The Girl in White

 

 I spin around in my new white toe shoes just as Mrs. Morrison showed us, except today I get to hold these oversized red, white and blue balloons. Later we’ll give them to the wounded boys–that’s what Mrs. Morrison calls them. Some just a few years older than me, so I must remember to be kind and not look away from the horrid burns and missing arms and legs.

 

 “Be kind, Alicia, imagine how pleasant it is for these boys to watch such sweet young girls dance and twirl for them.”

 

 I wouldn’t feel happy at all to be wheeled outside only to sit and watch, unable to move, like the big Yank with the awful burns. The nurses say he’ll be dead soon.

 

 I offer him a balloon, but he shakes his head and smiles a lipless grin.“Dance, child, no war here.”

 

 He’s wrong. At night I dream of his horrible face and hate him.