Oh, here's a taste of my skills...however good they may be. It's a very small fraction of the sequel to one of my stories (The sequel is a better entry). The chapter this part is from is called 'The Transfer' and it's part of my book "An Infantryman's War". I have NEVER posted this before, I have NEVER had anyone read it except my best friend. So, feel honored. =P
“Are you sure this is what you want to do?” Jean Knox asked, shuffling papers on her desk while looking at me. “Yes ma’am,” I confirmed with a nod. “It’s disappointing to lose such talent, but we can’t force a volunteer to stay,” Pauline Gower said. “My place is and always will be with the Infantry. A leopard can’t change its spots,” I replied. “Nor can a zebra change its stripes,” Knox said. I smiled and confirmed that too with a nod.
“Well, we wish you luck. If you ever want to spread your wings again, your plane will still be here, and a place will remain open for you if you choose to rejoin us,” Gower said, placing her hand down on Knox’s to stop her from shuffling papers. Knox clasped her hands together and put her elbows on the desk, clearly taking the hint.
“Thank you. I will devote half of my pay to keep my plane stored in the hangar and kept in working condition. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be given an assignment where I have to fly,” I said. “We sure hope so. We’ll all miss you, but we also understand that you feel a responsibility to the Infantry. Whenever you’re ready to leave just let us know and we’ll set up a ride,” Knox said. “Thank you again. I’ll let you know when I’m ready,” I said.
I then left the office, an odd feeling within me. I loved flying, yes, but what Knox said was true as well. I felt a loyalty and responsibility to the Infantry, my first love. A leopard can’t chance its spots indeed.
“So, you’re leaving huh?” asked Eleanor, my best friend in the Air Force. “Yep. You said yourself a while back I was nothing but a foot soldier, and that was all I’d ever be,” I replied, grinning at my friend. “That’s because it is what I saw. I saw a foot soldier trying to deflate the so-called ‘big egos’ of the rest of us in the Air Force. I saw an Army brat without a lick of experience. I think we’ve been over this before,” Eleanor said, folding her arms across her chest.
“Whoa, no need to get defensive, Elle. I was just joshing you,” I said, bringing up my hands and backing off a bit, but with a grin still on my face. “I know. Come on, I’ll buy you lunch,” Eleanor said. I smiled and grabbed her hand and we set off towards the Sussex Diner, the local haunt for the Sussex air field pilots.
I ordered my usual; cheeseburger with fries and a Coca-Cola. Eleanor had a grilled cheese with home fries and a Coca-Cola.
I finished first, so I opted to watch Eleanor as she ate. I folded up the sleeves of my battle dress uniform neatly and leaned back, grinning at my friend.
“What?” Eleanor asked after a few silent moments. She paused in her eating to stare at me, her grilled cheese sandwich in one hand. “Nothing!” I responded, straightening in my seat slightly and giving my friend one of my trademarked lopsided grins.
“Don’t give me nothing,” Eleanor said, shaking her grilled cheese sandwich at me. “Seriously, nothing. Nothing at all,” I said. Eleanor gave me a suspicious glare before finishing her sandwich and the rest of her fries.
“Are you sure it was nothing?” Eleanor asked, placing a few British pounds on the table in payment for her lunch. “I’m serious, it was nothing at all Elle,” I said, also placing a few pounds on the table for my own meal.
“If you say so,” she said as we both stood up, placed our napkins on the table, and moved towards the exit. “I do say so,” I responded with a cocky grin. She shouldered me playfully and I ran into the door frame. “Oof!” I grunted as I ricocheted off of the frame. She snorted with laughter and I scowled as I made my way through the door on my second attempt.
“That wasn’t funny, it hurt,” I grumbled as I pulled on my hat. “Oh don’t be such a baby Jennifer,” Eleanor said, shoving me in the shoulder. The same shoulder where I had been stabbed while I had been a prisoner of war working grave duty at a German POW camp.
I gave a wince and rubbed my shoulder tenderly. “Oh, sorry Jen, I forgot,” Eleanor said, a look of regret on her face. “It’s alright,” I said, smiling a bit to reassure my friend. “You sure? I have some pain medicine in my purse,” Eleanor said, swinging her purse around in preparation to dig for the said medicine. I reached out and grabbed my friend’s hand. “I’m sure. I’m fine, honestly,” I said. “Well, okay,” Eleanor said, letting go of the purse to let it swing by her side.
I smiled and put my good arm around her shoulders. “Are you—“ Eleanor began. “I told you, I’m fine,” I said, cutting her off. “No, that’s not what I was going to say,” Eleanor said as we came to the barracks. “Oh,” I said. “Well, what were you going to say?”
“I was going to say, are you going to miss me when you go back to the Infantry?” Eleanor said, entering the barracks that we shared. “Of course I am Elle. I would be a fool not to. And, what kind of a person would I be if I didn’t miss my best friend?” I replied, grinning. “Not a very good one,” Eleanor said, grinning back at me. I touched my nose, “Exactly.”