Dinner

Food here was better than the usual fair. Someone had gotten their hands on fresh fruit and fresh meat. Evans made sure to get some extra servings and then went to talk with his old friends. He walked up to Turner, who had made her way to a seat in the corner, away from much of the bustle, “Mind if I sit here?”

Turner smiled, “I’m always happy to sit next to the Immortal Jim Evans.”

“Immortal?”

“You’ve got a reputation Evans. You’ve been wounded more times than pretty much anyone else. Don’t have any noticeable scars. And you’ve been reported dead many times,” Turner smiled, “I know Immortal isn’t quite the right word, but it rolls off the tongue better than inextirpable.”

“Inex-what?”

“I do lot’s of crossword puzzles. It means impossible to destroy,” Turner took a few bites of her apple, “I’ve also heard people say ‘The Immortal Soldier.’ But Immortal Jim Evans sounds a lot better.”

“So I’m a folk hero then? The Immortal Jim Evans?” Evans smiled, “Anna would probably be happy if I didn’t die.”

“So how is Zwev doing these days?”

“Good, we’ve got three kids now, and with any luck, a fourth coming in nine months.”

“So you’re one of those couples then?”

“What?”

“You’ve gotta have as many kids as possible as fast as possible. You’ve got more kids than years of marriage.”

“I mean, I figure, I’m gonna go back to farming after the war. So I might as well get started on making farmhands. Free labor basically,” Evans laughed. Then noticed out of the corner of his eye someone standing. He turned to face them. It was the Corporal with the scar across her face, “Hi. Would you like to sit down?”

“Yes Mister Sergeant Evans. It is an honor to meet you Sergeant.”

Evans rolled his eyes at Turner, before replying to the soldier, “Just call me Jim. And what was your name?”

“Corporal Sara Totti at your pleasure Ser… Jim,” Totti put her tray on the table and sat down.

Pointing to Turner, Evans said, “And have you met Kelly?”

“Yes. So, Jim. Is it true what they say?” Totti said as she smiled to Evans.

“What are they saying about me?”

“That you escaped from a prisoner camp powered by your love for your wife?”

“I also have a daughter that I love very much. As well as two baby boys.”

“That story is so beautiful Sergeant… Jim,” Totti smiled and looked upwards, “I hope I can have a husband such as you someday.”

“Well I hope your future husband never has to do anything like that. And I hope my kids never have to go through anything like that,” Evans sighed, “And with any luck, the war will be over before we have to do anything more.”

Totti nodded, “I do not need anymore scars. Now,” She pulled a flask out of her jacket, “May I offer you two Heroes of Urbs some refreshments?”

“Hardly a hero, but what’s in the flask?” Evans smiled.

“Only the best of cheap Ligurian Brandy,” Totti said as she handed him the flask.

Evans took a gulp and made a face, “Is it supposed to taste fruity?”

“You’ve never had Brandy before Evans?” Turner grabbed the flask, took a gulp, and grimaced, “Oh yeah that’s bottom shelf.”

“I’m from a farm, we pretty much just drink Whiskey distilled in town. I’ve also had Wine a few times for celebrations, but that’s all the alcohol experience I have.”

Totti butted in, “Brandy is wine that has been distilled. Once this war is over and I can stay in one place, I will make both of you Heroes a bottle.”

“Well, since you obviously know all about us, why don’t you tell Turner and me about you?” Evans said, “Why don’t you tell us about your scar?”

Totti shook her head, “No no no. It is too stupid. I won’t tell. It was not important.”

“Tell us,” Turner looked at Evans and smiled, “Or we’ll give you a Geology lesson from a former commander of ours.”

“All right, all right. I was in a raid, and I forget to toss a grenade, so when I come in, a man swipes at me with a big knife. Now my face looks unpretty.”

“So what happened?”

“I put my knife in his chest, then he threw up on on my uniform. Then he fell and his knife fell in my…” Totti blushed, “Dairy. I don’t remember much after then.”

“That’s a perfectly fine way to get wounded Sara.”

Evans nodded in agreement, “I broke my leg because I was in an armored car that flipped.

“And after the Battle of the Crater, like right after, I tripped getting on the train and broke my nose,” Turner smiled and continued, “So getting slashed with a knife is by far the stupidest way I’ve heard. And you can at least build it up a bit. You fought someone hand to hand. They struck the first blow but you got them in the end”

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