Us versus them

“What do you figure? Two days until we’re soaked?”

“Sounds about right,” said Bill.

james river

Harold nodded to the group of people standing on a similar ridge on the far island. “I wonder who will hold out longer.”

“Well, we know who deserves the worst of it.”

“I wonder what the Good Lord thinks worse: drowning, or watching your enemies drown before you drown yourself.”

Bill thought a moment. “Six of this, half-dozen of that, I suppose. You might relish seeing them go before you, but then you know how it happens. On the other hand, the first to go might redden at the notion of having their foes watch them die, but I’m willing to wager that don’t matter in the moment, and as you’re rolling along under the wash, the last thing you’re feeling is chagrin.”

“I hadn’t thought of it that way. A damned dilemma, that is.”

“It’s an easy choice for me. Take me quick. I’ll swallow my pride.”

“You’d just give up?”

“Given the choice.”

“That’s not much of a choice at all, Bill. Considering the options.”

“Then we should be happy.”

“And why’s that?”

“There will be only one outcome for us and for them: We all die. What we’re left with is a set of hows and whens. But our little chat is not one of choices. It’s one of preferences and dispositions.”

“So all we can do is hope for the best?”

“Or not, if you like.”

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