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.