by Ruth Draves
For the Daily Flash Fiction contest
|Daphne and Doris talked me into going to the USO that night. We didn't get a lot of chances to get gussied up. Doris had some Liquid Stockings, but it made our legs turn orange. Daphne debated over the nylons she got for Christmas. In the end, we took turns using an eyebrow pencil up the backs of our legs.
The hall was packed when we go there. The band wasn't anyone we had heard of -- no one ever came to Nebraska. I made a beeline to the refreshments. A gentleman in a suit passed me my cup of punch. As I thanked him, he asked me where I was from. He raised an eyebrow when I told him my hometown was Albuquerque.
"What are you doing so far away from home?" he shouted over "Roll Out the Barrel."
"I was at college back East," I said. "After Pearl Harbor, I applied for a job through the War Department and got sent here."
"And what was your major?" he asked.
"Believe it or not, Physics," I said, expecting the usual shock. To my surprise, he smiled.
"Funny, I think you are the person I am here to meet."
Later that night, Doris watched me as I got ready for bed.
"I thought about horning in on that old fogey," she pouted. "He was making a move on you."
I laughed lightly. "Oh, no, nothing like that," I said.
Daphne stretched on her bed. "Is a tail gunner someone you'd take home to Daddy?" she drawled.
My mind was on the interview I would have in the morning, and how that would take me back to the high desert, doing more than filing.
And that is how your grandmother went to work on the Manhattan Project.
Word count: 296