We at the Company eagerly accept literary works from contributors, and subsequently publish those that we feel are of exceptional merit.
Our first contribution comes from sekanblogger.
“A Soldier’s Night Out”
It was a Friday afternoon after a long and dirty haul back to base. We had just finished a week of field manuevers. Me and my pal Tommy who had enlisted with me were looking forward to three things; unloading our drunken Seargent in his bunk, getting a shower, and heading into town to get a few beers of our own.
Sarge was a lifer in the service. He had landed at Normandy and had seen some of the bloodiest fighting in the world. Nobody knew much about him, but he had a fistfull of medals that told us he’d seen too much. Those medals and a picture of his parents from Oklahoma were the most we knew about him. He never married, said us boys were his ladies, and he loved to call us all faggots. He was missing the top one-third of his left ear. When I asked him what happened, he said “I left it in France at a whorehouse, now mind your own fucking business.” The other guys couldn’t believe I had the balls to ask him.
With Sarge passed out in the back of the supply truck, we pulled up to the back of the barracks and hustled him inside. It was three o’clock, and he was always passed out drunk by this time everyday.
I’m not sure what time Sarge started drinking, but he always smelled like fresh beer at roll-call every morning. I’m sure he didn’t start his career like this, God knows any normal man could not make it through what he’s been through as a lush. Now he was just getting by. Hiding out in the army.
We had only taken Sarge to town one time. He drank whiskey, despite our protests. It did not end well. After losing all his money at poker and starting a fight, we had to take his keys from him and drive him back to base. The MP’s found him in the parking lot wearing only his boxers, and brought him back to the barracks at about 2 a.m. . He told them he was looking for his motorcycle. They knew he had sold that bike years ago after a drunken wreck. The MP in charge that night told us “Don’t take the old man to town anymore if you care about him. Two more years he gets to retire, I’d like to see him make it.” We don’t take Sarge anymore. Tommy gets dressed first, it’s six o’clock and he wants to get to the beer joint.
“Hurry up faggot!”, Tommy half-whispers to me. “Sarge has been out for hours, lets get outta here before he comes-to and starts drinking again.” Tommy shoots pool like the original shark and makes a few bucks on weekends when he can. He’s saving for a car and has two hundred bucks stashed towards a Buick he saw downtown. Tommy always likes to take me along because I’m friends with the bouncer and we kinda’ watch his back.
We head out hitch-hiking and it’s getting a little cold out. “Goddamnit, I wish the reservoir would go ahead and freeze over, I’d prefer ice-skating to the pool hall over hitch-hiking.” He grew up in Minnesota, me in Arkansas. I always thought he was kidding, but tonight It dawned on me, real men do ice-skate. I was freezing. Southern Arkansas was like the Amazon compared to this.
We finally make the walk aournd the reservoir, and you have to walk the road at the top of the dam to get there. The pool hall is called “Jack’s Joint”, we always told everybody it was “The best pool hall by a dam site.” Six tables, well lit. Snooker, 9 ball, billards, they were all still played. TV was only a couple of years old and people still knew how to do things, play things and have fun.
Tommy was up forty bucks. Take out the five he’s given me to drink on, he was doing pretty well. It was starting to get late, and some of the bigger losers where not only getting full of beer, but they were getting annoyed at Tommy. I’m hanging out at the bar and talking with Rita, a stunning redhead who’d had a couple too many already.
”Hey man, if you and your bouncer buddy don’t want to fight tonight, I think we should be going” Tommy interrupts. “See that huge sailor over there? He’s out twenty bucks and says he’s got to win it back, but there ain’t no way I’m lettin’ that happen.”
Looking for a quick way to base, I ask Rita about her plans. Rita is not only a lovely lush, she’s interested in me, and has a car. I explain that we have to get my buddy back to the barracks or he’s AWOL. I however, have a weekend pass and need a place to stay. The deal’s set. Tommy gets his money, I get lovely Rita for the weekend and the sailor goes home broke. Perfect.
We hit the night air, and it’s apparent that Rita is blasted. She has a beautiful car, and gives me the keys. Tommy gets in back, wide awake and sober. I see him in the mirror making kissy-faces while making a ‘fucking motion’ with one finger into his other palm. I flip him off in the rear-view mirror and go back to driving. It’s only about a ten minute drive, but low and behold….my great hopes for weekend sex seem to have succumbed to Dionysus. SHIT. WHAT A DAY. Rita is passed out with her head on my lap.
”What we gonna do with her?” Tommy asks.
“Give me your overcoat” I tell him. He wriggles it of and tosses it up front. “She is getting us back on base” I tell him. I cover Rita up slumped over in the passenger seat and head up to the gaurd station.
”Hey boys, you win at pool tonight” the MP asks. He knows damn well Tommy won, he lost to him last weekend.
“Yep, but the fun’s over. Sarge here got in a fight again. He was pretty loaded and got his plow cleaned before I could help. You think me and Tommy sneak him through if you get some of your money back?”
He looks pissed off……long pause. “Sure. Ten bucks.”
”Shit man. You’re killen’ me! There go the whitewall tires.” Says Tommy.
“Hey buddy, I told you not to bring Sarge out, now what is it? Ten bucks or pops goes to the pokey, which one? I give back the five bucks drinking money to smooth it over with Tommy and the MP lets us go through.
We make it back to the barracks and I pull Rita over behind the wheel, to try to make it look normal I guess. We go in and there’s the old man snoring like a motorboat. I pull his boots off, cover him up and find my bunk. Tommy is in the pisser when it happens.
A car horn at full blare, and at something like 3:00 am, in the middle of an Army base. Crap. We’re busted, maybe.
Tommy runs out of the head with his zipper down, shouting at me. “Hey, I think it’s you’re drunk date, asshole!” Tommy runs outside as Sarge starts to stir, he don’t wanna be standing there full dressed when Sarge wakes up at this hour, especially for this shit.
Sarge hears the horn blaring. He jumps up in a sleepy, half drunken state, grabs his pants and boots, and starts yelling out loud, “AIR RAID, AIR RAID” over and over. Everybody starts to stir, rubbing their eyes and watching in disbelief. …We’re not even in a war! Has Sarge finally lost it?
I jump up and look outside, Tommy did not cut-out on me like I thought. He was out at Rita’s car, getting the door open. He shoves our “free” ride home off the steering wheel. She was so soused she passed out on the goddamned horn.
The ol’ man kinda’ snaps out of it when the horn quits. He immediatly sits down, and in a different tone, lower and calmer, changes his chant to; “ALL CLEAR,….ALL CLEAR”, he pulls his pants off and is asleep in seconds.
Tommy comes in freezing, frowning, and calmly mutters. Everybody there is staring at him except for the unconscious Sarge. He announces, for all to hear “That’s it man. I gotta get my own fucking car. That is it.”
Tommy jumps on the bunk above me, pulling his clothes off. “We need to find a better way to make money”, he says. “You ever worked the railroad?”
Once again, thank you sekanblogger!