"Mail call!" Radar shouted enthusiastically as he knocked on Major Houlihan's door. He jumped back as she jerked open the door and glared at him. The corporal nervously held out a package and two letters which Margaret ripped from his hands before slamming the door in his face.

As Margaret walked to her desk she carelessly tossed aside the letters and pulled a knife from her drawer to open the package. Once opened, Margaret sifted through layers of white tissue paper until her hands touched a silky fabric. She eagerly lifted out a pair of black, satin toe shoes.

Margaret smiled in remembrance and walked over to her cot, gently stroking the shoes with her thumb.


"Margaret!" Emily quickly walked towards her sister. "Maggie will you slow down?" She laughed as Margaret turned towards her, almost in tears.

"I can't find my shoes!" she cried in despair. Emily shook her head in playful disgust and walked across the room to a large, black, duffle bag. She opened the bag and extracted a pair of toe shoes from the top.

"These shoes?" she asked teasingly. Margaret laughed at herself as she sat down wearily on her bed.

"What am I going to do without you?" she asked her sister lovingly. "I'm sure I'll go crazy."

Emily laughed and sat beside Margaret, wrapping an arm around her comfortingly. "Everything will be fine; you'll see. It's only for three months. Before you know it you'll be heading home again."

Margaret smiled slightly, still not convinced of her sister's words. "Oh god Emily; I still can't believe it." Margaret looked up and began to laugh. "I'm going to Europe!"


On an impulse Margaret leaned forward and rolled up her pants before sliding off her heavy boots and replacing them with the light toe shoes. As Margaret wrapped the black ribbon around her ankles she listened carefully for any sound coming outside of her tent. She certainly didn't want anyone to see her.

Margaret stood up and quickly stretched her calves. She walked over to her desk, resting her hand on the edge lightly for balance. Slowly she brought herself up on pointe and bit her lip to keep from making a noise. She came down and sat down at her desk and groaned.

"Oh god I'm so out of shape." She muttered quietly. Margaret hurriedly untied the ribbons and slipped her feet out of the shoes. What she suspected was right, small trails of blood seeped around her toenails. Margaret rolled her eyes in annoyance and went to find something to stop the bleeding.