Nicely done Vlad and Larry! This following short story isn't entirely mine. I collaborated on it with my grandfather shortly before his death. He always loved to write, but late in life, he had a few TIA's (like a mini stroke) and his writing became entirely illegible. So i started to write with and for him. He never told me if he wanted his stories published, but I think he did and maybe posting here is close enough. I wrote this from memory as the original was sadly lost in moving his things after he passed, I used a Sheaffer VFM loaded with PR Velvet Black on Clairfontaine Triomphe unlined. The title is "Too Cold in this town" by S. Richard First and Ed Janiszewski
Their two week furlough had finally come in. Rob was overjoyed. Ever since he was drafted, he knew he wasn’t cut out for the army. Nightly he dreamed of escaping from from Fort Bumble-wherever-I-am and going back home outside of Chicago. Charlie was the only damn thing keeping him in the service. Rob didn’t have any brothers and no friends growing up for that matter. Charlie was the closest he’d ever had to either of those.
“New York!” cried Charlie
“What?” asked Rob
“We should go to New York for our time away. I’m from Buffalo, you know, so I’ve heard all the stories” spoke Charlie
“Anywhere is better than there” said Rob in his usual melancholy
“I knew you’d say that” said Charlie as he threw a train pass at the chest of his friend “We leave in 2 hours, get packin’!”
The pair arrived just as night was starting to settle in on the city
“Come on, I heard of a good place. Nickel a beer, ten cents for a shot of rye! And the dames, Robbie, the dames!” Charlie was good and loaded, he had been pulling from a flask the whole train ride. Rob wasn’t much of a drinker, but he played along and followed.
They entered the bar and immediately both wore crestfallen looks. No dames, only sad, old men getting drunk on rickety stools in front of a dirty bar.
“This is the place?” asked Rob
“Can’t be!” shouted Charlie “Ok, we’ll sit for a few drinks and then go look for a party. This is New York City after all!”
The men ordered a shot and beer each. The barkeep slowly poured the order and then said “50 cents” as he laid the drinks down.
Charlie became irate “Who you think you are trying to swindle? Just because we look like a million bucks in our dress uniforms doesn’t mean we are made of money!”
The bartender merely shrugged and said ‘Pay or leave”
Charlie made a move to hop the counter with a mind to strangler the bartender. Rob interceded, grabbed his friend, threw a single down on the bar and they both exited.
Rob chimed up before Charlie could say anything “Let’s go find that party” and they started to walk. Before long, they heard the sound of laughter wafting from a lighted apartment. Charlie stopped dead and said “That’s our party!”
Rob came back with a question “How do you suppose we get up?”
“Couple handsome gents like us? We just wait here and they can’t help but see us and invite us up!” replied Charlie
And they waited, imagining the party, the drinks and the girls. It started to get late and no invitation came. Both young men began to shiver. Rob patted his friend on the shoulder and said “Thanks for trying to show me a good time. Let’s go back, we don’t belong here…it’s too cold in this town.”