Present Uncertain excerpt The Brig

“Get up. Your ride’s here.” The Petty Officer hit the bars with his nightstick. The men sprawled on the racks didn’t move.

“It’s about time, Sarge.” One swung himself upright and froze. “Gunny. I mean Gunnery Sergeant, I… We…”

As the Petty Officer unlocked the door, the others shot to their feet.

“Out here now!” Gunny barked.

They shuffled out slowly.

“Your mother, Marcus?”

“Sir, I…”

“She was surprised she had died. And she wants you to call her immediately. She also wants to know how she ended up with four nephews.”

“Oh Shit… Sir…”

“Not yet. First, she gets you then I get you. You will call her as soon as we get back to the barracks.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I can’t hear you.”

“Yes, sir!” Marcus roared.

“Then you will report to me.”

“Yes, Sir!”

“As for you four. We will discuss this as soon as you get done policing the barrack’s ground which will commence as soon as we get back.”

One brave soul spoke up, “But Gunny…”

The look worked on him too.

“Gunnery Sergeant, sir, it will be dark soon.”

“I’ll make sure you have flashlights.”

“Yes, sir.”

That was weak.

“Now outside and form a line.”

“Yes sir.”

Gunny grinned as they scuttled from the room. The Petty Officer first class choked down a laugh.

“Thanks.”

“No problem. They are going to wish they were back in the brig, aren’t they?”

“Yep.”

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