The sound of a helicopter buzzed overhead as the terrified Welshman cowered in his impromptu sand dune bunker.The soldier dressed in green khaki combat gear stood out like a pork pie in a Jewish buffet against the yellow sanded backdrop of Helmond region in Afghanistan. The war on terror wasn't working as far as Harry R. S. Crack was concerned.
The sound of explosions all around him sent him deeper down the steep sides of the bunker as he began to suck his thumb for comfort. He suddenly realised that he was not alone, as a ginger haired soldier dressed in a German Africa Korps uniform complete with Nazi swastika and black armed band dropped into his hidey hole.
"First Crusade Old Boy?" questioned the stranger. "My family has been at it since the Middle Ages! You get used to those dumb-shit Americans. I ran too...they cant read a map reference to save their lives, or ours come to think of it......it's only friendly fire, it wont harm you!" said the soldier trying to reassure the nervous Harry."
"Tell that to journalist Terry Lloyd!" replied Harry from his foetal position.
"Whats your name soldier?" said the Erwin Rommel lookalike.
"Harry Sir!" said the scared squaddie staring at the pips on the black tunic.
"What a spiffing coincidence, so am I ....although most of the boys call me Captain Wales!" said the stranger.
"What regiment are you with?" asked the Sandhurst-trained officer, as shrapnel flew over their heads.
"I am not in any regiment. I'm from the TA's. I signed up in a drunken stupor in my local pub on Friday Night, the Tredegar Arms in Dowlais, do you know it ?.... and got press ganged into coming here by accident. They shaved my beautiful hair off while I was drunk and that bloody military policeman from Brecon mistook me for someone else from Merthyr who was AWOL and shipped me out here under protest!" said Harry.
"Oiks.. so you could say you went from the TAS to the TAS and from Jarhead to Jarhead!" said the Captain.
"Rough deal, its like being born WITHOUT a silver spoon in your mouth!" he continued.
Shells exploded all around them as a Yank induced Sirocco wind blew about the pair.
"If it helps I was like you the first time. This desert and these sand dunes, its enough to drive ONE Barchan mad, still do you know what is under this sand and the REAL reason why us Brits care about this Allah-forsaken Hell-Hole?" said Captain Wales.
"Like Iraq and Kuwait its got oil reserves and rich mineral deposits....war on terror my royal arse...I want to grab a piece of this for Granny!" said the military man.
"Take a tip from me too and collect as much of this shrapnel as you can find ....the price of metal back home, like this casing shell, has gone through the roof....... slip a couple of quid to the RAF pilots and it'll be home in Brize Norton before you know it!"
The shelling stopped for a brief moment and silence returned.
"Never worry about those Taliban weapons, we sold them too them years ago. They're rubbish! Even the Thatchers sell better quality ones than those old bangers!" continued the Captain.
"Me..I prefer Eton Rifles, like this one when you are in a Jam!" said Wales producing an enormous sniper rifle with a telescopic lens from his lederhosen shorts.
"Dear me,..now that is an enormous weapon!" said Harry unfurling himself from his hedgehog ball.
"This was what I was concealing in that photograph of me in Las Vegas playing strip billiards. Being a Royal isn't just about rest and play. Britannia still rules the waves with a little bit of help from across the pond against these terrorists. President OBomber, I mean..at least I can understand him because I thought the former President Dubya Bush with his Texas drawl had declared war on tourism and the causes of tourism to boot!" continued Captain Wales.
"But isn't one mans terrorist just another mans freedom fighter?" asked Harry nervously.
"Do you want me to shove this telescope sight up your arse and send your balls into orbit around Pakistan?" asked the Captain menacingly.
"Sorry, it's not that I am a traitor to the crown. I just think that young men dying and being disabled for a couple of sand dunes isnt right!" replied Harry.
Captain Wales ignored this last comment as his focus was on the horizon. Laying down the gun stand on the ridge of the sand bunker he closed one eye, held his breath and squeezed gently on the trigger. In the far distance about 1.5 miles away a black shadow dropped to the floor.
"YEEESSS!" said the new Prince of Persia clutching his hand into a fist in an aggressive way. Handing Harry a set of binoculars he pointed silently ahead.
"Why are those women walking in front of that group of men. I thought in the Muslim culture women were classed as second rate citizens and had to walk five paces behind men!" said Harry ignorantly.
"That was BEFORE landmines!" said the Royal. This McMillan TAC 101 sniper rifle can blow the nuts of a fly on a camels back at 1.5 miles away....in the dark too!" boasted the Captain.
Taking off his military hat the young Captain scratched his ginger hair and reached into his pocket. He began gnawing away nervously at his fingers.
"Well, I am surprised with blue blood running through your veins. I thought you would have better etiquette than to bite your fingernails!" said Harry returning to his cheeky self now the bombing had stopped.
"Oh these aren't MY Fingernails! said the Royal. Want one?" he said tossing a dismembered digit towards the horrified Harry. "SAS training in Hereford....eat what you can when you can. PPPPiss Poor Performance and all that....nose to the grindstone...fingers to the bone! My Mum was Queen of Hearts and all that but I prefer something lighter!" said the Captain. "The vultures will only strip them clean anyway. Lets look in here to see whats for desert!" said the Windsorite Bear Grylls looking in his tucker bag.
"Scorpion leg?" he offered politely.
"I cant eat the pickled eggs behind the bar in the Tredegar Arms so what chance have I got of surviving out here!" said Harry returning to reality.
"Hubbly Bubbly?" offered the other Harry, cannabis stick in hand. Some great shit out here mind you. You want to try the Kandahar Poppy! Blow your mind it will, better than any IED !" said the Royal. "As my relatives would confirm. Its a Knockout! We better get a move on Tiger Woods mate.....you don't want to be caught in the same bunker for long." he said brushing the sand with his hat.
"What are you doing that for?" asked Harry.
"Covering my tracks mate. Out here there is a fatwa on me crown. That Zabihullah Mujahid put a price on my head. He's the only one that still thinks my real father is Prince Charles. Little does he know.!" he said pointing at his normal size ears.
"Gotta hide the prints of Wales!" he said brushing the area free of signs he was there.
Do you think it was wise to have HRH cut into the soles of those shoes then? asked Harry the commoner.
"Those aren't MY prints...look at YOUR soles mate!" laughed Captain Wales. "We are all Spartacus out here private. Except me of course! Never heard of Montys Batman?" he laughed.
"What me?...take a bullet for you?" asked Harry. "Im Welsh!" said Harry. "You only have to see a Wales V England Rugby match match to see how much we hate the English!" he continued.
"Common mistake.....but I'm not English......nobody truly is. We are a mongrel nation. We Windsors are German and can trace our bloodline back to William the Conqueror... French. Grandpapa is Greek and Prince of Denmark too and that doesn't even include the Hewitt strain.!" said Harry's new found pedigree chum. "Besides I have been to the odd rugger game. Quite good at it actually. We had a game once back at Kabul HQ.... wrapped a head of an Afghan Hound in a cloth and no-one could get the rag-head orf me!" boasted Captain Wales. "I booted it so high over the base that I nearly got put on report for taking down an Apache helicopter!" he continued.
"So how long does your average squaddie tour of duty last?" asked Harry.
"About 1001 Arabian Nights or three months if your lucky. I'm popping back to Blighty for a game of polo or something, perhaps you might want to crash at my place but don't expect a palace!" said Wales.
The sky suddenly darkened mysteriously. The Captain went back in to survival mode instinctively. As Harry looked to the horizon, he could see strange shapes of Afghan men and mercenaries from the neighbouring countries approaching cross-legged on beautifully coloured flying rugs.
"How bazaar!" said Harry. "Watch out those crazy insurgents....they are CARPET Bombing again...we need to find some cover!" said his Highness.
As they did so an Afghan policeman appeared at the edge of the wadi wearing a massive clock-face. Captain Wales wasted no time in shooting him dead.
"How did you know he was one of them?" asked Harry.
"Never ask a policeman out here the time besides he was ticking!" said His Royal Harry-ness.
The Captain suddenly lifted his head as on the hot night air in the distance could be heard a faint bell ringing.
"Whats that ?" asked Harry.
"It if rings twice it means that a new camel train has arrived and you don't want to get stuck with an ugly one do you?" said the Captain.
"I thought you had a girlfriend!" asked Harry.
"Chelsy has been relegated to the subs bench out here besides the bell rang five times!" said the Prince.
"What does that signify?" asked Harry.
"The only toilet in Camp Bastion is free and whilst I am third in line for the throne of England you need to get there before 20,000.00 squaddies on a diet of curry and beans!"