby Mustard was a well-built young man with thick, brown, straight hair. His teeth were good: straight & white — the best kind. His body was well-coordinated; he was relatively athletic. Nothing special, but certainly not clumsy, gangly, or slow. He had played football — linebacker — in high school, and he had taken Mary Sue Harris to the senior prom and then taken her down in the backseat of his father’s nineteen thirty-two Plymouth. He was a normal, red-blooded American kid — destined for war. Colby had no expectations as to what awaited him overseas. Death? Heroism? Gonorrhea? There were many possibilities. He had no way to know. Nobody did!

Colby Mustard had trained hard in boot camp. Physically, he did well in all the tests. He completed all the runs with sufficient speed, he did the required push-ups and then some, and he shot his rifle with a nice level of precision. His bed was always well-made, tight around the corners and flat in the middle. And Colby Mustard could clean a latrine until it was pearl-white.

Presently, Colby Mustard had been separated from his unit, from his comrades. The other men from his small unit were, in fact, all dead. Obliterated by the German war machine! Communication was impossible. Colby Mustard was all alone in France, somewhere near Brittany.

But enough of the bad news. Fortuitously, before his unit had been killed — some by rifle fire, some by mortar fire and the last three by a series of explosions from land mines — his team, the American team, had managed to land a direct strike, mortar fire, on the German bunker they had been intending to storm.

The bunker, a relatively humble outpost, had been manned by only three German soldiers. An officer and two infantrymen from the Wehrmacht. The Germans were dug in quite well and had a meaningful positional advantage, leading to the high death toll on the American side. The direct mortar strike — a lucky shot corked off by a goofy kid named Herb who came from Florida— had killed two of the Germans, leaving only one alive. But that man had killed Herb, and only Colby was left alive. Colby Mustard had no way of knowing that the man he was up against — the man he was trying to kill — was named Dieter Schmidt. Dieter was the father of three children and the husband of Heike Schmidt. They had two boys and a girl; cute blondes, all three. They wanted more! Before the war, Dieter had worked as an automobile engineer. Now, Dieter was a rifleman, fighting for his life and his country against the Global American Empire and their communist allies, the Soviet Union.

Colby Mustard, when drafted, had no preference as to whether he would be sent off to fight the ‘brutish German Hun’ or the ‘aggressive Jap’ (as the Germans and Japanese were called by the U.S. Military propaganda arm). He would just take the assignment that he was given — that’s what he told himself. He never found it curious that the United States and England had allied with the communist Soviet Union to destroy the Axis Powers. Nobody really talked about the big picture. And that’s what Colby Mustard did. Of course, he didn’t have a choice in the matter. He soon found himself in the European theater, locked in this harrowing one-on-one death match with Dieter Schmidt.

Colby Mustard crawled on his belly, inching forward, just a bit at a time, toward the German bunker. Colby suspected that Dieter Schmidt thought that he died with his unit. Yet, Colby was not naive enough to think that Dieter would be certain of his death. Dieter would be cautious — he was German, after all. Colby new he needed stealth — and some luck — to get a shot at Dieter in the bunker. He worried that Dieter would shoot him and kill him. Colby Mustard new the game that was being played.

“Charge straight,” Colby said softly, encouraging himself. “Charge like a bull, like a stealthy bull crawling on its belly. Charge until you can kill the Hun with a perfect shot!”

And so Colby Mustard charged Dieter Schmidt in this fashion — ‘The Bull’s Belly’ —for the next fifteen minutes. Colby’s senses were performing at their optimum level. He heard every rustle, every whistle of the slight breeze through blades of grass. His eyes picked up every minute detail, every motion, seemingly every ray of light glistening off the French landscape as he scanned the terrain in front of him.

“Just stay with the Bull’s Belly, it will take you home,” Colby told himself. He kept charging!

Dieter, about forty yards away, in the half-smashed bunker, peered out, hawk-like. His eyes were keen, his face showed determination and grit. He knew his life was on the line — this was war.

As he “charged” forward, a few inches at a time, perhaps Colby Mustard thought of the magnificent future for the world that he and his fallen comrades were creating. He thought of the values and the culture that his army — the army of the Global American Empire — stood for.

“This brute, this Hun! I can’t let him live. I can’t let him defeat me. Think of what they did to the Weimar Republic, a practical utopia! They ran it over. They showed it no mercy. What savages!”

Colby Mustard kept his rifle in his hands as he moved on his belly. It seemed as if it was taking forever — well, it was — for him to reach the crest of the hill. He persisted, as that was the only place he would have the chance to shoot Dieter. He knew, however, that Dieter would have the same chance. That is, Dieter would have the chance to shoot Colby. The crest worked both ways.

Time marched on slowly and Colby finally reached the crest of the hill.

Colby, spotting Dieter, took aim with his rifle. He was almost locked onto his target!

Dieter, however, caught sight of Colby — almost immediately — before Colby was able to fire. The race was on!

Dieter began to aim his rifle at Colby. One more second and he would be locked onto his target.

One way or the other, death was coming, again, to France!

By the grace of God or by the work of the Devil — who knows who was in support of whom — it was Colby who avoided death, which came, merely a split-second later, for Dieter. Before Dieter was ready to fire, Colby cracked off a shot from his rifle. The bullet flew out of the barrel of the rifle and it flew straight and true. It hit Dieter in the face, killing him instantly.

Dieter’s face hemorrhaged immediately, destroyed by the bullet’s impact. What used to be Dieter’s forehead and brain was a bloody mess. Colby started to gag and feared that he would vomit, but he looked away before he became ill. Colby was victorious and Dieter was dead!

Colby Mustard stayed on his belly. He just lay there, breathing. Soon, many thoughts rushed through his head. “I’m helping to make the world safe again,” he thought. “Our homogenous, global values must persevere.”

Colby’s thoughts sped up into a flurry. Perhaps they went like this: “Now, my grandchildren can look forward to the kind of future everyone wants. This is why I fought. This is why I took that shot! Unbridled consumerism, spurred by our ties to global finance, will reign supreme throughout the world. Soon, brazen pedophile-transvestites will be reading to American children in our libraries, without fear of the evil Nazis taking over the world and throwing the poor trannies into ovens! Mega-corporations will be free to celebrate all behaviors, every kind of thing imaginable — the kinds of diverse and inclusive activities that these awful Germans — these fascists — stamped out when they killed Weimar! No limits on behavior! No guidelines for decency! Porn everywhere! Gay parades where anything goes, even when children are present! Now America can export homosexuality throughout the world! This will become the definition of beauty! Paris will be liberated and will finally become inclusive of wonderful, vibrant Africans, Indians, Pakis and other Muslims who bring their valuable and diverse third-world perspective and behaviors to Europe. And don’t forget the recipes, maybe they will bring some unknown flavors and spices — so tasty! The third-world can soon enrich every country on earth! Toilet habits, compatible culture and heritable intelligence are way over-rated, everyone knows that. Our global values! These are the only route to tolerance, to love. And love — it is love, after all. The world is going to be safe for our new global values. Safe, I say!”

Colby Mustard stood up. Squinting a bit, he tried to take stock of his location by judging the position of the sun. He determined that he would walk south-east to try to find some of his comrades from the army of the Global American Empire. And walk, Colby Mustard did.

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