A pretty young girl named Amy sat at one table in a corner of the bar. An American flier walked up to her. He took off his officer's cap in order to address her.
"Ma'am, I'm Lieutenant Snaro," he said politely, "Are you Amy Stevens?"
"Yes," she replied.
"Major Frost..." began Snaro.
"John? He's not hurt or something, is he?"
"No, ma'am. He told me that you would be here tonight, and that I should make you feel welcome until he got here."
"Thank you, lieutenant. I'll just wait for John alone, though."
"You sure you're all right, ma'am?" asked Snaro genuinely.
Things were still not completely settled in America. Thugs and gangs and criminals were still roaming around, even if things were much better then they had been.
"Yes, thank you."
Snaro turned about face and grinned widely. He walked over to a table of fliers and had a few rounds with them. After a short time, the door to the bar opened and Major Jonathan Frost, U.S. Air Force came in. He walked toward Amy's table. She jumped up to hug him as he sat down. Then he quoted Khayyam.
“A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread – and Thou,
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
Ah, Wilderness were Paradise enow!”
She wagged a finger at him, pretending to be angry.
"Don’t think you can stop me from being angry by quoting love poetry. You are in a lot of trouble bringing me to this place, major," she said.
"Lt. Colonel," said Frost with a smile.
"What?" she exclaimed, taken completely by surprise.
He smiled lop-sidedly.
"I got word today. That's what I called you here about."
"There's something else too. Something better."
"What could be better, Johnny?"
Frost got down on one knee and proffered a diamond ring to Amy.
"I can afford the ring you deserve on a colonel's salary. Will you marry me, Amy?"
She leapt into his arms. Lieutenant Snaro, on the other side of the bar, got up from his table and thrust his mug into the air.
"In honor of Lt. Colonel Frost's upcoming marriage, a round for the house on me!" he yelled.
Everyone in the bar cheered, probably more at the aspect of free booze than the upcoming wedding.
"Oh, John, this is so wonderful. I've got to call my mother. I've got to do things. Oh, my, you don't mind if I go home now?"
"No. I'll come to see you in an hour or two."
"Oh, John, I love you!"
Amy kissed John and ran out of the bar. Snaro and the fliers he'd been sitting with came over to pat Frost on the back and shake hands. Snaro looked at him seriously for a moment.
"Did you tell her about the mission in two days, colonel?"
"I want to marry her before I go off. We're going to elope tomorrow, but she doesn't know yet."
"You ought to tell her now, old man," he really cared about his commander.
Frost shrugged resignedly. It was then that a drunk ground pounder slapped him on the back.
"You know, it's a shame you snapped her up, colonel," said the drunk with a slur, "She was a real hot piece of work."
"What did you say?" yelled Snaro, his cheeks turning red.
"It's all right, Larry," John turned to the drunk, "I think you'd better be more careful about what you say to me about my fiancé, sir."
"Why? No use denying that girl was hot to trot. You know, I would have loved to..."
But the world would never learn what the drunken soldier would have loved to do. John Frost had hit him with perhaps the hardest punch he had ever thrown. The drunk fell to the ground coughing and wheezing, trying to catch his breath.
Shouts came from the army side of the bar. The drunken soldier's friends were coming for retribution.
"Yeah, get my back, will you, Larry?"
"Yeah, sure, colonel," replied the young lieutenant, throwing his fist full into an oncoming corporal.
John sunk a blow into the face of the army ringleader. Things got worse from there.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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