1. When In Rome

    Date: 8/13/2019, Categories: Uniform, Author: Katiewest, Source: LushStories

    Rome, December 1944. An army truck carrying Iota platoon weaved its way through the back streets of the ancient city. Inside, fifteen men huddled against the cold. Sargeant O'Malley drove in a seemingly random direction, but lost he was not. Seated in the back the men shivered, for these were the dregs of the army, the soldiers who just didn't fit; they had been called up and sent to a war that they did not understand. These men, while not bad, were simply a hazard to themselves and those about them. For most the men in the back, the truck had been their home for the last six or more months. The evening grew darker, and a chill wind blew in from the northeast, promising a very cold night ahead. The truck slowed and then went across an old bridge and into the dark alleyway beyond. Emerging from the gloom, they entered a small, hidden piazza, lined with old buildings. The truck stopped outside what looked like a very old and abandoned church. O'Malley swung down from the cab and banged the side of the truck. "Wakey-wakey! Time to shift your asses." O'Malley walked up to the church, pushed open the door and disappeared inside. The men grumbled and began to gather their meager possessions. By the time the men disembarked, O'Malley was waiting for them. They trudged inside to find a small hall where they were going to be camped for the next week or so. Then much to their delight, they saw stacked in one corner a bundle of camp stretchers. "Get a stretcher and set yourselves up in two rows, down each side," barked O'Malley. "You do know what to do, don't you lads." It took twice as long as it should but in the end, two more-or-less straight lines of camp stretchers were laid out, and most had bodies reclining in them. One of the younger men, Verrilli, stood up and looked about. "Cor, Sarge. Them there paintings look like they are very old, angels and such like, what do you reckon? Do you think it maybe it's the vestal virgins? I'd love to meet a vestal virgin. Maybe we could have an orgy." "The last thing you need is a vestal virgin, you dumb bunny. And, as you are up, you just volunteered to go out and find some firewood for the fire, and take Floyd with you too." Floyd was a small guy, but very strong. He looked like he had just turned eighteen when he was in fact twenty-two. He grumbled as he got to his feet, then grabbed a couple of backpacks and threw one at Verrilli. The two of them headed out into the chill of the evening. A quick search of the piazza revealed nothing combustible, so they began to explore the side streets. After about twenty minutes they began to realize there was nothing burnable anywhere near where they were. Then as they began to work their way back to the piazza, they spotted an older woman struggling with a large bundle of firewood. The bundle crashed to the ground as the two men looked on. "Just our luck, hope she knows where we can get more," commented Floyd. The woman looked at the two men, and then her eyes locked with ...