Feldwebel Lazlo Halász,

Jasta 1, Bertincourt, France
September 13th 1916

Lazlo groaned. His head was pounding and his stomach ached. Too much red wine and rich food.

"Oh my god, what time is it?"

"It's 4.30am, come on Big Red, we'd better get a move on. You know Zander hates anyone to be late". Breuer was stepping into his flying suit while Lazlo lay in his bunk feeling like death warmed up. "Oh, and I would watch out for Von Althaus today if I were you. He wasn't too pleased with your joke last night". Lazlo groaned again.

"Oh my god, what did I say?"

"You don't remember? You thought it was extremely funny at the time. When he was introduced, you repeated his name to everyone as Von Outhouse and then you laughed! I don't think he liked your 'toilet humour'." Breuer smiled, pleased at his own wit.

"It was just a joking" moaned Lazlo. "I am not meaning badly things, just laughing matter with red wine."

"Oh, I don't think it's a laughing matter at all. He's a pretty important fellow, you know. You'd better watch your step with him, that's all I'm saying." Lazlo hauled himself up from his cot and staggered to the washbasin. He stared at his reflection. His red hair was a tangled mess and his eyes were bleary. "Well the madamoiselles thought you were a hoot, at least. I'm sure that little brunette was wondering whether "Big Red" was, well, you know, big and red in other departments, aside from your upper half, if you know what I mean". Breuer gave Lazlo a lewd grin.

"Oh, I remember her now! What a lovely girl she is being. My little Fifi, I am in love, I am in loooove.... and I am feeling sickening!" Lazlo made a dash for the toilet.

A short while later, out on the field, the men waited by their machines as their commander strode across to join them. Lazlo's legs felt like jelly but his stomach was at least a little more settled.

"Listen up", barked Zander. "We're escorting an Aviatik on a photo recon. We can expect a good deal of flak, since our ward will be collecting some important evidence of enemy gun placements and they'll be well protected. Keep alert at all times and watch out for eachother". Lazlo noticed that Von Althaus was glaring at him and felt it unlikely that he'd be watching out for Lazlo, even if the others did.

Once they were over no man's land Lazlo was feeling decidedly ill again. He wretched a couple of time and leaned to the side of his cockpit, just in case. Over the Aviatik's target, the ground fire did indeed heat up. Lazlo hadn't experienced this kind of intense incendiary fire before and it wasn't helping matters. He wretched again but just about kept it down. Finally they seemed to be headed home, but no! Once again they turned back toward the front. Can't this fellow manage a simple camera mechanism? Lazlo wondered to himself. About 10 minutes later they turned to the west for a third time. My god! thought Lazlo, this is insane! He was getting queezier by the minute. Finally he could bear it no more. He leaned over the side and was violently sick. He should have checked first. Unfortunately for him, Von Althaus's machine was just down wind of Lazlo's. Oh No! he thought. He was bound to have caught some of it. Feeling somewhat better in one sense, Lazlo now began to worry about what would happen when they got back.

Von Althaus dismounted his machine and immediately headed for Lazlo, wiping his face with his sleeve as he did so.

"You disgusting great oaf!", he yelled, turning beetroot with rage. Had I wanted to share your dinner with you I would have asked you last night!". With that, he kicked Lazlo hard in the shin. Lazlo howled in pain and began hopping around on one leg until finally toppling over with a massive thud. Their commander had noticed the commotion and came over to find out what was going on.

"What is the meaning of this?", shouted Zander at the two men.

"I'm afraid Herr Halász slipped and fell, sir", replied Von Althaus cooly. Lazlo was clutching his shin and cursing in Slavic under his breath.

"Well, get up man. This is no time to be fooling about. There's a war on you know!"

"Quite right, sir". Von Althaus turned to walk away, sporting a smug grin on his face.

To be continued......

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Last edited by HarryH; 09/13/19 08:00 PM.

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