The wind whistled through the many large oak trees standing straight, pushed the faded blue shutters against molded white siding lining the small, old houses. Birds that flew around chirped beautiful songs. The bright yellow sun sent golden rays of light that illuminated the deep green grass and highlighted the pale blue sky. It sent shimmers across the small creek that trickled down a small hill, eventually dispersing among the many pine trees that led into a large forest. Along the houses was a dirt road that would send large puffs of dirt into the air as cars passed by heading to the glowing city in the distance that wrapped it large arms around a never ending, blue sea.
“Good morning, Robert,” Lucy said as her husband, Robert, opened one of the many cabinets in their small but adequate kitchen.
“Good morning, Lucy. Make anything yet? Or were you talking to the paperboy again?” Robert put much emphasis on the last phrase just to tease her. Lucy’s face sagged into a small frown of disapproval, but realized too late it was a joke, as Robert walked over to the island in the middle of the kitchen to look at the newspaper.
“Good God. Hear this honey ‘1500 dead, Congress votes war...Oahu bombed by stunning numbers of Japanese bombers and fighters...men fought heroically...Americans suffered heavy losses‘ I need to run away!” Robert exclaimed, “if they declared war, they most certainly will have a draft.” Robert was almost shaking at this point. He didn’t want to go to war, He wanted to stay with Lucy
“Robert! Please, don’t run. This country needs you. I need you!” Lucy’s eyes started to well up with tears at the sound of the unwanted news. She knew if he ran away she would need to find a job or she’d lose the house. She was most worried about whether Robert would come home again.
For most of the day, the couple just went their separate ways. Robert sat on the couch, drinking glass after glass of scotch to calm himself. Lucy knew this was not going to go well. She was worried about Robert and his idea to run, but she was more worried about the house. How could she afford to pay it with no money coming in? Lucy then, for some reason, decided to walk outside for a nice breath of fresh air to think about options. She sat down in her rocking bench, the wind blowing with the occasional car passing by when suddenly, she saw a poster encouraging people to join factories, “ The more women at work, the sooner we will win!”
“That’s it!” Lucy exclaimed. She raced home to gather her thoughts.
When she sat down at her desk down the hall from the kitchen, she started looking at where the closest plane factory is, then there was a loud grunt and the slamming of a door.
“Oh god, Robert, that better not be you.” Lucy turned from happy to furious in a matter of seconds. She stormed down the hallway and out the back door. She soon saw a dim silhouette of a tall man walking north to Canada. It was Robert.
“Robert! Come back here, now!” Lucy yelled for the whole neighborhood to hear. Lucy knew that Robert was gone. She went home and just sulked in her large, empty bed.
When she woke up the next morning, she drove over to the breakfast bar in town to calm her mind. She ordered a steamy plate of biscuits covered in a thick layer of lumpy gravy topped with a hint of seasoning and a large cup of rich, dark coffee. She ate as though she hasn’t eaten in days. When she finished, the waitress was astounded by her appetite. Lucy paid the bill, then she rushed to the Boeing plant to sign up as a riveter. When she got there, trying to park took forever. The parking lot was filled to the brim. The only spot she could find was way the heck away in a small farm field a half mile away.
“Hi there ma’am, how are you?” asked a small lady at the front desk,”You here to join the force?”
“Yes, I am. My husband fled to Canada to avoid the draft.” Lucy tried to hide her frustration by biting her tongue. “so know I’m looking for a way to earn a little money.”
The lady at the front desk showed Lucy to a large oak table cluttered with forms and pens and motioned her to sit down.
“Just fill out the info at the top, then sign on the dotted line.” the lady was nice. She definitely wanted Lucy to be interested in the job. Lucy filled out all papers then handed it to the lady.
“Now, ma’am, we will be taking a tour of our facility.” and with that, Lucy walked with the lady around the hot, musty warehouse filled with women and men from all types of backgrounds, heavily focused with the task in front of them. Many of them wore loose fitting overalls that were smeared with layers of dark brown grease and dirt. They all held dull silver riveting guns, pounding away at large, thin panels of silver steel. Smaller men and women were under the planes painting them light gray, and at the top of them, women were painting them varieties of green, black, and brown.
At the end of the tour, Lucy was given a crisp milky uniform. Lucy left the factory and drove up the hill to her small home on the outskirts of town. She parked the car in her driveway, walked inside and plopped down with a loud thud. She slowly sank down into her velvety, bumpy couch with its numerous coffee stains and fell fast asleep.
She woke to the aromatic scent of her many magenta tulips outside, glistening with the platinum drops of early morning dew. Squirrels ran around her big oak tree in the backyard. The air felt icy. She got up from her lumpy couch and made herself a steamy bowl of dull brown oatmeal with drops of jet black raisins. She scarfed the bowl down, slipped into her uniform and rushed outside to her car. She flew down the street to the factory. It was Lucy’s first day on the job and she was already late.
She arrived with 1 minute to spare. She ran through the door, checked in at the desk and made it to her station.
“I’m here, ma’am,” Lucy gasped after her long run down to the end of the warehouse, “where should I start?”
“Start by cleaning the tops of the planes. Then, when that’s done, work on riveting door panels together.” the tall, strongly built woman demanded.
Lucy grabbed her rusted bucket and filled with milky gray water and added some soap. She grabbed a dirty mauve rag from a large container that sent a musty smell that filled the room. She walked over to her plane and climbed a steep set of stair and began her job. The plane was covered in layer of dust that, with the slightest breath, would flash a large cloud of dust making her weeze every thirty seconds. The bucket had a small hole in it that leaked water across the top of the plane. Lucy stopped to catch a breather.
As she picked up her bucket and started to move towards the back of the plane, she lost her grip on the bucket. Water fell on the plane as it hit the plane with a loud banging noise then slowly slid of the side and eventually spilling all over the floor. She bent over to wipe up the water with her rag, when her foot slipped. Lucy clung on to a small handle on the side to avoid falling down. Slowly the handle broke off sending Lucy hurtling down. The wind whipped her hair around. Her face was filled with fear as she realized her fate. She tumbled around flailing, hoping to find something to grab on to. She hit the solid concrete floor with a sickening crunch as her bones shattered. Warm, crimson blood oozed out of her head. Her eyes, filled with pain, dripped tears that slid across her cheeks. She tried to speak, but all that came out was a small flow of air. Blood filled her mouth as she began to choke, then it spilled out and down her mouth. She slowly closed her eyes as her body grew limp, then, all went dark for Lucy.
“Goodnight Lucy, don’t let the bedbugs bite,” her mom whispered. Lucy slowly opened her eyes to see her mom tucking her into bed
“Goodnight Mom,” Lucy whispered. As her mom walked out of the room Lucy pulled her bright blue blanket up to her neck, fluffed her matching pillow until it was big and poofy, then turned off the light on her night stand. She gently rested her head on the pillow and went to sleep.