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I gave thanks to my lucky stars

“I bet you can’t remember anything of importance about any one of them, such as the first date. It must all be a blur.”
“You’re quite mistaken,” he said. “Want to know about Liz?”
“Not really,” said I. “Forget I asked.”
“I met her about two years ago,” he said, and his eyes caught an odd expression, which I had never seen on him before. “I ended up in her room that night and gave thanks to my lucky starsuntil I heard the noise.”
“What noise?”
“I’ll never forget it. The German planes came in waves, just after dark. You could hear their motors grinding overhead, rattling the city with an angry pulsation like a bee buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, as if in blind fury. Somehow we could sense from the firing of guns and wailing of sirens that there was to be no monkey business this night.”
From my own experience I knew just exactly what he must have gone through. At present, the threat of an invasion of Britain had already passed, as Hitler's attention had turned to attacking the Soviet Union in the East. But just a few months ago, a bomb had dropped close to the River Thames moments after I had crossed it. My knees should have been strong enough to support me, and my stomach had felt in some danger of letting me down. 
Now I tried to cut into his description with a bit of mine, to no avail. Ryan would not listen. He was too occupied with talking. 
“So, about Liz,” he went on. “Oh how she clung to me! In her room, with those black curtains drawn across the windows, we felt the rattle from the explosions. You could hear the boom, the heavy, stabbing boom of bombs at their work, crumpling buildings into rubble not too far away from us.”
“Did you take cover?”
“At first I did, but then I became curious. So I stepped out onto the balcony to look at the view, and a sense of vast excitement came over me.”
“Fear I would understand,” said I. “But excitement? Really?”
“Yes,” said Ryan. “How can I make it clear for you? Perhaps you’ve seen big fires before, but I doubt you’ve seen the whole horizon of a city ringed with great fires, scores of them. The closest ones were close enough for us to hear them, not only through our ears but through the bones as well: flames, crackling! Firemen, shouting! A huge blaze died down under their dousing, only to flare out again.”
“And Liz? What about her?”
“She stood behind me, pressing her hands over her eyes and shaking her head in great shock. But I, I kept gazing at the sight. There was something awe-inspiring just in the savagery of it all.”
Both of us fell silent for a while.
“So,” he said at last. “Don’t you tell me I can’t remember a thing about Liz, or any of the other girls. Boy, the stories I could tell!”

Lenny in Dancing with Air


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"The writing of this intense story of love and heartbreak is what makes it a classic. You'll go through the wringer with this one, but you'll never forget it."
 ~J.A. Schneider, author
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Xaghra’s Revenge is here