I used to be called Maisie, or Margaret in the English way, daughter of highland rebel, Ewan of Cluny McPherson. But because of the failure of the Jacobite uprising many years ago, and the threat of loosing our land. I became Daniel Cluny McPherson, the name of my long dead twin brother. The English came to my brother, Duncan one day and told him if he could not pay the taxes now upon his lands, they would become forfeit and we would be evicted. They also told him the fastest way to pay was to join the army in the American colonies. Well, my brother had his wife and child and kind heart and would be no use in an army, my young nephew had not reached the age of two yet and thus was much too young. So I, at the age of fourteen, enlisted for my family.
Late one night in the spring of 1774 I took my brothers' dirk and cut my hair as short as I could. I then took his highland cap and a pair of breeches, a vest, and a light cotton shirt from a chest that belonged to Daniel. I thought it best to leave his kilt behind and instead took his hunting tartan sash and used it as a strap for my bag. Inside I put his dirk, a cloak and food enough for three days. The only possession I owned myself of any value was my Sgian Dubh, a smaller blade than the dirk, which went in its new place in my cap; usually the knife would have gone in the folds of my skirt, but the breeches were no hiding place for it.
I slip out the door into the cool Scottish night and take a long, deep breath of the highland air for what I hope will not be the last time. then off am I, down to the lowlands and the recruiting offices of the English redcoats.
It takes me about three days to make it down to the camps and I meet more and more travellers the closer I get. the first peddler I past, I was terrified my disguise wouldn't work; but he only tipped his hat and asked me if I wanted to buy a pair of his fine shoes. I looked down at my bare feet, which had been that way my whole life. I thanked him and said in as deep a voice as I could muster without it being too obvious "no thank you sir, I dinnae have money." and we went our separate ways. When I did make it to the camp, my mouth did open a bit in awe at the sight. never have I seen a English army with my own eyes, only in stories from my father and brother. This was nowhere near the full force but was at least five hundred men strong. walking stiffly through the first rows of tents I can feel wary eyes on me and my plaid sash. But I hold my head up proudly like the stubborn Scotsman I am and head up to the first table I see.
"Can I 'elp yew with somthin' boy?" said the sergeant at the table, glaring at my sash and my cap.
"Ah'm here tae enlist tae pay off my family's debt...sir." I say.
"Name?" He leans down over a piece of paper, uncaring.
"Daniel McPherson." I answer, and I get a glance then he scribbles on the paper.
"well, welcome too the winning side boy, you'll get to see the might of the British army in the colonies." he smiled and I bite my lip to keep from firing back at him. He looks
There’s a young woman laying on a couch in her bathrobe, naked underneath, negotiating with molds of her teeth, trays filled with whitening solution, trying to set them evenly and leave them as her throat gurgles. When they’re in she lays back further, perching her computer on her lap and reaching for a red plastic cup, holding it at her chest. Saliva starts to gather at the sides of her mouth and she spits into the cup, quietly as possible so the young man on the adjacent loveseat doesn’t see, and he doesn’t, the television holding his attention. The young man looks down, shirtless, his left hand lying still on his stomach embracing the curve of a gut gone over the waistline. His hand moves up towards his neck, his fingernails catching in his chest hair with sharp friction, and he scratches at his beard, scraping the steel wool scruff on his face. He sighs and glances over at her, engrossed in reading, and clears his throat once, and then again, louder the second time. The television regains his attention, but only for a second or two. “Do you have to do that?” He asks “Whath?” He sighs, “Do you have to do that? Your teeth are fine.” The tray settled on her top jaw gets removed, “Yeah, I do.” He leans forward, “Why? Your teeth are plenty white.” “Are you kidding? They’re yellow!” “Ah, you’re crazy.” He turns back to the television, slouching back into the chair, his head leaning on his right hand. She exhales, and with heavy determination tries again to settle the mold on her jaw and let it rest, determined not to upset it, and, setting it successfully, relaxes again. And again, saliva gathers. She spits. As he sits, silent, his eyes narrow, mouth open only a sliver when she turns to see him. She stares for a second and then looks down, eyes to the floor, stirring up humid sighs through her lips coated in moisture. She hesitates, her hand resting on the cup that balances tentatively on her breasts. She can’t talk with the molds in, not without softening the sounds with the gurgling lisp of restricted consonants. She smiles in a demure, quiet way, hiding her amusement. She turns away, back to her computer, the screen reflecting a pale white off her face. She spits. This time he sees. His mouth changes, the television disappears. Suddenly his mouth shifts to a revolted grimace, his eyebrows angled inward and angry, eyes bursting wide. “Ugh, that’s disgusting!” “Whath?” Again, h
It was a strange evening. I saw many faces during the day and they seemed so rough to me. Less smiles then usually, less kind words. What did I do?..
I finished my work as usual and decided to go over the neighborhood before coming home. I was walking and asking myself, why people are so unstable. Why do they
I was 19 years old when I was sent to Nam, It was the most grusome war I have ever been thrue. Or did I make it through??? TO BE CONTINUED!!!
A draft of an idea that I've been playing with for a while about a guy who wakes up to have his world rocked a little bit, and then a whole lot, both times because of a young lady.
Welcome to the new and improved XRIVO, writerly friends. Powered by endless supplies of kit-kats and chocolate milk (it’s an obsession), Alex and I have managed to implement these new features to make XRIVO simpler and more intuitive, while working to bring you cleaner, fresher designs. There’s a lot of work going on in the comforts of the XRIVO headquarters, and we’re excited to show you exactly how they work to make your stay at XRIVO relaxing, safe, and simple.
First of all, thanks to all of you for your wonderful feedback. It’s made this process of refining XRIVO’s writer’s tools easier and more fun. For those of you who don’t know already, XRIVO’s been featured in a number of publications in the Illinois-Iowa area. It’s exciting to see the name going around.
Anyways, writers, we kind of want to show off the new XRIVO, and the way we’re going to do that is to give you three simple instructions: Write it, workshop it, share it. Think of XRIVO as that simple tool you use to practice writing. Akin to that journal you always have tucked into your jacket pocket, XRIVO is meant to be that safe place where you can share what you want, when you want, to who you want. The security and safety of our writers’ work is our number 1 concern, which is why XRIVO has a number of elements in place to make sure that your writing stays yours.
Your Copyright Protection
Once you submit work to the site, you will receive an email with a timestamp verifying you own the writing that you just put on XRIVO. Keep track of these emails! This is your copyright protection. Think of it like the easiest way to obtain intellectual property rights over your writing that you can manage. We are constantly optimizing the security of the writing our users submit to the public community, and work to continue to bring you the finest security available. XRIVO isn’t designed to share with a public community only, though, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Remember, when you’re experiencing that little itch to share something…
Write it down
Free Writing is the most direct method to begin exercising your literary muscles. Think of it exactly like that: free writing. There’s no bars held against you, here. This is your place. Want to keep it as a simple journal entry? Perfect, click ‘Save’ to keep it private. You can access this work from the ‘Edit’ button at the top of the page or by clicking ‘My Works’. Try sharing a couple journal entries with the community sometimes, too. It can be a lot of fun to get honest feedback from the community on something as simple as a journal entry. Just click ‘Publish’ and the work is readily available on the Discover page.
Workshop it with your Peers
The Writing Workshop on XRIVO is tailored to be like the writing classes Alex and I experienced at the University of Iowa. Thorough feedback is what we gave and what we received, and this is exactly what XRIVO’s tools are prepared to give you once you click ‘workshop’. Be sure to
evinced only by the stimulation in a sway,
in an eventual chafe;
the short-lived breath of renewal passing through.
inoutinout — the wounds reminisce.
they smile wide in nostalgia
and weep a salted pink.
serein, and she remembers.
he had a likeness to sand, slipping
like time; she had a soul like a soldier,
still going, searching back
confidant lost in combat:
I'm making a choice to be out of touch...leave me be,
he said, he said, he said—
but the essence burrowed deeper than realization
could dig, than acceptance could seep;
it stole away like an infidel,
as a memory withstanding
the rotted, pungent stench of
as a hope doused in impossibility, still kicking.
its place of seclusion pernicious to the touch and
thumbed only when honesty supersedes sensibility,
a phantom ache where you did reside:
soulmate, dry your eyes
you were my shadow and now
I walk unbalanced,
the sun ceases to exist as its evidence
and you have outlined my convictions
and awaking to wince;
this tenderness is all
an exploratory thumb
gingerly rubs a palm
and the sliver of pain
neonlights the night;
encouraging his fists
occasional remorse uttered
internal nausea gnawing
fists brushing skin,
salutations in sharp inhalations,
he continued, aware
of masochistic intent;
side, my thigh, a
a smile insinuates
grin and bear.
this plaything status more
a consensus wrought
in bruises and
but his knuckle splits
a spot of blood, an
"no" comes all
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i refuse to say
anything that matters
related to itself
amnesia traces motion:
how do you say
hello when the wind
like a distant friend
arboreal fingers reaching
the gusts of a body
passing into past
i deny to see
anything of meaning
absence fills up silence:
how do you see
the wind’s memories
when it only gives you
the creak of the seat
lulls memory to sleep
back and forth
the tranquil repetition
of an empty chair
a dying presence
i refuse to feel
anything of importance
the pain of knowing
you forgot something
i retold myself
with a new ending
an old beginning
in a few thoughts
i will remember
only the lost nuance
of a swaying chair
a rocking branch
fading in a photograph:
how do you say
see and feel
of the wind
now moves faste
Dedicated to my brother Jesse.
These are the first 3 chapters from a work I've been planning for a long time. Throughout the course of the next couple months, I'll be regularly adding content to it in the form of new chapters. I hope you enjoy it. Putting this work together has been and will continue to be something of an emotional purging. It's a bit insane for me to think that I've actually begun to write this, but it's been long overdue.
I'll be chronicling the last few years of my life in the form of a novel, hopefully taking you on a journey that will be memorable, charming, and curious. Feel free to leave whatever feedback you like. I'm open to any thoughts you'd like to share.
A sincere thanks to all who read this.