Private James Parker waited very seasick at the edge of the transport ship. The salty air made his nose stuffy. Watching the waves only made the seasickness worse. He had been at sea for many a day, and he began wanting to go home.
But he couldn't now. He had been drafted to the United States Army and was now near North Africa, much to his disgrace.
They were to help the British troops defeat the Desert Fox's (or I should better say Rommel's) troops.
Parker could hear faint footsteps approaching him. The sound was being drowned by the constant sound of the ocean water splashing on the steel ship.
"Howdy, Private?" asked the obviously Texas man.
"Hey, Sergeant," James mumbled.
"Wat ja' doin out here, son? I thought jou' hated being out here."
"I'm trying to get too seasick to go to the mission." The Sergeant, named John, chuckled.
"It ain't gonna work, boy," he replied, "it'll clear up in no time." Parker began groaning.
"Cheer up, son," said John, "you ain't going to die."
"That's not what I'm afraid of," Private quietly said. "I just want to go home to my family. Carla, Isaac, David, everybody. Stupid draft took me away from the ones I love." He kicked the guardrail.
John gave him a hard, but friendly slap on the shoulder.
"Don't worry, you'll see them sooner or, later." He began walking back inside, still chuckling.
Private turned around. "Why do you keep laughin'?" John paused.
"I'm sorry, I just love that Californian talk of yours'." When he said "talk" he meant more like "accent."
"Yeah, well, you're Texan accent ain't less funnier."
"Whatever." He took out a cigarette and lit it. Once Sergeant got inside, Private realized his plan was worthless and decided to follow him.
The plan was called Operation Torch. The U.S. 3rd Infantry, which James was in, along with the 9th Infantry and the 2nd Armored divisions, would land in Morocco. Six other United States and British divisions would land in Algeria. Also, the 509th Airborne would capture airfields in Tarfarquay and Youk-Les-Bains.
James had never seen military action in his life. His father, a Great War veteran, told him that it was no fun and exciting business. It was bloody and barbaric. James kept this in mind as he walked through the bedrooms to find his bed.
Captain Halker slept on top of James, since the beds were bunker beds.
"You ready, Private?"
"No, I'm never am. I don't like the thought of shooting Germans, many of my relatives live in Germany."
Captain chuckled. "Well, then this is your lucky mission."
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that there aren't any Germans there."
"Really? So this is just gonna be a walk through the park?"
"In a way, yes. But there is some resistance."
"Who are they made of?"
"Just some French people who ain't in love with us landing there. But don't worry, there ain't many resistance fighters there. In fact, most of them Vichy French are supporting us. Also, we go there after the 34th. They will do the fightin'."
James sighed in relief. His confidence had sprung to the maximum level, and he was able to sleep the night before the operation.
THE END of the excerpt
This is a passage from the novel that Josh is working on. Though he is not even old enough to drink alcohol, this young man has already discovered some essential truths about himself and the fact that he is a writer. He's on his way to a long life of spinning compelling tales that keep readers turning the pages well past their bedtime.
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