A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 70: Night Ops

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

It was always pretty comfortable sleeping in the lean-to with Brin and the packs. The horses were picketed nearby at night and we hadn’t had a fire that evening, so it was dark and peaceful. It wasn’t quiet; if it’s quiet at night, you’ve got a problem. In fact, spring and summer nights had their own beautiful symphony of sound for you to sleep by. I expected to get about four hours sleep that night.

I was awakened by Brin tensing next to me. The night had gone silent off to our left and I could hear one of the horses shifting around, meaning they were awake, also. Horses don’t sleep like humans do. They only need about an hour of deep sleep every day and they almost never lie down after dark. Usually, you’ll find them down, sleeping, in the middle of the day with plenty of safe area around them. Wolves don’t hunt during the day very often. So your normal, healthy horse will stay on its feet and doze throughout the night. Mother Nature takes a lot of creative license when creating species. Don’t even get me started on those stupid shrimp that change gender, mid-life.

I followed Brin’s ears. He got up, circled around in bed a few times, and lay down facing in the opposite direction. Brin was still focused though.

It was silent for quite a while after that. Even the night sounds in that area resumed and our horse had seemed to doze off again. I dozed and waited.

The stars had barely moved when Brin tensed yet again. Our horses were quietly shuffling about and the night had gone silent again. I thought we might get some fun this time. I made sure my chosen weapon of humiliation was ready to go and waited. This was a game of patience and I was more than enjoying it.

When I heard the almost silent sound of a knife being drawn from a sheath, I focused on the sound and aimed. I wished I’d had a paint ball gun because that would have been way more fun, but this little flashlight would still do the trick. Someone was about to lose their night vision in a very painful manner.

I lightly patted Brin on the rump and he erupted from the lean-to using his, “I’m going to eat your liver while you watch” voice. At the same time, I flicked the switch on my searchlight and a high-powered beam lit up half of the camp. Five young men were on their hands and knees at the horses’ pickets. They all quickly cowered back at the ferocity of Brin’s audible assault. They couldn’t help but look at him and thus, directly into the high-powered light. Instant night blindness.

It took them a moment to realize they were burning their retinas before they turned to run. I flipped the light down to low power and hushed Brin. I could have sworn Brin had a grin on his face as we watched them stumble through the brush like a frightened herd of cattle.

I shut the light off and lay back down. Brin got comfy again. I congratulated him for a while and we both went back to dozing. As expected, that was the last excursion of the night. I might have gone a little bit overboard, but I think some valuable lessons were learned.

Some locks just could not be stealthily picked.

 
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