New Sneak Peek today! (If you missed any of the others, you can find them all here.)
It’s winter of 1944, and Fred is trying to sneak back onto onto base after going AWOL to visit Lily. It’s going to take some doing to get past the MP’s though….
The sky was clear and studded with stars as Fred got close to the bus-stop.
He sucked in a lungful of chilly air and told himself just to keep walking straight. This was the dangerous part. Once he got past the MPs, sneaking back on base was as simple as rolling off a log.
If he got past the MPs.
He pulled the headscarf a little further forward, trying to shadow his face. Why did the stupid thing have to be so slippery? If it wasn’t sliding one way it was sliding another. Off to one side, or backwards, or straight down over his face. He’d tried tying it tighter, but then it just started cutting off the circulation to his ears and nearly choked him. How did women wear these things, anyhow?
He could see the MPs now, two of them, standing there talking in the watery light from the crescent moon. The butt-ends of their cigarettes were dull red coals, glowing brighter every time they inhaled.
Good grief it was cold! The icy wind nipped at his legs, sticking out the bottom of the coat as they were with nothing but socks over them, since his trousers were rolled up to his knees to keep them out of sight.
One MP glanced briefly in his direction, probably picking up the sound of his footsteps crunching in the snow.
Steady now. Just keep walking.
He hadn’t wanted to worry Lily by telling her, but there was a very real possibility the MPs weren’t just standing around watching people. They might actually be watching for him. Somebody could have noticed he was missing by this point. Maybe not, of course, but there was always the chance. Especially since he’d made such a big deal about asking for an exception to the blackout. All it would take was one person getting suspicious and sending somebody to find out if he was still on base…
He hunched his shoulders and bent over a little to disguise his height. There weren’t a whole lot of women as tall as he was. He tried to take smaller steps and keep his eyes down. Thanks goodness he’d stopped wearing a mustache lately!
Almost up to the bus-stop. They’d have a clear view of him now.
Blast it! This was never going to work. He didn’t look one bit like a woman. And the closer he got to the MPs, the brighter that sliver of a moon seemed to be shining. If those guys couldn’t see through his disguise, they had to be blind as bats!
He kept his head lowered and stared straight down in front of him. Oh boy. Just look at those hands! Any woman with hands that big was probably in a circus side-show. He shoved them into the coat pockets to hide them. But there wasn’t a whole lot he could do about his feet. Those shoes….they were pretty obviously man-size and military issued. And all the mud he’d managed to cake them with on the way back from Lytham still couldn’t hide that.
He stole a quick glance from the corner of his eye as he passed. One of the MPs was looking right his way now, watching him go by. There weren’t many people out this late. Especially on such a cold night. Fred hunched his shoulders a little more and stared straight ahead at the steamy cloud his breath made in the moonlight. That cloud was starting to puff faster than a steam engine.
Small steps. Remember. Small steps.
That’s what Lily had told him, right before he left. If he wanted to pass as a woman, she said, he had to remember to walk like one.
Ok, so he could take small steps. But they had better be fast ones. The sooner he got past, the less time the MP’s had to notice anything…
And that’s when his trousers started to unroll.
Uh oh! Sounds like Fred might be in trouble. Too bad the rest of this chapter is classified until the book gets released. (Muhahaha. ;-))
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And be sure to comment below if you have any questions, suggestions, or memories of Fred and Lily to share! Do you remember Fred telling this part of the story? Did I miss any important details? Let me know! (Just don’t give away the ending! ;-))