Party Part I

Evans, Shaw, and Gibson arrived at the building with sounds of revelry inside. They entered a room with about a dozen soldiers, most stripped down to their undershirts, a few wearing their jackets, unbuttoned. Evans saw the two that Shaw had mentioned, Kasia and Fitz, shirtless and arguing. They looked different than Evans had expected. Kasia was skinny, but muscular, with a few dozen scars and pits on her chest. Fitz was lanky and pale. Kasia came over and offered a bottle of krupnik, then slurred at Evans, “A Sergeant? Shaw you shouldn’t have. I am Katarzyna Kowalska, and how would you the chance to go to bed with a famous ballerina?”

Evans took a drink of the krupnik and ignored the question, “So this is what my wife always wants me to drink. Too sweet for me,” Evans passed it back, “So, you’re a ballerina?”

“Yes, if your wife is Silesian she will have heard of me. And she would probably be so proud of you for sleeping with a great dancer of her nation.”

Evans was about to respond when he heard a smack coming from where Gibson was. She had slapped Fitz hard for what Evans guessed was a rude remark. Kasia turned her attention away from Evans and shouted at Gibson, “Good choice, Fitz is tiny down there, you can’t feel anything.”

“All I know is for a ballerina, you are boring in the sack.”

Kasia stormed over, “I’ll fucking show you boring.” She grabbed Fitz’s arm and the two left.

Shaw nodded, smiled, then stepped up on a table to address everyone, “Now that they’re gone, these are our guests from the 202nd. My buddy from back home Jimmy Evans and Bessie Gibson, a private who tagged along.”

One of the soldiers wearing a jacket with the Lance Corporal’s insignia spoke up, “Is he the one with all the medals?”

“I only have like two medals. An MoE Third with two clusters and an MoE First. Then I’ve got the standard campaign ribbons and wound stripes. Plus that Prisoner of War thing I got.”

The Lance Corporal spoke up again, “That’s five medals not two.”

Another soldier spoke up, “The 202nd is one of those units that gets all the awards. If we were involved in those actions we’d get a pat on the head and sent to somewhere else.”

Gibson spoke up, “Isn’t the 351st regular Infantry? The 202nd is Shock troops. We go in when the regular infantry can’t hack it.”

“Those are fighting words Private.”

“That’s what Army headquarters says.”

Shaw started to laugh. After a few seconds of silence one of soldiers stepped forward and offered a bottle of whiskey to Gibson, “Lance Corporal Moore. You can call me Doe.”

Gibson took a big gulp then immediately spat it out, “This is awful!”

Evans shook his head, “You have no taste kid.”

Moore looked around, “Did Kasia leave any of her Krupnik.”

Someone tossed a bottled to Moore who handed it to Gibson. Gibson took a sip, made a face, then nodded, “This is better.”


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