Alon and Gal Go for a Drive

When I opened my eyes, I was on my side, still inside the jeep, my face a few inches off the road. The jeep too lay on its side and had somehow turned back facing south, the way we’d come from Kiryat Shmona. The seat beside me was empty.

Kus-omac. Your mother’s cunt.

I blinked into the night’s darkness and when my eyes focused, I saw two gray eyes peering at me silently from a patch of desert grass. I reached for my gun but felt nothing. My hands worked over my uniform, feeling around on the floor of the jeep—where was my fucking gun?—but then the face moved and two pointed ears became visible in the dark, the telltale stripes around the mouth.

I almost laughed at myself. It was just a caracal. The large cat watched me silently from the grass, as if considering whether the jeep and I were worth a trip across a rundown highway in northern Israel and then deciding against it.

I felt again for my gun on the jeep floor. Nothing. I unbuckled the seat belt and grabbed the frame above my head and pulled myself out. I stuck my face back into the jeep and rummaged around on the floor.

No gun. Kus-omac. The road was empty.


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