The evening program, including the concert of Miriam B, turned out to be enjoyable. The singer had a powerful, cultivated voice, much richer than Gromov expected. From the intimate slow songs to culminating hits with rock arrangement, she offered her repertoire with uttermost confidence, not restricted by the small size of stage.
Despite her name which one would associate with teen audience, she was already reaching forty, or even higher, as she masked the age under layers of golden shiny make up.
Being rather short, she utilized enormously high heels to appear taller, dancing on her tiptoes. Her white silk dress sparkled with glitters all over the voluptuous body, exposing well-developed breasts in the deep cleavage.
When the show was over, Gromov clapped enthusiastically, feeling a slight pity for abandoned and hungry Akane. Together with Schubert and his friends from the local military base, they talked about last events in war development, observing frantic preparations near the stage where the photographer was readying platform for group photo of singer with pilots.
Mrs. Annabelle Corbin, now looking much healthier when not dealing with Gromov, organized the whole session in the clear, penetrating voice, audible all over the room.
"No, no, sugar, this is how things work here. I told you we have enough men, now we need female pilots. This photo has to be gender balanced... No is no, stop your mansplaining, please. Just be so kind and find me your female colleagues, if you want to help... Hey, everyone, we need beautiful ladies over here!"
Outraged pilots left, shaking their heads, disappointed she banned them from shooting the photos.
Mrs. Corbin got offended as well and complained to Major Sholto who seemed more and more exhausted, the benign brown eyes almost hidden by dropping eyelids.
"Did you see that?" crowed Mrs. Corbin. "They're gone. I asked them politely to help and what they did? Just run away. What's wrong with the guys today, major? I'm not poisoning the well, but they are just entitled, arrogant assholes. Where are all that girls? According to my list, we should have a surplus of them. Jasmine Soria is missing. Where is Jasmine? Jasmine come here."
"Unfortunately, she died in action last week. They sent Captain Chi instead."
"Poor thing. We cannot wait until they'll revive her, though. Is Captain Chi a woman?"
"No, he was with the other pilots."
"Typical. They replaced the woman by a man, trying to undermine the position of our sex."
"They had no other choice I believe. We asked them to pick up senior pilots only."
"Excuses, major. They have to try harder next time. Not holding young talented women back. Who is the next on my list? Anbi Akane. Lieutenant Anbi! She should be presented. Where is she?"
"Not sure. Sergeant Jerzinski reported to me she had gotten into the fight before."
"Oh, say no more. A man attacked her, didn't he?"
Major Sholto shrugged: "Frankly, Jerzinski's was not clear on that. From what I understood nothing serious happened. You can ask her superior or Lieutenant Schubert over there. The latter was involved somehow."
"I hope that sweet thing wasn't bruised beyond repair. Where is the brute? I need to talk to him."
Gromov who could not stop laughing covered his face in the palms and whispered to astonished Schubert. "That nice lady is after you, pal. Mansplain yourself properly."
Born in the Czech Republic, Pavel Morava is not a native English speaker. Having been twenty-two years old, he published his first book, which did not become an international bestseller. After a few other attempts, Pavel Morava abandoned the literary career for over twenty years, during which period he has been focusing on processing of plastics, programming, and raising of children.
Recently, with more time at his disposal, he returned to the forgotten ambition, fighting a futile battle with English language, procrastination, and the tendency to give up too early.
Being vivid reader of not Anglo-Saxon origin, Pavel Morava was fortunate enough to experience books from different countries, including Czech, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Swedish, Dutch, Japanese, French, German, and English. Such a vast literary variety heavily influenced his own work, which typically relies on an one-point-of-view narrative, consecutive storytelling, and elimination of unnecessary details.
Web novels and online publishing made him reevaluate his approach to style and building blocks of the text; the result should be, hopefully, lighter, shorter, and more intelligible for reading on electronic devices.