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Black Opal

There was one consolation on these occasions. No mosquitoes. No
drone to distract your brain. Still that would come, when the
rain eased. And it would. Daylight would be a relief, but it
would also bring the heat. Sometimes one became wetter in the
humidity, than just standing in the falling cascade of water.
Suddenly he stiffened. It was definitely something. A fleeting
movement; felt it. Now nothing. He watched, but only saw vague
watery shapes of vegetation, through the rain. Visibility was
poor, only a few dozen metres at the best. Nothing.
He straightened up, and turned to walk the length of the
veranda. A ritual he employed to keep the damp out of his bones.
In that same instant, he saw it again. A tree moved. He moved his
body as close as he could to the post, in a slow movement. A full
minute passed. His eyes started to swim, as he stared into the
blackness.
Then it was real. A figure, crouching, moved from the blackness,
and crossed through two large rain puddles, leaving short lived
ripples. Tell tale signs, if one is there in that microsecond of
their existence, to observe such. He was. The figure climbed up
on a drum and heaved his lithe body out of sight, through the
opening at the side of the shed. In this tropical climate,
windows paid little part in a building, especially one that
housed a generator and fuel drums.
The observer, reached down and removed a .45 revolver, from a hip
holster. The cover was never buttoned down. Snakes were fast, and
you had to be just as fast. Pulling his wide brimmed hat down
hard, he quickly stepped off the boards into the mud and slosh,
that once was a path. The rain masked any noise he made, but
there would have been little. Years of living in extreme
conditions, and a need to survive, had taught him well.
He walked quickly to the side of the shed, and stood listening
against the wall. He knew he wouldn't hear much in the rain, but
a single word coming to his ears, was all that was needed, to
tell him that he had missed the other shadow. Silence.
The rain was easing. Every muscle of his was taunt, as he took
slow, deliberate steps towards the opening. He should have
crossed to the brick building to the right of the veranda, and
woken the others. But he didn't. By that time the intruder would
have vanished, to come again perhaps, and succeed in his purpose.
A scraping sound reached his ears, and the noise of a falling
object, maybe a spanner, hitting the floor. He froze mid step,
revolver aimed at the opening.
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