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TITLE (EDIT)
Like Ocean's Eleven
DESCRIPTION
This story takes place in a military setting, mainly Point Barrow, Alaska.
Russian officers and members of the U.S. Army interact. Although potential danger is hinted at, there is more humor than danger in the end. The story is structured so that the reason for the title isn't revealed until the very end.
[1,414 words]
AUTHOR
Higgins
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[January 2005]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (25)
A Likely Story (Short Stories) Charlie Kelly comes to grips with the police. [846 words]
A Miscellanea Of Senryu (Poetry) - [145 words]
A Random Sample Of Senryu (Poetry) A cross section of Senryu poems. [152 words]
A Sampling Of Senryu Poems (Poetry) These poems follow the 5-7-5 pattern of Haiku but do not focus on nature or the seasons. [154 words]
Actors And Dancers (Poetry) - [109 words]
Country Music (Poetry) Descriptions of superstars of Country Music. [171 words]
Grandpappy's Red Flannels (Short Stories) The moon was out. [383 words]
Horror And Mystery Writers (Poetry) - [98 words]
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Literary Theory And Criticism (Poetry) A dozen of the very best critics and literary. theorists that America has produced. [75 words]
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Max's Antics (Short Stories) A brief tale of a wealthy alcoholic. [553 words]
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On Art (Poetry) - [245 words]
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On Mathematicians (Poetry) Brief descriptions of the contributions of some world class mathematicians. [165 words]
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Popular Redundancies (Poetry) Many words used in writing or discussion could be eliminated. [81 words]
Red Flannels (Short Stories) The moons were shining. [383 words]
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Senryu Poem Of Popular Oxymorons (Poetry) A poetic rendering of combinations of contradictory or incongruous words. [40 words]
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The Moral Of The Story (Short Stories) If your golf game was disappointing, you can always say "It was a nice day in the country." [1,868 words]
Will Hunter Plays Golf (Short Stories) The game of a good golfer deteriorates. [997 words]
Like Ocean's Eleven
Higgins



        The U.S. Army troop ships and accompanying vessels moved slowly
 
through Puget Sound and then headed out to sea. Their destination was to

 be Point Barrow, Alaska. It was there that Will Rogers---actor, humorist,

political journalist, and cowboy--- and his friend, the co-author of Around

 the World in Eight Days, Wiley Post---were killed in a plane crash.

       The soldiers had received preparatory training back in the states, had
 
ridden the troop train from the training station to Fort Lewis, Washington,

had spent two weeks receiving final instructions and checking gear and

 personal supplies, and then, on a rainy morning in late August, had

departed for Alaska.

        Twelve days after departure the convoy sighted the bleak shores of

POW A, a landing and unloading area designated as the first stop.

Although it was late summer, the location was in the vicinity of the

 northern-most point of Alaska and so cold temperatures hampered

 the initial unloading activities. The large cargo ships were unable to land,

due to the interference of drifting ice blocks , so smaller ships were

obliged to make trips back and forth from the cargo ships to the POW.

        Further threat of ice formations near shore made it necessary

for the troop ships to evacuate the area immediately, but three

 privates and a corporal were left behind to guard the equipment

which had already been unloaded. The corporal had been chosen

2

because he was the only low level non-commissioned officer

available, and the privates were chosen by the corporal. These

four men were to live with three military construction

workers and two army cooks in quonset huts. So the food should
 
be good---no shit on a shingle. The main activities for these men

 were, eating, sleeping, guarding the POW equipment, mastur-

bating, and playing poker---five card stud. Silver dollars were the

 main monetary units in the card games.

       The corporal had a fantastic streak of luck in poker, even
 
filling inside straights, and he planned to bring a large bag of

 silver dollars back to the states. Some of the other

players suspected that he might be cheating, but they couldn’t
 
prove it.

       The corporal and his three friends daily enacted a “religious

ceremony.” They would walk to the sea’s edge, gaze reverently

at the ice blocks, and pray for the ice to stay. Most

of them had just over a year to serve in the military, and this was

a pleasant way to pass the days.

        A piper cub would fly in supplies twice a week, so these nine

 men were not entirely cut off from civilization. Unfortunately, the

 prices of some desirable items were as follows: beer was $15.00

 per six pack; a quart of good bourbon
 
3

was $40.00; cigarettes were $30.00 a carton. Because of this, the

 soldiers spent some time discussing the price of living per diem

for the days spent at POW A.

        Late one night a small plane landed on the crude air strip at

POW A and it was not the piper cub. The radar watches on the

 ships did not discern any abberations. Could it represent the

 ghosts of Will Rogers and Wiley Post? The strange aircraft was

manned by two Russian Air Force Officers. The U.S. Soldiers

were so lax in their guard duties that they were not awakened

 until the officers representing the Soviet Union knocked loudly

and repeatedly on the door of their quonset hut. One of the privates

 finally opened the door and bade the Russian Officers enter.

 Upon hearing the unusual accent and observing the unfamiliar

gestures, he awakened the other three soldiers. The six men sat

at the card table.

       The Russian Officers at once explained their mission. They

were to try to gain information related to the radar defense which

 was about to be installed by the United States near Point Barrow

to guard against Russian attack of America via Alaska. They

had come prepared to pay a great monetary sum to whomever

 they were able to bribe. If the guards were to report them to the

 ships, a signal could be sent back to the Russian post across the

4

 Bering Straits and immediate action would be taken which

 might initiate World War III, so a quiet discussion was the

 only possibility. After the Russian men had completed their

 presentation of the situation, the Americans were reticent

to immediately give a committing reply. The six

men finally came to the following agreement. The

Russian Officers were to supply vodka twice a week for poker
 
games, the participants being the four American enlisted men

and the two Russian Officers, and the matter was to be further

 discussed at the card games. The Russians brought up the

 possibility of their being detected, but the Americans

 informed the Russians of the fact that the men

governing the radar equipment could easily be bribed with

 the promise of a future supply of authentic Russian Vodka.

        On Monday and Thursday nights the Russian JS-N

landed at POW A and the men representing the two major

 powers of the world imbibed the liquor and engaged in games

of poker. This went on for three weeks. The enlisted men

representing America and the officers representing Russia

 grew friendly. Since the corporal was in charge of U.S.

forces at POW A, he felt that it was his duty and responsibility

to make the ultimate

  5
 
decision. He would often gather the three privates around

the card table in serious conference in much the way a

 president might gather together selected cabinet members

in the White House. In both cases it was for the purpose of

 finding the solution to an important problem. They all

 agreed that they did not wish to betray their native land,

but they would also be reticent to double-cross their

Russian colleagues.

        Since the ice blocks were merging and the top brass
 
back in the Kremlin were beginning to put pressure on

their “spies,” both parties were forced to make an immediate

decision. The two men representing the country possessing
 
the largest land mass in the world had become very attached

 to their friends from America.

        One night late in September the six compatriots , along

with the three construction workers and the two cooks, all

a bit under the influence of vodka and comradship,

decided upon a round-table discussion which would determine

 the outcome of world peace.

        Just prior to dusk a plane resembling a JS-N left POW A

destined for an island 100

miles due south of Ahe, in the Marquesas. Soon after the trip
 
6

was completed arrangements were made to meet with

prominent natives.

A RUSSIAN OUTPOST JUST ACROSS THE BERING

STRAITS

        First Russian Captain – “I never will understand what

became of our espionage men assigned to the Point Barrow

 Project; both loyal to the cause; both conscientious; not

  a word from them in nine months. Also, 75 cases of the
 
best Russian Vodka were stolen.”

        Second Russian Captain- “Ah, we fail to acknowledge

the cleverness of these Americans. Our men have been

absorbed. The entire project was a rather silly gamble.

We also note that dozens of cases of Russian Black Beer

have vanished.”

A SIMILAR SCENE AT POW C

        First Lieutenant- “It certainly was mysterious the way

those men disappeared from POW A; nine military men

 and they left no trace. Seems they took their belongings

with them.; probably captured by the Russians; 50

quarts of bourbon were gone.”

         Sergeant- “I’ll wager they are A.W.O.L. They were

responsible for that equipment.

7

         Of course, none of it was missing. The corporal and

 the three privates were n’er do wells. I can’t speak for or

 against the army construction workers and the military

 cooks. But if they got themselves mixed up with

the corporal and his friends they are in trouble. I just

 discovered that my secret supply of Heinekins has been

 absconded.”

A SMALL ISLAND IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC

         First Native- “It’s hard to understand; eleven foreigners

 running a rubber plantation; and making a tremendous

success of it.”

         Second Native- “Heard they grossed over a million

dollars the first two years here. They certainly are well

organized.”

         Third Native- “Almost like a highly polished football
 
team---like Sinatra’s Ocean’s Eleven”; wonder how they

got together? Funny, two of them having that heavy

  accent and wearing them strange uniforms; the other

 nine wearing the uniform of the American soldier.

 Their heavy drinking, however, is likely to undo their

 monetary success.”

The End


        


      

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 Higgins
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
March 2004
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1483
 

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