Excerpt from The Blue House Raid

The team stepped onto the track and walked east. Lorne looked across the open area to his north to a tree line. He couldn’t see anyone. A few minutes later, the team came upon a rusted, metal sign attached to a concrete pillar. It read, MILITARY DEMARCATION LINE, with Korean characters below, saying the same thing, Lorne guessed.

Hank turned to Lorne and said, “Go on, put a foot across.”

What the fuck, thought Lorne.

“Go on,” said Hank, and put his own foot on the north side of the track. The other three team members, Rothman, Hendrick, and the guy carrying the radio, laughed. Lorne put his left foot on the north side of the track, and—following Hank’s lead—withdrew it. “There,” said Hank. “Now you can say you been in North Korea.”

By five, the team had returned to their sleeping bags. They ate another can of C’s. They smoked more cigarettes. The woods grew dark.

Hank checked the tuning on the prick twenty-five and picked up its handset. He squeezed and said, “Charlie zero, this is foxtrot three, over.”

The radio squawked back, “This is charlie zero, over.”

“All quiet, over.”

“Copy, out.”

Hank put down the handset. “Boys,” he said, “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Say, Hank,” said Lorne.

“What’s that, Lorne? Where you from, anyhow?”


Hank laughed. “Well, you ain’t in Alabama no more, are you?”

“I guess not,” said Lorne. “But what I was wondering—shouldn’t we take turns keeping watch?”

Hank smiled, showing his nicotine-stained teeth. “Lorne,” he said, “it’s too fucking cold for that shit.”