The Frog Princess Enraged
Princess Onecornchippy confronts her runaway lover, Lieutenant Mike.
My Mom was a GI Bride.
My Pop was in the US Army Air Force in World War 2. He got sent to England, to fly in B17 bombers, a flight engineer and top turret gunner. He flew 23 missions and shot down two Nazi fighter planes. He got a bunch of medals.
Pop met Mom at a tea dance, organised by the local community for the morale of the foreign airmen. She was an English rose, with pale skin, auburn hair, green eyes, and a wicked sense of humour.
He married her, and brought her back to the US in late 1945, already pregnant with me. I was one of the first of what people call the Baby Boom, in May 1946. The family settled in Long Beach, where there was a big McDonnell Douglas plant. As a flight engineer, Pop easily got a good paying job there.
They told me all this later, of course. They married young. By the time I was grown to a man, I could still see their younger selves in them. When I started college they were in their early 40s, and that isn’t old.
After having me, Mom didn't waste much time giving Pop two daughters. The three of us grew up together in the American Dream I guess, baseball, bobby socks and high school bops.
There wasn’t too much racism. Thanks to our mother, we had fairly pale skin. Only the surname gave away our Spanish roots. Ironically, Comulada ancestors had lived in southern California from before the USA was even born.
I was too young for Korea, but I was prime draft bait for Vietnam. College got me a deferment, and I enlisted in the ROTC, to have a better chance of being an officer. I went straight into the air force on graduation.
My aptitude tests showed I could make a good helicopter pilot. They used a lot of helicopters in Vietnam in the army and marines; the air force too. Airmobile warfare was the latest, greatest thing.
As a chopper pilot I could have got transferred if I wanted, but I didn’t want to fly gunships.
So far as I could see the war was a waste of lives. It’s not that I supported communism, but the news was already getting bad. We just seemed to be fighting and killing almost for the sake of it. It was on the TV every day. It was all about the bodycount.
Instead, I pushed for Search and Rescue. It wasn’t any safer, according to operational analysis, but it weighed a lot better on my conscience to save people rather than blow them away.
I flew small birds to start with. Then they brought in the CH-53 for a kind of super rescue ship, and I converted. The new helo was like a spaceship. I was so proud to fly her. I thought of a pin-up girl emblem and we had her sprayed on the nose.
Vietnam took all sorts of toll on everyone involved, even the civilians at home.
When I got a day or two furlough I spent it in Saigon with the joygirls. On a longer furlough I could go to Tokyo. There were some real honeys in Tokyo. They could break your heart if you weren’t careful.
When eventually I got a long furlough I went back to the States, where I got abused and even spat at for a killer, by long-haired weirdos I was pledged to defend. In the wrong places I was in danger of getting beaten up, just for wearing my own country’s uniform.
The next long furlough, I went to The Server instead. I figured I wouldn’t get abused there, and I was right. I got into a different kind of danger. I wasn’t careful. I fell in love.
I met a girl, short, dark haired, and beautiful, with cafe au lait skin and sparkling eyes, very well dressed. She was a great dancer. She had good friends too. That says a lot about a person. She seemed to understand me, and she was kind.
But I only met the girl on my last day. I took a chance. I invited her to spend the night with me. She did, and the next morning I sneaked out without saying goodbye, because I was in love. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to leave if she asked me to stay, but I had to go. Back to the war.
That was months ago. Since then I’ve flown dozens of missions. I’ve been shot at, I’ve nearly been shot down. I’ve saved a lot of people, together with my crew.
Every day I thought of the girl and wondered if I did the wrong thing. Scratch that. I know I did the wrong thing. I think I may have broken her heart. I think I may have broken mine.
Her name was Onecornchippy, Chippy to her friends. I wondered if I would ever see her again.
Then I got the call. An urgent mission in The Server. We flew the mission. It wasn’t hard, there was no ground fire. We got the people out by winch, and brought them safely home.
But it was Chippy who called me back. Chippy boarded my ship when we arrived in The Server. She flew the mission with me, sitting in the cargo hold with Charlie, my rear gunner.
And now the mission’s over. We’ve landed safe again. Everyone’s gone except me and her. I’m in the cockpit of my chopper, and she’s in the hold, and I’ve got to open the door and talk to her.
This may be the most scared I’ve been in my life. Because I still love her, and I think she hates me.
I open the door.
Chippy is sitting there on a jump seat. She’s wearing a camel color coat, a floppy beret, and silver strappy sandals. Her legs are bare, so she’s wearing a short dress under the coat. Her hair is longer than I remember. It’s grown out to nearly shoulder length over the months.
Chippy looks at me. She stands up.
The helicopter landed. Everyone got out except me.
I waited and waited. The machinery all stopped. The helicopter got silent, cold and dark. The only lights were the floods of the helipad, coming in through the open cargo bay doors.
I wondered what Mike was doing. Had he left me again for a fool? I was ready to cry, then I heard a noise from the front. The door into the hold opened, and he was standing there.
He was wearing a drab green, shapeless kind of one piece jumpsuit, with equipment hung off it. A pistol, a flashlight, a map pocket and stuff. Pilot kind of things. Apart from that he looked the same. Moustache, short neat hair. His eyes looked… older. As if they had seen a lot of things they hadn’t wanted to.
I stood up.
“Chippy, how are you doing?”
“How do you think I’m doing, Mike? You took me to your room, you fethed me, and you left me, and you never even sent a letter. How do you think that makes me feel?”
“Was I just a good feth for a night? Is that all I was to you?
“No! Absolutely no! I left a letter for you.”
“Yeah, right! Am I supposed to believe what you wrote?”
“It was my true feelings, Chippy. But I was wrong to do that. I should have at least have waited and talked to you. I was a coward.”
“Why didn’t you come back? Why didn’t you write?”
“It’s the war. I didn’t have your address.”
“Why come now, Mike? Why not ever for months while I was waiting? Yancy said I would get through the mill, but I never really did.”
“I couldn’t get away from duties until now. Then I felt you call me. I had to come.”
“I’m here now.”
I ran at him and began to hit him with my fists. I pummelled him as hard as I could, and that’s pretty hard.
He didn’t resist, he took the blows on his arms and chest, and he didn’t try to stop me.
I ran out of energy to fight. I dropped my arms and turned away. I began to sob, heaving sobs which racked my whole body.
He came up behind me. He put his arms around me and hugged me. He nuzzled his face into my hair and took a deep breath.
“Chippy… What I did was so wrong. I didn’t think about it properly. It was the worst thing I’ve done ever. I can’t tell you how sorry I am.”
“Mike, the months I waited.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Chippy… I’ve got to say this, I still love you. I thought of you every day. I came because you called me.”
“You should have come earlier, Mike.”
“Yes. I should have. I guess it’s too late, now.”
He let me go.
“I guess that’s it then. Goodbye.”
I turned to face him.
“Goddessdamn you for a fool. Lieutenant Mike. If I wanted rid of you, do you think I would have let you hug me like that. Come here, you idiot!”
I held my arms out, and he came to me, and he enfolded me in his arms. He kissed me gently. I started crying again but it was happy tears. Mike started crying too.
I felt so warm, for the first time in months.
“I’m taking you to my hotel.”
“You’ve got a hotel?”
“Yeah. I mean I’ve got a room. Kou arranged it for everyone. You too, you’ve got a room as well. But tonight I’m taking you to my room.”
“I’m going to punish you so hard. You won’t be walking out on me tomorrow because you won’t be able to walk!”
We went to the hotel.
We didn’t want to meet the others, so we went straight up and just ordered room service. Then we renewed our love, again and again, until we had no strength left and could barely move.
The next morning we were tired but relaxed, and no-one walked out on anyone.
© 2019 Yancy 08620163 | 8J3U37
aka Starship Captain 88
ROTC = Reserve Officer Training Corps, a cooperative training programme between the US Military and a number of universities.