Lost in Translation by Catherine Russell

Kayla contemplated her folly as she observed the growing queue outside the Base liquor store. She’d started the day feeling ill, though they’d invited friends to come over that evening to celebrate her birthday. After telling her husband to postpone the festivities, she forced herself to go to work.

During the day she recovered, so she walked to the barracks on her break and told the CQ to tell her husband that the party was back on. Envisioning a folded note taped to the bulletin board, she left, secure in blissful ignorance of what she’d done.

At the day’s end, she returned to pick up her husband and friends. That was when she discovered the large letters scrawled on the dry erase board: Party at Kirby’s house!

The mass of soldiers arrived at her house happy and boisterous, and grew more so as bottles emptied and noise increased. Julia Child’s spirit magically appeared in their kitchen in the form of faux gourmands making beer-eggs from the scavenged remnants of her refrigerator. Her chihuahua snuck drinks behind the backs of ecstatic drunks who turned to find their glasses empty. The bathtub became a bed, and her birthday became an event.

With the dawning of the new day, hung-over celebrants made their way back to base. Kayla cleaned the previous night’s mess, tended her ailing dog, and resolved never to trust in the discreetness of the barracks’ CQ again.


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Filed under Catherine Russell

16 responses to “Lost in Translation by Catherine Russell

  1. That’s why I hate birthdays!

  2. Pingback: Ganymeder » Blog Archive » Friday Flash: Lost in Translation

  3. I love this “slice”. When I was newly married and living off post at the Submarine base I was a home-brewer. My apartment on Sunday was always full of imbibing sailors and strange bubbling concoctions. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Deanna Schrayer

    Aw, bless her heart! I feel so sorry for her having to clean up after those drunks.
    Well written Catherine!

  5. “The bathtub became a bed, and her birthday became an event.” That has such implications. What a lady.

  6. This was not remotely what I was expecting … I really thought it was going to be a disaster, so actually, it was nice that it wasn’t.

  7. LOL typical of a party for a wife. Party happens and she’s left with the mess. I will agree with Matt though, I was expecting it to be worse :P

  8. adampb

    Loved how the event became a party. All kinds of fun. Keep giggling at the idea of the dog being somewhat pickled.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  9. After having cleaned up after many such parties, I can imagine worse ‘tranlation mishaps’. Very well told–a lot going on in this short space.

  10. I remember that sort of Annual Event. Vaguely. Brought back some great memories!

  11. Good for her for going through with it. I would have told everyone to get the heck out. Good story!

  12. AKV

    Not being familiar with what CQ stood for or even what was meant by “base,” I had to reread. The second time I got it! Cute story.

  13. Another great flash, Catherine… Loved the flow of the piece…

  14. Happy birthday indeed! Loved the beer-eggs, and the wonderful voice. Peace…

  15. Pingback: Week #27 – lost in translation « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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