Black Ops

27 Jul 2007

"Get down and stay down!"

The figure on the balcony is silhouetted by the house lights. He's looking directly at us. A shorter shape joins him: great, they've got a dog.

"If we have to run, you get the day pack, I'll get these."

Lyn nods, frozen in a painful crouch. The watcher turns away and we reposition ourselves, standing behind a tree.

We hadn't seen this coming; in fact, I'd cursed our inadequate lights when we realised that we'd have to do the job in the dark. But the site's more exposed than we thought, and we daren't use even our penlights. Retrieving the backpacks, wrapped in garbage bags and buried in the bushes earlier that day, has already made more noise than we can afford.

The figure steps off the balcony. Site B is two kilometers away and it's already 11pm. We have to do this. I snap the sections together, trying to avoid the giveaway clicks that carry far too well in the still air. It's only the second time we've done it, and takes two attempts. Finally, though, the tent is up, and we crawl inside, pour two-thirds of a bottle of rum into half a bottle of fruit juice, and settle into an uneasy sleep.