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June 04, 2006

bitten and beguiled

At the corner of Nebraska and Massachusetts streets across from the Navy Department in Washington in 1944, stood a four story brown brick building. There was no sign or hint of what might have been its purpose; it was a building of no particular architectural significance and no one would have given it a second look when they passed by. To this day, only those directly involved with the highly classified activities of the naval personnel working there would remember or care.

It had been a long week on the midnight shift for Third Class Petty Officer Lilly Dalbey and she was ready for a little R and R. Her mind was numb from the boring and tedious job she had to do night after long endless night. If she had to look up another nonsense word in one of the decode books, she would go crazy.

For a quarter, she and her friends, Sheila and Annie, could catch Sinatra at the Loew's before the picture show. Lilly needed some Blue Skies and if she was lucky, there might even be time to stop at the Mayflower Hotel. The last time she was there, Lilly had spotted a young Marine with an easy and unpuzzled smile. Maybe this would be the night he would ask her to dance.

"You want to come up to my room and talk?” asked the Marine.

"NO. I came here to dance. Just dance", replied Lilly.

"You know there are plenty of girls here that would take me up on the offer", said the Marine.

That would be the last time she would see him, she thought to herself. The days slowly passed. Her shift rotated. First ten days of eight to five, then ten days of four to one, then ten days of midnight to nine.

The guys in the teletype room were attentive but they were as ugly as a cold wind in Utah. Still a girl has to think about her future.

One morning before the midnight shift was about ready to go to the mess hall for breakfast, a long skinny box arrived. With the one crimson rose inside was a card addressed to Lilly. It read, "Want to dance?"


Posted by roadapples at June 4, 2006 08:26 AM

Ooh, very good! Is it fiction?

BTW - welcome back!

Posted by: kenju at June 7, 2006 09:18 PM

That vixen in the middle is my grandma!

Posted by: Paul at June 8, 2006 03:33 PM

Just beautiful, exactly as is.

Posted by: Jennifer at June 9, 2006 08:57 AM

Very good Paul. Now can you tell me who the Marine was?

Posted by: road apples [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2006 02:53 PM

Neat story. And I love how you keep us hanging! ;)

Posted by: Tim Rice at June 10, 2006 03:32 PM

Your banner is a wonderful design. My first visit. Love the photos, too, on your site.


Posted by: H.A.Page at June 10, 2006 05:33 PM

Awww...that' wonderful!

Posted by: poopie at June 11, 2006 02:18 PM