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Rolling Hills | Part 2

An Excerpt

By Kale RossPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Sicily | 1943

Rosalie dropped her arms and immediately began pursuing Garret - frequently looking back to see if she needed to fire her weapon. They made it to the next patch of trees, except this grouping was bare, and appeared dead from lack of water. It wasn’t a suitable position to take cover behind, which they quickly realized when bullets began tearing up the deadwood.

“Keep moving!” Garret yelled, readjusting Aida’s body.

The next stretch of land was the most dangerous because it was open. There was no viable cover until they reached the service road, which was protected by another dense wooded area, but was at least one-hundred yards away from them. They had no choice. But it was downhill.

Garret ran first, keeping his legs hunched as low as possible while using gravity to assist him in pumping out maximum velocity.

Rosalie powered behind him.

Unfortunately, because of her momentum, and the force in which she was running, she couldn’t safely turn around and fire at their attackers. So she prayed. She prayed to her brothers to keep her safe.

She watched as a few rounds hammered into the Earth around Garret’s feet. Causing dirt, grass and rocks to spew into the air like tiny hot springs. Luckily none of them found flesh, and her heart rejoiced when she saw them disappear into the shadows of the roadside woods.

Rosalie was close enough to touch the first tree trunk when her name was bellowed out from behind her. It rode the wind and bullets and hit her in the skull with deafening force. She turned around, as bullets collided with the ground and tree trunks all around her.

She found herself staring upwards in a daze, at a single figure slowly descending the hillside. Her hair was different, but her face was unmistakable, even with the newly formed scars and burns.


That meant Ulrich was not far off, that is if he survived the church.

A firm hand suddenly latched onto her forearm, and she was yanked into the shadows. Broken from her hazy spell, she was greeted by a heavily sweating and breathing paratrooper, “She needs help, Rosalie.”

Rosie stepped in closer and realized that her mother was barely breathing.

“She’s lost a lot of blood,” Garret said, “We need to get to that road, and flag down a vehicle. She needs a doctor.”

Her name was called out again, this time terrifying both Rosalie and Garret. It was followed by a barrage of automatic gunfire from two soldiers who had breached the tree line.

“Move!” Garret said while struggling to keep Aida secured to his shoulders.

Rosalie went first this time, and quickly reached the final descent down to the paved road. It was roughly twenty meters and was consumed by Spineless yucca, Mastic tree, Red frangipani and Corn plant. They aided in providing a gripping texture in which to safely descend, but they were sharp and rigid. The final obstacle in their way of freedom.

Rosalie reached the bottom first, then immediately turned around to provide cover for Garret who was still only halfway down. She painted the ridge line with the barrel of her pistol - finger firmly cradled around the trigger.


An overly eager German soldier exposed himself too early, and Rosalie made him pay for that mistake with his life. The body slumped forward, and viciously tumbled down the hill - nearly taking out Garret’s legs in the process.

Rosalie fired again. And again. And again.

Each shot missed its mark, but she was successfully keeping the soldiers from getting into a suitable firing position.

Only a few more steps.

A grenade suddenly came careening into view, falling dangerously close to where she was standing. Pushing her body hard to the left, to take cover behind a thick Oak tree trunk, the grenade bounced across the street before it exploded.

Rosalie was hit with shrapnel, but nothing life threatening. Garret lost his balance from the eruption, and fell on his side. Aida was jostled free from his grip, and they each tumbled the rest of the way to the surface of the hot pavement.

Rosalie ran to assist her mother, who was laying limp, but was intercepted by Garret. She began kicking and screaming, protesting his detainment, when a reign of bullets illuminated the hilltop with bright white and orange light - carving crevasses into the road where Aida was laying.

A green U.S military army jeep suddenly came barreling around the steep bend in the road, and parked in front of Aida’s body. The man inside hoped from the driver’s seat, and manned the mounted M2 50 caliber machine gun.

The hillside crumbled away before their eyes in a crazed heap of scorching bullets and flailing flesh.


About the Creator

Kale Ross

Author | Poet | Dog Dad | Nerd

Find my published poetry, and short story books here!

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