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|11-26-2013, 10:31 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeastern U.S.
Introduction: This is a period piece set during World War II. My father was a gunner on a B-17 with the 381st bomb group of the 8th Air Force flying out of Ridgewell, England Station 167 near Great Yeldham, England. While the story is not about him, he and his mates served as inspiration for the airmen in this tale. The stilted, formal writing style was lifted from letters we found in my aunt's effects after she passed. She apparently corresponded with an American airman who never came home.
This is supposed to be an uplifting, happy story about a tragic time. No sex was necessary to tell the tale, so there's none here.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Are you doing what I think you're doing?”
“Buzz off, Jimmy.”
“Hey Lefty! Is Tommy choking the chicken again?”
Lefty reached across the space between the bunks and yanked Tommy's blanket off. “If he is, he don't got a woodie.”
“Are you disappointed, Lefty? Do you want to see me with a woodie?”
“You callin' me queer, city boy?” Lefty stood up, but Tommy's bunk-mate Jimmy smacked him on the head. “Knock if off. Tommy's in love.”
“Will you two can it?” Tommy complained. “You guys have your pin-up girls. I like this picture. I used to deliver papers to the guy who drew it. I helped him build a shed.”
“She's cute, but I like some of the Elvgren girls better,” Jimmy said.
“Betty Grable for me. Them's real photographs, not drawings,” Lefty yawned, getting as comfortable as he could back in his bunk. “Now pipe down. The Krauts are quiet tonight. Let's get some sleep.”
At mail call the next day, the clerk yelled, “A letter for you, Tommy!”
Tommy hurried back to the barracks. The letter was from the artist.
Tommy immediately wrote a polite letter of thanks and then daydreamed about his pin-up girl.
A few weeks later at mail call, the clerk pulled an envelope from the satchel. “Whoo-wee! Pink. Must be from a lady. Thomas Hamilton, this is your lucky day.”
Amid catcalls, Tommy retrieved the letter and dashed off to his barracks to read it.
“Diane.” Tommy experimented with the name in his mouth and mind. “Diane. Pretty name.” He pulled out his box of plain white stationery.
Tommy sealed it and put it under his pillow for safe-keeping. He would post the note in the morning. He took one more quick glance at the picture of Diane before darkness in the barracks.
“Safe?” Tommy mused. He re-read Diane's letter a few times and studied the drawing once again. He almost understood why a buffoon like Lefty or a ladies' man like Jimmy didn't think she was special. Diane's cheekbones were a bit high for some people's tastes, her blue eyes somewhat large. She appeared to have a modest-sized bosom and small hips. Her long, wavy blond hair and her legs were the features all the guys agreed on. In the drawing her hemline was lifted scandalously high, but her full petticoat preserved her modesty.
She was exquisite. Physically, she was all Tommy could imagine wanting in a woman. The British pub lasses were nice, but a little cheap for his tastes. He was one of the few men on base who didn't spend all his pay and leave time trying to get in their knickers.
Some nights he was tempted. It was anybody's guess if he'd make it back from the next mission, so why worry about the future? His buddies didn't. But Tommy was a quiet one, a good lad, and absolutely deadly when shooting at Nazi airplanes.
The two exchanged letters on a regular basis for months. Tommy wrote several times a week, and Diane answered each one immediately. At times, they had two or three different letters and responses going at once, due to the slow travel of international mail.
Two weeks passed since Tommy's last letter. Diane waited for the postman every day. Today was no different. Nothing but things involving the doctor's work. She took the mail into the office. “Father?”
“You were in the Army.”
“What was war like?”
Dr. Miller looked up from the patient charts on his desk. “I prayed a lot.”
“Were you afraid for your life?”
Dr. Miller took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes. “You're worried about that boy.”
Diane blushed. “He seems very nice. Uncle Ted spoke quite highly of him. It's his second tour of duty.”
“He must be brave. One tour of duty as a medic in the trenches was enough for me. When they let me come home, I did. I saw horrors I will never forget. The automobile and farm accidents around here are nothing.”
“Tommy is a belly gunner on a Flying Fortress.”
“That's a big airplane. Much better than the fly boys had in my day. The belly gunner may be the most important man up there. He is the one who keeps the Messerschmidts off them so they can fly home.”
“It sounds horribly dangerous.”
“Sit down, Diane.”
His daughter took the patient chair next to the desk.
“Dear, war is dangerous. In a way, airmen have it better than most. They don't die of gangrene in field hospitals or come home ruined by mustard gas. They either return in one piece or they don't at all. Your Tommy has only seven more missions to fly. Am I correct?”
“When he wrote his last letter it was seven. It should be five now. Father, I'm scared.”
The doctor watched his only child blot a tear. The last time she did that in front of him was when her mother died nine years earlier. She took it hard, but by the time the funeral ended and the family left for the evening, she was changed. At age twelve, she developed the mindset of a determined mature woman. Diane was one of the strongest people he knew. “You think you're in love with him, don't you?”
“You must think I'm silly.”
“Diane, the last thing I would ever call you is silly. You're a fine young woman and an excellent nurse. Since Mother passed, you're the only reason I keep my sanity. Everyone says you're the prettiest girl around here. Our patients love you. You are intelligent. You need to think.”
“But what if he doesn't come home?”
“I will not lie to you. He may not, but you can't change that, so there is no point in thinking about it. Instead, you should think about what may happen when he does come back. This young man is lonely now, thousands of miles from home, facing death. When he's back home, he'll be re-united with his family and his old friends. Things will be different for him.”
“He hasn't written a word in any of his letters about the drawing Uncle Ted made.”
“I suppose that means he's polite, Diane. I wouldn't want my daughter meeting him if he behaved inappropriately.”
“You intend to, don't you, regardless of what I say?” Dr. Miller chuckled.
Tommy read Diane's letter again after he finished packing Lefty's and Jimmy's things to send home to their parents. Everything but the pin-ups. Someone in the barracks would want them. He polished his dress shoes again. He would be in no mood to deal with them in the morning before the memorial service.
“Father? I don't know what to do.” Diane poured the doctor a second cup of coffee.
“Tommy will be home in about a month.”
She sat at the table and fidgeted while her father read his newspaper. Eventually he folded it and set it aside. “You want to go, don't you?”
“To meet him?”
“Why yes, of course, to meet him. I've been around the block a few times, young lady. I know you quite well. You will always question yourself if you don't go.”
“But what if the things you said are true? What if he's lonely now, but won't be when he returns? He may have a girl waiting for him.”
“Perhaps you should ask him. It won't do for you to get your heart broken, child.”
Tommy read Diane's latest letter with concern. He quickly replied.
“Father, may I be excused from work two Saturdays from now? It would be the twenty-third.”
“I suppose, but why?”
Color rose in Diane's cheeks.
Dr. Miller grinned. “Oh, I know why, don't I? That's the day Tommy comes home.”
“Yes. I thought I would go to the bus station in the city. He's supposed to arrive at two in the afternoon.”
“Would you like me to drive you there? I'll stay in the shadows, but I should like to see this young man of yours myself.”
She blushed more. “I suppose that's only proper, isn't it? Perhaps I would be more comfortable with you there. You can swap war stories with him.”
“There won't be much of that, I imagine. Men don't always like to talk about what they saw and did in war. You must be sensitive to that. Do not press him to tell you about it. There are many things I cannot bear to think about even today, although it's been over a quarter century since I last wore a uniform.”
“Do you think I should go, Father? Am I being foolish for wanting to meet him?”
Dr. Miller thought for a moment. Then he picked up the receiver of the telephone on his desk. “Mabel? Dr. Miller here.... I'm fine, thank you. Mabel, could you connect me to Theodore Baxter in the city? His number is Melrose 4251.... Yes, I know there's a charge.... Thank you, dear.”
“Baxter residence. Who is calling?”
“Stan Miller. How are you, Ted?”
“Stan? Good to hear from you. I'm well, thank you. How is that dear daughter of yours?”
“She has a dilemma. That's why I rang you.”
“You're the culprit, you old dog. Diane is in love.”
“Father!” Diane whispered urgently.
He waved her away. “Your old paperboy has stolen my daughter's heart. Her face lights up every time she gets a letter from him. She perfumes her stationery. I believe this is serious,” he chuckled.
Baxter said, “Tommy is a fine young man. If Diane were my daughter, I would be pleased for her to have him as a suitor. Trust me on this, Stan.”
“What of his family?” Dr. Miller asked.
“Hard-working people. Tommy's father was wounded at Verdun. His mother volunteered at the hospital they sent him to when he returned to the States. When he recovered from his injuries, he married her and moved here. They own a hardware store. Tommy is their only child. The father wanted Tommy to work for him when he was a lad. Tommy refused to take the easy way, so he got a paper route. He knew his father would pay him more than he was worth.”
“A good boy, then,” Miller remarked.
“I would be proud if he were my son,” Baxter answered. “He's a sensitive young man, very polite, but very driven. He was good at delivering papers, he's smart and good with his hands, he's won medals as a gunner, and I imagine he'll be successful when he returns home. He knows how to work to get what he wants. If he sets his sights on your Diane, well, I hope you learn to like him.”
“Diane has set her sights on him. She's cross with me now for saying it, but it's true. Do you think she should meet him?”
Baxter laughed. “Tommy has been writing to me. He's quite anxious to meet her. I think it's a splendid idea.”
“She wants to greet his bus when it arrives,” Miller said. “I agreed to drive her there, be introduced, and then take a powder if things seem proper.”
“I have a better idea,” Baxter laughed. “Mr. Hamilton, Tommy's father, already invited me to join him and his wife at the bus station. Why don't you two come to my house for lunch? Then we can join Tommy's parents.”
“You never did fool me, Baxter. You pretend to be a hard, critical, academic type, but you're an old softie,” Miller chuckled.
“Stan, Diane is like my favorite niece. I would let Tommy live in my house if he needed to. He and Diane would make a lovely couple.”
“Then it's settled. Diane and I will see you for lunch on the twenty-third. I should ring off now. Small-town doctors don't earn the money you artists do.”
“You're right about me being a romantic, but very wrong about the money. So long, Stan.”
Dr. Miller put the receiver back on its base and turned to his daughter. “You and I shall have lunch with Ted and then join the Hamiltons to welcome Tommy home.”
“I never thought of his family. I don't know that I'm ready to meet them. Now I'm not sure this is wise.”
“Theodore Baxter would not steer us wrong, darling. He says Tommy is like a son to him. You now your Uncle Ted loves you. It's time you had a life of your own.”
“What are you saying, Father?”
“I'm saying it's been years since you've passed time with a man who wasn't ill other than me or Ted. I think you would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to meet this boy and learn if you have real feelings for each other.”
“Father, shall I start your eggs?”
“Good heavens, child, I haven't even finished my first cup of coffee. Why are you in such a rush? This is the first Saturday we've taken off for months. We have plenty of time to get to the city.”
“I'm sorry. I'm just so excited.”
“Put the eggs back in the icebox, and sit down.”
Diane brought her coffee cup to the table and sat opposite her father.
“Dear, Ted and I spoke on the telephone last night while you were in the bath. The Hamiltons are very anxious to meet you. Apparently Tommy sings your praises in his letters to them. Ted says they're good people, and I can imagine what he tells them about you, so you have nothing to worry about.”
“I have everything to worry about, Father! You yourself told me he may be different when he gets home than he was during the war. Four years have passed, so he may be different than he was when Uncle Ted knew him. He may not like me at all.”
“Then he's a fool,” Dr. Miller said. “Get dressed. We'll have breakfast at the diner.”
When Dr. Miller steered his old Buick into Baxter's driveway, Ted was waiting for them. “Stan, you old goat! How are you?” He shook his old friend's hand warmly. “Diane, you look more lovely every time I see you. You must let me draw you again.” He hugged his “niece” and accepted her kiss on his cheek with a smile.
“Uncle Ted, please tell me I'm not making a fool of myself,” she said.
“It's never foolish to follow your heart. Now come inside, you two. Lunch will be ready in a few minutes.”
The bus was late. Dr. Miller, Baxter, and Phillip Hamilton discussed hunting to pass the time. Diane chatted nervously with Mrs. Hamilton.
“Please, call me Thelma. My son is a gentleman, dear. He spoke of you often in his letters, but it was Mr. Baxter who told us you were a pin-up girl. I think it's wonderful. Your image probably brought happiness to many brave young men.”
Diane blushed furiously. “Have you and Mr. Hamilton seen the drawing? It's really nothing naughty.”
“We sell calendars at the store. The drawing of you is in a frame near the cash register. My husband liked it anyway, and when Mr. Baxter told us you were Tommy's girl, we had to have it.”
“Tommy's girl,” Diane repeated quietly. She liked the sound of it.
The bus station loudspeaker crackled to life. “We have received a telephone call from the station ten miles down the road. The bus had a flat tire, but they are underway again. Estimated arrival in five minutes.”
“Five minutes till I see my boy,” Phillip said. “It's been much too long.”
“I know I'm going to cry,” Thelma confided to her new young friend. “Phillip hates that, but you watch. He'll have his handkerchief out too.”
Diane hung back with her father and Uncle Ted when families swarmed the bus. She thought she recognized Tommy from the newspaper picture when he came down the step, and was certain when she heard Thelma shriek.
Tommy eventually worked free of his parents' embrace long enough to look around. That's when he saw her. “Diane?”
She ran to him.
“I didn't expect to see you here.”
“I couldn't wait,” Diane replied. “I wrote you to tell you I was coming, but I was certain you would be on your way home before the letter got to England.”
Tommy dropped his bag on the ground and fished in his uniform coat pocket. “I wrote a letter too. If I hadn't come home it would have been sent to you.”
“What does it say?”
“Something I was afraid I'd never get to say to you in person.” He pulled her to him and kissed her. “Open it.”
My dearest Diane,
Tears flowed freely down Diane's cheeks. She kissed him, long and full. “I can be persuaded.”
Don't believe everything you read.
XNXX T.O.F.D.O.M. -- "Totally Orally Fixated Dirty Old Man"
Last edited by wantsomefun; 11-26-2013 at 10:32 PM. Reason: formatting, grumble, grumble
|11-27-2013, 01:34 AM||#3|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeastern U.S.
I should have let well enough alone and just re-posted the CAW version on the Story Site. Formatting issues pretty much ruined it, but if anyone wants to give it a vote, I'd appreciate it. Here's the link.
|11-27-2013, 04:21 AM||#5|
More Spicy than Sweet
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
I loved this story too, and I just voted for it on the other side. I don't know how much good my little vote will do, but hopefully people over there will give it a chance.
"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There's too much fraternizing with the enemy."
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