Marine Corps Stories: 4GAT321
A Marine must confront reality after a heated altercation.
“Coriolanus is underappreciated,” Dylan McCole said.
“How could you say that?” Merrin Vault retorted. “It’s clearly one of his worst. There’s hardly a soliloquy to speak of to address the inner turmoil of the character.”
The music from the party still boomed. Some girls walked by with red plastic cups in their hands. The weather of that late October evening chilled the partygoers. The wind blew, and the trees quivered.
McCole actually served as a Marine at the air station in Yuma, Arizona. Vault studied at the local state university a few miles from the base. They had met at a party at a frat house on campus.
“So you’re saying Hamlet or “The Scottish Play” are inferior?” Vault asked.
“I didn’t say that. I’m just saying the drama and conflict involved rank amongst the best of the Bard’s works,” McCole said.
“You’re out of your goddamn mind. I’m one of three black English students in my class and will be graduating in the spring. After that I’ll be teaching. Your Jarhead isn’t screwed on too tight.”
McCole glared at Vault and took a step towards him. He gulped some beer and smoked on a marijuana joint.
“What the hell did you just say?”
“I said you’re in the United States Moron Corps. How the hell should you know anything about literature? You’re a piece of cannon fodder ready to be blasted into nothing. You’re ready for the slaughter. I don’t have to serve in the goddamn Corps to make something of myself. I’ll have a degree, and you’ll have shrapnel from an IED embedded in your face.” A crowd formed and some were recording the argument with their phones. McCole paced. He pushed Vault.
Vault fell back and cracked his head on the curb. There was an uproar. By this point, tens of students had stepped outside to witness the ruckus.
McCole rushed over to Vault. The college student was breathing, but unresponsive.
“Come on goddamn you! Shit! Shit! Shit!” McCole said. He performed CPR on Vault and listened to his still beating heart.
“You killed him, you brute!” A young lady screamed.
“He’s still breathing!” McCole said.
He saw a mass of people swarming him. He pushed through the crowd and into his modern day muscle car. He revved it up and slammed on the accelerator. He tore out of the campus and found the highway. A list of places where he could go flashed before him as he sped down the highway. A police officer clocked him at seventy-two miles per hour, twenty-two miles over the limit. Sirens wailed and lights flashed.
McCole saw the cruiser in the rearview mirror.
Officer Myrtle Dusko heard on her radio that a young assailant was on the loose in a lime green muscle car. “Son of a bitch, that’s him.”
She got on her loudspeaker system.
“Turn over to the shoulder and stop your vehicle. We can end this right here.”
McCole slowed his vehicle, and pulled over to the side of the road.
Myrtle unlatched her weapon, and commanded McCole to step out slowly. She opened her door, and crouched behind with her pistol trained on McCole. He responded affirmatively.
“Hands high, kid. Are there any weapons in the car?”
“No.” McCole said with a straightface.
“Just walk back towards my voice...slowly. Keep those hands high.”
McCole did exactly what the officer instructed. He reached her. She slapped handcuffs on him and ordered him to go into the back of the cruiser.
“Base, this is Officer Dusko. I have a young black male about twenty years of age. This arrest corresponds with the alleged assailant with the green vehicle license plate number ‘4GAT321.’”
“Received Dusko. Standby.”
McCole looked at the blue and red lights flashing off of his car. He put his head between his knees.