By Quikmoose

(Inspired by Su/Danger Girl)

(Amusing/profane/sexist; M/F Mud, You decide…)


I think, professionally, that Bucktooth the Greaser, over in motor pool, said it best. 

"War," Bucktooth said one evening,"is hell." 

"The goddamn Army is worse." 

No finer words were ever spoken, in my opinion. I was never in as much trouble, and I expect I never-ever will be in as much trouble at any future time, as I was while on duty with America's finest in 'Nam. Never! 

I mean, take the time of the chopper crash. What was it the poet said? "Better to have loved and lost, than to never love at all" or something like that? 

But what about loving, and losing, and also winning, at the same time? How does that count? I'm not sure, but it happened. 

It was already over 90 degrees in the shade on that stagnant morning. It was only ten A.M. And we weren't standing in shade; we were arrayed in our ranks in uniform (or what passed for uniforms at our base in those days), at attention. Old General Piss Bucket himself (not-his-real-name, but we called him that, for obvious reasons) was in front, tall and skinny, leading the grunts. Our band was lustily banging away, trying to make something like music. The whole company was there from the base, all standing sweating and facing front, the hot tarmac stretching away to where the bare brown earth started and then the intricate rice patties, shimmering away towards the green wall of the jungle.

Charlie took the day off, and slept in. Otherwise, he would have had a field day shelling the airfield where we all stood like proper soldiers. But he was sleeping in, so he did not contribute to the chaos that ensued. 

I was off to the side as usual, sweat trickling down my back, at the tail end of my platoon, which, as fortune would have it, proved key to my troubles, or maybe it was my triumph?, on that fateful day. 

It was all for show for some doctor from the Medivac unit. He was going around to other bases in the area for some kind of grand inspection, and Gen. Piss Bucket (not-his-real-name) pulled out the red carpet and stood up front to see him off. Really kind of touching, if you like military glitz. Most of us were hot, bored, and angry. At least we were at first. 

There was a sudden stirring in the ranks — a hot breeze with co-mingled sighs that I could barely hear (Gen. Piss Bucket not-his-real-fuckin'-name was oblivious to it, staring straight ahead and saluting). All ranks were drawn towards the front, almost leaning forward. 

I hadn't been paying much attention. So, I was caught a bit by surprise at seeing the good doctor, in uniform, attended by aides and other doctors and syncopates and who knows who all else, marched grandly forward to the squatting helo, waiting to waft him away in the brassy sky on his tour of inspection. 

And then I saw her. The blonde nurse. 

I had heard about her, of course. Those guys who weren't too badly shot up and came back to the barracks, as opposed to Tokyo or home, after their stay in the medical unit, had all kinds of wild stories about her, mostly untrue. Hell, I even had a notion once or twice to see if I could get in there on some excuse, just to check her out. 

At least one part of the stories was true — she was truly stunning! She was in uniform, of course, and bobbing along with the others with the head doctor, towards the waiting helo. Her white regulation blouse and coat looked like they would burst open at any moment, molded tightly around her breasts. And what I could see of her legs beneath her severe skirt, which was quite a bit, was promising as well. Her face was angelic, topped by blond curls underneath her hat. She looked like she had just stepped out of a magazine ad — I still don't know how she looked so fresh and stylish walking around in 90 degree heat and 100% humidity in the middle of a war zone in Vietnam. But she was there like a dream. 

Have you ever seen such a beauty walking, a total stranger, and, seeing her, fell instantly in love? Well, I did, right then and there. And mingled with my new-found soaring passion, I also felt the weight of anguish. It was clear she was going with the doctor in the helo. She was leaving the base! I had found my love, only to have lost her at the same time. That beautiful face — even from a distance I could see her red lipstick and the enticing blonde curls. I was almost sick with sudden longing and despair. Would I ever see her again? It was almost too painful to bear. 

There were, I think, a few speeches (I wasn't listening); the band struck up a tune and clamored on, suddenly washed out by the low roar of the chopper warming up; the good doctor saluted Gen. Piss Bucket (nhrn); Piss Bucket, like a gawky puppet, saluted back; the doctor and the blonde nurse climbed into the cabin of their helo; the roar increased; the saluting increased; I think the music increased, but I couldn't hear anything over the roar; the helo rose grandly into the air to hover about 50 feet above the crowd;

And then the chopper turned over on its side. 

Everybody below, all of us, were frozen in place. We were watching something grand and quite right, and suddenly it was all wrong. 

The chopper winged off over the rice paddies, still on its side, and finally disappeared suddenly, dropping behind a dike. From far away came a dull crashing sound, and we saw a thin wisp of blue smoke rise up over the dike. 

Gen. Piss Bucket (still-not-his-real-name) stood stock still, not moving, but some of his underlings among the brass at the front ranks, realizing something was seriously wrong, were the first to break ranks. Most of the enlisted men quickly followed, and a sudden human squall broke out that drowned out the shouted orders of any officers. A mixed pack of enlisted men and officers reached the edge of the tarmac airstrip, and plunged down into the first of the series of rice paddies, instantly wallowing up to their thighs in sluggish water and black fetid mud. 

I was off to the side and behind most of the crowd, so I was off with everybody else, but ran sideways instead, on some instinct that I still can't name. This was why I reached the beginning of the first dike ahead of the rest of the bunch. And while the main ranks struggled slowly across through the muddy paddy, I skittered across the slippery boards and mud banks of the dike, managing to keep my footing and getting well ahead of everyone else, heading for the far dike behind which the chopper had gone down. 

I heard a clump and a curse behind me, and, looking back over my shoulder, saw that a fat sergeant had fallen straddling the dike, clutching his crotch, while several men behind him bunched up and tumbled off into the mush below. I continued — jumping from plank to plank and keeping my balance with effort — and after a short run across a network of dikes, gained the far dike, and began then running at an angle towards the wreck. I was far ahead of any other would-be rescuers, at that point. 

The chopper was a sad, awesome sight in the mud, half buried, like a huge green insect, in the middle of the paddy. Its rotors were bent skyward, huge legs that still quivered a bit in the sun as I neared it. I spotted the pilot, off to my left, carefully pulling the honcho doctor towards the solid ground of the embankment. The doctor seemed dazed, but there was no blood, and he was trying to help. No serious problems there, I thought, and I advanced towards the wreckage to see if I could find the nurse. 

It did not look good at all. My heart sank as I neared the twisted metal, thinking about finding her crushed within that mess, and trying not to think about it. 

Suddenly, to my relief, I spotted her off to my right, lying in the mud, thrown clear of the chopper, separated by the wreck from the pilot and doctor. And she was alive, gazing around her cautiously. 

I turned and looked back, and saw the first of the grunts mounting the dike behind me and making towards me slowly. I shouted to them to check the doctor and pilot, waving vaguely to my left, and took off towards the right, dropping down on top of a smaller dike to get closer to the blonde nurse. 

"Are you hurt? Are you alright?" I called down to her. 

She looked up and focused on me. "Yes, I think so," she said, her voice surprisingly strong. 

She was lying, looking up at me, half submerged in black mud. She had lost her hat in the accident, and her tumbled blonde curls showed glowingly, with only a few globs of mud sticking here and there. Her eyes, I saw, were very deep blue, and her lips were inviting. Her blouse had ripped open, and I could see the swelling of her breasts, above the white of her bra, coming together in the deep "v" of her cleavage. Her skirt was slightly hiked up, showing her knees and some thigh, in nice nylons, while her feet were buried in the deep mud. 

She made an effort to push herself up out of the mush, her arms disappearing, and a low squelching sound came up to me as the mud surged around her. It was then that the devil hit me — my inspiration from Hell and from Heaven both — and I did not even think about the consequences. 

"Don't move, Ma'am," I suddenly popped off. "That's quicksand!" 

She froze immediately, her blue eyes growing wide and her red lips coming together in a startled "oh". I thought I had gone too far. 

"It's OK," I stammered, hoping I sounded convincing. "I'll get you out; I'm here. Yes, I just don't want you to sink in deeper. You're OK!" 

I could hear only muffled shouts behind me; the rescuers still a long way off. Did I think "Hoooooo, boy, if you get caught on this one, you will be shit deep in trouble"? Well, I probably did, but there was no time to think. I began unbuttoning my shirt, and pulled it off hastily. Then I sat down and eagerly pulled my shoes off, shaking. She was watching me, not moving, her eyes wide and blue as the sky. I thought her eyes got wider as I pulled my pants off and stood up above her, dressed now only in my official Army-issue underwear. I must have blushed, and I'm pretty sure she did, too. 

"It's OK," I tried grinning, and then I picked my way down the short slope to the rice paddy and took a deep step with my bare foot into the warm thick water. I stood for a moment, searching out a route (although, really, one part of a mud paddy pretty much looks like any other part...), and leaned down prone to start crawling the few feet towards her, my nose wrinkling a bit at the heavy rank smell. 

I had done this before in Basic Training at Fort Bennington, but then I was in full uniform with equipment, and I certainly did not have the blonde incentive towards which I was moving now. It did not take me long to reach her, and, with a swirl of chocolate-colored water, I pulled my body up alongside hers, she watching me the whole time, not saying a thing. 

I must say, once I reached her, I took my time probing about, settling myself against her, enjoying the view of her spectacular breasts, which rose up with each intake of her breath. Her face, framed by the blonde curls, was now very close, as I eased my arm around her waist. I looked again into those China blue eyes of hers. "You're sure your OK? I'm going to pull you to solid ground now," I said. I think I saw a ghost of a smile on her lips. My arm tightened, and I eased forward, holding her body next to mine. 

It took a while to gain the far bank, but as you can imagine, I was in no particular hurry. Her face was beautiful, her lips were very inviting, and she made small movements now and then to help me. I was hoping my arousal was not too obvious. Here we were, covered in thick mud, the black water rippling out from us at every movement, slowly edging forward as if we were in a Hollywood movie in a crystal-clear swimming pool. Even the harsh tropical sun seemed pleasant, half buried in mud. It was hard to keep from laughing. 

Too soon, I thought, we reached the edge of the embankment at the base of the dike. "We're almost there," I said, a little too huskily, I think. I was beginning to get even more inspiring thoughts. She looked up over her shoulder to see the embankment, throwing back her head against my other arm, and arching her neck. She settled back against me, and looked me directly in the eye. 

"You know," she said, "its really not that deep." 

I was lost in her blue eyes. She had a look on her face. Was it an invitation? Only one way to find out. 

I pulled her to me, her breasts smearing against the clotted mud on my chest, and I gently kissed her on that mouth. My eyes closed, and I kissed harder, and I know she responded. My other arm left her waist and explored down towards her soft thigh, touching the hem of her skirt. I kissed her harder. I didn't want that kiss to end. 

Suddenly, she was shaking. I opened my eyes and looked at her. She was laughing! Or at least trying to suppress it. And she wasn't looking at me; she was looking over my shoulder. Then she looked at me and gave me another small smile and arched an eyebrow. Oh shit. 

I turned my head, knowing what I would see back on the dike, standing there among my clothes. It was General Abraham Piss Bucket (not-his-real-name) himself. He was standing, staring, his face turning purple and white, his mouth open, shaking. A few of the guys heads were visible above the dike too, grinning, clearly enjoying my predicament. 

Suddenly, the silence ended: 

MUDTHISINSTANTONTHEDOUBLE..." he began screaming, or something to that effect. 

Well, I awkwardly got up and tried to stand at attention, while the blonde nurse pulled her legs up demurely and tried to keep from looking at me or the General and to keep from laughing out loud. 

"GODDAMITMANWHATAREYOUDOING?" the General raved on and on. 

I was standing there, big globs of mud dropping from parts of my body, and trying to keep my balance as the mud kept slithering out from under my feet on one side or the other. Jesus, I almost wished it WAS quicksand, so I could sink out of sight. The other grinning faces had disappeared now, thinking the General's awesome rage was something they had best avoid. 

"GET OUT OF THERE!" the General screamed again. He turned and looked behind him, "YOU MEN, YOU — THERE! YES, YOU TWO!! HELP THIS LADY UP AND BY GOD DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH HER!" 

I was still at attention, trying to think of some kind of explanation, but my mind wouldn't work. I was terribly conscious of the lady at my feet, but I did not dare look at her again. 

"PRIVATE, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING?" the General bellowed at me again. This time I could understand him.

"It's a dirty job, and I had to do it," I stammered, lamely. I am sure I felt the mud shake at my feet with laughter from my blonde nurse.

The General's eyes narrowed, and, his teeth clenched, he raised his fists up in the air. I was glad I was out of his immediate reach. The two sheepish grunts who had been making their way along the top of the dike to get to the nurse flinched. 

"SOLDIER, I WILL HAVE YOUR ASS! YOU WILL BE BUSTED! I...I...I..." With that he turned around, spittle flying from his mouth, and, slipping once on the dike, stalked off. 

Oh, I guess it didn't turn out too bad. The facts of the case were too bizarre for the General to get me put in the brig, as he wanted. But he certainly saw that I did KP duty for six straight months, on top of my regular duties, and no leaves whatsoever. I was pulling 20-hour days, sleeping when I could, and I was a mess, I must tell you. 

But was it worth it? Better to have loved and lost and all that? 

Well, one day I got a note, slipped beneath my bedding when no one was around. And it read: 

"I didn't get a chance to thank you for your gallant rescue of me from the quicksand! So, when you have a chance, I'd like to have dinner with you and thank you properly." 

The note was signed by her, my blonde nurse. And she did — thank me, that is, and right properly, too. 

Hell, yes it was worth it.