Whiskey Cigarettes And Women

Who: Jason, Frederick, Morgenstern
What: Just some talk about cigarettes, drinks, women and Paris. And the possibility of winning the war.

Grand Place

What remains of this once lively marketplace is a sight to see. Most of the cobblestones from the street are torn up from artillery shells or soldiers using them as patchwork for something else. Craters are some obvious dangers as exploded shells have done their dirty work leaving yawning holes for the unwary traveller. The beautiful Flemish architecture remains intact on some buildings and mostly destroyed in others. Falling bricks and timber pose another threat to the unwary. Sandbags are piled up eight feet high (2.4 m) around the entrances of the buildings that remain mostly safe as added protection against artillery fire.
The center of the Place is a busy hub. Soldiers move about freely when there is no shelling. Trucks with construction supplies drive in and out, sometimes laden with the wounded instead. Lumber cut from the nearby forests and extra sandbags also lay about amidst the craters. One must be extremely careful when walking about during the night.
It is currently dusk.

Morgenstern is spending some wonderfully dry and mud-free days in Arras. Compared to the front lines, the shelled town is basically heaven. Smoking, he's wandering out from the church after a visit to see some wounded comrades.

Jason is sitting on a small mound of bricks and fallen lumber, his backpack off to one side while he fiddles with his boot. "Bloody 'hing.. Got a stone in it and I can't get the ol' blighter o-" He gives a heave, and the shoe comes off, and a -tiny- stone pops out. He flexes his socked toes. "Aaaahh.. S'great that is.." He wiggles his foot around, getting some of the heat out of it before trying to shove his boot back on.

Morgenstern spots Jason and gets that expression of someone who's surprised to see someone still alive that he knows. "Hello there," he says, walking up and nodding at the British soldier. "Good to see you alive and kicking. Jason, was it? Drensby?"

Jason sticks one thumb up. "Aye mate. 'Alf a tick.." He shoves the thumb down against his heel and wiggles his foot into the boot, before he takes his thumb out and does it up. He wraps the lases around the back of the boot, then drags them around front and does it up. "'Lo mate. How's it goin'? I see the ol' Huns ain't gotcha yet." He winks, then drags his backpack over and opens it up. "Wanna fag, me good ol' chum?"

Morgenstern seems to get his cigarettes from others, never having his own supply. So he nods thankfully and takes a seat next to Jason. "Thanks," he says, "I've run out of them." He puts his rifle down, leaning it carefully against some of the debris. "Enemy's not had a chance to kill me the last few weeks what with us resting up to die later and all," he says with that graveyard humor. He squints out over the half-ruined square. "Should get my ass to Paris for a few days."

Jason gives out a laugh. He moves a few things aside, and pulls out a full packet of cigarettes. "'ere." He idly flicks the packet to Morgenstern, while taking out a rather crushed looking packet, and quickly covers up the rest of his 'supplies'. "Eh, ah always got a pack or a few t'spare 'ere ahn' there. Y'know how it is." He winks, then takes out a cigarette and lifts it up, putting it in his lips and then takes out a packet of matches, a few flicks, and he lights his cigarette, and then offers the still burning match to Morgenstern while smoke billows out from his nostrils. "Good ol' Huns ain't shot me for a few days, and overall, I think God, King n' Country is all on my side and that, well.. If they're on our side, who t'hell is on theirs?" He grins, the cigarette clenched inbetween teeth as he takes another small drag, and as the grin fades he shifts it back into his lips.

Morgenstern catches the pack and tips his head in gratefulness. "I don't know how you tommies do it, but you always have cigarettes. You got an army of family at home just spending every penny on cigarettes to send you lot?" he asks amusedly. He leans in to light his new cigarette up on the flame, taking a few content puffs. "You have a point. They got their Kaiser but what's that compared to a king, eh?"

Jason gives yet another big grin towards Morgenstern. "I get me cigs one way or another, mate. Gotta give t'supplies t'the people n' all, ya know how it is." He laughs and takes a puff, letting it blow out through his lips this one time before he shifts to get comfy on the rubble. "Kaiser against a King n' God, eh.. No competition, ol' chum. No competition. We got it licked, y'know what they're all sayin' back home? We're winnin'…. But 'tween you n' me, I think its a big load a shite. Me mates are dyin' left and right and we're winnin? Its a wonder I'm still walkin' the earth and not up at the ol' pearly gates goin' 'What the 'ell?'."

That actually draws a chuckle out of Morgenstern and he's not exactly known for laughing a whole lot. "Oh, they just count the number of dead. Germans got more dead right now so we're winning, see?" Another puff on the cigarette in semi-serious contemplation. "I think we are winning though, I really do. And now we got fresh, young Americans in France dying gloriously for France and Britain - how could we lose?"

Frederick trudges out of the Training Ground, slinging his Berthier over his shoulder, puffing on a pipe casually as he adjusts his forage cap. The Legionnaire, wearing what some would call a clean uniform, snorts at Morgenstern's comment, "They don't even have their own machine guns"

Jason sticks up that thumb again, before he realises.. He's still holding the match. And its burning his fingers. "AW FUCKIN' HELL N' CHRIST!" He drops the match, and gets up, dancing and blowing on his finger and thumb. "Bloody 'ell bloody 'ell bloody 'ell.." He mumbles and finally seems to calm down. "That bloody stung." He sits himself back down, acting as if nothing was wrong. "Well. Sayin' at though.. They always seem to have a bloody machine gun t'shoot at my arse as I hop it along t'bloody lines trying to either set up wires or something.." He rubs his thumb against his leg, mumbling as he takes a few puffs of his cigarette. He stomps on the match, "I think I got those matches from a Hun or somethin'.. I always seem to burn my fingers on em'."

Morgenstern shoots to his feet too in alarm as Jason starts acting as if murder is being commited. He only sits back down and relaxes as Jason does, giving the Tommy a bit of a dark look for making his adrenaline pump unnecessarily. "Hello, Frederick," he greets the other Legionnaire, nodding at him. "Think Fred here means the Americans don't have their own machine guns. I heard they're being issued Hotchkisses." He smokes more, inhaling the smoke deeply. "Hear they got a hell of a time off at that wood… Bois de Belleau."

Frederick nods at the Corporal, "That's what the paper said" he says as he drops down to sit on a pile of rubble, "I think they're suckin up a lot of the German reserves, so that'll mean less reinforcements for the ones down 'ere" he says with a shrug, tapping his pipe casually before relighting it.

Jason goes quiet for a bit as he takes his cigarette out of his mouth, licking his thumb before blowing on it softly. He then sets the cigarette back into his mouth. "Still.. S'ashame for all the Americans. They're all chargin' off into the woods.. And I'm sure the Huns had some machine guns there.." He pales, shaking his head a bit as he takes a hard puff of his cigarette. "I remember the first time I had one of those things shot at me.. Scared the absolute hell out of me.. I mean.. Compare that to those Americans. They won't hear anythin' ever again."

Morgenstern is quiet again for a moment, but then shrugs it off. "No point worrying about them over there, better we concentrate on our own little part of mud we're protecting." He doesn't outright say it, but it's not likely they'll be enjoying their time away from the front much longer, soon about to be sent back.

Frederick chuckles, "First week i've gone without lice… and good food, warm showers, roof over my head, an no bastard's tryin to shoot me" he grins, "Though, wouldn't mind chattin with some of them Americans, maybe see any from my hometown"

Jason nods his head. "Ooh yea. Thats the good thing.. Warm food.. Oh thank King n' Country for warm food." He pats his stomach, "I just had something warm to eat not too long ago. Still.. a cig makes everything go down so much greater. Yea?"

Morgenstern smiles slightly at the mere mention of food and all the other pleasantries of non-trench life. "Been a few lovely weeks," he agrees. He finishes his cigarette as an emphasis to Jason's words. "What's missing in this picture is something strong to drink." At that, he gives Jason a hopeful look.

Frederick grins impishly, "Or something soft and warm to put your leg around" he says with a wink, glancing towards the Church, "So close, ye so far" he says as he puffs at his pipe, leaning back to watch the clouds of smoke rise into the air.

Jason pauses, and gives a shifty little glance. He opens up his backpack and rifles through it. "Y'know, you're a right git.. I think I'm doin' this cause I'm gettin' thrown back out on the lines soon." He grabs ahold of something, and drags out a large looking hip flask. He screw it open and takes a sniff, then a little sip. "Ah, right.. S'a bit of whiskey n' all." He grimaces, "Good.. *Cough* Though." He wheezes a tiny bit, then offers the flask out to Morgenstern.

Morgenstern gives Jason a positively broad grin, grabbing the bottle and taking a quick but large gulp of it. "You're a life saver," he grunts happily, being so bold as to pass the bottle on to Frederick as well. "Suppose we can't do much about the warm female body to keep us company, unless one of the nurses puts out. But I don't know if that'd be worth all the trouble - it'd cause all sorts of ruckus if that came out and I'm not keen on getting yelled at for that." He shifts position slightly and adds, somewhat more humbly; "Besides, they got all them officers to swoon around."

Frederick chuckles, taking the flask and helping himself to a quick swig, screwing the top back on and tossing it back at Jason with a nod, "One can only hope" he chuckles, kicking his legs out and relaxing on his seat.

Jason tosses the flask from hand to hand for a moment, before he then puts it into his rucksack. "Eh, you find a french girl, flash a couple o' the good ol' pound, or franc, whatever you got.. You get a bit o' skin. If you know what I'm talkin' bout." He wiggles his nose slightly, "And a nurse puttin' out? Bwhahahahaha. S'a good one mate. See, I'm good at gettin' some stuff.. But others are just a right pain to get ahold of, if y'know what I mean." He winks now, then just relaxes in his seat of rubble, puffing on his cigarette. "I'm sure I could get ya a magazine or somethin', but a woman? That's all upto you." He laughs.

Morgenstern mimics the other two, resting back in a half-lying position, staring up at the now star-filled sky. "Paris," he says suddenly. "That's where all the women are. Well, the ones you can pay anyway," he adds with a smile. He chuckles. "Always end up talkig about women, don't we? Starts with cigarettes, then drinks, then women… and then we never really get much further. An endless loop." He stops smiling and blinks. "What magazine?"

Frederick smirks, "Never been to Paris" he says idly, "Or well, never been inside it, I mean, i've seen it from afar, but never was able to go into the city, seems the Officers don't like us enlisted to mingle with them in the bars…"

Jason blinks at Morgenstern for a few moments. Then cracks up laughing, almost sliding off his rubble. "Oh me ol' mate.. I swear, ye'd kill me with laughter if a Hun didn't get me first." He props himself up with a boot, holding one arm over his ribs. "Nevermind 'en, ol' mate." He grins, his ciagertte dangling out of his mouth, he quickly clutches it with his lips and takes a puff.

Morgenstern gives Jason an indignant look and crosses his arms over his chest in a defiant manner. He snorts and contemplates it, then decides to take it humorously and grins slightly. "There's nothing really stopping us from going to Paris for a few days if we could just get some leave. And we have it coming any day now. I'll go to Paris then if I so got to walk." He sits up scratches at a stubbled cheek, staring south towards where Paris is. "I am tired of shell-torn towns. Just want to see houses that aren't all rubble. I don't care about the damn women."

Frederick grins broadly, "On the other hand, probably more trouble than it's worth… some of these shelled towns have certain things that you can't get in Paris, nor anywhere else for that matter" he says offhandedly, "Like free rooms, free food, free beer…. free everything, if you can find it that is"

Jason scratces his cheek gently. "Everythin's free if you know how to get it. Either that or it costs a bit less than what ya normally pay." He shrugs and settles back into the rubble. "Paris.. Paris sounds nice, but I can't speak french. N'all, so ah'd probably be all confused walkin' around with everyone speak'n yon French."

Morgenstern snickers. "You're right, everything's free around here. A bullet to the head is free too," he says cynically, unconsciously touching the ear where he's lost the tip. That was obviously a close call. "You don't really need to know French, they'll all love you for protecting the old motherland. They're scared in Paris now, the Germans are close."

Frederick chuckles, "I'm sure if you wave a few bucks in their face, or talk slowly enough they'll understand you" he grins, winking at Morgenstern, "I'm not sure he'd appreciate french cuisine anyways"

Morgenstern grabs his rifle and climbs to his feet with a grunt. "Well," he says dryly, shouldering the weapon. "Right now we're not going anywhere anyway so no point dreaming." Fatalism always comes back to Morgenstern. "I'm going to go sleep. Drill tomorrow." So much for resting. "Thanks for the cigarette and drink, Drensby. I owe you." He tips his hat at the two and then turns to march off for his billet.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.