The heat batters. The sun beats down relentlessly on my olive drab uniform, baking me like a potato in foil. A breeze blows, but instead of refreshing, it feels like my face is in front of a furnace vent.
The heat touches. Scrub brushes reach up and touch me on the shoulder. A steady hum of insects fills the air, but I don’t see anything moving. My rifle sits loosely in my hands. I feel the heat spreading through it, trying to scald my hands.
The heat illuminates. It washes the colour out of everything. Flowers, brush, dirt – it all blends into this dirty grey-green. A steady stream of sweat runs down my face.
The heat deceives. I look through my sight to where the target is supposed to be, but the mirage makes the land dance, skip, and jump around.
The heat tires. How long have I been laying here? I crawled up just before dawn, it must be near noon now. How much longer can I stay?
The heat reveals. I glimpse a slight movement through my sight. Mirage? I tap my rifle lightly with my finger. From a few yards away I hear my squad-mates echo back my tap. Not a mirage. It’s about to get hotter.
This was written in response to The Daily Post’s Settings Writing Challenge.