We were being trained. In all sorts of army ways that us musicians needed to learn. We had been joined in a group with the rest of the boys assigned to the 43rd. I had met the others in captain Laurie's company. There were two of each player, instead of the usual three, due to the small size of our group. The other drummer was a young Welshman named Matthew Davies, he was slightly smaller than me and around twelve years old, why they recruited so young I'll never know. The two flag bearers of our company had also joined in the drills we do, one was an Englishman from Bolton, England, named Michael Eaves, who is very friendly, but much older than the rest of us, being in his early twenties. the second bearer was an Irishman named Christopher Collins. I had talked with him often and I knew we would get along, though he is five years my senior, the same age as my Duncan. As for Fifers, we only had one for now, being told that the other would meet us in the harbour for the trip across the ocean. The one we did have was another Englishman, from Cheapside, London, his name was Nicholas Walker. I did not like him much in his sullen and shifty ways, but he kept to himself mostly. I hoped the other fifer would be more of a pleasant sort.
We learned the drills that we were to play with the soldiers, me and Matthew, or Matty as he prefers, learned the drum rhythms for the different orders. Like the order for a charge is a simple drum roll and such. I had learned how to hold the drum sticks properly when playing and when waiting for orders, and then how to rightly put them away when not doing either. These English have customs for everything don't they?
I learned to fight with my cutlass next. Us being in a marksman company, we were to have extensive training in that, being on front lines more than others, as well as perhaps skirmish fighting. I was paired with Matty, Christopher and Nicholas were paired off, and Michael works with the instructor, a thin wiry man named Sergeant Hunter. We quickly improved at the sword work and Matty enjoyed it very much, though he seemed worried about going into a real battle. I was too, but I didn't let them know.
The boys; that being Matty, Chris, and Michael, have come to call me Danny; and whenever Chris sees me and is in a jolly mood gets into humming an old Irish tune called 'the Londonderry Air'. Being about a father who has to send his son, Danny, away to war because the pipes are calling him there or some such sadness. I don't mind though, it reminds me of home and the old bagpiper in the village where I was raised. He always had a beautiful tune to play, nowhere else could you find one of his skill.
I am heading to the training field as these thoughts come to mind, trailing behind Michael and Chris, who are in deep conversation about something. the two of them have become fast friends and have formed a brotherly bond. Together they look out for each other and Matty and I as well, Nicholas has formed his own band with other boys from London and they often prey on the younger boys in the regiment. I have come to find that Michael, even though bei
Did thou know'st that all the family recipes have nothing on thee?
For thou hav'st more mystery inside than that which causes customers lickin'.
Though a platter of the Colonel's makes me scream "Weee!",
thou art more sensational than a samplin' of fried chicken.
It is easy for me to get lost in thou'st aroma,
smelling the savory air causes one go dizzy.
Thou make me feel as though I have pleasantly gone into a coma,
thy odoriferous power focuses active minds from busy.
Thine flavor that thou hast is satisfiable,
outreaching possibility of extra crispy.
Make'st the world yelp seeing thou aren't quantifiable,
all the chicken sacrificed in case of thou'st appearances, even show'st briefly.
So in what box thou'st art found to satisfy one's splendored sensation?
Thou'st will see when we meet again, there will be a correlation.
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
I gotta say I'm not typically a writing exercise kind-of guy. In my classes, though, some interesting things always ended up coming out. You just end up writing something ridiculous , doesn't have a great deal of consitency. Oh, and plus there are the wonderful grammatical issues that happen when you don't allow the use of backspace! It's such an eeeevil limitation that just claws at you, because you also know that everyone is going to see this and be like 'ah! comma splice!' After that's finished, though, you might just wonder what you would actually write. Does it have purpose? I mean, it doesn't really need to. That's the wonderful thing about writing: it doesn't matter what you write, so long as you put words on paper, you're writing. I read a book by Natalie Goldberg (can't remember the title, right now) that described writing as a muscle that needs to be stretched. The more you write, the easier it becomes to put words on paper, the easier it flows from fingers to paper (or, in this case, a monitor). You start having conversations with your paper. I actually just tend to write down ridiculous dialogue that made me laugh. Just like this one time I was woken up by my two awesome, uppity, Russian roommates. Oh no, I can't tell that story on here, because I can't tab-indent. Uh-oh, just discovered a bug!
Sixteen chickens were now living on 'Ol Joe's farm. They were sitting and clucking around and not knowing exactly what to do.
The mom chicken gave birth to one; it was a boy. It was excited, clucking around. The sky was free and everything flowed like a feather in a breeze. It was great. Everything was good. It was the only chicken born to the mother. He wanted friends or siblings. "-Cluck- I need to have to fun -cluck- We could run around on this clucking farm together -cluck-"
It was another boy that was born! On the same day and same time that the first chicken was born. Happy. The first chicken was extremely happy. He looked at the new chicken, it looked almost exactly like him. Twins. However, it was more strange because the new chicken seemed to be the same age as the old chicken, even though he was just born. "-Cluck- Big ol' twin" The new chicken smiled at the old chicken. He seemed quite able for his age. The future seemed to be friendship.
On the same day a year later, another chicken was born. This chicken even bigger. There were three chickens now and they were clucking and confused. "Cluck" " Yes, this is strange. This chicken seems to look like both -cluck- of us" It did. This chicken seemed to be the same as the others. Three year old chicken born at the day. They were all clucking and confused. "Cluck" "Cluck" "We're friends!" said the new chicken.
They were happy but overwhelmed. Their ideas were conflicted now. Were these chickens the same age, because it seemed like they were. Or were these chickens separated by a year, because it seemed like they were. "Cluck" They clucked a lot on the farm. That's all they did for a little bit in silence. They decided to keep enjoying their time together and continuing on with life.
On the same day a year later, another chicken was born. All the chickens had grown significantly. But out of the egg in 'Ol Joe's farm, that chicken was the same size and seemed to be the same age. Were they all the same chicken separated by a year? -cluck- -cluck- -cluck- or what? They did not know what to do, they all had become great friends. They were thinking of two ideas, but continuing to cluck.
On the same day a year later, another chicken was born. Things were feather free still. This chicken was the same size and age as the other chickens. However, the chickens had gotten older. and became more intelligent. It is confusing because the new chicken was just as intelligent. They looked at each other with chicken eyes and clucked again.
On the same day a year later, another chicken was born. It became to be an uncomfortable malaise. The chickens did not know what to do. They loved their brother but were more -clucki- -cluck- confused. They decided they need to keep on going. "-Cluck- Let's play hopscotch" "Yes"
On the same day a year later, another chicken was born. It was the same size, mind, and seemed to be the same age as the other chickens, j
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
tendered flesh where your
found my skin—
[jaw lines, joints, appendages twixt]
indistinct regret as my
turnt my chin.
reminiscent of your essence,
everpresent in all my recollections
seeps between discretion.
you linger like a dream
lining my subconscious,
you stick to my clothes—
[jeans dirtied, hair tousled]
you re-emerge in inhalation and contemplation;
disrupt the surface with ease.
the smudges left,
the rubber burnt,
the charcoal scent stains
in a chest pit;
fueled with every
the skin-to-skin sensation
and each beat accelerated—
a feather-lined stomach
wont to sway in anticipation
stays its state
as if it were expected.
and to lie beside
is more than welcoming,
to sit with a firelit
until the morning; tempting.
loyal like a dog,
loyal to a fault,
Pretentious note: I didn't copy and paste—I typed every word.
Watch, where you’re going!” you sneer at me and move on with your nose up.
“sorry…” I mumble back, picking up my books
Actually you ran into me. I was standing at my locker, not like you even care.
You see me in the halls every day; I sit in the desk behind you in history, and have a locker down the hall from you.
Do you know I’m homeless?
My dad, brother, sister and I stay in abandoned buildings. Our family didn’t split up when we lost our house, and I think it’s better that way. It still feels a little like home because we somehow manage to have a few rules existing.
The rules are simply: go to school as much as you can and don’t fight or get arrested.
Before we were evicted we were a proper “use-a-napkin and write-your-thank-you-letters” kind of family.
But that was before dad was considered a disposable part of the company. That was before all the bills and their ever-so-pleasant collectors. That was before the power was cut and our tap ran dry, and a nice blue paper was nailed to our door.
Don’t think this all happened overnight, oh no, this was a prolonged suffering. My dad fought every step of the way, “just some more time” he’d say. Oh dad, why would time make an exception for us?
That gave me time to prepare though.
Step 1: Go through the stages of grief and then accept the fact that you’re moving into a new sort of residence (probably a refrigerator box)
Step 2: Practice. To get what you need you are going to have to steal, lie and beg. No need to dance around it. Homeless people tend to acquire sticky fingers. I wasn’t always a thief though, but you reach a certain breaking point. Like when that blanket in the store is so soft and warm and the temperature is dropping outside. 44 degrees… 37… 33… and there’s your breaking point. So people should check their pockets when they walk past me, and pat me down at every store exit, but they don’t.
Still, stores are only good to an extent. Homes are the real bonanza.
Breaking into houses is best during the day when most are at work. Usually it takes a little patience and surveillance. Now contrary to popular belief, we aren’t about to break into your house and rob you blind. That would put you and the police on red alert and it would have been a one-time thing. No. We are subtle. We’ll observe the house: When do the adults leave for work? The kids for school? Are there security codes? A dog? We need to get to know you in order for you to be the “hosting” family. We don’t take everything, just some crackers in the back of your pantry, a blanket from the bottom of the linen closet, and the shirt that you never wear. Nothing big enough to notice, just the stuff you forgot about already. We’ll stay with you for maybe a month or two, and then leave. You’ll never even realize we were there.
Those are the days I miss school.
And although I may have stolen many things, I still have a conscience and I won’t forget those I’ve taken from. I made a list of all the names (taken from IDs)