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Bound for Glory: Our Brethren

by Fishr


* * *

Bound for Glory: Our Brethren

Jessica Bruce

April 5, 1764 – Boston, Massachusetts - Pass the sugar, please

* * * *

"Samuel!" a deep voice bellowed from within the log house.

A young boy walked briskly into the sitting room. He quickly scanned it to hopefully find a clue why his father had summoned him. Was there something out of place? To the left of him, there was a two-level bookcase under a window. Above the bookcase, a stone was rested on top of some pieces of khaki parchment. In front, towards the boy's right, there was a needle and some twine under a bench. When the boy did not locate anything out of the ordinary in the sitting room, he returned his attention.

"You called for me, Father?" the boy asked. He stood with his arms folded across his bare chest. The boy was wearing light brown breeches and his hair was dark brown, cut just below his earlobes. It was greasy, grimy and strands of his hair stuck out like spikes in unusual directions on the top of his head.

"Yes, I did son. Could you fetch my walking stick? I left it by the fire pit."

A scowl immediately spread on the boy's lips and he began to tap a foot. "But it's less than a few inches from your feet, Father. Couldn't you have been able to get it yourself?"

"Samuel," his father began laughing, shaking a finger at his son. "You know very well I cannot walk properly without my walking stick. Refrain from acting immature, run along and fetch it, Samuel."

Samuel grunted. He walked slowly over to the fire pit, where his father's stick was resting against a log. Grabbing it, he stepped a couple of feet and dropped the stick into his father's lap. "There. Now may I go back into the kitchen?"

The large, round stomach jiggled as his father spoke. "Fine, fine. You may leave," he laughed again. As Samuel turned to leave, he did not reach fives paces before his father called for him once more. "Hold on, son - why you are so preoccupied today? What is your fancy with the kitchen, anyway?"

"I'm helping Mum wash the five plates and the little silverware we own. Then there is the sweeping. Mum also asked me to dust the three chairs, scrub the table where we eat, and then mop the floorboards afterwards. She promised that she would show me your old uniform from the War if I helped her."

His father's expression grew stern. "Judging from the enormous smile, you are bursting with enthusiasm, but I do not approve," he said, shaking another finger at his son. "Such things should remain buried. Promise me son that if she shows it, you will not form foolish ideas about warfare? Warfare is horrible, cruel, and changes a man forever. I once witnessed –"

"Father! Please," the boy groaned. "Save your stories. I'm going to go now and help Mum."

He shook his head slowly and then glared at his son. "Come here! You know very well a punishment would arise for cutting me off, Samuel, but I am tired. I will not burden you with another lecture today or issue a fit punishment. Do not let your tongue slip again. Do you understand?"

Samuel immediately responded by shutting his jaw tightly and stroked the hairs on his arm, nodding slowly. He momentarily glanced at his father's cane, which lied by his right leg. Samuel remembered its other purpose.

It was May seventh, and Samuel had barely turned fourteen. His father had threatened on numerous occasions to never enter the warring room or a punishment would arise, but Samuel crept inside on a few occasions, regardless. He just could not resist because each time he entered, Samuel discovered something new. Whether it was the cartridge box or the many intricate pictures carved into the bone of the power horn, depicting battles and the tallies of the deaths and battles won, the boy was simply attracted to his father's war supplies, like a person was to drinking water.

One day, Samuel tip toed and curiously ventured inside the warring room, without permission again. His father happened to limp by, and spotted his son poking the muzzle of the musket, resting against a wall. Samuel's father hobbled inside, and a thunderous bellow echoed throughout the room.

Samuel remembered the repetitive scolding, and the speech his father said to him. "Samuel! You deliberately disobeyed me. How many damn times do I have to tell you? Do not enter this room! Shall I plug an eardrum? Maybe then, my words will not leak from your memory! These objects are not for touching, not now, or next week. When you are older, maybe then you will understand – a musket is a weapon, and a weapon leads to warfare; something I will not allow in my house! As God as my witness, I will not allow my son become a shadow of a soldier in this house or elsewhere.

When you turn eighteen, then I may consider teaching my boy how to properly load a musket but until that day, you will, absolutely not, venture into this room. Do I make my self clear?"

Samuel started chewing on a thumb nail and gulped. He slowly eased backwards but his father reached and dragged his son closer to his body by the collar of Samuel's shirt. His father's grip tightened, causing pinching by the nape and mild restriction of air flow, but Samuel's nerves proved to outdo any physical force. The rhythm of his heart accelerated, and Samuel felt certain it would burst if the constant beat did not slow itself. In conjunction with irregular heart beats, Samuel's throat became dry and itchy. The boy stood motionless but he felt as if an imaginary noose suddenly wrapped around his neck and breathing became short wheezing puffs, as he inhaled slowly and exhaled.

He peered into two furrowing, black eyebrows and a scowl that would have caused the Lord himself to shrink fearfully away. He gradually reached outwards and tapped his father's knuckles with an index finger, a hopeful signal for a release.

Instead, Samuel's father released the grip and swung his cane. The object collided into his son's calf and the boy cried out in pain.

___

He felt his eyes widened and he licked his lips from the memory. Samuel certainly did not want to experience another episode like that again.

His father waved a weary hand and the boy hurried out of the wide foyer and returned to the kitchen. About an hour had passed and Samuel finally finished the chores. His mother led her rambunctious, fifteen year old son to an unkempt room. Inside the room, it had one window.

"Mum, I cannot see anything! It's too dark in here."

"Shush, Samuel," she said in a firm voice to her impatient son. "It should only take a moment for our vision to adjust to the brightness of the warring room."

Samuel sulked and sank on the wood floor, near the entrance. "Alright, Mum. I'll wait."

"Your patience is overwhelming," his mother remarked sarcastically.

Samuel crossed his arms against his chest again and watched his mother move steadily around the room, occasionally stumbling on lead bullets or small stones. He watched her remove the bonnet from her head, carefully placing it near his filthy feet. She combed her hands through her gray hair that flowed down to her waist.

"Mum, why are you walking around the room? You've tripped twice on the lead balls."

"Oh, I am as curious as you are Samuel. It has been some time since I've actually glanced at all your father's belongings since he returned, tidied and swept in here. In fact, when I find the nerve, I need to wipe the dust from the window sill and floor. The artifacts clinging to the walls that I carefully displayed and his musket remind me the hardships your Father underwent, readjusting to a normal lifestyle. His escalating emotions of sadness and fear took a great deal of energy. Do you remember?"

He shook his head. "I don't, Mum, at least not well."

Samuel's mother sighed. "A story for another occasion but I suppose I shall be intelligent like you and sit for a few seconds, since the soles of my feet hurt a little," she said, calmly.

"Come here and sit next to me Mum. My eyes are starting to adjust already. I can already make out small objects." He patted a spot next to him with the palm of his hand.

His mother walked carefully and sat next to her son on the left side.

"Look, Mum!" Samuel pointed to the window. "I see knives!"

There were two daggers hanging on the wooden wall; one on each side of the window. The handles of the daggers were carved from deer antlers and glistened when light poured on them. There was also a hatchet that hung above the window. The boy's head darted in all directions of the room, glancing at every object he could see.

"What are you looking at?" his mother smiled.

"Everything. I've never had the chance to look at the objects for a long time, before. Did you know there is a horn next to the powderhorn?"

She nodded. "It's a bugle horn. Your Father will have to inform you of its importance some other day. What do you think?"

"Well, you always shooed me away when you caught me glancing in the room and Father would have cuffed my ears again if he ever saw me peering in here without permission. Father and you kept reminding me I needed to grow up more. He said he didn't approve when I told him about going into the warring room today, but you let me Mum. He also said I was acting immature." Samuel stomped his right foot at the thought.

His mother reached over and pinched his freckled cheeks, teasingly.

The boy pushed his mother's hands away hastily. "Come off it, Mum. Don't do that. You know I hate it when you treat me as a child."

When she noticed Samuel frown, she patted his shoulder lightly in an attempt to prove she was fooling. "Ignore your Father," she laughed. "Enjoy the remaining of your childhood. By eighteen or so, you'll wish you had it back. Everyone matures at different rates and you are no exception, Samuel."

"Thanks. So, Mum, where –"

A deep voice rang behind the two and started them, not hearing the usual creak and thud from a certain walking stick. "What a pair; I thought you were going to show our son my old uniform, Martha?"

"Welcome Garrison! You overgrown baboon, you frightened us both!"

"You love me anyway," Welcome replied and then smiled. "Now, Martha, why are you two squatting in front of the entrance, like two ducks?"

"We were first waiting for our eyes to adjust to the brightness from the window, Father but Mum started talking."

"Well, I am sure the conversation with your mother was enlightening but the purpose is being delayed. Step aside you two. I will fetch the horse blanket, since Samuel was allowed in the room; I know he will not stop pestering us until he sees the rag."

Samuel and Martha moved away from the entrance and stood in the hallway.

"Careful, Father," Samuel shouted. "Do you need help?!"

"No! A short distance should not aggravate my injury," he bellowed towards the hallway.

Within a minute, Welcome called to Samuel. "Here, son; I found it!"

The boy raced into the room again, his eyes sparkling with excitement. "Ohh… It's grand, Father! How did you find it so fast?" he asked in an enthusiastic voice.

"I could locate the red suit, blindfolded, although I had forgotten about the obstructions on the floor. A reminder by you, Samuel, would have been considerate before I entered, since you were the first one hollering to me from the hallway. I suppose I am fortunate in that sense to not jeopardize myself further by accidentally tripping."

"May I put the uniform on?" Samuel said, ignoring his father's comment.

"The uniform is a horse blanket by my standards and yes you may wear it, on one condition." Welcome hobbled over to Samuel and clasped his shoulder. "Remember our conversation earlier today?"

"Yes, Father."

"You may wear it, only if I have your vow that you will never engage in any type of warfare." Welcome pointed behind him with a thumb. "I do not want any of these artifacts or this uniform to encourage your will to enlist in any forms of warfare." Welcome squeezed his son's shoulder tighter. "What say you, Samuel?"

"Of course, Father! I would never do such a thing. May I wear it now, please?" Clasping his hands, Samuel peered upwards to the tall and overweight man.

"Do I have your vow, son?" Welcome repeated.

Samuel started jumping in short distances from the floor. "Yes! I promise. Now, may I put it on, please?"

"Martha! Come in here, please," Welcome hollered towards the hallway.

Martha, who stood a couple inches from the room's entrance, was able to hear the conversations between father and son. She walked into the warring room and glanced at her husband questioningly.

"Good of you to join us, my woman." He pointed to Samuel with an index finger. "How could I say 'no' to that cute face, Martha? Those bunched lips and over exaggerated whimpers are testaments that our son is a beggar," Welcome remarked, with a smile slowly spreading on his face.

"He's your son, Welcome," she smiled.

"Well, go ahead son. Put it on and let us see how it fits."

Samuel dashed up beside his father. He reached and gripped the white collar of the uniform that lied crumpled near Welcome's musket. "Can you help me, Father? It's too big."

"Indeed. It was my uniform," he said. "Come here, I will help put on the old horse blanket." Welcome dropped his cane on the floor and balanced his weight the best he could, and held up the uniform so Samuel could slip his arms into it. "Turn around, son. Let us take a gander at how you look."

Samuel turned in slow circles, with his arms extended outwards. "How do I look, Father?"

Welcome brought his finger towards his lip and studied the boy. "I am not sure.

"How does our young pioneer look?" Welcome asked, still studying Samuel seriously.

"He looks filthy! When was the last time you bathed yourself, Samuel?" she asked by placing one hand on each of her hips, tapping a foot quickly.

Welcome's belly jiggled as his bellowing laughter rang throughout the walls. "That should satisfy my jollies this evening. On the rare occasion, your mother's comments never fail to have me laughing. I do not know if sarcasm was present in her comment but one of these days, a person may drop dead from the odor emitting from your body, such as your armpits for example. Fortunately, your mother and I are used to your uncleanly ness."

Samuel lifted a flap of the uniform and sniffed underneath his arm. Shrugging, "It's not like I'm about to get married. Who cares how I smell."

"You may some day. Come son, you have had your fun. It is time to put this thing away for another time."

"Oh, Father. Can't I wear it a bit longer?" Samuel gazed upwards to lock eyes with his fathers. He bunched up his lower lip and pretended to whimper.

Welcome sighed and waved his hand. "Ask your mother." He reached down and picked up his cane, careful to not lose his balance. He limped from the room, leaving Samuel and Martha alone.

"Well, can I?"

"I suppose you cannot get dirtier, what with the stains of blood found on the green cuffs," she sighed.

Samuel's face lit up, after hearing that. He circled a few more times, admiring the uniform. I don't care what Father says. He's a foolish old man, Samuel thought to himself. I love the dark blue crisscrossed stripes, in the center of the coat. The crossed lines seem to add depth to the red colour of the uniform. Father was lucky. His uniform meant he experienced excitement and the blood showed he must have had a victory. I wish I could experience what Father did and be apart of something greater than Massachusetts. Besides, Father was in his late fifties; speed couldn't have been a strong trait. I'm younger and faster with reflexes, so a bullet should not hit my kneecap, like him, if I'm paying attention. If the time comes, I will join proudly.

"Are you finished, Samuel?"

The boy nodded happily, removing the uniform and handing it to his mother. He didn't mention his secret thoughts and turned to leave the unkempt warring room.

When he was walking down the hallway, his mother called to him one last time. "Samuel, before the sun departs, go to the stream and give yourself a good scrub. You smell awful."

Samuel groaned, walking through the log house. He walked slowly past the sitting room, where his father was in a rocking chair, reading and exited outdoors to a nippy evening.

*

"Oh, in the filth!" A door slammed and a large man entered the log house. The man was corpulent; fat jiggled and swerved whenever he walked. He was balding, and short stubs of gray hair formed around his head; smooth skin showing in the middle. The man severally injured his right kneecap in a war he had been evolved with and required the use of a cane to improve his mobility.

Creak, thud. Creak, thud. Creak, thud.

A fifteen year old boy scurried into the hallway to greet his father. "Hello, Father. How was your walk?"

Welcome grumbled, and quietly muttered curses under his breath.

"What did you say?"

"I said nothing of the sort. Fetch your mother, and meet me in the sitting room. I have much to discuss with the pair of you."

Samuel cocked his head, and appeared confused by his father's words.

Welcome, sensing his son's confusion, smiled faintly and tried again. "Samuel, fetch your mother and meet me in the sitting room. Go on," his father said, by nudging his bum with the cane, "Do not delay. It is important."

Samuel turned and yelled towards the kitchen, "Mum! Father wants us to meet him in the sitting room. He said it was important."

He ruffled his son's hair, causing the strands to stick out wildly again. "We both know you have a fine pair of lungs, Samuel. But what say you save some of that air and put it to better use some other day?" His father said, chuckling. "Come, we will wait for her in the sitting room."

Welcome limped and leaned heavily on his right side as he walked. When they reached the wide foyer, Samuel darted ahead of his father and selected a spot near the fire pit to sit. Welcome ducked a few inches, upon entering so as to not bump his forehead. He resumed his favorite place to sit quietly; the rocking chair which was parallel from Samuel. He placed his cane, on the floor next to his right foot.

"What's all the commotion about?" A short and skinny woman, not much taller than five feet entered the foyer, while she was drying her hands with her apron.

"Mum! Come sit next to me. I saved a spot for you," the boy said, grinning. He patted an area next to him where she could sit; a long piece of slate with soot that settled on the thin rock.

"Samuel, shush. Come in, Martha. I have news that the pair of you should be aware of."

Martha entered slowly and selected a spot next to her husband; a carved bench from wood, to the left of Welcome. Samuel frowned at his mother's decision, but said nothing. He only crossed his arms against his clean, black shirt and groaned.

She placed her hand on his lap and squeezed his thigh gently. "What news do you bring today?"

Welcome lowered his head and shook it slowly; Samuel still sulking by the pit. "It appears Parliament has issued a tax that all Colonies are expected to follow," he said, speaking softer than his usual deep voice.

"What type of tax? When did it happen?"

He rubbed his temples clockwise, closing his eyes and ignoring his wife's questions temporally. After a few moments, he opened them, turned to his left to speak directly to Martha.

"Remember the Molasses Act of thirty-three?"

"A little, why?"

"The new act is similar to it, only there is a three cent tax on foreign refined sugar and increased taxes on coffee, indigo, and certain kinds of wine. The Parliament has also forbid importation of rum and French wines. They are calling it the Sugar Act."

"But…" Martha brought both her hands to her cheeks and gaped open-mouthed.

"Astonished as I am, I see," Welcome remarked dryly.

"But we cannot afford that."

"I am aware, Martha. What Gods honest right does that tyrant overseas have to tax without the consent of the Colonies?"

"I don't know. Perhaps, the British are looking for a way to fund their losses. How harsh was the war? I know you've mentioned it on the odd occasion, but I never wanted to press you for further details."

"If you are referring to the Seven Years War, I believe the losses were great, although I only served a small part as a soldier. When I was shot in my knee, I was discharged in fifty-nine."

"But that is three years you served."

"You forget, my good women. That war lasted seven long years and I only served a portion of that. I know no more then you or anyone else, about the real reason for this Sugar Act. But perhaps," Welcome said, waving his index finger in front of Martha, "You might be correct. I have heard rumors from others who were soldiers far longer than I and have mentioned the debt the British suffered. This tax could be their own solution to pay for their losses."

"Then what are we to do?"

"I have thought about that, the whole miserable trip back home today. Thank goodness our little house is not far from town. The conclusion I have come up with is revolting against it." Welcome's face grew stern, and his bushy brows hunched forward. "What say you, Martha?"

A few drops trickled down her cheeks. She wiped them away and with a faint smile she held both of her husband's hands, peering up to meet two dark, brown eyes that were staring at her questionably. "I do not really approve. What would the penalties be, if we and others went against the Crown?"

He shrugged. "Likely death or something inhumane," he said honestly.

"Excuse me, but I'm still here!" Samuel said, waving his hands in the air, to gain attention. "What are you two babbling about? I've been sitting here and all you are doing is squabbling about some Act and taxes. What do you mean, revolting? Why are you and Mum talking about death? Are we going to die?"

"Shush son!" Welcome snapped. "I will explain later."

"Then may I leave?" Samuel asked in a pleading voice.

"No, and shush for the last time! You plant your bum firmly to that spot and do not move."

Samuel nodded. "I am sorry, Father."

"Good." Welcomed returned his focus towards his wife again, "Now that the interruptions have ceased, will you join me? It is the only answer that is true in my heart. This has to be the way."

Martha began to fidget and squirm on the bench but after a minute she nodded. "I trust you do have our family at heart, so I will help in any way possible."

Welcome slapped Martha's back lightly and a wide smile spread on his lips.

"You are obviously pleased by my choice," she said uncertainty. "Let us pray that this is the only tax we will have to face."

"Hear, hear! That is the spirit!" Welcomed shouted. "She is a tough old bird, isn't she Samuel?"

He returned his father's excitement and smiled but he was secretly confused. He put some of the pieces to the puzzle together and realized that the Sugar Act could cause friction with his family, neighbors and with the rest of the Colonies. But he could not understand what his father meant by revolting and why their lives could be at risk.

"You appear confused about something, son. What is it?"

His jaw dropped, at the thought of his father reading his mind. "How did you know?" he said, pointing accusingly.

Welcome chuckled softly. "What do you ever mean?"

The boy slowly inhaled and exhaled reassuringly. "Nothing, Father. Are you going to tell me what you and Mum were talking about? I understand a little. There is a new tax, called the Sugar Act and Mum and you want to revolt against it. By the way, what does it mean to revolt?"

"Oh, my dear inquisitive son," he began, chuckling. "Revolting… How should I phrase the word?" His father tapped one side of his head with a finger. "Ah… Samuel, have you heard the word 'rebel' or 'rebelling?'"

"Yes, I suppose so. Why?"

"Do you know the meaning?"

"I think so. It means to 'put up a fuss.'"

Smiling, Welcome beckoned to his son. "Come closer to us. No need for you to be across the room, even if it is not a far distance."

Samuel obeyed his wishes and walked briskly to where his mother and father were and plunked himself on the rough, wooden floor so he was facing his father's face.

"Thank you. And the word rebel has a more pronounced meaning; to refuse allegiance. You see, there is a ruler, His Majesty King George the Third, who lives overseas in a country known to many as Britain. The British Empire is very powerful and those who show no respect to His Majesty are often killed; usually by a firing squad or hung in the gallows."

Martha swatted her husband's shoulder. "Stop! He won't be able to sleep tonight if you fill his head with such stories."

"Stories indeed," Welcome huffed. "Samuel, do you understand so far?"

"I do, Father. King George must be a real rat for you and Mum to disobey his word."

His father nodded and continued. "My plan is to refuse any shipments that come into Boston Harbor. If your mother is correct about the British attempting to repair their debt and the Colonists revolt against other shipments of sugar, indigo and coffee; I hope His Majesty will come to terms with his decision and refrain from further taxation in the future."

Samuel whooped and hollered, dancing crazily around the room.

"Sit your bum down, son. At your age, I would have been hunting, tending to cows or planting. Your childish excitement shows you are not quite ready for such an undertaking. That is why your mother visits our goodhearted neighbors; they spare us food. Besides, I am not through speaking," he said, calmly. "Before you run off and create havoc, there are a few guidelines you must follow. Firstly, you will not harm any of the British officers. That means you will not provoke, threaten or attempt to kill them. That would be an act of treason in their eyes and your mother and I could not bear to lose you. So do not pull any foolish stunts. Second, I do trust you are mature enough to become my middleman, Samuel."

"Middleman! Welcome dear, I do not think that is a wise –"

He raised a palm to halt Martha from speaking. "Son, you know I cannot walk properly. I can barely walk half a mile without pain. Besides… I'm fifty-nine; I do not have the youthful strength anymore. I need for you to carry out any requests I ask of you."

"You mean you want me to help you with the Sugar Act?"

"Yes, and any other taxation that rotten scoundrel overseas throws in our faces. Your mother will help too but only in private, at home; without the use of sugar and molasses to cook with. I fear too much that the British would release their fury more on an innocent women than a young man."

Samuel smiled when he heard that his father referred to him as a man. He watched his son, as he tossed his shoulders back and saluted his father. "General, sir! What are my orders, sir?"

Welcome sighed, shaking his head. "Martha, could you try and settle our rambunctious son? And please remind him, he is not a soldier, nor is going to become one, right Samuel?"

The boy's head fell. "Look what you did, you big galoot. You hurt his feelings," Martha said, swatting her husband's thigh, angrily.

Welcome grunted. "Nonetheless, I never want him to act as a soldier. Now, Samuel, are you ready for your first order?"

Samuel jumped onto his feet and nodded eagerly.

"That is my boy," he grinned. "I want you to find every drop of sugar and molasses in this house, build a fire outdoors and burn it. And in your travels, if you spot rum bottles, burn those too. I do not want to be influenced by sipping, if we are revolting. These are your chores this afternoon."

"Oh, I will Father. You can count on me." And before his mother or father could finalize anything else, Samuel sprinted away to collect all the sugar and molasses he could find.


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Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:12 pm
Fishr says...



Hey there! :D

Thanks for reading. How far did you get? ;) Oh, what do you think of the character's traits?

*

Yes, the boy's father's name is indeed Welcome. ;) Believe it or not, in colonial America it was a very common name but predominately a female one. There have been instances we're I've seen men named Welcome when I visit cemeteries as early as circa 1680 in Boston. Mehitable, a female name, was also popular. There are a couple of "unusual" namesakes in this story, as I've tried to keep it as authentic as possible, sticking the era like glue.

Cheers!

If you have anymore questions, please ask. :D




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Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:55 pm
ThanatosPrinciple wrote a review...



This had very good imagery, it was very easy to imagine their home and their situation. I think the boy's father had a very, very strange name. At first I thought it was a part of a dialogue in the wrong place, but no. Was that his real name or was it part of fiction?




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Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:26 pm
Church says...



that was great and i really enjoyed it




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Fri May 11, 2007 9:53 pm
Fishr says...



I could not stifle it, and laughed. "I do not think Mum is in the mood for sarcasm, Father."

"Mood?" father commented, and his tone instantly lowered and become serious. "Who is the one that is pouring their heart and soul this evening? Who is the one that is willingly sharing a portion of their history, even if this person is not completely comfortable discussing it?"

"Welcome, button your lips," mum replied sternly. "Our son merely commented and I'm sure he meant no harm. Now, as for your comment, I disagree in some respects. If you were so uncomfortable, you'd have left long ago, correct?"

Father raised his right index finger, and opened his mouth but no sounds came out. I watched him shut his jaw, and then Father crossed his arms defiantly against his chest, and sulked.

"You do realize that your expression resembles that of an impudent boy?" mum commented.

"What is the meaning of impudent?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

Father unraveled his arms and pointed directly at mum. "Your Mother assumes I am behaving in the manner of a barefaced child." He dropped his finger, and it fell heavily against his left kneecap. "What was your question, Martha?" father grumbled.

"Aside from the gruff attitude by my husband, I'm curious as to why Samuel thinks of you as his brother? He mentioned it on quite a few occasions in his entry."

"Should I break our pact?" I asked uncertainly, and rubbed my chin with a thumb.

"You have already broken the pact by writing about it," father remarked.

I nodded. "I suppose I have. Are you displeased with my decision?"

Father sighed, and shook his head. "I cannot display contempt towards my son that has placed me on a pedestal. I am honored that you think so highly of me. Go ahead, and inform your Mother. It will not bother me at all."

I smiled opened-mouthed. I turned around so that Mum and I were in eye contact. "When Father whispered into my ear earlier, he revealed that he remained as an only child but he was grateful to return home from the war and embrace his brother – me, Mum."

Mum responded by combing the top of my head with her fingers, and then the position shifted, and soon Mum's palm rubbed one of my cheeks. I brought my left hand to my forehead, and tucked heavy, brown locks behind my ear. I had not had a proper grooming in a few years, and my hair especially was starting to grow thick and long. Although, unlike my earlier days, I believe I do not have the distinct aroma of decay anymore. It has been somewhat of a minor priority of mine; to bathe and try and not send the Whigs fleeing for their lives due to a stench coming from me.

Mum stopped stroking my cheeks and said, "I cannot disagree with your Father. You and Welcome do share similarities."

"Oh?" I asked.

Mum nodded. "Both of your stubborn natures have forced more gray hairs on my head then Mother Nature intended."

Father and I chuckled simultaneously after that.

I turned back around so I was facing Father, and pointed behind me with a thumb. "As my newfound brother, should we drop a beetle down, Mum's dress? That should provide a few more gray hairs," I chuckled, thinking about her squirming and shrieking at Father and me.

"You try such a task, and I swear I'll –, " mum started, but father raised a palm and mum stopped speaking abruptly.

"In my time, I robbed Death on many occasions, and I see no point in testing fate once more," father smirked. "I do value my life, and although watching a cannon ball ricocheting on the Earth and connecting by hitting ankles, and such, was beyond comprehension in terms of fright, your Mother's temper could be equally as frightening."

"Somehow, I doubt that," I laughed.

"True," father nodded with a serious expression. "A cannon ball was much more nerving."

"What do think about Father calling me as his brother, Mum?" I asked, without turning my head.

"There is not much that can be said, except I'm happy that you and your father appear to have such a strong bond. There is nothing wrong with that," mum replied.

Father and I exchanged smiles.

"Out of curiosity," I thought aloud, "Have you always wanted a sibling, Father? It just appeared that way when you whispered in my ear earlier but I never questioned it."

His smile faded but a trace of it still remained. "Under your grandfather's roof, the atmosphere for me personally was terrifying because of his demeanor and unpredictability. My Mother was supportive of her son, but she was a woman."

"And?" mum replied sharply. "What is wrong with woman, Welcome?"

"You cannot speak to a woman about the complications of manhood," father retorted.

"Men," mum mumbled behind me.

"Now, before your Mother interrupted, son, from the time as a young boy to God knows how long, I prayed for a brother, someone that I could express myself too and someone that understood my thoughts but He never granted my wish."

"And I'm to fill that emptiness? I'm not sure what happened with my grandfather and you, but I'm sorry, Father."

"I believe the answer is evident, son, and it should be obvious, but as for him, your grandfather is deceased, which I suppose was God's way of protecting me; praise Him."

"I wish I could have met my grandfather," I mumbled.

"No, my dear son, he was not the man you presume him to be. Let it be known here and now, your grandfather was unkind, and he adored inflicting bruises."




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Fri May 11, 2007 9:43 pm
Fishr says...



"What is your opinion with my writing?" I asked immediately as soon as mum finished.

A waft of air stirred the hairs on the nape of my neck, as the leather book shut behind me.

There was coughing behind me, followed by swallowing, and then Mum pinched my right cheek lightly. She wiggled it, and my gums produced a sloshing sound. Father did not respond with comments or shown the slightest sign of humor. Instead, he had crossed his arms against his stomach, and looked straight ahead.

"Alright, Mum! You can stop with the cheeks, please."

"Have I embarrassed you, Samuel?" mum asked and released my cheeks.

"If you did, I would not have allowed the check-pinching for a solid minute. They just began hurting after a while, like a mild stinging sensation."

"I do apologize and I meant no harm. Would you care for a bandage?" mum asked.

Father responded by cupping his mouth, and I noticed both corners of his lips arched upwards.

"Are you laughing at me?" I asked.

Father shook his head with the same expression.

"Are you bluffing?" I asked boldly.

He nodded his head, and released his hand from his mouth. "Once in a lifetime, your Mother never fails to send me into laughter, and by this conversation, I am eternally grateful for Martha's sarcasm. She supplied a smile upon my face this evening."

"Samuel, you wrote a beautiful entry in your Father's journal. Wouldn't you agree, Welcome?" mum remarked.

"He did," father said, and I was relieved that his smile remained. To me it meant that he wasn't upset anymore or at least for the time being.

A hand placed itself firmly upon my left shoulder, and Mum's hand squeezed it gently. Within a few seconds, her hand retracted.

"Your penmanship has vastly improved, Samuel. Have you been practicing?" mum asked.

"Thank you, Mum, but no, not recently. I have not had a reason to write," I commented.

"I believe that is a slight exaggeration. If you have not written recently or hardly at all, then your penmanship had no path on improving."

"Yes, but, well… Yes, actually, I suppose I have a little. In meetings with the Whigs, I have forgotten, I do occasionally write a bit."

"Well, unlike Welcome, there were hardly any spelling errors; a few grammatical mistakes but no harm otherwise."

"Pardon me, Miss Influential Teacher of all that relates to literature," father huffed, and then he crossed his arms defiantly against his chest.

"I realized I have excelled in reading and writing, due to your patience, and hours spent in teaching me as a child. Thanks, Mum," I winked at father.

"Humph," was the response I received from him in return. "I am patient too," he added.

"Your patience is hardly matched against Samuels' in some respects, especially when our son inquires answers by asking you specifically, Welcome."

"Oh, bloody –" father started.

"However," mum interrupted, "His Mother is his teacher for literature's sake but Samuel's Father is his avid teacher of life, and I would assume that area would take a greater amount of patience."

"Now, who could argue with that!" father bellowed, and tossed his left arm high above his head. After he dropped his hand into his lap, Father smiled.

"Thank you too, Father," I smiled in return.

"I do have a question. Perhaps Samuel or you could enlighten me," mum said.

"If I knew the question, perhaps I could supply the answer," father winked.




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Fri May 11, 2007 9:31 pm
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The idea burned, and I grinned inside my head. I will wait until the time is correct, I instructed myself.

I felt someone shake my shoulder, and I reacted by rubbing my eyes. "I apologize, Mum. What is it?" I asked without turning my head behind me.

"Your Father appears to be ready," mum said.

"Hello, Father," I said, attempting to coax him into speaking.

"On the outside of the cross, it says, Lord Watch My Family, and in the inside of the circle, it says, And Pray For Me," father mumbled.

"Lord, watch my family and pray for me, is that what you said?" I asked.

"Yes, Samuel," father muttered so quietly, I barely heard him at all.

"I suppose Christ kept to his promise, didn't he? You did return to Boston."

"Yes," he muttered.

Before I revealed my idea, I asked one more question. "Why are some of the pages in the journal torn and covered in soil?"

"I dropped it several times because my hands shook."

"Nerves?"

"Yes, Samuel. I only had light from a fire a few yards from me, and as I mentioned, time was against me before a soldier put out the fire. Confiding also added to the hand jerking."

Now, there's your opening. Capitalize on it!

"Speaking of confiding," I started, and rubbed my chin thoughtfully.

"Yes?" father asked.

"If I retrieve the quill, may I please write something in your journal? Writing is sometimes easier, than speaking, even if it is their family."

Father raised an eyebrow, and I sensed he was uncertain.

"How is your body recuperating?" he asked.

"I'm still a bit stiff, but I'm healing," I remarked.

"I see. Martha, whilst I search for a blank page, could you fetch the quill for him?"

"You will have to steady yourself, Samuel when I move from the bench. Without my weight, the bench may slide. Just be careful and try and not topple over," mum said.

"Thank you for the warning," I said, and placed both my hands behind me and leaned against them for support.

The bench creaked, and I turned to my left, watching Mum walk briskly towards the bookcase. The quill was on the top of it, in its usual spot, and she gripped it and the ink well. She walked towards, and handed me the quill and the silver disc object that stored the ink if I required more.

"Thank you," I said, as I reached for the quill with my left hand. "Now, all I need is something to write in," I remarked seriously.

The bench creaked, and I felt Mum's feet brush up against my shoulder blades. I leaned heavily against the bench again, and looked at Father.

"Here," he muttered, and Father held out the book. "My finger supports five blank pages. That should be more than sufficient."

I reached forward, winced when slight pain stabbed my neck, and slipped my right fingers, book marking the pages he had reserved for me. I placed the ink well next to my left thigh, and opened Father's journal.

Without missing a beat, I began writing immediately. About thirty minutes passed, and no one disturbed me. When I finished, I placed the quill next to the ink well, closed the journal, and held it outwards for Father.

Father tilted his head down, and then raised it. "I am allowed to read your writing before your mother?"

"I wrote it for you, not her," I replied.

"Men and their secrets," mum huffed.

"You may read it too, Mum. That is, that is if Father wants to share after he's finished."

"I suppose I will be patient then," mum remarked.

He grabbed his journal from my fingers, and flipped through the pages. I hoped father would read my writing aloud, so I could hear it too but to slight disappointment, he read silently.

While father read, I glanced out the window behind him. The sun had disappeared, leaving a brilliant hue of reds, blues, and purple colours in the sky. I predicted in a few hours, stars would immerge, which excited me in a sense. When father and mum retired to the quarters, I'd have the opportunity observing the North Star tonight, the very same father looked too when he thought of us.

"Samuel," father said nearly in a whisper. "My thanks."

"You liked it?" I asked.

"Yes," he muttered.

"Could you expand further on that comment?" I pried.

"No," father muttered.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because, I will cry."

"That was not my intention," I sighed. "I wanted to cheer you up."

"I am just touched, that is all. I believe the chevron has a new spot in my journal to call home now."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Thanks!" I hollered happily.

Father shielded his right ear immediately after my outburst and winced. "Quite a pair of lungs God has distributed to you, son. Hand this to your mother. I believe she should read your entry as well."

I smiled about the comment with my lungs. "Alright, but only if she promises to read it aloud," I said slyly. "I want to hear what I wrote."

"So be it, Samuel," mum agreed. "Give it to me, please."

Father leaned forward again, and I leaned outwards, grabbing the journal. I passed the closed book over my head, and felt the object disappear from my fingers.

Behind me, I heard pages crinkle, and gusts of air stirred the hairs on the back of my head, as mum flipped through quickly.

"Our son's passage is at the very end, Martha but he did break our secrecy."

"I found it," mum said. "And what secrecy are you speaking of?"

"Read, and you shall be informed, my woman," he said, waving the back of his left hand.

"Alright, Welcome. I shall read, and determine why my husband has become so eager all of a sudden with our son's writing."

"Could you read it aloud, Mum?"

"Yes, I heard you the first time, Samuel. Give me a moment and I will begin," she replied casually. "1767," mum began, and then my ears perked up, as she continued reading my passage aloud:




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Fri May 11, 2007 7:51 pm
Fishr says...



"I don't think you should leave him in suspense, Mum," I suggested.

"That's not my intention but don't forget your Father will pry information from you too, soon enough."

"And that is a promise," he added firmly. "Now, what sort is on your mind, Martha?"

"You have proved it," mum answered instantly. "Through and through, you have proved it."

"Proved what?" I asked confused.

"Open the journal, and read the ending of the passage again, son."

Obeying, I opened it, and flipped through the July 25th entry, and reread the ending. After a few seconds, I observed the cross, and the scribbled message inside it. Then I closed the book, with my thumb book marking the date and peered at Father, whom was smiling again.

"I love you, Father. I'm glad you returned safely."

With that, he limped towards, bent over and embraced me, just as I had envisioned it when I read the journal. An arm was wrapped around my neck, while Father's right wrapped itself around the lower half of my back, squeezing.

Soon, he began whispering in my right eardrum. It tickled but I listened intently to the rest of his message. "From the morning until the evening the time shall be changed, and all these are swift in the eyes of God. Son, the meaning I am trying to convey is within that span from sunrise to sunset, our Lord is selective, and in a single day, a person will accompany Him. Understand?" father asked.

"I should live my life to its fullest, correct?" I whispered into his left ear.

"Yes, son. I knew my boy was intelligent," he whispered.

His compliment provided happiness within me, and I smiled, as I continued listening to his whispers.

"If I could express… I, my point is, oh, in the filth! Samuel," father whispered again. "I will come straight to the point I suppose. I have a confession. Luck was never on my side, and so, I remained an only child. I never wrote it, but I too, am grateful the Lord allowed me to return home, and embrace my brother."

Before I responded, Father released me, turned, limped back to his rocking chair, and before he sat, Father touched his right kneecap, and winced. Within a few seconds he squatted and took a seat.

"What did he say to you, Samuel?" mum asked.

I grinned, and the uncomfortable emotions I experienced earlier, washed away after Father's revelation. "Should I tell her, Father?"

"Well?" mum asked.

"Who is the one prying now?" father retorted, and chuckled lightly.

"Well?" mum asked again.

"Cannot a father and his son keep one secret?" he asked seriously.

"I shall respect that," mum replied behind me.

Father nodded in return.

"I suppose that answers that question," I remarked.

"Yes, but I am not finished with you, Samuel," he said.

"Oh?" I asked curiously.

"I believe it is your turn. What say you share with me your opinions with my journal entry. You have had plenty of time in contemplating."

I swallowed nervously. "Am I allowed to ask questions instead, Father?"

"If questions will help assist you, than yes, you may ask them."

"The flower, I'm assuming it's a flower, is it a rose?"

"Yes – the white rose of Yorkshire. Every passage in my journal has one in the upper right-hand corner."

"At the end of the entry, there is a cross, with a message in it. It's difficult to read it. Could you tell me what the inscription says?"

"Pass the journal to me, son," father said.

I leaned forward, with my thumb still in between the pages. I held the book outwards.

Father gripped the spine of the book, and flipped through quickly. I heard him mumble as he was rereading.

I watched him bring his journal closer, and now his face was completely hidden. Silence erupted, and while I fidgeted by scratching my cheek or rubbing one of my shins with a toe, I waited as patiently as I was able.

Within a few minutes, Father closed, and set the journal in his lap. I decided to study his facial features, and hopefully find a clue in what to expect next. Father was frowning, which made me feel unhappy as well. I realize now, he has been through tremendous ordeals, and if I find a solution - that's it!




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Mon May 07, 2007 7:16 pm
Fishr says...



When I finished, I slipped my right thumb in between the pages, book marking the passage in Father's journal, and placed the leather-bound object in my lap. I reacted by simply gawking blankly at the cover, while emotions suffocated me.

"You have finished?" father asked curiously.

"I have," I muttered.

"Your thoughts?" he asked.

"All me a few minutes, please. I need time to think," I whispered in a hoarse voice.

My throat was raw and itchy, so for relief, I coughed, and when I did, the journal bounced from my stomach. Luckily, my thumb remained in between the pages.

A few seconds passed, and I had expected Father would press me for further answers by now but to my surprise and delight, he did not. I raised my head, and momentarily stared blankly into a pair of eyes that were staring back at me. To meet his eyes looking at me intently and a serious expression, father's demeanor persuaded me to immediately avoid him, and I glanced at the cover again.

The passage… he… my father… Oh! I growled silently to myself. I was a bit surprised anger had shown its ugly face first but I could not blame it. I would have scolded myself for the remaining of the afternoon today if I had the opportunity. Why couldn't I have just kept my mouth shut for once in my life? Why did I ask about reading the journal?

Do you regret reading the journal entry? a whisper inside my head asked me.

No, I… Maybe, I said, answering the voice.

A lot of spelling errors, but do you think your father was really writing in haste? Look at the time spent drawing those pictures.

Shush! I yelled angrily at the voice.

After that, the invisible voice that was badgering me, listened to my request and departed, leaving me bewildered that I was having an actual conversation with myself.

Sighing, I continued gawking at the journal's cover, while other emotions started surfacing. I felt them linger, and they called, beckoning for me to answer them. Instead, I shook my head slowly, and filed them in the back of my mind, unwilling to acknowledge their existence. My decision was somewhat in vein because two emotions stubbornly remained – embarrassment and mild depression. Both waited like two headstrong children; Brother Embarrassment was determined to make me feel awkward and uneasy but Sister Depression wanted me to feel remorse and be sympathetic for Father. When those two emotions intertwined like a tight braid, they left me uneasy, and unable to cope.

To quote father, indeed I was having a profound time organizing my thoughts and emotions, and now I understood how difficult it was for him to speak earlier. I could only imagine what sort of thoughts, emotions or voices was entering his mind this very moment.

I swallowed nervously, and then sighed again. I lifted my head and looked at Father. I noticed he was hunched, and each forearm was on top of his kneecaps. His expression hadn't changed. Father still had a serious expression, and judging by the way his head was positioned, he appeared to be studying me. I turned around, winced; some muscles in my neck were knotted still, and observed Mum. Her cheeks were dry, so I assumed she had stopped crying a while ago but her expression was identical to fathers'. Mum was tight-lipped also. She sat straight, with her hands cupped neatly her lap.

"Samuel…," a deep voiced called.

I turned around quickly and saw that Father was no longer hunched over. Instead, he was sitting straight, like Mum; his hands remained on top of his kneecaps.

"At least ten minutes have passed. Can you speak to me now or do you insist on letting an old man wonder impatiently?" father asked, with a tiny smile forming on his lips.

"I… I… I don't know how to interrupt, I don't know what to say," I remarked honestly.

The smile vanished, and Father nodded. He lifted his head a few inches upwards.

"Martha, care to express your self?"

"I believe I'm in the same situation as Samuel," mum responded.

"And that is understandable, something I had expected, but what say you two cease on being silent as death, and speak your minds. Now, who wishes to begin?"

"I do not feel comfortable discussing certain parts of that entry with our son, Welcome."

"Our son is growing into a young gentleman," father retorted.

"Thank you for stating the obvious, Welcome, but that does not change how I feel," mum retorted in return.

"What precisely in the journal entry has you uptight, my wife?"

"Ohh…," mum groaned. "What a ridiculous question!"

My eyes widened, and it was no surprise that father did the same. Mum's sudden outburst shocked us both.

"You wrote, 'I would ask permission,' and if I agreed, you'd unbutton my dress?!"

"And so the truth speaks," father smirked, and then winked at me. Then just as the smile was born, it disappeared again. "I was writing from my heart, Martha. I was without my family, and it should be obvious, I was lonely the day that entry was written."

"But you wrote about sex!" mum hollered.

Unresponsive and embarrassment growing, I frowned while I listened.

"And what a beautiful night it was, yes?" father asked seriously.

After his question, my cheeks became warm, which probably meant I was blushing. Ignoring the unpleasant feeling, I waited for Mum's response. Several seconds slipped by, and not a word from her or father.

"May I say something?" I blurted.

"One minute, son. I apologize, Martha, if I caused discomfort but I was being honest."

"And a prying louse," mum huffed.

He blinked and then gulped. "That hurts," father mumbled to his feet.

"I suppose that was unkind of me to say that, but you must admit, Welcome, you were being impish."

Father lifted his head and nodded. "I suppose I was acting mischievously, and perhaps we will discuss that particular section of the entry – alone, and when you are ready."

"I'd appreciate that, thank you," mum said.

"Very well, but there must be more on your mind, yes?"

"Yes, there is," mum said.

"Well, out with it. If either of you have not concluded, I am anxious."

---
(And I'm going fishing - last minute thing, so I apologize but I'll post more, maybe tonight. Thanks for reading.




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Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:08 am
Fishr says...



These are the originals, and I couldn't blow them up; too large of a file anyway. Unlike my draft, I can enlarge them. If you cannot read them, that is fine, I'll save your eyes the agony and handtype the enteries. At least though, you got see how the pages looked. I would, however, like feedback on the their appearance please. What were your impressions of the physical appearance?

One other note, these enteries are IN colonial dialect. Have fun, ;) And thank you!

EDIT: Forgot, but now we have reached where the story is no longer G rated.

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Beyond this, I will post more tomorrow. I'm a little soar and a tad sick. XD But I couldn't resist showing the pages.




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Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:23 am
Myth says...



Charles Townshend (1725 - 1767) The Townshend Act was passed just before his death. But Wikipedia seems to call him Townsend and Townshend, don't know what's going on there XD

I've never been 100% correct about anything, and I think Martha pulls it off as a strong character, but it is quite difficult to say as she has not appeared much. I'll give a more definate answer when there is more to read.

The letter I was reffering to was written by Welcome to Martha. Glad to read you'll be adding the Tea Party—six years after the chapter I've just read so Sam G will be in his twenties?




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Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:22 pm
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Townshend keeled over?? Whaa... :shock: Well, I'll have to go through my notes and mountain of books and take a closer look on that one, lol. Well, on normal circumstances, I wouldn't tell. :twisted: But there are certain rules I'm bound to, and if I don't follow them, I'll be shot! But... I rather not leave you in torture so, *inhales deep breath* yes, I will be writing the Tea Party but because half of it is fiction, I'll be adding my own twist. :twisted: :wink: I'm very happy one story has influencesd one person to take up my period, and not read quickly through but take everything in slowly. Not many Americans realize this but England and America are brethren. We have the closest ties from the earliest days of the 1600's than any other country, and I'm for one am proud to be half English myself. I think it's tremendous you're so willing to learn bout the Trials and Revolution, and in the end, I hope you'll be able to take a piece with you and pass on your newfound knowledge to the next generation, friends or family.

Martha, sometimes she has to deal with two big kids
*slaps knee and laughs* I have always thought this myself. I've just been waiting to see if someone shared the same opinion. Your impressions of Welcome raising his son, and Samuel as a whole were 100% correct. It's good to know that I'm on the right path, and I'm slowly but surely suceeding with their profiles. Poor Martha indeed, LOL!! Do you think she's strong mentally? Or weak?

Hmm? Which letter again? There's quite a few. :P I agree about the picture. It was an experiment, and I will remove the illistration - thank you!

Aw, the journal... Since you're up to this point, (and my scanner is on the fritz, I'll have to type from the original, which is a shame. The pages are written in colonial dialect and are setup to be "aged." They look like they have seen better days, which I hoped would set the mood but now I won't know, LOL! At least not yet.

I will type up the journal enteries right away because chapter three is far, far from over. You're just reading the underline of it. ;)




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Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:28 pm
Myth says...



I’ve come to the end at last =]

As I’ve said before, you influenced me to go out and research American history for myself—I’m still reading through things slowly, will take up Salem Witch Trails later—so you should be very proud. Now I know who got the Boston Tea Party going, and will you be including that or the death of Charles Townshend?

Samuel shows his keen interest at the age most boys from that era would naturally be curious about their father’s (elder brothers, perhaps) affairs and war/weapons. And through his learning he bonds with his father, a man who doesn’t get out much due to an injury, but manages the father role perfectly—who also tells him of the very country that threatens them with taxes, etc. Poor Martha, sometimes she has to deal with two big kids.

The letter and picture were quite hard to read, maybe you could have the inscription below it? My poor eyes had to squint, wearing glasses makes it worse. But you didn’t include what the journal said! =[

Since Sam G is the youngest then maybe he reflects rather than acts? Or makes comments to himself, someone beside him?

-- Myth




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Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:30 pm
Fishr says...



Hey there!

Well, it looks like I made some stupid errors. Ones that have me baffled that I actually missed. Then again, I really shouldn't keep back tracking and only press foreward in finishing the first draft. XD


To add some action from the so-so drab homelife of the Garrisons', it was my chance to cut loose. It was also my chance to finally introduce the State House, which can be found on King (State) Street. But, lol, you're right. I had way too much fun with it! Good point about Sammy. It never occured to me. I will have to take a hard look, and figure out why the little turdball acted so, uh, nonchalant (if that's the correct word?) I guess he took this meeting with a grain of salt, eh? Then again, he's still pretty young, the youngest member of the Sons of Liberty. Though he IS eighteen now in the year of 1767, perhaps he still has some growing up to do. ;) I'm honestly not sure what his motives were. *scratches head* What do you think?

But I was a little surprised at Martha’s attitude towards Samuel Adams, I had thought she would be amazed to have met, the very man who her son has been ‘loyal’ to for three years. Though it is great to see that Samuel has two loving parents, both willing to speak with him when there are problems—even if it is in the middle of the night

Though I’m still waiting to find out what S Garrison’s grandfather was called, I didn’t forget about him =]
You and me both, LOL! I had supected that it would be Welcome that would be timid, but nope! He came out as being gregarious in the end, but... lol, that stick came, and Sammy is still being whipped into shape! Martha was a thorn in my side for many months; I just could not make sense of her but now, HER family history which was written a month ago, might put her motives in prespective with the first, proper encounter with Sam Adams. (Uh hem, wait til you meet Revere, LOL!!)

Well, about the enigma, aka, the grandfather, there's some tweaking I'll have to do but you're are not the only one who's been asking... I seemed to have driven a few readers outside of YWS into sanity with the subject. I am an evil writer in that sense. It's part of my style to leave readers in suspense in bask in all its glory until I'm ready, lol. Sorry.

About the crits, I agree with all of your suggestions. Way to stay on top of the period, Myth! Good work, and thanks for everything! Best wishes!




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Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:33 pm
Myth says...



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*

"I cannot breathe guys," I said, in a muffled voice.


Guys, sounds modern?

"You have the Mighty Lord's greatest gift we shall ever receive; a family and one that loves you so much, we shall slay our own wrists and boar blood for your survival, Samuel."


‘boar’ = pour? lol

*

Running swiftly – the clank of shoes hitting the cobblestones – looking behind my shoulder, an object on hot pursuit – glance towards the sky; gray clouds and lightning bolts flashing wildly – feel stomach heave; must stop for oxygen – peer over shoulder again – the object is on my heels – I turn and run faster – buildings and corners accelerate with the speed of my feet – I trip over my ankle and smash face – turning my body quickly over in preparation to flee, the object hovers high over my chest – I try to scream – no sounds come – blood trickles down corners of my lips – I feel my eyes widen and watch in horror at the object; a noose floats up my chest and wraps itself firmly – try to tear it lose – useless – the rope become taut – I cough and gasp - lightning flashes through the clouds, illuminating Mister Andrew Oliver's somber expression in the sky - I cry out - no sound - running out of air - the noose, tearing into my flesh - my eyeballs begin to pop, then the world goes black. My eyelids flitter and the last thing I see before death is a translucent man standing over my body, with another noose secured around his own neck…


I think some of the dashes could be a period to form clipped sentences.

*

I was practicing [s]on[/s] throwing my knife into the side of the house when father greeted me.


^^^ See quote

"I see; a test. I cannot say we do not deserve it. Here that, Martha," pointing a thumb in my direction, "Our son is testing us."


‘Here’ = Hear

*

"In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit; Amen." she said mumbled.


Said or mumbled?

*

Hello again! Will write up the final review in the next post.

But I was a little surprised at Martha’s attitude towards Samuel Adams, I had thought she would be amazed to have met, the very man who her son has been ‘loyal’ to for three years. Though it is great to see that Samuel has two loving parents, both willing to speak with him when there are problems—even if it is in the middle of the night ;)

Though I’m still waiting to find out what S Garrison’s grandfather was called, I didn’t forget about him =]

You have quite a few typos, some places where you had used Townsend rather than Townshend, had to look in Wikipedia for the correct name.

-- Myth




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Letter Post

"So do I," I giggled. "Would you like me to write Mum the note or do you wish too?"


‘too’ = to

Father raised and eyebrow, and then brought the letter close to his face.


‘and’ = an

I smiled inside.


Smile is show on the outside, isn’t it? =]

I had bested father with my own words. "Why not leave the letter on top of the bench? I can reach under, and place the Bible on top. You could leave the quill [s]on top of the Bible[/s] [there] as well; it might draw more attention for Mum."


^^^ See quote

"If [you?] are wanting me to read along [s]with you[/s], all you need is to ask, Father," I grinned.


^^^ See quote

*

Old State House Post

Cries rang throughout within its walls. Hordes of businessman, merchants, journalists, and lawyers gathered for one common purpose.


Was there no other word for ‘journalists’ back then?

*

Home Post

I nodded. "The Sons of Liberty were in an uproar. I wish you were with me, Father but alas, you're not apart of the group," I sighed. "They spoke of, or rather roared about liberty."


‘apart’ = a part

*

Hello Jess!

I’m getting back into critiquing BFG. First thing though, I find that Sewall was easier to read because of the voice and I understand it better. While Sam G tends to put everything into his story, maybe cut down a little?

I can see you were very excited in writing the State House scene, nothing I can pick out but it didn’t seem Sam had much enthusiasm—men around were smiling, slapping the backs of their fellows and he didn’t join in or have anything to add.

I have finally gotten to read excerpts where Sam G has grown up (18 now?) and can see he understand things more than he did before where he had to ask his father for certain things.

I have divided my critique into three posts, will add the last soon soon.

-- Myth




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Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:01 pm
Fishr says...



Hiya, Myth! How are you? Thanks for all the suggestions. I will take most of them into consideration, especially the "positioning or movement" as you pointed out but I'll come to that in a bit. ;)

I share Samuel’s awe. Have you done this before? Did you ask someone to demonstrate for you?
:oops: - I have been fights - standing up until it went to the ground. When I got sick of it, and I wanted a way where I could easily and effectively defend myself without the bumps, bruises, etc. I had someone train me in school for three years in school, and of course I do enjoy the mixed martial arts, so with the two combined, the quote is an example of writing what you know about. And I'm very much aware of how to defend myself and able to flee like Welcome pointed out to his son.

What was the ‘rest you mentioned? The muskets, etc, that Samuel was carrying?
Yeah, it was the musket. I suppose I wasn't very clear. I will have to be more thorough when I finish the first draft. For now, I must press forward. ;)

Welcome seems very different from the father I remember from your earlier chapter. He is more caring, smiles often and is willing to teach his son. He doesn’t keep much away and he doesn’t seem to be violent either.
Yes, I was waiting for someone to point this out. :D You are very good at spotting traits, Myth. As for Welcome, I guess I could say, you're seeing another side to him. He's not a paper-cut out. Welcome does have many layers, which has given me many headaches, lol! I've noticed he's complex and hypercritical. As you read more, let me know if you feel the same way or not. :)

But what do you remember about Welcome in the first chapter? I mean his traits.

Quote:
"Good. The white rose is an emblem or symbol of Yorkshire, a small country county in Britain. Yorkshire comprises of three ridings, or more apporperiately appropriately divisons divisions. Samuel," he said, pointing to the dead rose again, "I was born in Ryedale, Yorkshire, England."


I think Yorkshire divided in 1974 or did it happen twice?
Hmm... Are you sure? I don't recall reading about that. But for the sake of argument, I'll leave it as it is for Yorkshire plays a very important role, along with the rose. ;) If, however, if you do find that Yorkshire did divide, could you please send me a link? I appreciate it!

Ooops - forgot -

Quote:
If I am able, I could slide my body along with my elbows and when I get close enough, I will slap his back and grin.


Shouldn’t this be in italics?
Well, I'm one of those unorthdox writers who don't usually follow the rules. For me, I cannot stand reading any piece where there's italics are connected with the character thinking to themselves. I just find it annoying, lol. So, I don't incorperate that style in my work. Still, is not using italics distracting or confusing you? If so, I'll try and be more thorough but no italics. ;)

The first thing I noticed was how you repetitively used direction such as left shoulder, I walked to the left, or how you gave directions on Samuel’s movements. You can strike most of the out unless it is necessary.

Some of the paragraphs drag on at times and could easily be avoided by choppy sentences or simplifying by taking out needless details.

What I would like to see is Samuel’s view on England. Does he not know much about it, isn’t he interested in going there one day (as it is his father’s homeland) or is he more patriotic to America/Boston?


Yeah, I tend to do that a lot. I tend to accidently write what I see. I will keep that advice in mind about using direction. It's good advice and I will take a closer look when the first draft is finished. Thank you!

Oh, trust me. You will see Samuel's view on England. Because the years don't follow in order, I have somewhat the minor freedom of either transforming traits dramatically, while sticking to their main profile. Welcome could be used as an example with this. Or, tweaking their traits and slowly progressing their character as the years press forward and so Martha is another example. And because of my main protagonist (Great Britain's ruling), it's interesting how each character reacts. Trust me, I have no control over them, LOL!

Does the narrative drag for you or certain character's dialect because Welcome, as you may have noticed, doesn't use abbreviations nearly at all. I understand the direction thing could make the sentences awkward, so it that what you mean by the problem of dragging?

Well, I see I've made many mistakes, and spelling errors - I suck, lol! But thank you do much for putting so much time in helping me out! I believe my work schedule is calming down - finally! - so I might be able to finally buckle down and work on OP's critique. ;)

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!




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Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:46 pm
Myth says...



Green = Comment/Correction
Blue = Suggestion
Black = Review

*

I let father pass and helped to steady his weight by allowing him to lean on my left shoulder, while I hauled the rest in my opposite hand.


What was the ‘rest you mentioned? The muskets, etc, that Samuel was carrying?

I slipped from under father's arm temporally, shut the door firmly, and then resumed my position under his [s]left[/s] arm again. Father walked one foot at a time, down the steps until we reached the [s]earth[/s] ground.


Notice I took out ‘left’ and ‘earth’. Samuel mention which arm he helped his father with and ‘earth’ was awkward since ‘ground’ is more suitable.

Grinning, I slowly lowered my body, careful to not snap any twigs and I [s]lied[/s] lay on my stomach.


^^^ See quote

If I am able, I could slide my body along with my elbows and when I get close enough, I will slap his back and grin.


Shouldn’t this be in italics?

He remained seated, his back facing me. My nerves finally gripped my actions and I started easing [s]my body[/s] forward, without father's orders. I was anxious to prove that I was already skilled enough.


^^^ See quote

"On who, Samuel? I am the only one here," father smiled. "If events favor us, you will never have to worry. By using these palms; strike in the center of the nose. It will cause immense pain, possibly breaking it, in which case you are able to flee. If your attacker grips your throat and pulls you into their face, use that power; move in with the force and smack the sides of their ears with your palms. This should cause pain to travel directly into their brain; again you are able to escape. However, son, should you have to perform this technique, avoid the temples, above the ears. Your intention is to flee for safety, not to destroy your attacker. The temples are delicate, and an immense connection to them could potentially kill a person. Remember that, Samuel."

I was in awe of how much knowledge he possessed. I glanced towards my hands and marveled them.


I share Samuel’s awe. Have you done this before? Did you ask someone to demonstrate for you?

By doing this, I [s]can[/s] could sidestep the attacker and swiftly jam them into the rib cage, before the person react[s]s[/s] ed.


^^^ See quote

I nodded, walking swiftly towards the house. I gave the knife a quick jerk, turned, walked towards him, and placed it into father's left hand.


This was a little too informative. You gave too much into Samuel’s action when a simple: I took the knife and gave it to father, etc, would explain the same thing without getting wordy.

I stepped a few inches backwards from the entrance of the house, smiling also. I watched him approach the foyer, duck, and then limp to his chair. Father leaned forward, set his walking stick by his right foot and then leaned backwards. I heard a loud sigh and watched the steady rocking of the chair. Strands of hair by father's shoulders swung with the rhythm of his body. I smiled again, and walked briskly through the foyer and into the sitting room to greet father.


Welcome seems very different from the father I remember from your earlier chapter. He is more caring, smiles often and is willing to teach his son. He doesn’t keep much away and he doesn’t seem to be violent either.

Shrugging, I walked [s]to the left of me,[/s] towards the bookcase.


^^^ See quote

As I walked passed father, I noticed his eyes were still shut.


‘passed’ = past

Sitting on the bench again, I swallowed, and lightly smacked father's left shoulder, laughing. "I'm fine. I'm reading the Bible, Father. Did you enjoy your nap?" I asked, and set the Bible on the bench next to my left thigh.


I was wondering what Samuel was reading, I guessed it would be the Bible but didn’t know whether the Garrison’s were religious or not.

To me, it was a plain and ordinary horn but to[s]o[/s] father it obviously meant something entirely different or else he wouldn't have requested it.


^^^ See quote

With the two objects in my hands, I exited the warring room, and walked [s]through the foyer that led into[/s] back to the sitting room. I stopped suddenly [s]in the middle[/s].


^^^ See quote

"You are awfully quiet all of a sudden. I would have expected a thousand questions by now."


^^^ See quote

"Good. The white rose is an emblem or symbol of Yorkshire, a small [s]country[/s] county in Britain. Yorkshire comprises of three ridings, or more [s]apporperiately[/s] appropriately [s]divisons[/s] divisions. Samuel," he said, pointing to the dead rose again, "I was born in Ryedale, Yorkshire, England."


I think Yorkshire divided in 1974 or did it happen twice?

And that was just that; I didn't want blurt [s]rediculious[/s] ridiculous questions, and sadden or anger father. Sitting in [s]silenece[/s] silence seemed ideal, for now.


^^^ See quote

"You seem to be deep in thought today. I spoke your name again, and again not so much as a whisper. Has the mild training [s]exsausted[/s] exhausted you?" father said.


^^^ See quote

"No, I'm fine. Really, I'm alright. I apologize if I have not spoken much. I'm actually afraid to speak. You seem to be in a grand mood, and I do not want to be responsible with spoiling it by asking questions."


^^^ See quote

Therefore, I do not have really anyone to celebrate with, accept privately with myself."


‘have really’ should be the other way around.

"I appreciate your enthusiasm, son. Since that [s]women[/s] woman of mine has not returned yet, we shall leave her a note, and if you feel able by hauling a farm animal, you and I will visit the river in the outskirts of our property and read books together until the sun begins to depart."


^^^ See quote

"I might address the month of August, but let be known that the date has significant value. It marks a Battle Honor with the regiment I was apart of in the Seven Years War; the year I was shot, and sent home." Father's eyebrows eased upwards into two diagonal lines, and the corners of his eyes twitched. It was as if someone had instantly placed a sheet of glass over them, dulling the shade of his brown pupils, but his thin smile remained. "The French horn, Samuel, is a symbol of the type of infantry I was apart of in the British Army, and the regiment. The French horn was less cumbersome; lighter to carry than a drum or heavy artillery, such as muskets or rifles. In the war, the stem of a white rose was embedded in my uniform by my left breast, so the petals were in plain view, and I always carried it on the battlefield. I was not the only one, however. Many soldiers in my regiment proudly displayed roses. Some were tucked in their uniform; others had them tucked from the brims of their cocked hats, always in view." Father sighed, and held the bugle in front of my face, waving it. "So few memories that have brought me joy, but this instrument allows me to reconnect with the small band of men I was close too, and will never see again," father said, in a softer tone. "This dried stem," he said pointing to his ear, and resting the bugle in my lap, "Symbolizes Yorkshire, and the fond memories of nearly every soldier on the battlefield with a white rose."


Begin a new paragraph when Welcome speaks again, it was all squashed together here and I had to re-read a couple of times.

It lied just in front of his left foot.


‘lied’ = lay

The first thing I noticed was how you repetitively used direction such as left shoulder, I walked to the left, or how you gave directions on Samuel’s movements. You can strike most of the out unless it is necessary.

Some of the paragraphs drag on at times and could easily be avoided by choppy sentences or simplifying by taking out needless details.

What I would like to see is Samuel’s view on England. Does he not know much about it, isn’t he interested in going there one day (as it is his father’s homeland) or is he more patriotic to America/Boston?




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Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:23 pm
Fishr says...



"Frightened is the word," father muttered. "Anything could have happened, depending on who was to lead the trial. The very least, my fate would more than likely have been stripped of my uniform and discharged, but certainly imprisonment was not out of the question either. Whilst in the war, my ears heard the horrendous stories of the prison ships from my comrades. The stories were told by skilled storytellers, who could wield webs of painted portraits in our memory, as we sat around in a circle, listening. Whether it be propaganda or truth, the crackling flames illuminated fright in its purest form with the darting of the storyteller's pupils and grief-stricken expressions, as each of their hushed voices took turns. One such story described loathsome dungeons. Good, honest people were denied the light and air of Heaven. Scantily fed on poor, putrid, and sometimes uncooked food; obliged to endure companionship of the most abandoned, and those ill with infectious disease, worn out by groans and complaints of their suffering fellows, men would supposedly endure the ultimate sacrifice for treason, and being prisoners of war."

I watched Father clutch his shoulders tightly, and shivered. Afterwards, he crossed his arms against his stomach, glaring intently in my direction. I said nothing, and I was amazed mum hadn't either. Instead, I mimicked Father, in hopes that the mild pressure against my chest, would shield me from my own picture starting to emerge.

After a few seconds, Father unbuttoned his black waistcoat, slipped his arms out, and dropped it by his left foot. Beads of sweat had formed by his thick brows, and he immediately reached, and wiped them away.

"I believed I had a minor charge brought against me, but the absolute fear of sitting below the bowels of a ship, in the darkness, sitting among disease, starvation, and filth; it would have been a glorious hell, and death in that situation would be a blessing," he continued. "If such prisons existed or they still dwell, may the Lord protect His children in their darkest hour of need."

He gulped, and then swallowed. Thanks to him, the image fully presented itself now. I pictured fifty men below a ship, their heads jerking from one side to the next, with the rhythm of the waves. I saw pale, ghostly white faces. The men in my mind were frail, and bones protruded from under their flesh by their ribcages and jowls. As the image became more realistic, I hunched over, cupping my mouth, and heaved some salvia. I imagined all fifty gnarled fingers were pointing, as I stood watching the half-circle of men. Flies buzzed about, and some covered portions of the prisoner's face as well as the deceased.

A tiny weight was perched on my right shoulder. I rubbed my eyes, and wiped away globs of salvia from the corners of my lips. Afterwards, I swallowed also, attempting to force the image away.

"Samuel? What is it?" mum asked with concern. Her hand remained, and I swallowed again.

"When Father described prison ships, an unpleasant imaged appeared," I remarked honestly.

"Shall I halt for now?" father asked. "If revealing portions of my past is too unsettling, perhaps another time."

"No, please tell me," I said stubbornly. "I wish to know everything about my Father."

"That is over sixty years, my boy, and time is not that forgiving, but the outcome was that I remained a Light. There was one condition however. I could train the other troops to my specifications but with supervision. With my assistance, I shaped the 51st Foot into warriors. Let it be known, Samuel, British rifleman were highly skilled in other regiments but I sought whilst studying some of my mates practicing on the field, they appeared to lack a degree of melee combat. Anyway, by the end of fifty-seven, my third year in the army approached, and the beginning of the year of fifty-eight started. I regained respect among my fellow countrymen. Not one of His Majesties officers questioned my morals any longer. However, a Colonel or Serjeant would continue supervising if I happened to be instructing a line of men or just one.

In the summer of the eighteenth of July, seventeen hundred and fifty-eight, I remember I was sitting on a log, reading the signatures of our family etched into the hatchet. A man will perform almost anything to occupy their mind, Samuel, but a soldier kicked the log with his boot. I instantly stood, and saluted my superior officer.

I still remember his words. 'Private Garrison, you are to report to His Excellency, and Field Marshal, Prince Ferdinand.'

Inside Ferdinand's quarters, there were three others; a General, a Lieutenant General and a Brigadier. Son, to clear up any misconceptions, in the British Army a Field Marshal is the highest rank, and he controls every aspect about the army but a General is of high rank also. The General, in respect, is second in command, so to speak. A Brigadier is the fifth rank before a Major General. To assert my point, I was among regal gentlemen of high standing. Ferdinand was center, and the three others were standing to his left, saluting me, as I stepped forward."

"You must have been nervous, Father! I would have turned and ran away!"

"I was nervous but I managed to keep my composure, and not display it openly by shaking or sweating profusely. I saluted my commanding officers, but their right palms remained above their eyebrows. The four men's lips were set in straight lines, and for a brief moment, I thought my devoted dedication to the Lights were in vain.

As the Lord weaved his blessing, Ferdinand beckoned me to step forward. Obeying His Excellency, I stopped within inches of his boots. Ferdinand's expression was as serious as the others but nonetheless, he nodded, and pointed to the Lieutenant. The Lieutenant dropped his hand, and marched so that he was also within inches of my body.

He bellowed, 'Private Welcome Garrison, due to supreme dedication, undivided attention in the British Army, the rank of Corporal has been awarded with sincere gratitude. We hope to witness many outstanding accomplishments in the futures to behold.'"

"Did you blush?" I smiled.

"Samuel… Let him speak," mum said calmly.

"I am sure I did, son, but without a mirror present, it was impossible to know for sure. As I was saying, Ferdinand stepped forward, and honored me with the two-stripped chevron, a badge, Samuel, for me to sew into my uniform, and proudly display my rank. By now, you must know who the identity of the Corporal I was speaking about earlier, yes?"

"It was you!" I pointed, smiling again. "You were the Corporal that was shot, and sent home."

"Correct," father nodded seriously.

My smile faded as a thought occurred to me. "Father? I do not remember a badge on either sleeve of your uniform. What happened to it?"

"I tore it off."

My eyes widened in confusion. "Tore it off? Why would you do such a thing?"

"The chevron, like the bugle, and rose, are reminders. Some of them hold fond memories, others outshine them. In either case, I know I display a profound contempt with warfare. My experiences have truly changed my prospective with life. That is why I lecture you continuously." Father pointed to his chest with his thumb, and continued, "As your mother informed you, I returned in an emotional wreck; a changed man. After all these years, I likely will never recover, and return as I once was before enlisting. However, the chevron, well…"

When he trailed off, instead of questioning father further, I sat patiently and waited.

A few minutes passed before he spoke again. "The chevron… It… Should I tell our son where it is, Martha?" he asked uncertainly.

"It's your decision, Welcome. You should discuss whichever you feel comfortable with."

He frowned. Leaning inwards into his chair, father stretched, and then yawned. I sat in silence and continued to wait. After he had ceased on the yawning and stretching, father sat straight, with each hand on top of his kneecaps.

"If I reveal the location of my chevron, do I have your good honest vow that you will never invade my privacy?"
"Yes, I swear. I assure you, Father, I won't disobey you."

"Very well, Samuel," father said in a calm tone. "Firstly, I will mention that your mother knows the location of the chevron but to my knowledge she has not touched my journal."

"I certainly have not!" she said. "I would never do such – "

"Journal?!" I hollered.

"Shush, please, Samuel. Yes, in between the mattress of our bed, there is a journal, and marked in the middle, is the chevron. I recorded every thought, prayer, or opinion, whilst I was in the Seven Years War. There are some very intimate passages, so keep your nose clean, and stay out."

"What of the bugle?" I repeated, changing the subject.

"Oh, that. I suppose with the miles of questions, I became distracted. The French bugle is an emblem of the Light Infantry, just as the white rose is, and of Yorkshire."

"I see." I began chewing on a thumb nail, as another question was probing me. I realized this particular question could have two consequences. One, father would cuff me or two, the question would depress him.

"Judging from the nail chewing, it appears you are bursting with a question. Out with it, son and explain, what is on your mind?"

I swallowed nervously.

"Go ahead, Samuel. What is it?" mum urged.

"Well?" he asked.

"Can you read a passage from your journal to me?" I blurted in almost a whisper.

He groaned, and rubbed his temples clockwise. "I should have foreseen that one coming," father remarked. "Still, I will keep to my word, and further reveal certain aspects I neglected to share with you. Be warned," he said, pointing his index finger. "Almost every page is filled with sentiments. You do know the meaning of sentiment, yes?"

"Every page is filled with some sort of emotion," I replied.

"Run along, and fetch it, please," he said.

I gradually lifted myself in preparation of collapsing. Instead, I stood with hardly any pain or soreness. There was the odd cramp in my neck or the lower part of my back but I was satisfied that my legs hadn't buckled yet.

I turned, and walked slowly out of the sitting room. In my parent's room, I stood in front the doorway. Their bed was to my left, and I walked immediately to the mattress. I slipped both my hands underneath, and searched, feeling around for an object. It didn't take long to locate the journal. It was practically in the center, and simple to find. I grabbed it, and exited out of their quarters. When I approached father in the sitting room, I held out the journal. The leather cover was worn, and the edges of it were tattered but the binding seemed to be in decent condition. At least it had not fallen apart in my palms.

Father took the journal, and nodded. "Thank you. What was written on the first page, son?"

I shrugged. "How should I know?"

For the first time during this whole conversation, father produced a smile. It was small, but it was a smile nonetheless.

He flipped through the pages, and stopped what appeared to be the middle of the book.

"Please, sit," he instructed.

I sat and crossed my legs.

A green object was raised above the journal. It had two stripes.

"Here is the chevron, son."

"May I hold it?" I asked enthusiastically.

"No, you may not. I do not want any damage to come to it."

"But?"

"Samuel, quiet!" mum hollered. "I want to hear your father."

"I understand," I mumbled.

"Hopefully the interruptions will cease for the time being… Samuel," he grunted. "The chevron bookmarks a special passage you two. You may read the page, Martha. Son, hand this to your mother."

I reached forward, gripped the journal, and passed it over my shoulder. Mum took it from my hands. I expected she would read it aloud but no sounds came. I turned around and noticed her blue eyes scanning line after line, as she read silently to herself.

Well, that is a fine choice! I mumbled to myself.

I turned around and grumbled.

About five minutes passed, when I felt a finger tap my shoulder. I turned around, and met a surprise! A few tears were dripping from the corner of her right eye. In all the years of my life, I barely have witnessed my mum cry. I watched her, as she held out the journal for me. The beats of my heart quickened with anticipation but I kept to my solemn promise. I grabbed the journal carefully, so as not to lose the place, turned and held it outwards for father, without reading anything.

Instead, he waved his palm, and shook his head. "I would like for you to read the passage; July 25th, in the year of fifty-eight as well, Samuel."

"Alright," was the only response I managed to say.

I swallowed, and then read the inked page silently:




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Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:09 pm
Fishr says...



"Corporal?!" I remarked, forgetting my vow of silence.

"Shush, Samuel," mum said sharply, resting a hand on my right shoulder. "Let him speak. He is trying to inform you. Your father is having a difficult time but give him a moment and he will explain."

"I apologize, Father."

"Apologies are not necessary, son. It was expected a question would erupt from your mouth, and thank you, Martha. Samuel," father mumbled.

I rubbed a shin with a toe, nervously. "Uh, yes, Father?"

"In fifty-nine, a Corporal was shot, disgraced, and discharged within a week of several years of service. Do you know who I am speaking of?"

I shook my head.

"That was the sort of response I had expected. This Corporal injured his right kneecap permanently. Do you know who I am speaking of now?"

I shook my head in confusion again.

"Very well. I suppose I should be blunter. This particular Corporal is British, and although he was discharged due to injury, he is proud of the Battle Honor the 51st Regiment of Foot received on August first, winning the battle in Minden. This Corporal was a Light Infantryman, whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of the infantry, harassing, and delaying the enemy advance. Before you question me, skirmishers were stationed ahead or to the sides of a larger body of their British companions. With our bugle horn –"

"Our?" I asked bewildered, raising an eyebrow.

"Shh…," father said, by placing an index finger to his lips. "With our bugle horn, hatchet and musket, the Lights were usually the first to witness –"

"Hatchet?" I asked, astonished.

"Please, son. Let me finish," father remarked.

"Yes, Samuel. Shush," mum said sharply.

I nodded in response.

"Good," father replied calmly. "As I mentioned, the Lights usually were the first soldiers that witnessed brutality in its highest form. Our ears heard the whirling of cannon balls firing; we watched each other crumple when musketry was the culprit. Samuel, we were the first to witness the flow of blood and death."

When father mentioned 'flow of blood' and 'death,' I shivered a little. The image of strolling next to broken bodies on the field, or arms rising, screeching in agony for assistance; the picture began burning brightly within my imagination. However, despite the grim image, I was still confused. I slowly placed the pieces together and realized Minden was father's Battle Honor, and August first marked the anniversary of that battle. I did not understand the role of this Light Infantry, nor did I have the slightest idea who the Corporal was, so I asked bravely.

"Father, may I ask a question? It concerns these 'Lights' and this Corporal."

He nodded. "Ask."

"What exactly were the roles of the Lights and could you explain more about the Corporal? Who is he?"

I watched father scratch the right of his cheek, and frowned. He brought an index finger in front of his chest, opened his mouth, and then as quickly as it opened, father shut his jaw, and dropped his hand into his lap.

"Welcome?" mum asked.

"Shh…. What say you let me explain at my own pace, Martha," father said in a gruff voice.

Raising an eyebrow and chewing on a fingernail, father's sudden change in his tone, startled me. I'm sure mum felt the same, but I sat, watching him.

No one spoke, and father shrugged. He lowered his head and muttered to his feet, "I sincerely apologize, my wife."

"I suppose I'll accept the apology for now," mum said simply. "I understand confronting any memories you have lurking is rather difficult, but please try and resign yourself in a civilized manner."

Father nodded to his feet, and then raised his head. "I will attempt to do so, Martha. Son, about your questions, are you prepared for an in depth answer?"

"Will death be discussed?" I shivered again.

"Possibly, but it depends on what bloody memory presents its self first. Firstly, I will begin with the 51st Regiment of Foot. The 51st was the regiment I was a member of. I was armed with your hatchet and dagger, a bugle, my musket and powderhorn and a felt hat. Many Light soldiers left behind the powderhorn on campaign, assuming it was too cumbersome for use on the field. Lights were outfitted with shorter horse blankets or a uniform by your standards, Samuel, than Regular Army. Our purpose was to act as skirmishers, moving rapidly and expertly, thus the reasoning of our lightened equipment, and that, my son, is the role of a Light Infantryman. Before I begin speaking about the Corporal, any questions so far?"

"Yes, but let's see if I comprehend so far."

"Your vocabulary is improving, Samuel. That is good to acknowledge," he said.

"I blame Mister Samuel Adams. His vocabulary can be immense, and being around Mister Adams has no doubt taught me new words. Anyway, when a soldier skirmishes, they harass enemy troops, delaying their advance on the battlefield, correct? And a Light soldier was equipped with a lightened load, so that they could move quickly across the field, right?"

"Correct, son, to both your questions. What others are there?"

"What is Regular Army, and well…," I stopped, and gulped. I starting chewing on another fingernail, and spat a piece in front of me. The next question concerned father specifically and I was not sure how he'd react.

"Go on. Speak your mind, and ask," he urged by waving the back of his hand.

"Were you a Light soldier?" I blurted.

"Yes, your Father was," mum chimed in before he could answer.

Father grunted by mum's outburst, but nodded nonetheless. "I was. As a member of the 51st Foot, I was apart of the Light Infantry in the British Army."

"That is intriguing. Thank you for informing me," I smiled.

"I do hope with all the information I am bestowing upon you, Samuel, it will not entice you," he mumbled.

My smile faded, and I shook my head, frowning also. "Of course not. I understand the responsibility I have, and won't use my combat training unless my life is at stake. Do not worry."

"Good," was all father said. "Regular Army is essentially, well, let me see if I can phrase it properly." He tapped the side of his temple, thinking. "Ah," he said shortly. "Regular Army or Regulars, is a permanent organization of military ground forces of a nation. Any more questions before I address the Corporal?"

I nodded immediately. "Forgive me if I'm at fault, but this Light Infantry appears to be a select group of men. Am I correct to make such an assumption? And what of the bugle? You once told me it had a 'pronounced meaning.'"

"No, your assumption was correct. The infantry is a group of specially selected men, and yes, I was meaning to address the bugle but with all your questions, you are distracting me."

I lowered my head, and mumbled to my kneecaps, "I'm sorry."
"It is fine. I agree that I am not the most patient man with miles of questions but what say you blurt them all at once, and then there will not be further interruptions," he said.

I raised my head, and flashed a weak smile. "How were you selected to be a Light soldier?"

"I believe that is the first question asked by you today, that I can honestly answer without remorse," father answered immediately. "In fact, the question has caused a minor sense of pride within me."

I studied father's facial features for a few moments. He was wearing an emotional mask. His frown never strayed; it only strengthened to the point where his lower lip bunched when he finished speaking. Sometimes the corners of father's eyes twitched, and I was positive tears would erupt, but they never did. His usual bellowing tone was becoming raspy whispers. Deep down in my gut, I was beginning to feel guilty for pressing him, but father's secretive nature and withholding so much information from me; my desire to fully understand this man, and the reasoning of father's resentment towards warfare outweighed dismissal. I turned around, and noticed mum's lips were in a straight line, but her hands were cupped in her lap. Mum didn't remove her fixed gaze, nor said a word, acknowledging that I was looking at her. I shrugged, returned my attention to father, and was relieved the stiffness was diminishing.

His gaze was set straight ahead in both our directions. I watched Father shift his weight slightly, and hunch over, folding both his hands into a tight ball in front of his chest.

"Father? What is on your mind? What are you thinking about?"

"Shh.... Samuel," mum cooed.

He straightened himself out in his rocking chair, stretched and then father yawned. When he had finished, father hunched and folded his hands into a ball again. "I was remembering a joyous day of my life."

"Oh?" I asked.

He nodded. "August fifth; the first day I took a gander upon a squealing and lively boy."

I grinned and I hunched over also, resting my forearms on top of my kneecaps. Some thick locks of my hair fell loosely over my left brow.

"Light soldiers were specially trained men, carefully selected for their toughness, and able to scout and skirmish, concentrating on dispersing with great stealth and speed. I suppose I was chosen because of my strategic knowledge with hand-to-hand combat. He taught his firstborn well about fighting, make no mistake about that, son. The eld -"

"My grandfather, that is who you were referring too, correct? The one that taught his firstborn? Please forgive my interruption but I'm trying to follow and understand."

"Yes," father sighed. "I admit, it is my fault for not being more thorough but you are correct again. As I was saying, the elder officers had duffel bodies with a piece of twine strung around their necks, and the targets were lifted about two feet from the earth. With exercises, I proved to the skeptical faces of my countrymen, that the dagger and hatchet were bloody brilliant. With some of the tactics I demonstrated with you, I showed the officers if I was in close company, I was able to break their nose, the clavicle of their shoulder, and gouge eyes. Afterwards, I slipped behind the back of the duffel body, and pressed the handle of the hatchet against the Adam's apple, whilst my right forearm was jammed into their neck, pushing it forward, choking my imaginary enemy. At that point, I released my hold, and stood in front of the target again. I made ready by positioning the dagger's blade in my fingers. Within a blink of an eye, I roared, and threw the dagger. As expected, my aim was sufficient, and the blade was embedded in the stuffing, where a person's heart would have been.

My hunting days, I suppose, added to the skills I had acquired with combat. I admit, speed was never a strong suite of mine, but I was indeed a master with stealth and scouting.

For the first six or so months of the first year I enlisted, I did not adjust to my new lifestyle well, as it should be evident by our discussion with the execution but by the beginning of the second year, in fifty-seven, I willingly trained the troops. None of the commanding officers had ordered such a task, but I acted on my own accord, privately teaching them. When word reached of blatant disregard without discussing matters outright, some of the officers wished to court-martial me. This means, Samuel, commissioned officers wanted to send me to court, and try me for an offense under military law. These soldiers of importance thought my judgment in training was an act of disobediences, and in the army there is simply no room for a subordinate man, especially one that was not within a fraction of a Colonial or a Major General. However, other officers argued, and pointed that perhaps the training from a possibly experienced man; could assist the troops against the French, and their native allies, who had highly developed field craft and marksmanship skills."

"Weren't you afraid of being tried?" I asked uncertainly.




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:58 am
Fishr says...



"Mum, is he alright?" I whispered.

"Shh… Let's wait a few more and if he hasn't budged, I'll check your Father," she said quietly.

"I heard that you two." He stopped rocking abruptly, opened his eyes and immediately glanced in my direction. "Hello, Samuel," father said, with a grim expression.

"Uh… Hello, Father."

"Now that I have had time to reflect, I would like to speak."

"Go on," mum and I said simultaneously.

"Thank you. Firstly, I feel quite absurd breaking into tears from a single straw soldier."

"It is fine, Father. You have always been that way, even as a boy, I remember how sensitive you were. You also told me there is no shame admitting to fear. You should not feel ashamed."

"I appreciate the kind comment, Samuel. You suggested that I focus on the first memory of yesterday but I did not follow through, son. Instead, a horde of gruesome memories flooded my memory. It has been years since I contemplated the aftermath of the Seven Years War and how it changed me mentally and emotionally. On a mental standpoint, I admit that I am wary of people. On the battlefield, the soldiers whom I assumed to be close mates; acted by means of treason. It is disheartening to watch a mate killed in a battle, but to have them charge with a bayonet aimed for your breast is sickening and depressing. I suppose the message plastered against the sign triggered heartache. Do you remember the story about the execution, Samuel?"

I shook my head.

Father sighed. "Do not tell me you have forgotten the beheading?"

"Beheading?" My eyes widened afterwards when the realization instantly struck me. "That one soldier, the one that had his uniform stripped because he was caught as a spy, right?"

"Beheading? What on Earth?" I heard mum chime in behind me. The tone in her voice was an octave higher than usual.

He frowned and nodded sullenly. "Yes, Martha, it is true. Many years before, by my own hand, I followed my superior officer's order, and took my countryman's life, and you are correct Samuel. There were two or three others that sided with the French, and promptly dealt with, either by execution or imprisonment." Father gulped, brought a fist to his mouth, and then coughed. "Do you think less of me, Martha?"

"No. I have gained something more precious instead; a stronger appreciation for your character. You were a soldier fighting for the honor of your country and fighting for a solution to resolve the conflicts, and yet, through the hardships, you have managed to guide Samuel into adulthood."

"My thanks, Martha," father muttered.

I watched, as he poked his injury. After a few seconds, father glanced upwards, still frowning, and nodded. "I wish to continue," he said firmly.

"Is that a wise decision, Welcome? It is clear you're having difficulty speaking of the past."

"And that is the reason I must speak. Too long have I bottled those shadows, and like any living animal that has been trapped for extended periods; they claw and howl, yearning to be set free. I suppose I shall start with my knee. When a blind bullet ripped through tendons, I was carted away from the battlefield, without further injuries or complications. The medics were able to remove the bullet, but the muscle tissue was severely damaged. After I shown no sign of infection and was limping; a sign of mobility, I was immediately discharged within a week. I believe you were very young, Samuel."

I nodded. "I faintly remember."

"When I returned home, do you remember how difficult the transition was, for me especially?"

"No, I don't," I said quietly.

He sighed. "Well, I suppose you tuned it out mentally, as you mentioned. Martha, you remember, yes?"

"Unfortunately, I do, Welcome," mum mumbled. "You used to wake from your sleep and scream bloody murder in the middle of the night, sobbing uncontrollably. When I attempted to console the grief by stroking your arm or rest my head on your chest, your body trembled violently, as you cried. Every motion in our bed caused you to shake and moan aloud, in your fitful sleep. For several months, you refused to sleep without your musket by your side of the bed. You were so fearful that an intruder would slip through one of the windows and attack while we were sleeping. It took some time, but eventually you allowed me to place your musket in the warring room. Unfortunately, you refused to sleep unarmed, so I stared at a silver hatchet on your bedside table before falling asleep. For a while, I was looking at dark, grayish circles under the rims and the sparkle in your brown eyes died. Your moods were difficult to predict; from seemingly happy to sadness in an instant. When your mood changed for the worse, I had to shield our son and force him outdoors until you seemed in higher spirits. The humor and laughter I grown fond of, my husband didn't return in almost a full year."

Father sighed, leaned over and stroked one of my cheeks. This conversation by far was the most discouraging. I felt so awful and sad for him but in a stranger aspect, the conversation was enlightening. Father had never spoken in details of his time in the war in depth, nor expressed how soft-hearted he was.

"Father, I am sor-," a palm by him cut me short.

"I am not through. I have decided whilst rocking, that it is my turn to confront those that still haunt me. Martha, do you recollect the significance of August first, in the year of seventeen hundred and fifty-nine?"

My ears perked up when I heard him say August first. I still remembered a little, and how father refused to tell me the full meaning of the date. All he informed me was that the date marked a Battle Honor for the regiment father was a member of, but he also neglected to mention the name of the regiment. I also remember he told me the bugle had a more pronounced meaning. I wonder if the date and the bugle are connected?

"It's an anniversary," mum said behind me.

"But you do know its significance?" father asked.

"Minden, Welcome. You've mentioned it to me, nearly the beginning of every August."

I twiddled my thumbs curiously and my confusion swelled but I sat in silence, patiently waiting. As long as mum was speaking to father, further information would hopefully pour, and I'd finally learn his warring history.

When I heard father mutter, "Minden," I straightened my back, winced a little, and returned my attention to the conversation.

"Battle of Minden…," father said, trailing off. He leaned forward, cupped my left hand in both of his, and stared intently in my face.

I nodded in response. My throat had become parched, so I swallowed nervously.

"My trusted mate," father began. "Blood would never betray me, and so my son, I will reveal everything. I wish to never withhold so many memories that they erupt in the manner they did at the Towne House." Father's gaze shifted slightly upwards, still holding my hand in his. "Martha, are you alright with my decision by discussing the past with Samuel?"

The bench jerked and creaked, as mum fidgeted behind me. "Yes, I am," mum said. "He has the right to know the specifics, just as I know your history as a soldier."

Father lowered his head in my direction again. A weight tightened around my left hand. He had squeezed it, but whether it was done on purpose or unconsciously, I was not sure. All I knew for certain was that father was gapping. His slack jaw allowed me to see two brownish front teeth.

Seconds slipped by. I locked eye contact, and then a staring match between father and me began for several minutes. I thought it was amusing in a sense, that mum had not spoken and chose silence too, but the mild enjoyment I gained, was immediately dismissed by father. He dropped my hand abruptly and my knuckles hit the floor. I watched him bury his face into his palms.

Frowning, I folded my hands in my lap, and I decided silence for now was the most suitable course of action, and questioning father might hinder any progress. To alter the uncomfortable stir in the air, I started rotating my neck, in hopes of warding off the stiffness.

About fifteen minutes passed, and I had stopped rotating my neck a while ago. Mum and I never spoke a word. I wondered what she was thinking but I didn't press her for details either. Finally, at last, father eased his hands slowly downward, displaying his eyes at first, while the lower half of his face was covered by palms. After a few seconds, father removed his hands entirely, and folded them in his lap.

"A Corporal shot, disgraceful," father remarked bitterly.




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:58 am
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*

The following day, it was in the late afternoon before the three of us met in the sitting room. I am normally the first awake after dawn breaks. Instead, when I stirred next to the fire pit, mum was sitting on the bench, reading. When I attempted to slip into a white shirt, my arms didn't cooperate. It hurt to raise them an inch from the floor. By forcing myself to lift my arms and slide them through the sleeves, it felt like my triceps were screaming for me to stop. When I flexed my pecks, the muscle ached horribly and caused me to double over in agony. Even a slight touch or poke to my abdominals was too much to bear. My calves were also tender to a slight touch. When I tried pulling my aching body to a standing position, the pressure from my weight caused a surge of pain from the ankles to my hips and I collapsed; beaten by Mother Nature.

Mum must have noticed me struggling because I felt her hands slip under my armpits and positioned my body so it was leaning on her back. As she slowly walked, my arms hung lifeless by my waist and I felt my ankles dragging against the floor. She eased my body off her back and positioned my neck to the center, so I was facing a window in front of the bench and then she placed my arms behind my back so I could lean against them for support. Mum also twisted my legs so they were perfectly straight. What a sight it was. I served as a puppet, and mum was the puppeteer. Normally, I might have grown irritable or upset by her babying me but I was in no condition to refuse generosity. I was temporally handicapped until all the muscles unwound.

I watched her sit on the bench when she finished. "Thank…Ouch! My jaw hurts too," I complained.

"Would you like a massage?"

"No thank you. A slight poke causes pain. I'll wait until later."

"Would you like me to spoon feed you?"

"Mum…," I groaned. "I'm not hungry. Thanks anyway, though."

"Suit yourself Samuel. But if you need help, you can ask."

"I will Mum, thank you."

The minutes dragged every painful moment, when I accidentally jerked a limb. Eventually, my entire body became heavy and I crashed to the floor, lying on my back. To pass time further, I counted the logs in the ceiling. When I reached fifty, I attempted to rise, only to yelp and fell backwards again.

"An awful and horrible mistake I made yesterday," I said, speaking to the ceiling.

"Your Father tried to warn you."

"I know," I groaned miserably. "Is he still sleeping?"

"I believe so, why?"

"I need help. I'm a useless and weak being right now. I need Father's wisdom."

"Wisdom? And I'm not intelligent?"

"No offense Mum, but Father is older than you, so he is wiser," I retorted.

"Your Father is sixty-one. Mind explaining how a single year is different?"

"That is one whole year he has been alive longer than you Mum," I grumbled towards the ceiling.

"If you weren't in such obvious pain, I would send that attitude outdoors, until your Father was awake," she said sharply. "I will check in a few, as soon as I finish reading this page."

"Deal, Mum."

Worms have it easy. They lack arms, legs and a neck, I thought to myself. I wish the soreness would disappear. So help me, I will never do something so foolish as that stunt again! I wonder how many logs are actually on the ceiling? Let's see… Fifty-one… Fifty-two… Fifty-three…

Thwack! A door slammed and I felt light vibrations pass by and heard the bench creak, as someone sat on it. "Mum, is that you?"

"Yes, Samuel. Your Father is in fact already awake. He said for me to tell you, he is dressing and tying scraps of cloth around his knee."

I winced, as I raised my neck slightly in the air. "What is the purpose of the cloth?"

"For added support, Samuel. I'm sure the trip was equally as taxing on him. He will be out in a moment; relax, try and recover."

"A good plan." I slowly eased my neck down, careful to not cause sudden jerks that would trigger discomfort.

"Martha! Come here, please," father hollered.

A faint gust of air caused a sleeve on my shirt to budge, as mum passed by. Fifty-four… Fifty-five… Fifty-six… Worms have such a simple life. What more is there? They crawl and devour grass; free from all complications of the human world.

"Samuel! Son, are you asleep?" a voice bellowed, and snapping me out of my thoughts.

"Father, is that you?" I asked dizzyingly.

"Who else would it be? Sit up, young man. We have much to discuss about yesterday," he said calmly.

"Welcome, dear. Remember, I mentioned he's very sore."

"Martha, the boy does not have a blown kneecap."

"Yes, but he carried a portion of your weight yesterday, and graciously I might add. I had to drag his body and position him so Samuel was comfortable."

"Hmm…," I heard father say. "Martha, how are you feeling physically?"

"I suppose I'm in better shape than you two."

"If I may, I have a proposal. Would you mind lifting Samuel's back and sliding the bench in back of him? His body will be supported and he will able to face both of us."

"That sounds fair. I don't mind sitting on the bench behind him. Do you mind, Samuel?" mum asked.

"Oh, and I was so enjoying counting the logs too," I remarked sarcastically. "In all honesty, I would prefer to be leaning upwards, instead lying on my back."

My ears perked up when I heard wood grinding against wood. I assumed mum was dragging the bench across the floor, like father suggested. Within a few seconds, two tiny hands slipped underneath my armpits, dragged me across the floor about six inches, and then twisted my body gently and slowly around. With one hand supporting my neck, an object was pressed tightly against the lower half of my back. I took comfort, leaned heavily against the bench and felt mum's toes brush against my shoulder blades.

"How are you now, son?"

"Stiff as death, Father."

"Sorry to hear, Samuel. You are young enough, where a recovery should be quick. You will survive," he chuckled.

I locked glazes with his eyes, and grunted. "It is not funny, Father," I said seriously.

"Oh… That frown of yours is about to touch your jaw," he smirked. When I didn't comment, father continued. "Firstly, I for one am pleased that you are certainly in admirable company, Samuel. Our outing proved that the Sons of Liberty are indeed not mobs or raiders as the papers claim, but rather distinguished radicals. They are all you have tried to prove to me and more." I watched him smile thoughtfully and stare into my direction for a comment.

"Father, if I was not so stiff, you know I would hug you," I said, returning his smile. "You too Mum," I added. She scratched my neck for a few seconds and stopped.

An awkward silence passed and no one spoke. I had a gut-feeling what the next topic would be and it caused discomfort among us.

Father scratched the graying stubs of his balding head and fiddled with his shirt. "I…," he began, "I do not know where to begin. I… Martha?"

"Is this in regards to the scarecrow?"

"Yes, Martha," he muttered.

"I'm honestly at a loss of words too, Welcome."

Another silence crept slowly by. I stared in his direction intently and father appeared to be avoiding me. He glanced to the left or right, never showing eye contact. There must be a solution to alter the silence, I thought. A faint memory of a putrid brown liquid, staining marble and a red-suited man fanning his nose entered my mind. The thought of the soldier thoroughly discussed caused me to smile inside.

I knew it would be dark humor, but maybe it would break the tension, so I spoke. "Has anyone seen one man so squeamish? Remind me the next outing we attend together; bring a sack of vomit to ward off the British."

The mockery hadn't sounded as amusing as I hoped but I waited nonetheless. Father cocked a head, and studied me. I noticed the corners of his lips twitched and his cheeks quivered. A slow grin formed on his lips and he chuckled lightly.

"Judging from your mother's grin, we are grateful for the effort. I cannot speak for her specifically, but many thanks, my dear son for dragging my bum from the clouds. I do have mixed emotions and I was having a profound time trying to organize them. I suppose there is no simple way to interpret them."

"Go on, Father. Remember what you taught me? You said conversing in a conversation is the strongest course a person should engage in to abolish emotions before they erupt."

Another tiny smile grew. "You do learn quickly, son. I suppose I should set an example and follow through but I actually do not know where to start, Samuel and Martha."

"We have the rest of the afternoon; there is no rush," mum said casually.

"Yes, Father. Remember how I relaxed to sort through my own emotions and past before? I closed my eyes tightly and mentally tuned the world out. Try that - relax and close your eyes. The first memory that pops into your head from yesterday, focus solely on it and see how you feel."

He nodded, inhaled and exhaled very slowly. I watched him beginning to rock in his chair and then he closed his eyes, while the object gently tapped against the floor.

A long time passed, and neither mum, nor I spoke. His face remained expressionless and his breathing appeared normal. While we waited, I wiggled my fingers and rotated my neck. The pain stabbed pricks in all directions of my body, but it was not as severe as it was earlier. At least I was able to ignore it, and loosen the joints but standing was an entire issue all together. I didn't want to fall flat on my bum if my legs buckled. I decided to wait until the upper part of the body healed before attempting the great feat of walking.




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:54 am
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*

When we arrived a few yards from the State House, I noticed the sky at first. Swirls of reds, oranges and blues were starting to appear. I predicted we had a few hours left before the sun set completely.

Finally we arrived in front of the brick building and the three of us gawked upwards towards the large sun dial in the center and the two statues. There was a stone unicorn to the right and a lion wearing a red crown, to the left, facing each other on the roof.

"Father," I started, tugging the sleeve of his gray shirt, "There is nothing here."

"Yes… I have noticed, son. Maybe we are too late. Any suggestions, Martha?"

"We haven't seen the stairs that lead into the building itself." She removed her focus from the objects, and squeezed father's right hand. "I feel my heart racing. Should we?"

"Absolutely, Martha." I watched father gulp and than he dug his fingertips into my shoulder. I winced a little, and peered questionably into two eyes fixed in my direction. I noticed he was breathing heavily and sweat dripped from the corners of his ears. "Samuel, you do not have to follow us, if you feel unstable. There is no shame admitting to fear, my boy."

I reached behind my back, gripped the knife and held it front of my chest. "I'm ready and prepared."

Father nodded, and the three of us turned a right-hand corner until we were facing the marble steps that led inside the State House. Two sounds pierced my ears – mum screamed and father cursed foully. The words pouring from his mouth were some of the vilest.

That day, I truly became a man, and my childhood vanished in a split second. I finally grasped father's speeches. I was fighting a war and I had my first real taste of bloodshed.

On the white marble steps was a scarecrow, which depicted a British soldier. It was dressed in their customary uniforms, complete with a gray cocked hat. A sword was pushed through one end of the scarecrow's head, and stuck out the other side. A wooden stake was shoved into its spine. On the top of the stake, a board was nailed to it with a carved message:

Image

As the red drops seeped from within the letters, I felt my stomach lurch and I clenched it tightly with both hands, dropping the knife and falling to my knees. Drops were still dripping from the sign, staining the white steps a dark crimson colour.

"Is that… Mum? Father… is that…-"

Mum knelt to the right of me and buried her face into her hands.

He limped by my body and slowly sat on the opposite side. I watched him lower his head towards the cobblestones and shook it slowly. "Father?" I squeaked, "Is it?"

"I do not know, Samuel," he said in a hoarse whisper, refusing to meet my face. I noticed his voice was cracking. "Let us hope it is only red paint. The thought of someone… someone using act… act… actual… hu… human… blo… blo… blood..."

Gripping my stomach tighter, I heaved and my breakfast poured through like thin soup. When I had finished, I rubbed the salvia from my lips and glanced towards father. He buried his face into his hands also. I coughed, swallowed some flem and glanced towards mum. Her face was still hidden in her hands - silent as death itself.

I started to hear deep moans and than father began to cry loudly. In hopes to comfort them, I wrapped each arm around their necks and squeezed their shoulders. They did little to refuse my offer; mum remained in her position.

Father quietly said, "Thanks son," through racking sobs.

Like mum, I showed little emotion physically. Inside though, I felt the tip of my knife stab into every organ, causing painful pricks. In the midst of our misery, I spotted an object moving with a purpose from a tree. It was another man, but he wasn't any ordinary man; one that was dressed in an almost completely red uniform. He stepped up in front of me, inches from my toes, glanced at the scarecrow, and then frowned. I felt panic grip my arms and they began to shake.

Mum and father removed their heads from their hands instantly and looked into my face.

"What is it?" father choked.

When I didn't answer, he caught sight of the man in front of us and gaped wordlessly. Through the corner of my right eye, I noticed mum's hands were trembling again.

The man cocked an eyebrow, and glared into each of our faces. "Are you three responsible for this?" he roared, pointing to the scarecrow.

"Sir! We were only on an outing and stumbled upon this… this thing," I said. I sensed mum and father were in no condition to speak, so I spoke of the first thought that entered my mind.

"Rubbish. You mean to tell me, you three happened to find this awful display? Do you think I am mad?"

"Sir! Honest, we know nothing about this."

The soldier nodded slowly and studied my face for any hint of a lie. He gripped the end of the sword and yanked from the scarecrow and dropped in front of his feet. It produced a metallic clank as it hit the marble.

"What is that by your foot, boy?" the soldier said, pointing towards my toes.

I followed the direction of his finger and realized what he was pointing at. My mind began to race frantically. What now? What should I say? If he discovered any hint of a lie, the situation could become bleak.

"That is my knife, sir."

"Oh? And why is there a knife and sword here?"

"When we spotted the scarecrow, there was a sword already shoved through its skull. I… I… My Father wishes for me to have a weapon in the event if my life was in danger; if someone frisked my pockets and stole valuables. I… Uh… I removed my knife in fear, sir. I thought I heard someone moving in the brush."

"I see. May I inquire what that atrocious brown liquid is by your feet? It is quite rank," the soldier commented, fanning his nose.

"Oh, I… I sort of lost my breakfast, sir," and glanced sheepishly towards the wall behind him.

"Because of this?" he said, pointing to the scarecrow.

My vision returned to the soldier. "Yes, sir."

"If it caused immense discomfort on your part boy, may I assume you are loyal to King and Country?"

I glared hatefully into his eyes, after that. Father nudged my side with his elbow. When he spotted the soldier glaring at him questionably, father bluffed a cough.

I understood that father urged me to lie, or our lives were at risk. Through gritted teeth I said, "I am loyal to His Majesty."

The soldier nodded thoughtfully and ordered for us to leave the building. I asked the man if I could take my knife. He thought it over a few seconds, and nodded reluctantly. "If you attempt to charge, I will not hesitate to shoot you between the eyes, boy. My pistol is loaded."

"Thank you, sir." I reached, grabbed my knife and placed it behind my back. I pulled father to his feet and handed him his walking stick. I checked behind my shoulder on mum. She was already on her feet and nodded, signaling to me that she was ready.

"Come, let us go home," I said in a weary voice.

No one objected to my directness. Instead, we trudge south in silence. When we arrived at the end Newbury Street, mum spoke. "You displayed quick thinking, Samuel. If it weren't for you; we might have not survived. You should be proud of yourself."

I felt my cheeks become warm. The compliment caused me to grin, despite the dismal circumstances. I looked to father for further guidance. He met my glance and sighed. "Are you alright, Father? The rims of your eyes are puffy, even from this awkward angle, I can see."

"How astute of you, Samuel," he remarked dryly. "We will discuss this tomorrow. Right now, I am sore, depressed, and frightened."

"Frightened?" I asked.

"For the power the Colonists possess. I understand fully why the people were pacing so quickly today. I imagine they were as startled as the three of us were," he said softly.

"We will all talk about this tomorrow, Samuel," mum said firmly. "End of discussion."

"Alright, I'll stop with the questions."




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:41 am
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As the three of us slowly walked further north, I wondered what we would find. What possibly could be at the State House? Would something there signal a clue about the Colonists pace on the streets? The route from Old South to the State House was not extraordinarily long in normal circumstances. If we walked north from Marlborough and the corner of Milk Street, two more blocks, the State House is on our right at the beginning of King Street.

If I was traveling alone, I would have arrived at the two destinations before mid-afternoon. However, with steadying father's immense weight and his slower pace, the trips were longer. We only walked about thirty yards, when father and I had to recuperate. While he nursed his injury, I flexed and stretched my muscles in my neck and the lower part of my back.

"Are you alright, Samuel?" mum asked. "You appear to be suffering."

"Am I?"

"Your cheeks are bright red, and you flinch every time you rotate your neck or hunch your spine. Why don't you sit and rest with your Father."

I obeyed, and plunked my bum on the cobblestones next to him. "I am starting to feel the toll of Father's weight, Mum. It's causing my muscles to ache."

"Then we should return home, son. I do not want you to suffer on my behalf."

I shook my head fiercely and gazed into his brown eyes. "No, I want to go to the State House and see this 'spectacle.'"

"You are chancing your health if nothing is there, Samuel."

"I do not care about my health, Father. I will heal and I want to go."

"Stubborn, old fool," he chuckled. "I am ready, if you are son."

I nodded. "I feel a bit better. Have your stick?"

"It is in my hands, thank you. Help me up."

Standing, I offered my left hand and waited until he gripped it. When I pulled father to a standing position, I tucked my head under the wing of his arm and the three of us pressed forward.

As we walked passed brick or stone buildings and a few horse-drawn carriages, a familiar memory tugged at my memory. I turned to the right so I was facing mum's waist.

"Mum, I have a question."

"What might that be?" she said, refusing to return my glance.

"I don't know how to say it, without having my ears boxed."

"Go ahead, and speak your mind, Samuel," father urged.

I sighed. "Mum, why have you been so quiet? When I was a young boy, you never stopped blabbing. You barely spoke a word when I introduced Sam Adams. May I pinch your hand to see if you are a spirit?" I said, with a sly smile.

"You pinch me and you will be sleeping with the wolves tonight!" mum snapped. "Welcome Garrison, if I hear one more chuckle about this matter, so help me God, you will join him."

"I apologize, Martha," father said. I noticed the corners of his lips were twitching. I think he was fighting off laughter to the best of his ability.

Mum did not return his apology. "An answer to your question is rather complicated. I don't know how to react, I suppose. My mind is always swirling inside, with internal conflicts. What with all the events that have occurred…"

"Martha? Your hands are trembling."

"With all the events that have occurred I feel empty inside," she continued, and covered her hands. "Hollow more than anything. Meeting Samuel Adams… The thought of him connected to our family in some way… I cannot explain, except that my emotions are entangled with an internal battle. I'm waiting for the winner to arise, so I truly know how to feel."

Neither father, nor I commented but I sensed he was as concerned as I was. When we finally passed the first block, I heard someone call my name from the side of a street.

"Who is that man, son? And why on Earth is he waving towards us?"

"The only thing I see Father, is my bare feet and the cobblestones. I will check." I slid from underneath his bulky arm and searched for the person that called for me.

"Over there, Samuel. Look, he is waving his arms," father said, pointing a finger.

"Where? I don't see anyone."

Two heavy hands jerked my shoulders to the right. "There, son. He is a few feet from your mother."

I pressed a hand to my forehead to shield the rays of the sun and searched the streets again. Finally I spotted a thin man of medium height, who walked briskly towards us. As he approached closer, I recognized the man instantly and felt a wide smile growing.

"Good afternoon, Mister Garrison." The man extended his right hand, and I shook it.

"'Afternoon, Mister Henry. These are my parents; Welcome and Martha."

Mister Henry gave a slight nod. "I am pleased to meet you both."

Father cocked and eyebrow suspiciously but nodded nonetheless and mum curtsied.

"Forgive me for prying, but who are you? And how do you know our son?" father asked uncertainly.

Mister Henry glanced in my direction for council. His bushy brows hunched forward and he began to blink frequently. To me, he seemed a bit wary of my kin.

"May I tell them your full name?" I asked.

"You may," he replied.

"Father, Mum; allow me to introduce Mister Patrick Henry. He is a member of the group."

Mister Henry hunched so that his lips were at my eye level. A brownish and gray ponytail slipped from behind and the strands tickled my nostrils. I brushed away Mister Henry's hair and he did not object. "Do they always greet newcomers with open mouths, Mister Garrison?"

"I think they're shocked," I gigged. "I warned them earlier today we were bound to meet some of the Whigs. How is your visit into Boston?"

"Visit?" father asked.

"Yes, where are you from?" mum asked.

I noticed Mister Henry cock an eyebrow but smiled nonetheless. "I was born in Virginia. I am a lawyer by profession and a politician. I am here in Boston to finalize the procedures and be of assistance. I will be departing and returning home tomorrow."

"My deepest gratitude than," father said, with a slight bow. "I speak for my wife, I am sure, when I say we are honored for any sacrifices you may have endured by traveling to Massachusetts. I, for one, am humbled to meet so many fighting for the cause."

I watched Mister Henry nod. "Your compliments will cause me to flush, if you do not stop," he smiled. "Mister Garrison, where is the youngin' headed today on this glorious afternoon?"

"We are heading to the State House," mum replied instead. "Samuel Adams has instructed we are to venture there. He mentioned the people acting by some means of allegiance and I suppose rallying against this Townshend Act. So, we are set to discover what possibly will await us."

Mister Henry cringed upon hearing that news. "I have visited the sight that Sam speaks of. Actually, I was coming from the Towne House now. You are a young lad, Mister Garrison." He stepped up beside me and rested a right hand on my shoulder. "Such things a person should never witness, especially the likes of you."

My head fell. "You sound like my Father," I said glumly.

"And I am sure he was absolutely correct. A young lad should never be exposed to atrocities as cruel as the human mind."

I lifted my head and noticed his grim expression. He was frowning and both his brows furrowed further, so much that half of Mister Henry's brown pupils were covered. "I do not understand. What is-?"

"Yes, what is there?" father interrupted.

"I wish to not describe it," he said, shuddering. "It is a sure sign of the troubles to follow. The place I am sure is surrounded by now with Tories and such. I have a spare dagger, if you and your parents should run into trouble."

"I have one concealed, thank you," I said.

"That is fine. My soul would not rest easy if I read about you or your family members in the obituaries," Mister Henry said firmly. "Where did you see Sam?"

"He was in the Old South Meetinghouse," father mumbled. His voice was soft-spoken that I barely heard him at all.

Mister Henry bowed. "Many thanks kind sir. Young Garrison, a word, before you continue with your travels."

"Yes?"

He removed his grasp from my shoulder, placed a large hand that nearly swallowed the top of my head and pulled my neck backwards, forcing me to meet his eyes. He kneeled on one knee and whispered in an ear, "May the Almighty Lord travel with the soles of your feet and protect you and your family in these dark times."

After he delivered the message, he stood and shook father and mum's hand fiercely. "An extraordinary child you have. Proud guardians, I am sure," Mister Henry boomed.

"I… We are. Thank you," father said.

"I must be off but we should meet privately in a tavern sometime and engage in a conversation."

"Farewell, Mister Henry," I said glumly, and waved as he passed us.

Mister Henry grunted in acknowledgement and walked south of Marlborough Street.

He would be returning to Virginia, I knew, and it saddened me slightly. Mister Henry is an honest but an intelligent man. I am grateful I had the pleasure of acknowledging this fact and the opportunity of acquiring another friend.

"What did he say, son?"

"He wished us safe passage," I muttered, watching intently as Mister Henry's lanky legs disappeared the further he traveled. After his body vanished from my sight, I returned my attention. "I have a question Mum and Father - What do you think of the Whigs now?" I whispered. I was fairly certain we were alone, but I was not chancing a loyalist spying nearby; whispering seemed ideal.

"I say, I am exceedingly impressed. They are dedicated men. The two we have met appeared to be uneasy around your mother and me but I suppose what with riots, this is understandable. That Henry fellow, I swear, had one fixed eye on my body, the entire conversation," father remarked.

"He genuinely seemed to care for your well-being especially, Samuel," mum said.

"Sam Adams did mention, Mum, we are a family whom supports one and another."

She stroked the strands of my brown hair and kissed my forehead. "Thank you, Mum," I said and lightly hugged her. "Father, another block and we will be there. Do you need to tend to the knee?"

"It is sore, but the warning Henry displayed has fully electrified my mind. I refuse to nurse my knee. How are you holding, son?"

"I'm sore too but I will survive. I will not be able to move tomorrow but that is some time away."

"Alright, a little assistance by you son, and we will be off."




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:34 am
Fishr says...



When we arrived, the people in the streets seemed to be in a buzz. There was much activity. The bodies were racing back and forth, as if something were chasing them. I had not seen the Colonists energized since the repeal of the Stamp Act; quite peculiar indeed.

"I wonder what has them in a tizzy," father said, pointing a finger towards the streets.

"You have noticed it too?" I asked.

"Yes, of course. I am not sure about the excitement but I am sure we all will be informed eventually."

"Their fast pace is unsettling. I do not like it," mum said worryingly.

"Where should we head, Samuel? This was your idea. Point us in a direction," father said.

The answer came instantly. "We will walk to the Old South Meetinghouse," I said with authority.

"I am not sure if I am in the proper mood to worship, son. Martha?" he asked, glancing questionably at mum.

"I assume tha-," she began.

"My intentions are not for worshiping," I interrupted. "There is a person I want you two to meet, if he is present. He has become a close friend."

"That is quite a distance from the beginning of Newbury to the corner of Milk Street, son." I watched him temporally glance at his right knee. The wrinkles by the corners of his lips contorted diagonally. "The shortest distance is north, if we walk straight until we reach Marlborough Street and then make a right hand turn onto Milk Street. If I am correct, that is about four blocks, five at most."

"I'm strong enough; I will be able to hold your weight, Father. We can do it, right Mum?"

"I suppose," she sighed.

"Good, come on! I do not want to miss our chance."

"Will you quit tugging my arm, Samuel! I am only able to walk as quickly as my leg allows me."

"Yes, Samuel. Take is easy. We do not want your Father's knee to pop from its joint," mum said, sharply.

I sighed. "Alright, I will walk slower." I peered up into father's face. His expression was grim, not a trace of humor at all. "I'm sorry."

"Let us meet this person you seem to speak so highly of," he said, refusing to return my gaze.

The distance for mum and I would have been fairly simple in normal circumstances but for father, it proved difficult, even with my support that held his massive weight. We had to stop twice, so he could sit and massage his injury before we continued. I paced while he rested, worrying if I would fail to meet my friend again.

"May I inquire about this mate? Who is he?"

"A surprise, Father. You will like him; Mum, I think you will too. He is a bit of a hothead though. But nonetheless, he is a remarkable man."

"What is special about this man?" mum asked.

"Are you ready, Father?" I said, ignoring mum's question. "We are near Marlborough Street; another block and we should arrive at Milk Street."

"Allow me one more minute, son. Are not you exhausted?"

To answer his question, I rolled up my shirt, and showed him a six pack that rippled through my skin. Then I dropped my shirt and flexed my left arm. The muscle jerked and penetrated through my flesh and the size of it was round like an apple, as the muscle popped upwards. "I think I am capable for a while longer," I boasted, and then grinned.

When he called for my help, I extended my left arm, and pulled him onto his feet, and handed Father his walking stick.

"Come on, let us go," he ordered.

I resumed my usual position and steadied his weight. After a few minutes, we reached the building. It was massive, the most extravagant in Boston. Before entering, I glanced up to see the large wrought-iron lantern secured to the top of the entrance; the flames dancing and rolling inside.

Inside Old South, there were a few Colonists praying silently. Towards the front, a tall and white balcony hovered over us. It served as the proper place where teachings were preached by the Reverend. His perch was as high as the heavens itself. There were carvings of angels and each one held a harp. A carved cross from marble was hung in front of the Reverend's balcony. In the center of the cross, was a replica of Christ, with small fingers touching His shoulder. It symbolized He was never alone and God was always with Him. Christ's head was hung low, with carvings of four nails; one nailed into each wrist and ankle. The lower part of His body was wrapped in a maroon sash, with the North Star showing in the center of it.

Along the far left and right, were ten iron chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Each chandelier held six tall candles. They provided enough light to display the half-circled, painted, glass windows, and each one displaying a significant scene. One showed baby Christ lying in a cradle, with three hooded men offering one gift, celebrating His birth. Another, Mary and Joseph had their hands clasped and His guardians were praying above the clouds. Wide, yellowish stripes that represented the sun's rays were underneath the white clouds, where Mary and Joseph kneeled and the rays were directed towards the cross in diagonal lines. I assumed it meant in our darkest hour, light would pave a way for mankind.

Mum lowered her self on her knees under the cross, nailed against the balcony, and prayed silently. A finger by her moved down, up, right and than to the left against her chest. "In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit; Amen." she said mumbled.

Father and I stumbled next to her. I sat, with my legs tucked under my bum and father kneeled on his left leg, the injured kneecap remained in a bent position. Father and I preformed the same ritual as mum.

After I finished, I peered slowly around the room, searching. There was one man, towards the very front and center, under the Reverend's balcony too, with his hands clasped and his head tilted towards the cobblestones.

"Father and Mum, he's here!"

"Shush, Samuel. You are too loud. Who is here?" father said sternly.

"Look," I said, pointing to a pew, not far from us. Both their heads turned to follow the direction of my finger.

"Who is that man, Samuel?" mum asked.

"The person I wanted you two to meet, my friend. Father, here is your stick." I dropped it into his lap and tugged an arm. "Come on, let's go."

"Alright, alright; calm yourself son, before you suffer a heart attack. Help me up."

I slipped under his left shoulder and lifted until he was standing and steady on his feet. "Have your walking stick?"

"Yes, son. I am using it now." He glanced over his shoulder, "Martha, are you coming too?"

She lifted herself to a standing position and nodded. "I think it would be wise, so he doesn't become more excited then he already is."

"Yes… This is true. Well, come on. Let us meet this man. Samuel, you will make the introductions."

I nodded and tugged father's shoulder.

"Quite yanking my arm! Be patient, Samuel," he growled.

When we crept along the right side of the man, he acknowledged our presence by nodding and resumed his gaze to the floor. Father and Mum were standing directly behind me. "Uh hem…," I mumbled.

The man glanced more thoroughly into my face and smiled. "Master Garrison, I did not recognize you. How have you been?"

I bowed deeply, to show my allegiance. "Mister Adams, I would be honored if you met my parents."

He peered over my shoulder, nodded and then stood. Mister Adams extended a right hand out to father; he shook it and so did mum.

"We have heard a great deal about your exploits in Boston, Adams. My overanxious son dragged us here," father said, flashing a faint smile.

"Oh? Ye traveled to find me personally?" Mister Adams gawked questionably in my direction.

I bowed slightly. "I have told my parents a great deal about you and our group."

I watched the smile diminish from Mister Adams lips immediately. He cocked an eyebrow, "They know?"

Father pushed me away hastily with a hand. "We have known about your society since Samuel was fifteen. He has kept true to his word but I forced him to speak because his mother and I feared for his safety. He is as loyal a man you will find… And as equally as stubborn," father remarked, and then smiled in my direction. "The three of us are with the cause," he added shortly.

A broad grin appeared on Mister Adams lips. "I see. I admire the thoughtfulness. Our… Society as you so delicately put it, is a committed group; much a family more than anything. I understand the fears for your son's safety but we all look out for one and another. He is in good hands. Tell me," he began by clapping his hands loudly. The sharp sound startled mum but if it made her uncomfortable, she did not show it. "May I have the names of your parents, Master Garrison?"

"Oh, sorry. I forgot about my manners. This is my Father," I started, gripping an arm and squeezed it, "Welcome and my Mum's name is Martha."

Father bowed slightly, careful to not lose his balance. "Please to finally meet you."

Mum curtsied, "And I," she muttered.

"Pleasure is all mine," Mister Adams said, and then bowed. "If ye say you've heard of me, than I assume you already know my first name but I will say it anyway. I am Samuel Adams, at your service," he said with another bow. "How have you been, Master Garrison?" he repeated.

"I… Uh…," I gawked at father sheepishly for help.

"I believe my son means that he had a rather rough time sleeping last night."

I felt my cheeks starting to flush. "We actually came into town to find new news," I said, attempting to change the subject. "But I wanted them to meet you in person first, Mister Adams."

"Address me as Samuel or Sam. While there has not been news since our meeting yesterday, the people have already acted."

"We have noticed the people acting peculiar. We have never seen so much hustle on the streets," mum said, contributing to the conversation.

"If your Father is able, Master Garrison, I believe you two will find an intriguing display by the Old State House; that is, if it is still there.

"The Towne House? What is there?" father asked curiously.

"Did ye mentioned the Townshend Act?" Sam Adams said, facing my direction.

"I have, Mister – I… I have Sam," I said, smiling awkwardly.

"Than remember this; the three of you. It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. What you will witness is our countrymen displaying allegiance; the same as you have shown us, Samuel Garrison, through the years, if the spectacle has not been removed."

"Thank you," mum said.

"Yes, I believe I say the same as my wife that we are appreciative and humbled by the dedication."

I smiled by the outcome and was pleased by it. "Many thanks, Sam," I said and bowed. "Farewell, until another day." Father bowed slightly again and mum curtsied.

Sam Adams flashed a thin smile, resumed a seat and clasped his hands, beginning to pray again.

I noticed father's knee beginning to buckle, so I rushed under his left arm and led him to a different seat, away from Sam Adams, to rest. Mum followed us and sat also. She was to the left, followed by father in the middle, and me.

"How is your leg?" I asked.

"Sore. But I will manage with your help, son. Your support is graciously appreciative also. Without it, I may not have lasted."

"So, Mum and Father, how do you like him?"

"He seems to be an upstanding citizen," mum said. "But very serious though."

"I agree wholly with that statement, Martha. However, I was very impressed how Adams carried himself; a fine and polite gentleman and a knowledgeable politician. I think we can rest a little easier at night, my wife. I am relieved that Samuel is actually serving under benevolent men whom support the cause of Liberty."

"Excuse me? I am still here," I said waving a palm in father's face.

"And so you are," he grunted. "What is it, son?"

"First, I don't entirely understand your conversation but from what I do understand, you like Sam?"

"Yes, he appears to be a kind man, although I'm still uncertain about your safety," mum said softly.

"Come off it, Mum," I said gruffly. "I have been trained and I know how to defend myself. And I am always armed."

"He is right, Martha. Chin up. If Adams is correct about the group protecting each other, Samuel should be alright."

"I am his mother, it is my job to worry," she sniffed.

"Can we visit the State House?" I asked eagerly.

"I foresee many hours of sleep tomorrow, but yes, we will go. I am as curious as you, Samuel. What say you, Martha? Will you join us?"

"Of course. Someone needs to keep your two arses inline," she smiled. "Hmm? What is with the open jaws?"

"Uh… You…," I started.

"It has been some time since I heard anything remotely related to a curse. I suppose, Samuel is as shocked as I."

I nodded. "I have never heard that word pop from your mouth, Mum."

She shrugged in response. "First time for everything," she retorted.

I turned my attention to father. "Ready?"

"Yes. Help me, please."

I picked up his stick and handed it to him. When father gripped it, I leaned backwards, holding his left hand and hauled his weight until he was standing again. Mum filed from the seat and walked up the aisle. Father grasped both sides of the seats, lifted his injured knee in the air, hopped into the aisle on one foot and than leaned on his walking stick. I scurried by his left side and placed his arm around my neck. Before I began to walk, I reached behind my back and checked the knife. Yes, it's there, I said to myself.

I peered towards Sam Adams, who was still praying. "Farewell, Sam!" I hollered.

A sharp jerk to my stomach caused me to gag. "Do not yell in a place of worship. Let us go already," father said. I sensed he was becoming irritable, so without waiting for a response from my fellow colleague, I pressed foreword, one step at a time until we reached outdoors with mum waiting.




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:27 am
Fishr says...



"Uh… It is me Father… I… I came to speak with you."

"Samuel? Is that you? What on Ear..," he said in a hoarse whisper, yawning again. "What are you doing in hear? It is in the middle of the night. Go to sleep, son."

"But… I…," I stuttered and then licked my lips nervously. "I… Remember you said I could come and wake you two, if I needed something?"

Another yawn and I watched him scratch his side and rotate his neck in a circular motion. "Yes, of course I remember, Samuel. But I had not expected an interruption so soon," he whispered.

I glanced over his body, "Is Mum still asleep?"

"She would sleep through an earthquake. Honestly, your mother is a heavier sleeper than I. So…," he yawned and scratched a cheek, "What is the problem? What do you need?"

"I… Uh… I had a terrible dream, Father. It seemed so real and I cannot sleep. I'm afraid the nightmare will return," I whispered.

"Oh? What was it about?"

"A noose and it was chasing me. It eventually caught my body and I felt like I was suffocating. Before I died in my dream, I pictured the tax collector, Mister Oliver and he stood over my body with a noose secured around his own neck."

He yawned and stretched his arms high above his head. "It was a dream, Samuel. Has it frightened you that much?"

I nodded. "I was spooked so much when I awoke, that I searched for a weapon immediately. I didn't realize at first, I was awake. When I slowly came to my senses, I examined my entire body for wounds, even checked my neck."

"What do you presume should be done, so we can all sleep?"

I scratched an arm and rubbed a shin with a toe. "Uh… If it is not much trouble…-"

"Out with it," father said in a hoarse whisper.

"May I sleep in here, tonight?" I whispered nervously.

"I suppose that should not be a problem. It is almost dawn anyway," he yawned. "Go on, and make yourself a bed on the floor."

"Uh… If it is not much trouble, Father, could I sleep with you and Mum in your bed? In the middle?"

"Alright…," he growled quietly. "If we let you sleep in our bed, will you finally rest?"

"Yes, Father. I promise."

"So be it. Do me a favor, Samuel. Before you hop your bum into the bed, turn around and face the wall. I will wake your Mother so she can slip into a nightgown and I, into breeches.

Nodding, I walked away a few paces and turned so only my bare back was exposed. I heard a loud groan from mum; father whispering our conversation. Then the bed jiggled and thumped.

"Come on, Samuel," mum called in a weary voice.

Turning, I walked steadily, as quickly as my legs allowed, crawled into their bed and kissed them both on the cheek. "Thank you," I smiled.

Their reaction was ignoring me completely. Mum turned to the right and father pulled the covers over his shoulder and turned to the left. I yanked the deer pelt above my hips, turned to the left, slid and arm underneath his armpit and stroked his chest hairs.

He reacted with a grunt. "Good night, Samuel." Shortly after, he was snoring again. I smiled in the darkness and closed my eyes. I slept within a few minutes.

*

"Morning, Samuel. I expected you to sleep later."

Father and I were outside. I rose shortly after the sun illuminated the sky. There was an internal clock inside my brain and I usually greeted the early morning daylight.

I was practicing on throwing my knife into the side of the house when father greeted me.

"I would have, if I could. I have never been able to sleep at dawn. The sunlight always keeps me awake."

"Early bird, I see. How are you today?"

"Exhausted. I apologize for causing any problems last night." I walked towards the blade and yanked it from the soft earth and sat. "Where is Mum?"

"Sleeping. I do not think she slept well either."

"Why not?" I asked, and looked up to meet father's face.

"Because, you are a dangerous man in bed," he laughed. I watched him drop his walking stick and joined me.

I cocked my head, "How so?"

"Well… If I tell you, promise to not beat me?" he smiled.

"Was I that bad?"

"We will say, you hogged most of the covers, leaving your mother and I bear."

"Oh, sorry," I said and peered away sheepishly.

"That is not all, son. If robbing the one thing that keeps us warm was not enough, you pushed your mother onto the floor with your foot last night. She is fine, but with a lot of effort, she was able to move your entire body into the center again."

"And I never woke at all?"

"Never stirred a bit," he laughed. "You are a heavy man, Samuel. Next time, you sleep on the floor."

"Sorry," I groaned, and felt my cheeks flush.

"It is fine, but you will still sleep on the floor."

I glanced into his face. "What's with the smile?"

"Just reminiscing about last night," he smirked. "What plans do you have today, son?"

"I feel too weak to hunt but there is some bread and water inside."

"I fancy grubs myself," he retorted.

"If I gain energy, I will track some fowl," I sighed. "I'm considering about town too."

"You are planning a trip into town today?"

"Yes, I believe so. I am curious if there is new news. Would you like to come, Father?"

I watched him grimace at his injured knee.

"Is your leg bothering you?"

"It is always a burden, Samuel. But if you would allow me to lean on a shoulder, I will survive the trip."

"I am tired but I can support you, Father. Should we wait for Mum?"

"Let us eat first, and then we will decide. Hopefully, when we are finished, Martha will be awake."

I stood and placed the knife in my other hand and extended my left to father. He gripped it and I leaned backwards, pulling his weight. When he was standing, I reached down and grabbed the stick and handed it to him.

"Thank you, son. What say you and I dine on that delightful bread?"

"I would prefer grubs myself," I remarked and then smiled.

I watched father's stomach bounce as he chuckled. He leaned on my left shoulder; I held his weight and led him inside.

When we entered the cabin, a voice called. I slipped from underneath father's left shoulder, checked behind my back and asked if he would be alright without my support for a moment.

"Yes, I will be fine. In fact, I will follow you into the kitchen."

I nodded, and followed the voice that called for us. A tiny woman, wearing a bonnet and a blue dress was molding and punching dough.

"Hello, Mum. We thought you would still be sleeping. We were about to have breakfast."

Creak, thud! Creak, thud! Creak, thud!

The sound of father's walking stick, as he leaned on it, echoed in the hall. In a few seconds, a large hand clasped my left shoulder. "Mind if I lean on you again?"

"It's fine, Father. I can hold your weight."

"Thank you, Samuel."

"My pleasure. So, Mum, we were planning on eating some of your homemade bread and possibly walk into town."

She turned around, greeted us with a smile and mentioned breakfast was already prepared. "Take a seat Welcome and Samuel. I have corn cooked and ready to serve."

Father reserved a seat at the head of the table in the kitchen. I sat next to him and watched how he rubbed his hands together and licked his lips eagerly.

"No bread for us today," I giggled.

"Praise God too. Grass might have been more preferable. Anyway, where did this corn come from, Martha?"

Mum brought three plates over and handed one to each of us, and sat across from father. "I have my ways. There is quite an amount of food rationed, in the event we run low. But don't ask where I have hidden it. You two would eat it all. So, I hear a trip into town is the order of business today?"

"Yes, I wanted to visit and catch up on any news, since yesterday," I said, and dug my teeth in the fresh ear of corn.

"Yesterday? Oh… That's right; your meeting with those Sons of Liberty was yesterday," mum remarked casually.

"Yes, the meeting… The Whigs were quite… Not sure the word to describe it. There was a lot of energy among us, and from past experiences, I know that energy can wield into action." I glanced at both their faces and produced a sly smile.

Father returned my glace, with a mouth stuffed with cornels. "Whuth with tha smuck?"

"Hmm… What was that?" I asked.

He chocked down the food and repeated the question. "What is with the smirk?"

I glanced towards mum, grinning. She met my eyes, but shrugged and continued to eat. "Remember the support you two offered me? There is a good chance we will bump into my allies. I suppose I'm curious how you both will react, if we do."

"I see; a test. I cannot say we do not deserve it. Here that, Martha," pointing a thumb in my direction, "Our son is testing us." His expression was stern, unlike the cheerful demeanor he displayed earlier outdoors today.

"Than we should not disappoint him," mum remarked, causally. "Give me your scraps and I'll dispose of them." We handed her the wood plates and wiped our mouths with our hands.

"Delicious, Martha. Your skill in the kitchen would be difficult to match," he said, licking his fingers with his mouth. "Right then, are we all ready to venture into town?"

"Mum, you are coming, right?" I pleaded.

"I'll come, Samuel and tend to the kitchen later."

"Good. When are we leaving?"

"Right now, son. Martha lead the way, please. Samuel has given his word that he would allow me to rest on his shoulder for support."

I nodded, and slipped my left shoulder under the wing of his arm and lifted his weight until he was in a standing position. "Let me get my knife. I'll be back shortly."

"How about fetching my walking stick, too? It is by my right foot."

I walked swiftly by a chair, grabbed the knife, and than picked up the stick and held it outwards.

He gripped it and leaned heavily to the right.

"May I get a tunic?" I asked.

"What do you need it for?" mum asked curiously. She was standing near the entrance waiting.

"I use the tunic to conceal my knife. I slip the handle into my breeches, behind my back, so that the blade is upright."

"Which means you are always armed. That is clever, son. There is a dark green tunic in our room. You should be tall enough so it fits. Run along, time is a'waisting."

I scurried away and found the tunic resting neatly on mum's side of the bed. I tucked the knife into my breeches and tied the tunic around my neck, then walked from their room and shut the door. "I'm coming!" I hollered, and sprinted to meet them.




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:21 am
Fishr says...



I overheard whispers. Mum and Father were talking about something. The sounds were faint, but I ignored it. I wanted insight or a solution to repeal my sorrow, so I continued to stare at the floorboards, feeling insecure and obsolete. Though, the age of nineteen was nearing, the stress and pressure had taken its toll. It was not the matter of intense fatigue, but rather mixed emotions of anger, confusion and anxiety; fear for dieing and never returning home. Deep down, I knew if I allowed these emotions to burn vibrantly, they potentially could crush my desire and will to alter the cause for liberty. Now, that my kin has called upon me to release those emotions - It is the entire band of redcoat's fault, I reminded myself. It was my one security – blame them.

"Samuel? Son?" A sharp jerk toward my collar bone caused my head to snap upwards from my morbid thoughts. I glanced into father's face and waited.

"Your mother and I were discussing alternate measures to aid in your… difficulties, if that is the correct phrase to be used. Before I begin to reveal our conversation, we both agree that you have suffered a tremendous deal. For someone so young, nearly a proper gentleman, you have endured the brutality of human nature. I hope now, you finally understand why I lecture you the cruelties of warfare. You are fighting a war, as we speak, Samuel. And what was the cost? Hatred. The very word is a parasite that affects our rational judgment. Do not allow that fiendish thing to incorporate a nest in your soul, son. Fight it! Fight it, Almighty God! Do not lower yourself and become a killer, which acts with rage." He hunched over, grabbed his walking stick and jammed the end lightly into my breast and then he tapped the side of my head. "Use these two, Samuel. You have a loving and truthful heart; use it to wash away the anger and sorrow. Use the brains God has bestowed upon you. Rationalize and try to plan, before acting in haste. Do you understand?"

I nodded slowly. It was comforting to hear his deep voice and the wealth of knowledge he knew. But the anger towards the British for causing so much friction with my family especially, it was difficult to use that beating instrument to wash a shred of the emotion away.

"Tell him, Welcome. It should help ease his pain," mum suggested, clutching his left knee.

Father beckoned for me to sit next to mum on the bench. I obeyed and rose slowly to my feet, and resumed a spot in between them.

"My boy…," he began, delivering a faint smile, "Face me son."

I turned my vision from a wall and met his gaze. "Yes, Father?" I squeaked.

I felt heavy hands stroke my hair. I allowed it, and let father fiddle with the strands. Mum began to lightly massage my shoulders. "Look, at you," he said, beginning to rub one of my cheeks. "You have grown too quickly, son; from a mischief toddler to a stubborn, but determined man. I know we have not shown gratitude in nearly three years, but your mother and I want you to realize, we are both very proud and thankful for any accomplishments in Boston you were a part of."

An earsplitting laugh rang throughout the little house. "Look at his expression, Martha. I think he is in shock."

Mum pulled me into her arms and hugged. "Save one for me!" he demanded, then ripped my body from her grasp and hugged tighter. While my face was buried, I felt a smaller weight lie on top of my back. A human sandwich, who would have thought?

"I cannot breathe guys," I said, in a muffled voice. Father released his hold and I felt mum's weight disappear too. When I stretched and rotated my neck, I glanced in each of their eyes. Returning both their smiles, I said, "Thanks. I appreciate the support."

"We pledge to offer any assistance or council in your darkest needs. In fact, we promise that no matter the time of day, if you require someone to speak with, we will always be here for you, Samuel," mum said.

I glanced questionably into her blue eyes, "What if it's in the dead of night and Father's snoring?"

"Wake us, son. But be prepared for a grizzly bear at first," he laughed. "That was the main parts of our conversation. We were discussing a significant way to aid your troubles. We wish for you to never feel so lost that you have to hide your feelings, to the point where it erupts. Your mother and I agreed that; day or night, please by all means, speak with us. Conversing is the strongest course a person should engage in to abolish anxiety or discomfort. If all else, remember this, son," he said and pointed a finger into my face. "You have the Mighty Lord's greatest gift we shall ever receive; a family and one that loves you so much, we shall slay our own wrists and boar blood for your survival, Samuel."

"I… Uh…," I began.

I turned from mum and stared towards the fire pit, astonished. I was at a loss of words and saying 'thanks' did not seem enough. For the first time in a while, I felt their support was genuine. What could I do to signal to them I was grateful? The answer came instantly. I wrapped each of my arms around their necks and squeezed the two largest saps in all of Boston.

The anger and frustration I felt earlier had long passed, and a new emotion hovered inside. I understood how powerful the heart was; father was correct. It served to pump the crimson fluid through my veins, but it also temporally washed away the hatred.

"I love you," I mumbled, feeling tears starting to emerge.

Simultaneously, the voices said, "We love you too, Samuel."

Upon hearing their tender tones, I released my grasp from around their necks and buried my face into my hands and cried loudly. I felt one light hand rest on my left shoulder and a heavier one, caressing my right cheek.

I sobbed for many hours, draining the remaining demons that lurked inside.

*

Running swiftly – the clank of shoes hitting the cobblestones – looking behind my shoulder, an object on hot pursuit – glance towards the sky; gray clouds and lightning bolts flashing wildly – feel stomach heave; must stop for oxygen – peer over shoulder again – the object is on my heels – I turn and run faster – buildings and corners accelerate with the speed of my feet – I trip over my ankle and smash face – turning my body quickly over in preparation to flee, the object hovers high over my chest – I try to scream – no sounds come – blood trickles down corners of my lips – I feel my eyes widen and watch in horror at the object; a noose floats up my chest and wraps itself firmly – try to tear it lose – useless – the rope become taut – I cough and gasp - lightning flashes through the clouds, illuminating Mister Andrew Oliver's somber expression in the sky - I cry out - no sound - running out of air - the noose, tearing into my flesh - my eyeballs begin to pop, then the world goes black. My eyelids flitter and the last thing I see before death is a translucent man standing over my body, with another noose secured around his own neck…

"NO!" I yelled, bolting upright, and hearing a crack of thunder outside. The darkness around the sitting room; it seemed like a horrible and gloomy predator was waiting to swallow me whole. In a panic, I searched for a weapon through the scraps of shirts and animal skins but to no avail, I found none.

I felt my heart thump and my chest ached from breathing heavily. I stared into the shadows, wondering about the vision. It was a dream, I reminded myself. But the thought did little to comfort me. I crawled from underneath the linen and skins, rubbing my hands all over my bare chest, and then I checked my calves and feet. After I examined the limbs and muscles thoroughly, I gripped my neck. Yes, it is alright. There is no rope tied around your neck.

Playing the dream over, it was so real. I actually felt a rope tied tight and Mister Oliver's face; a crooked and snapped neck. Was this a warning? Am I to die? A ripple of fear gripped my body and I began to shake.

Two small voices entered my mind and I remembered their encouragement earlier today. Slipping on a pair of breeches, I brought myself steadily to my feet. As I walked, my kneecaps buckled and I crashed onto the floor. Standing again, I stepped into the tiny hallway, turned right and knocked on the door.

There were sounds of life on the other side; father was snoring loudly. I decided to knock harder.

Silence.

If they are not going to answer, I'm barging in, I instructed myself. Inhaling one gulp of air, I opened the door and crept into my parent's room. At first, I barely saw anything, except two lumps on a mattress. Mum's head was facing my body and to the far left, slept father. For several minutes, I stood in complete darkness, feeling very nervous and wondering what their reaction would be if I woke them in the dead of the night. They said I had permission to wake them, no matter the circumstances but some doubt started to seep inside.

When my vision finally adjusted, I saw their room almost perfectly through the light of the moon. There were three windows; one to the left, center and another to the right, near the entrance. Towards the center and under the window, there was a small, wooden box with a hole cut in the middle. The hole was only wide enough to support a person's bum. Underneath the box, another hole was cut through the floorboards and a circular ditch was dug nearly seven feet into the earth. In the colder months, we used the indoor privy. Fortunately, when the privy was built, it had a door bolted, so anyone that lifted it to relieve themselves, could push the door shut to ensnare the stench. I cannot say the odor emitting from underneath the privy's latch was appealing but it was tolerable; at least I was mildly used to it. To the right of me, under the other window, was a hole cut into the wall. The cubby served as a place to store linen and shoes. On the floor, I noticed a dress, apron and bonnet in front of my toes.

I decided I would call upon father, despite his horrendous snoring, so I side-stepped mum's clothing and tiptoed around the other side of their bed and stared at the contours of his face. Their covers only wrapped half his body, allowing thick chest hairs to stick wildly outwards. His left arm was tucked behind his neck and the other was under deer skin and his head was facing directly at my hips.

He reached with a free hand from under the covers and scratched his chest, stretched, than rolled over and continued to produce a racket. I anticipated the moment when I would shake him, but every time I reached a hand toward one of his shoulders, he grunted and tossed into a new direction, which left my stomach fluttering and I stopped.

This is ridiculous; shake the man, so you can sleep again. Without thinking, I reached out and shook father, and stepped away from the bed. At first, he grumbled and pulled the sheets higher over his stomach. I gritted my teeth and shook a shoulder harder.

Before I had a chance to ease away, father groaned, rubbed his eyes, and sat up to meet my face. "Who is that? Who are you?" he said, yawning loudly.




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:16 am
Fishr says...



"Samuel? Is that you?"

"Yes, Mum. I will be with you in a minute," I called.

Untying my tunic, I rested it by the entrance on the floor and removed the knife from behind my back and set it next to the tunic. When I entered the foyer, mum was sitting and reading. I walked briskly towards her and sat on the bench also.

"Good afternoon, Mum. Your day; how was it?"

She rested her book in between our bodies and peered into my eyes. "Fine, Samuel, except worrying sick about your welfare. Your Father is sleeping, if you decide to look for him."

I nodded slowly, rubbing my chin. "Mum, there is something very important I must tell you both. Please, wake Father."

"Is it that urgent? If it can wait, you should let him rest."

"It is urgent, if he isn't already aware of it. In which case, I'm risking my ears being boxed for waking him without reason. But I must take that chance. Wake him, Mum," I ordered softly.

"I assume it is, if you're taking that chance. Wait here, Samuel." She quickly walked across the sitting room, past the fire pit, into a small hallway and turned to the right, which led to their quarters.

To pass the time when a dazed person would approach, I started to count my toes. When I counted to ten twice, I began with my fingers. Finally after a long silence, I spotted mum and called her over.

"Is Father coming?"

"That overgrown ox could sleep through a thunderstorm, but yes, he is dressing and will be out momentarily."

"Good."

A few minutes passed and I heard awkward footsteps approaching. A silhouette of a tall and large figure stepped into the sitting room. He was wearing brown breeches, but no shirt. Clumps of black hair stuck out wildly on his chest and shoulders. When I saw father wobbling on his feet, I asked if he requested my assistance.

"No, I am alright, Samuel," he said, yawning loudly.

When father reached his rocking chair, he laid his stick next to his right leg, and then glared into my face. "Well?"

"Afternoon, Father," I said, smiling weakly.

"Afternoon, son. You were out with them again, am I correct?" he yawned.

"I arrived quite a while ago. I have news."

"So, your mother has informed me already. Out with it, Samuel. The sooner you speak, the sooner I can sleep again."

I frowned. "You don't seem too interested. Perhaps waking you was a mistake. Are you still tired?"

"Exhausted is the word, but you two dragged my carcass out here, so speak up, Samuel. What news do you bring?"

I inhaled a slow breath and released it calmly. "I asked Mum to wake you Father because I have reached word of a new Act."

"Oh?" father asked curiously. "And what is the name of this Act and what does it involve?"

I moved away from the bench and sat in front of father, so I could peer into both their faces. I watched him nod in my decision, mum staring blankly into my face for answers.

"I will offer both of you a clue; it is a new-"

"Tax, yes?" father asked.

I nodded. "The Sons of Liberty were in an uproar. I wish you were with me, Father but alas, you're not apart of the group," I sighed. "They spoke of, or rather roared about liberty."

"But what does that have to do with this news you bring, Samuel? Stop stalling; I am growing thin of patience."

"Sorry," I moaned. "Please, bear with me, both of you," I said, pointing towards their faces. "The news is something you two may already know but I couldn't risk not mentioning it. The Whigs were preaching about liberty and such because of the Townshend Act. Paril-"

"Bloody hell! What in the Holy Heaven does this one entail?"

Whack!

"Ouch! What was that for, Martha?" father asked, rubbing his left shoulder.

"He is trying to tell us, Welcome. Remember, you were the one that asked for this to be over with, so you could sleep again. If you shut your trap long enough…"

"Quiet, Martha. Go ahead and continue, son. I will try and not interrupt, in fear of being slapped again," he said, glancing at mum. She ignored father and continued to stare at my face.

"Parliament has passed the Townshend Act. Its purpose is to collect revenue from the colonies by putting custom duties on imports of glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. One of the men in the group mentioned a name - Charles Townshend, Chancellor of the Exchequer. Judging from his last name, he is the creator. I do have one question, Father. What is a Chancellor of the Exchequer?"

He shook his head slowly, and spoke quietly to the floor. "In the common tongue, it means Townshend is from England and he is responsible for all financial affairs in the British cabinet. I presume they are at it again." He raised his head and glanced at mum. "What is your view on this?"

"I think we should thank our remarkable son," she said simply.

I smiled faintly. At least one person was on my side.

"You what?" father remarked sharply and then frowned afterwards.

"I agree; it's time to stop belittling him and focus on the important matters. For years, we've worried more about his namesake then to observe the events that were taking fold. Our son has stayed true to his beliefs, no matter the hardships that were thrown into his lap. We, on the other hand, have not supported his reasoning or sought to offer assistance, but rather sat with our wrists bound and done nothing. Though, I love Samuel, with all my heart, and worry for his safety the moment his foot steps outdoors, we need to help him more. What say you, Welcome?" She turned questionably to meet the dumbfounded expression on his face.

I watched a wide smile beginning to spread. "Mocking my phrase?"

"No, I wanted your attention," she said.

"Bold words, Martha and I suppose you are correct. You and I will offer more substantial assistance. Here that, son? We will not pester you anymore about your endeavors with the Whigs. Pleased?"

"Yes, I am," I smiled. "It is about time you two farts saw it my way," I replied, grinning.

Father smirked. "Farts? Who is a fart? Martha, our boy is mocking our age."

"I suppose, compared to him, we are," mum remarked.

He shook his head, and pointed to her with a thumb. "She has the humor of a stone wall some days." I watched father duck, and apologized by hugging mum. "Right then; Martha is there anything else you wish to speak of?"

"As a matter of fact, there is," she said immediately. "Samuel, how are you feeling?"

I shrugged. "I feel fine."

"No, I meant how are you feeling?"

"I don't understand. Didn't I just say-"

"Samuel, through all the ordeals we have been together as a family, I don't believe once we actually discussed your internal emotions. You must have something built inside?"

I frowned, and felt my heart quicken its pace. Father stroked his smooth chin, and then rubbed the hairs on his stomach. "She does make a point, son. We never talked about your exploits and decisions, joining the Sons of Liberty in depth, but rather persuading by means of pleading. Is there anything you wish to shove off your chest?"

Licking my lips, I glanced towards mum, and then father. I could feel my cheeks becoming warm and my stomach quivering. Their eyes seemed to burn into my face. What should I do? They are calling upon the demons I have longed vanished, I thought to myself. The only solution was…

"Mum, could you please leave? I want to speak with Father alone."

"Boys…," she said and patted my head. I watched her headed for the kitchen.

"Well?" father asked, yawning. "What is wrong?"

"I… Uh… Can I have a minute to think?"

"Of course, son. Pay no attention to my yawning. I am not as young as you. Fatigue seems to grip my body easily these days. Take your time."

I stared blankly into thin air, pondering. My life seemed to change drastically from fifteen – the Sugar Act, and father requesting my assistance, clubbing unexpected citizens' unconscious, bumping into one of the founders - Mister Samuel Adams, and becoming a member of the Sons of Liberty. And mum… How strange that she barely speaks anymore. A spirit? No… A spirit cannot communicate; mum can, but says little when the three of us are together.

I ran further through the course of history of my life and stopped when I reached the hanging of Andrew Oliver. The memory rose from deep inside and hovered in my brain. NO! I shouted to myself. I am not part of the grisly display. I shook my head fiercely, closing my eyes and smashed the sides of my fists into the floor.

I felt a heavy hand perched on my shoulder. "Samuel, what is it, son?" I noticed the concern in his tone. It was soft spoken, rather then his usual deep voice.

"It is nothing!"

Regretting my sudden outburst, I opened my eyes to notice father gaping. I glanced towards the kitchen, mum was watching me too. "I am fine," I called, waving a hand to signal to her to leave again. She nodded, and turned to tend to other businesses.

When I returned my attention to father, he was frowning but said nothing to question my reaction. Closing my eyes, I continued to pass through the memories. An article popped up instantly. I remembered a warm morning, and I, sitting on the floor reading about another house being burned; someone's home, gone in a fiery blaze. I thought about the taxing and how they directly affected my family. It has caused nothing but turmoil, trouble and friction. Is it my fault for joining the Whigs? Have they jeopardized my happiness? No, I thought. They wouldn't have a need to expand and terrorize Boston, if… if…

A lump started to grow in my bowls and I felt it burn. A switch flipped inside my head. My emotions bubbled and rumbled beneath my heart. The only scapegoat to blame for my suffering…

"Damn, them! Damn those bloody bastards all to hell!" I screeched with my eyes still pinned shut. "I will strike those lobsters down; one by one!"

In my rage, I heard two voices, ask simultaneously, "What is wrong?"

I opened my eyes, panting heavily. Mum had decided to come into the sitting room. I glanced at their expressions. Her face was a palish colour and father gawked in disbelief in my direction.

"I meant what I said," I replied, glaring into both their eyes.

"Uh, Samuel… Your mother and I… We are a bit confused… What is wrong?" father asked again.

"Them! The redcoats! No, it's the person they serve. That tyrant overseas who is controlling them and us. Everyone who is loyal to the King deserves to die!"

"Samuel, you are not making sense, son. Try and calm yourself. May we inquire the outburst and why the overwhelming hatred?"

"I have come to realize something."

"Yes, go ahead," he urged with a hand, "Say what is on your mind."

"Mum and Father, I was thinking about my past, when I was fifteen. I thought about how I bumped into Mister Samuel Adams, and became a Whig. I thought of Mister Oliver. The poor man was fleeing for his life, only to find that he was homeless? And Mister Hutchinson; his house also burned. I thought of taxes and such and how miserable it has made us. Through my memories, I came to one realization – it is all King Georges' fault and the men whom serve with him. If it had not been for their meddling, we and our countrymen would not have to suffer as a whole."

When I finished, their faces shown only concern, but that was the only emotion I noticed. Father spoke and offered mum a seat on the bench. He said she was not to leave, no matter my requests. He also mentioned that the three of us would solve my problems, as one, a family.

"How long have you had this anger built?" he asked.

"Years," I replied, starting to calm myself. "Since the Sugar Act, then it escalated as the years passed."

"And you buried it that long? To think, if your mother had not suggested for you to open up…," he shook his head and continued. "I wish not to contemplate about it. I understand partially the rage that you are feeling. How do you presume I feel? I was born in Britain but I have not lost my head and lashed out. The anger that is consuming you, please Samuel, do not attempt something foolish as a way to seek revenge for your feelings. There are ways to fight this, such as boycotting. If we ignore the shipments, then the British government cannot profit."

"There is something else," I began; ignoring father's long winded speech. "I hold myself responsible for the effigy hanging of Mister Oliver. I always attempted to clear my conscious and remind myself he deserved it for collecting the stamps. But I played a part, by being with the Whigs. I-." Dropping my head to the wood floor in despair, I waited for a response.




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Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:10 am
Fishr says...



Note:(I tried to attach an image; a map of colonial Boston but my comp is not letting me. At this point, the map might have been more of use to those who wished to follow the precise footsteps as the reader will travel with the characters in Boston's streets - PM me if you want the map and I might be able to attach it in another route. Fortunately, the story is setup even without a visual, the reader shouldn't be too confused - I hope! However, the street names you will see, were actual names in colonial Boston, even today some still exist. Without further ado, Chapter 3.)

* * * *
June 29, 1767 - Boston, Massachusetts – Old State House

* * * *



Cries rang throughout within its walls. Hordes of businessman, merchants, journalists, and lawyers gathered for one common purpose. Some of the principle leaders voiced their opinions and voiced them strongly they did.

The Stamp Act was repealed in March on the seventeenth of seventeen hundred and sixty six. Bostonians rejoiced, hooted and hollered. They won a battle over England, though it had not caused bloodshed; it would be the first mark signaling to the colonies that strength in unity was far superior to acting alone.

I was among the group of men, towards the front of the crowd where Mister Adams, Mister John Adams, and Mister Patrick Henry faced the group, whom preached about freedom and rights of the citizens.

"Ye let Charles Townshend; Chancellor of the Exchequer use British legislation to raise revenue and assert imperial authority?" Mister Adams boomed.

The cries rang out in rage again. I turned to each of the men that surrounded my body and peered into their face. Their eyes showed the life of desperation, revolt and most of all - freedom. Tight fists raised high over some of their heads, while others yelled, "Crown of Tyranny!"

Mister Adam's cheeks were a furious maroon colour, so dark it appeared he burnt his skin. He spoke of how the strength of Bostonians played a role in the repeal of the Stamp Act and called upon his fellow people to refuse imported shipments of levied duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea. Drips of sweat poured from his forehead, and the watermarks protruded through the armpits of his waistcoat.

Before he allowed others to address the situation, he added, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

Another roar of voices echoed throughout the State House. Man clasped each others shoulders and pointed to Mister Adams, nodding in agreement. Other men slapped the backs of their fellow members and smiled. A few didn't respond at all, but stared into thin air – emotionless.

I watched Mister Adams turn to face his cousin, who stood next to him for approval. He fanned his right side with a hand, clutched his shirt and nodded to his hotheaded cousin; then turned to address the hopeful and rapturous Sons of Liberty.

"The people have a right, an undisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge – I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers," Mister John Adams said.

A chorus of voices shouted with glee. I heard men howl the word freedom, while some of them shouted, "No taxation without representation!"

When chatter of the men began to cease, Mister John Adams continued, "As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children."

"Here, here!" Mister Henry bellowed, in agreement afterwards. He walked fiercely from behind and pushed the two cousins aside. "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" Afterwards, Mister Henry moved into the middle of crowd and stood proudly with his countrymen.

Clutching and readjusting my tunic so it would fit properly around my neck, I noticed men were smiling; others still clasped their shoulders.

An ill-tempered man spoke immediately after the speech. "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule," Mister Samuel Adams warned, pointing a figure to the Whigs. "Boycott the goods, or ye is in servitude with the hands gripping your throat."

"Boy-cott! Boy-cott! Boy-cott!" cheered the Whigs.

"Meeting adjured!" cracked a hand above the head of Mister Samuel Adams. The group filed through the doors hastily into Boston's streets. I waited until the large group, consisting over sixty men, departed from the building, since I was standing towards the front, near the two cousins. I watched the men remove their shirts and robes, trying to relieve them of the intense heat. Some of the other men wiped the sides and neck with an already drenched rag of sweat.

Finally, when the majority of the Whigs departed, I clenched my stomach and bowed deeply in front of the Adamses, to show my allegiance. The two cousins returned my bow and asked simultaneously what the young Whig up to these days.

"Hunting deer mainly," I replied. "I have become skilled in the art of hunting."

"What of your exploits in Boston? Are you still stealing from the Colonists and burning the goods?" Mister Samuel Adams asked.

"I discontinued those practices a few years ago, sir. I hunt to provide for my family now."

"A gracious cause, I am sure. Remind your parents of all that was spoken today and if they do not know, remind them; take heed about the Townshend Act," Mister Samuel Adams said.

I wrapped my gray tunic tightly around my chest so it covered a black waistcoat, nodded and said, "Farewell; until another day."

The cousins nodded also, with grim expressions and turned, leaving me staring at two spines, their waistcoats damp.

When I reached outdoors, I winced. The sun blinded my vision at first from being inside many hours. I readjusted my tunic, tugging at the knot and checked the knife with my left hand. The handle of the blade was still firmly snug between my breeches, behind my back. The blade rested vertical against my skin, in which case, I consciously watched where I stepped, so as to not trip and impale myself. I always carried it wherever I traveled now. It was easier to conceal then the bulky hatchet.

Walking home, I played the Whig's meeting over in my head, dreading the news I carried, if mum and father weren't already aware. When I reached the end of Newbury Street, which bordered the town and a local forest, I trudged into the woods that eventually lead me home. The Whigs weren't much of a secret society anymore, so hiding in a forest seemed a bit ridiculous. However, the reason for venturing into it was to further father's training. On the occasion, when returning from a meeting, I'd toss the tunic over my head and crawl on the filthy earth like a worm. Eventually my ribs became sore, so I brought myself to my feet and practiced the techniques, pretending the tree trunks were redcoats, and I slashed each one in the heart with the blade.

I closed the door, and a voice called before I entered the sitting room.




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Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:56 pm
Fishr says...



Hiya, Myth!

Heh, well I can see when I return to chapters 1 and 2, I'll have some more editing to do, lol! You've made some very excellent points, and aside from spelling errors, I'll have a few things to play around with.

Mentioning that, I've taken your advice, and started writing up Martha's history, and what a history that's becoming! It's no wonder Welcome and her get along, lol! (you will see) I can say, I didn't plan, but it sorta jumped me unexpectedily. So while Welcome's past is large, Martha's is becoming pretty interesting the more I'm plugging away. Hense, chapter three is becoming VERY broad where some loopholes are being tied. ;)

Quote:
"Father," I giggled. "I think you forgot something."

"What now?"

"Look down."

He did, and yelped, trying to cover himself and bolted back into his quarters.


A little humour goes a long way. I’d cringed reading this.
LOL! I wondered about the reactions with that scene. You got a pretty bad visual, I take it? ;)

I see what you mean about Martha. I would have expected her to be more supportive of Samuel, like Welcome, but her concerns are far greater than impression.
;) That it is, that it is. I'm glad you're making that connection.

It should be interesting for Martha to teach a boy to sew and I’ll be anxious to know what he thinks about that as most boys would hate to be doing ‘a woman’s job’.
;) Since you've already came to that conclusion, which I hoped, I may not describe that senario. Then again... when another character takes the stage much later - Garrick - I could use the sewing experience to my full advantage and have a good laugh! Hmm... Actually, LOL! Actually, I could have so much more fun with S. Adams, Samuel and the sewing! LMAO! Ohh... I just got a nasty and hilarious visual... Haha! Thanks for that, Myth! :) You've given me a nice idea, and now it's time to write up a script for reference, haha!! I'll PM it to you, ;)

I should add I can't say the word 'welcome' without think of W. Garrison.
Yes, it's becoming weird, lol!

Many thanks again for taking the time to read and offer assistance.




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Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:58 pm
Myth says...



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*

Mum ignored my question, walked briskly into the sitting room and resumed a spot on the wooden bench, next to father's rocking chair.


Isn’t the room they are in the sitting room? That would mean she’s already in there (since she nudged Samuel).

Suggestion: Mum, ignoring my question, resumed a spot on the wooden bench, next to father’s rocking chair.

A lump began settled into my stomach and I lurched forward, gripping my waist as I coughed.


Either take ‘began’ out or change it to: A lump began settling into my stomach...

I peered up and locked gazes with fathers'.


...father’s.

“She would pierce me a new belly button if I informed you but late in the night when you are snoring or off with Adams and Revere, I have to listen to Martha sob into her pillow.”


Belly button? Would it have been said like that in the 18th Centaury?

“I'm not sure. I thought a little when Mum was in the sitting room while you were sleeping.”


How about: when Mum was here...

On a bed, under a large bear skin cover, lied mum.


‘lay’ not ‘lied’.

She nodded in the room, lit brightly by the sun's rays and told me she would be a moment.


I wasn’t too sure about the above sentence.

I stepped into the sitting room, walked passed the fire pit, careful to not trip over shirts near my bed and resumed my position in front of his knees. "Yes, she is coming, Father. She said she wanted to put her dress, bonnet and apron on first."


You wouldn’t necessarily need to include him going back into the sitting room. As Welcome speaks the reader immediately assumes Samuel has returned so you can just say he sat back in place, etc.

I heard mum walking behind my body and stopped suddenly.


‘behind my body’... that was an awkward way to suggest Martha pass him.

“Samuel cannot disband from them because he is apart of them.”


Remember this:

*Ahem* A lesson from Miss Myth: ‘apart = separate’ and ‘a part = connected with’. All right?


"We can prepare him," father said firmly. "I may be nearing sixty, but that is some distance away. I am still able to move around a little. I will train our son thoroughly in all aspects of fighting."

Upon hearing that, I edged closer, excitedly.


That’s typical Samuel for you, excited only when he hears about ‘fighting’ and his father’s history.

"Are you angry with my choice being apart of the Sons of Liberty?"


Again, the same applies with the old comment. It should be ‘a part’.

"I'm not happy, but no Samuel," she frowned.


A little confusion there. Try rearranging the dialogue there so she answer the question first and adds her opinion last.

Then she stood and I watched her walk to the house's entrance and slammed the door.


Ah. The doors will soon break off its hinges if they are slammed too often. XD

"Father," I giggled. "I think you forgot something."

"What now?"

"Look down."

He did, and yelped, trying to cover himself and bolted back into his quarters.


A little humour goes a long way. I’d cringed reading this.

I see what you mean about Martha. I would have expected her to be more supportive of Samuel, like Welcome, but her concerns are far greater than impression.

It should be interesting for Martha to teach a boy to sew and I’ll be anxious to know what he thinks about that as most boys would hate to be doing ‘a woman’s job’.

I should add I can't say the word 'welcome' without think of W. Garrison. :wink:

It is quite difficult to know when a chapter statrs/ends, think about titling them it'll be so much easier then.




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Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:32 pm
Fishr says...



Ah, well, I do have a horrible short-term memory. So I apologize for repeating the question. But, it's good to see the others might be prusading the decesion, lol.

You know, even if this wasn't published I'd still read it. Nothing can stop my interest in history or reading.
Ah... :oops: Thanks, Myth! :)

You will see more of her, trust me. :) I would be curious to see what you think when she's more "available," as Martha's role becomes more permanant. Man, I can't wait for you to meet S. Adams and Revere!! History fanatics might stab me with a fork, but I love how they're protrayed. :D

Plus, is there any background on her side that her son would want to know?
Good question, and I've thought about it many times. The answer is, I'm not sure. It seems that only Samuel is interested with his Father's background, and military, being the young "boy" he is. I guess I could call it a "father-son"..... thing. I won't force it but if it the subject arises, than we'll both know.




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Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:59 pm
Myth says...



From the very beginning (you may remember) I said it was Samuel. Now I find it hard as each character has something about them that draws attention and I can't say which would be the best.

You know, even if this wasn't published I'd still read it. Nothing can stop my interest in history or reading. :wink:

I hope to see more of Martha, though she appears shortly for a few paragraphs it would be interesting to see how Samuel developes with both his parents. Plus, is there any background on her side that her son would want to know?




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Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:50 pm
Fishr says...



Howdy, Myth!

Oh, you will definitely meet Mr. Adams, Revere, and a slew of others! After all, this story is "ridged" historical fiction (except with minor fictional flaws with the non-fictional characters), and without the actual people involved, it would fall flat on its feet long ago. Presently, because the opening paragraphs showed Welcome in such a harsh, and seemingly "cruel" (or over-irritable) light, I had to bring father and son together. I had to show the bonds, and that Welcome isn't the tyrant he was first presented in the very beginning. He's a father, an over-protective one, but a father no less that doesn't want to see his son make costly mistakes. Anyway, yes right now, the infamous Sons of Liberty are tucked in a shadow, but rest assured, you'll meet S. Adams, Revere, and every face that was absolutely imperative to the started the crisis's in Boston, and undoubtly, some of the events that occurred, leading to the American Revolution.

You know, that WAS the GREATEST compliment I will ever receive for my hard work and efforts. If anything, if I never see it published, knowing that the storyline was intriguing enough to "fancy" someone's interest into reading for pleasure is the most satisfying thing I've yet to see through this project. This is why I'm so intrigued by history, and why I started such an advanced and hardworking project. I started it, not just for my love of the era, but to teach. That's why history is so enjoyable because of the discussions, and passing on the banter to the older or younger generations whom will spread the knowledge, thus a continuous circle is born. I do hope you enjoy yourself and have as much fun as I do every time I pick up a book of the period! :)

---
Ahh... now for the story itself, lol

Since the three Acts, what were talks and planning early on in the Sons of Liberty became physical disturbances.


I didn't understand that sentence. What did you mean by what were talks and planning...?
Well when I finish editing chapter 3, I'll have to be more clear with that sentence (that is when I'm totally finished. I'm not going backwards; takes up too much time. I apologize.) What I meant was, because the Sons of Liberty were such a small group (Adams in the story mentions it by claiming Samuel is the ninth member), all the members did were discuss and plan, but nothing associated with violence or boycotting hadn't occurred yet, not until 1765 - the Stamp Act. In this year, chaos among the colonies were at its peak for quite a while. But you will read a few accounts that actually happened in BFG in 1765. Many of the colonies acted on different levels, some extreme while others strayed away - (the Tories).

He has been spending time in town to catch up on events or find new news.


new news? Ach. How about reports?
Heh, I'll keep in mind but dialect in colonial America was "off-beat" than our speech today. For instance, Boston would have been spelled this way: Bofton. Their "S's" looked like "F's." The other thing, it seems, at least the citizens who represented the public had an immense or decent vocabulary. They knew how to use the "dictionary" to their advantage and simple words often caused bickering,without raising a finger. It is said that Patrick Henry could change the laws in Virginia with the "lashing of his tongue." Henry was that boisterous, fiery and tactless with his speeches, and that much believable in the public eye. Anyway... lol, I apologize for dumping facts. I will definitely keep the suggestion in mind when the time comes and I have to edit these two again.

Quote:
"Are you telling the truth, Samuel?" he asked for the third time today.

"Father! What more do you want from me? My blood? My hair? How about my neck?" The same question was usually asked by him and my answer was always, "No." Although, after defending myself for days on end, I was losing my patience.


It seems father and son are switching roles. Welcome is persistent and Samuel's not too keen on answering his father's questions.
Well, they are related. How do you think Samuel became so curious? lol. Again, the apples don't fall too far from the tree, he he.

Quote:
A stick hovered over my scalp, causing me to close my eyes tightly, ready for a lickin'
Sam actually brought this to my attention a while back, and I will remove the word because it gives the the family a "backwoods" feel. They are not hillbillies, even though their home is not directly in town but the outskirts of it. Thank you for reminding me. :)

Welcome is just so... Welcome! XD What I mean to say is, you have characterised him so well that he tries to get Samuel to obey him by calming down. I know a lot of parents who use this method to get what they want from their kids and it usually works so excellent job there
LOL! It's true, and fun bringing back your childhood. I always remember when I was in deep *beep* that the best solution was to stay as far away as possible. But of course parents are evil, and they always found a solution in coaxing me to come closer...

Quote:
I heard a door slam shut and an object moved around the house; footsteps shifting quickly around the kitchen. The object eventually made their way into the foyer. "My, what is this? Samuel? Are you becoming a lovey-dovey?"


Martha makes me laugh so much!
LOL! She's a fun character but man oh man, was she a little hiedon herself during the beginning stages of char development. Martha was a hard egg to crack, and admittedly, she still is!! But she seems to define sarcasm at its best in certain areas, and she's one person I would definately not want to cross! Just thought I'd throw that out there to whet your interest further, lol.

So, between the three characters you've met so far, who is your favorite? ;)

Well, thank you so much for taking the time to help me, Myth. If you ever need help with any of your stories let me know. I can't promise I'll get a quick editing job done, as my work schedule flux's too much, but I will do what I can in the spare time I find.




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Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:22 am
Myth says...



For some weird reason I got it today! Now that mystery of the name will be solved soon! I'm about half-way through the critique of BFG.

*
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Since the three Acts, what were talks and planning early on in the Sons of Liberty became physical disturbances.


I didn’t understand that sentence. What did you mean by’ what were talks and planning...’?

He has been spending time in town to catch up on events or find new news.


new news? Ach. How about ‘reports’?

He wanted to know why such force, and the purpose of it?


That question mark ought to be replaced by a full stop, as it isn’t really a question.

"Are you telling the truth, Samuel?" he asked for the third time today.

"Father! What more do you want from me? My blood? My hair? How about my neck?" The same question was usually asked by him and my answer was always, "No." Although, after defending myself for days on end, I was losing my patience.


It seems father and son are switching roles. Welcome is persistent and Samuel’s not too keen on answering his father’s questions. :wink:

A stick hovered over my scalp, causing me to close my eyes tightly, ready for a lickin'.


Was lickin’ spelt like that intentionally?

I watched father slowly stand and arched his finger, trying a different approach. "Samuel…," he called, taking a seat in his rocking chair afterwards. "We could go at this all night, son. What say you quit being stubborn and obey me?" his voice starting calm.


Welcome is just so... Welcome! XD What I mean to say is, you have characterised him so well that he tries to get Samuel to obey him by calming down – I know a lot of parents who use this method to get what they want from their kids and it usually works – so excellent job there!

A palm silenced me.


Was he slapped or did Welcome raise a hand for silence or another gesture? I wasn’t too sure.

Knowing you are apart of this group… Samuel, there is nothing in this world, I fear more then to lose my only child."


*Ahem* A lesson from Miss Myth: ‘apart = separate’ and ‘a part = connected with’. All right? So the sentence would be: Knowing you are a part of this group.

Father was faintly smiling; I frowning, looking into a familiar face that I've grown with since birth.


I frowned...

I heard a door slam shut and an object moved around the house; footsteps shifting quickly around the kitchen. The object eventually made their way into the foyer. "My, what is this? Samuel? Are you becoming a lovey-dovey?"


Martha makes me laugh so much!

I'd really like to see Samuel in action or maybe meeting with the Samuel (A)'s group. Although you refer to its existance there is no evidence for its existence. I don't know if you're doing this later but it would be great to see what talks go on and how they inspire/motivate Samuel (G).

I have to say since reading BFG I've taken an interest in American history and the Sugar Act,etc. I've borrowed a few books from the library (that's how keen I am) so I get a better understanding of what is going on.




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Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:34 pm
Fishr says...



I'm assuming you got my PM but I just couldn't resist commenting, now that I'm feeling much better.

Finally Samuel is maturing. I'm suprised there is no love interest, he probably loves questions more than any girl he has ever met. So, will there be any possible attractions or do I have to find out for myself.
At least someone has noticed. :) I was wondering if I had achieved maturing Samuel. You'll have to find out for yourself, because I have no control over my characters, lol. The only control I have over them is editing. It'a funny what the subconcious spews from your fingertips. ;)

And I am dying to know his grandfather's name. I know it begins with A. Probably something weird like Algernon, Annoying or maybe Arrogant?
:D :lol:

Annoying? LOL! That's good, but nope. Arrogant? I honestly wish, but sadly that's not the case either. But the name may not be exotic as you think. Still, the name is rarely used, even today. I will mention, it took one very acute event to have Welcome spill his guts again. Otherwise, I think that portion of his past would have remained a mystery, It was such a pain to find a loophole too! :lol:




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Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:08 pm
Myth says...



Needless to say, after much practice, I became skilled enough to reload in thirty seconds.


Now I don't know much about guns but is this the type where you get some kind of a ball and shove it in with a metal stick? Thirty seconds is quite long to reload, isn't it?

I smiled in return and nodded. "And you were born in seventeen hundred and six. Boy, did you grow old quick," I joked, and my grin grew broader.


Samuel making a joke, that’s a first. :wink:

Gifts? What possibly would he give me now? He already trusted me with his musket, and as far as I'm concerned, that is the greatest gift I've ever received.


Are these thoughts Samuel had at the time or when he is recollecting? Remember to have thoughts in italics.

I laid the musket gently on the earth, and looked at father's expression one more time.


Instead of ‘one more time’ you could try using ‘once more’. It flows better.

I peered into two eyes that appeared to be studying me. He was not only grinning but it was as if father had aged backwards. Perhaps, it was the intense sunlight reflecting a false image upon his face, but father's eyes sparkled with excitement, as if he was a young boy again.


Here, it seems, you have given Welcome a sort of ‘Saumel-ish’ appearance, I like that.

I brought my hands forward, closed my eyes, and waiting.


... and waited.

At first, I disobeyed and kept my eyes shut. I hadn't a clue what were in my hands but the weight was decent and there was metal mixed with something coarse and pointy. At first, I tried guessing what were in my palms.


Repetition. The second sentence can easily be: So then I tried guessing what were in my palms.

That would explain the metal and wood in my hands but why on Earth would father be excited about a saw?


I don’t know if ‘Earth’ should be capitalised there.

"Samuel…," he grunted.


Chose to use the comma or the ellipses.

Father stopped immediately and shot me a glace.


Typo: glace should be glance.

Finally Samuel is maturing. I'm suprised there is no love interest, he probably loves questions more than any girl he has ever met. So, will there be any possible attractions or do I have to find out for myself. :P

And I am dying to know his grandfather's name. I know it begins with A. Probably something weird like Algernon, Annoying or maybe Arrogant?




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Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:53 am
Myth says...



Questions:

Serjeant. Was that intentionally misspelled? And can you describe blood being stale?
Well, 'Serjeant' is an older spelling of Sergeant, so I think I remember you mentioning you're from the UK? Have you ever seen that type of spelling of the word? I haven't decided, but depending on how many complaints ( :roll: ), I might change it to the modern version.


Yes, I'm from the UK. I've never seen that spelling but usually when it appears mispelled its because of the way a character says his/her words.

He was clothed but his pride had to have been stripped, the way his uniform was stripped from him."


I’m very sorry if I took this the wrong way but was the man missing his private part, because I’ve read it has happened in a few battles, I mean it’s unavoidable. Otherwise I don’t think his ‘pride’ was clearly labelled.


Heh, that actually never occurred to me but yes, I'm sure all types of limbs were taken clean off by some unstoppable force.

Now, when you mean 'pride' isn't completely labeled, do you mean details are lacking? If so, I'll use Samuel's curiosity for me, and expand. :) For reference though, that is if you're curious, in any regiment if a soldier is stripped (taken away) of their uniform (basically their identity) is an insult to that soldier and it could probably be embarrassing in some sense. A uniform to a soldier symbolizes, 'you're a team player and apart of that team,' so for that identity (uniform) to be taken, it's an embarrassment, an insult, and shows that soldier has no place or rank anymore.

Hmm... I guess I will have to further on that sentence, after explaining, LOL!


Right... I see now. I only thought it 'cos it said his pride was to be stripped like his uniform.

After decades, I still remember the Serjeant's words. 'In which the criminal act, that hallow be our brother, has committed, he shall receive one mercy under God, and not endure the penalty of gaping into his own defiance, such as death.' My commanding officer was a fair but strict gentleman.


Did you follow what was happening in this paragraph?


That's a form of corpal(sp?) punishment right? Or some other way to punish..?

Martha's a proud mum.
She is, ;) Just wait until Chapter four! Then you'll have free roam and able to decide if she's still proud... or just bold. ;) The apples don't fall too far from the tree...


Ah, then I'll have to hurry along to that part. :wink:

‘Rest my little Patriot’, that was a nice touch.
Thank you but I think I'm going to have to substitute another word for 'Patriot.' Which is my fault but the word has or had a very pronounced meaning, and wasn't mentioned until 1775, I think. So, whoops to me! :x :wink:


Ugh. I hate it when that happens. I usually have to consult a dictionary to find if certain words were used in the time of my own HF works.

. pre say ... Was that meant to be prevent?
Nah, I meant to type per say but I actually like prevent better. Thanks!


You're welcome. :D


When I finished, I waited for his reaction. Father at first, didn't reply. He sat in his chair, staring wide-eyed into thin air. After a few seconds, I wondered if he fallen asleep with his eyes open, so I waved a hand in front of his face to snap his attention. It worked; snatching my wrist tightly, he pulled me into his face.


I wondered if he had fallen asleep...
If Welcome does, he has skills I'm unaware of! *chuckles*


No, silly Fishr. The word 'had' was missing in your sentence so I added it in my suggestion. XD

Now I’m really curious, like Samuel, to know more about Welcome’s father.

In ways I can related to Samuel’s excitement and his interest in family history. I had no idea on my own until my mum told me a bit about her ancestors and I remember asking questions and pestering her until she said she wouldn’t tell me. So that’s an excellent supplement.


It's interesting you say that because the way the character of Samuel is portrayed, he's 90-95% like me, so everything you read (apart from the history prospective) I did or went through in some form or another. Currently, I'm pestering my second uncle about my great, great grandfather who served in the Civil War. My uncle is being a little mieser, and telling me bits and pieces which is becoming frustrating. Sound familiar? :) And thank you for the compliment. At least I'm doing something right, lol.


90-95 percent? Well.. It seems we are quite alike in some ways too. :D

As for Welcome's father, another uncle of mine said the same thing that you mentioned, Myth. His exact words, "Man, when do I get to know?"


I hope to find out soon then!

:D :lol: Too funny. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself and latched onto Sammy, so it seems. ;) That's a good feeling, and like I mentioned, at least I'm doing something right.


:oops: I'm a little embarrassed. I can't help getting attached to main characters and Samuel is a real peach. I'm a sucker, I know. XD

Have a good one, Myth! By the way, I did read, The Hanging, and it was written very well. The story reminded me of the Puritans and the Salem Witch Trials.


Wow! I had tried to make it a sort of simplistic 'Dickens' type of story. I'm glad it was liked. :D

Now I'd better get onto the next part and notice all the tiny things that pester to be editted.




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Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:20 am
Wiggy wrote a review...



I normally capitalize Redcoats lol. And fishr, after I crit DD's story, yours is next on the list...I just hate having to do school! Ah, to be free from the shackles of geometry! Woe is me!!!! *stops Shakespeare rendition* All right, all right, I suppose I could find the time...:D




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Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:06 pm
Fishr says...



Hiya, Myth!

Welcome sure likes to use his stick a lot
Yes... Yes, he seems too when Welcome wants attention now, or to use the cane's other purpose.

Well, all I can say is wow! You always catch the tiniest mistakes, and for that, I'm grateful. :D I have a couple of questions, so if it's not too much trouble maybe you can help me? When the time comes and I have to edit chap 1 and 2, I want to make sure I know what to exactly change.

Questions:

Serjeant. Was that intentionally misspelled? And can you describe blood being stale?
Well, 'Serjeant' is an older spelling of Sergeant, so I think I remember you mentioning you're from the UK? Have you ever seen that type of spelling of the word? I haven't decided, but depending on how many complaints ( :roll: ), I might change it to the modern version.

Quote:
He was clothed but his pride had to have been stripped, the way his uniform was stripped from him."


I’m very sorry if I took this the wrong way but was the man missing his private part, because I’ve read it has happened in a few battles, I mean it’s unavoidable. Otherwise I don’t think his ‘pride’ was clearly labelled.


Heh, that actually never occurred to me but yes, I'm sure all types of limbs were taken clean off by some unstoppable force.

Now, when you mean 'pride' isn't completely labeled, do you mean details are lacking? If so, I'll use Samuel's curiosity for me, and expand. :) For reference though, that is if you're curious, in any regiment if a soldier is stripped (taken away) of their uniform (basically their identity) is an insult to that soldier and it could probably be embarrassing in some sense. A uniform to a soldier symbolizes, 'you're a team player and apart of that team,' so for that identity (uniform) to be taken, it's an embarrassment, an insult, and shows that soldier has no place or rank anymore.

Hmm... I guess I will have to further on that sentence, after explaining, LOL!

Quote:
After decades, I still remember the Serjeant's words. 'In which the criminal act, that hallow be our brother, has committed, he shall receive one mercy under God, and not endure the penalty of gaping into his own defiance, such as death.' My commanding officer was a fair but strict gentleman.

Samuel, the man I was about… I was about… Well, my victim was a British spy; a soldier fighting on our side, but he was secretly discussing plans with the French. He had suffered a tremendous amount of abuse already but I was ordered to carry out the Serjeant's command. While I was kneeling and my arm still raised, I looked into the man's perfect eyes, and said a silent prayer, for even in War, Samuel, no person should have to endure staring into Death's Eyes. Tears…," father gulped. "A few tears dripped from the only part of his body that had not been beaten and battered. My hand was suspended, and I heard the Serjeant's shouts to obey orders or I would be branded next as a traitor. With my right hand, I fingered the cloth into a blindfold, and placed it over his eyes. Without thinking, I slammed the blade down. My countrymen's head rolled and I watched another stare blankly."


You seemed to have forgotten the speech marks for the above conversation, I had thought it was Samuel thinking back to when he was told the story.


Well, I did catch 'While I was kneeling' for one of the speech mistakes. Whoops! I had a feeling that would happen eventually since I'm playing both dialects - Brit and American.

But what else brought you to the conclusion that speech marks were missing with Welcome? Just wondering. ;)

At this part though:

After decades, I still remember the Serjeant's words. 'In which the criminal act, that hallow be our brother, has committed, he shall receive one mercy under God, and not endure the penalty of gaping into his own defiance, such as death.' My commanding officer was a fair but strict gentleman.


Did you follow what was happening in this paragraph?

Now on to the fun part! :D

My comments:

Martha's a proud mum.
She is, ;) Just wait until Chapter four! Then you'll have free roam and able to decide if she's still proud... or just bold. ;) The apples don't fall too far from the tree...

‘Rest my little Patriot’, that was a nice touch.
Thank you but I think I'm going to have to substitute another word for 'Patriot.' Which is my fault but the word has or had a very pronounced meaning, and wasn't mentioned until 1775, I think. So, whoops to me! :x :wink:

. pre say ... Was that meant to be prevent?
Nah, I meant to type per say but I actually like prevent better. Thanks!

Quote:
When I finished, I waited for his reaction. Father at first, didn't reply. He sat in his chair, staring wide-eyed into thin air. After a few seconds, I wondered if he fallen asleep with his eyes open, so I waved a hand in front of his face to snap his attention. It worked; snatching my wrist tightly, he pulled me into his face.


I wondered if he had fallen asleep...
If Welcome does, he has skills I'm unaware of! *chuckles*

Now I’m really curious, like Samuel, to know more about Welcome’s father.

In ways I can related to Samuel’s excitement and his interest in family history. I had no idea on my own until my mum told me a bit about her ancestors and I remember asking questions and pestering her until she said she wouldn’t tell me. So that’s an excellent supplement.
It's interesting you say that because the way the character of Samuel is portrayed, he's 90-95% like me, so everything you read (apart from the history prospective) I did or went through in some form or another. Currently, I'm pestering my second uncle about my great, great grandfather who served in the Civil War. My uncle is being a little mieser, and telling me bits and pieces which is becoming frustrating. Sound familiar? :) And thank you for the compliment. At least I'm doing something right, lol.

As for Welcome's father, another uncle of mine said the same thing that you mentioned, Myth. His exact words, "Man, when do I get to know?"

:D :lol: Too funny. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself and latched onto Sammy, so it seems. ;) That's a good feeling, and like I mentioned, at least I'm doing something right.

Have a good one, Myth! By the way, I did read, The Hanging, and it was written very well. The story reminded me of the Puritans and the Salem Witch Trials.

Cheers!
fishr




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Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:43 pm
Myth wrote a review...



You're welcome, Fishr. And the Redcoat part, I've always seen it capitalised so I'm not too sure. Anyway, on to my crit.

After a few seconds of my mind racing, I mentioned I had one more story left. Father swatted my hip gently with his walking stick and urged me to tell him.


Welcome sure likes to use his stick a lot. :wink:

I began to inhale and exhale slowly, trying to calm my nerves. When I felt confident, I ran through how I bumped into Mister Adams, about how he mistook the attack and asked me to be apart of the group.


... a part of the group ...

When I finished, I waited for his reaction. Father at first, didn't reply. He sat in his chair, staring wide-eyed into thin air. After a few seconds, I wondered if he fallen asleep with his eyes open, so I waved a hand in front of his face to snap his attention. It worked; snatching my wrist tightly, he pulled me into his face.


I wondered if he had fallen asleep...

The thought of possibly attacking the redcoats, while they walked the streets as ordinary Colonists hadn't occurred to me. I felt my insides quiver, like I swallowed something foul and clenched my stomach.


... like I swallowed ... Hmm. I don’t think that line worked for me. If you used ‘as if’ it reads better.

"It's good you won't tell Mum. She probably blab it to everyone."


She would probably blab it to everyone,

or

She’d probably blab it to everyone.

Martha's a proud mum. :D


I walked slowly to the left of father, while he leaned on his walking stick. I stopped at the fire pit and lied on my side, where as father turned a right-hand corner heading for my parent's bedroom. A thought occurred and I called him back from the hall.


I stopped at the fire pit and lay ...

"I am certain, son. I wish not to tell your mother tonight, but tomorrow I will. The new tax that is included with the previous is called the Stamp Act and another – the Quartering Act," he said in a hoarse whisper. "Now, I am sure you will ask what they involve, but go to sleep, Samuel. I will fill the pair of you with all the details tomorrow. Rest my little Patriot."


‘Rest my little Patriot’, that was a nice touch.

The remarks did little to pre say me to stop asking but instead they increased my curiosity, to the point where I was asking father about the knives and hatchet nearly every other day.


... pre say ... Was that meant to be prevent?

The other story concerned the hatchet. Interestingly, the hatchet belonged to my grandfather, and he passed it on to his son, my father. When he made any type of reference to his father, his voice immediately became hoarse and incredibly soft-spoken. I had to inch closer on my knees and cock my head to listen, while father was sitting in his rocking chair, speaking.


This bit gets a little confusing because of the repetition of ‘father’. Since Samuel is retelling his father’s story you can use ‘my grandfather’ so it is different from Welcome.

I obeyed and sat on the bench. He rested his left hand on my thigh and began speaking to a wall, or possibly a picture frame. Father repeated a few things, such as how old the hatchet was and the father-son tradition, which didn't bother me. I listened and waited for further information. To learn about the weapons was more than I could have hoped for. To think, my family has this ancient hatchet and a tradition! I cannot wait until father gives it to me, I thought excitedly.


To think, my family had this ancient ...

"…In my two hands, I held the hatchet and dagger. There was a line of bodies, Samuel, and behind me, a Serjeant waited for me to carry out his order. Son, there is nothing more rank or horrendous then stale blood and decaying flesh."


Serjeant. Was that intentionally misspelled? And can you describe blood being stale?

He was clothed but his pride had to have been stripped, the way his uniform was stripped from him."


I’m very sorry if I took this the wrong way but was the man missing his private part, because I’ve read it has happened in a few battles, I mean it’s unavoidable. Otherwise I don’t think his ‘pride’ was clearly labelled.

I slid closer to him, not because of interest but because I was starting to feel uneasy. The image had grown more grisly. I pictured corpses rising, groaning and limping by dragging a foot behind them. I didn't want father knowing I was starting to become frightened. If he had a slight hint, father might refuse revealing information, and I'd never find about the weapons, until I was old and gray, like him. So, I listened and I was grateful that he had his arm around my neck; it comforted me.


Repetition of ‘father’ can simply be changed to ‘he’.

After decades, I still remember the Serjeant's words. 'In which the criminal act, that hallow be our brother, has committed, he shall receive one mercy under God, and not endure the penalty of gaping into his own defiance, such as death.' My commanding officer was a fair but strict gentleman.

Samuel, the man I was about… I was about… Well, my victim was a British spy; a soldier fighting on our side, but he was secretly discussing plans with the French. He had suffered a tremendous amount of abuse already but I was ordered to carry out the Serjeant's command. While I was kneeling and my arm still raised, I looked into the man's perfect eyes, and said a silent prayer, for even in War, Samuel, no person should have to endure staring into Death's Eyes. Tears…," father gulped. "A few tears dripped from the only part of his body that had not been beaten and battered. My hand was suspended, and I heard the Serjeant's shouts to obey orders or I would be branded next as a traitor. With my right hand, I fingered the cloth into a blindfold, and placed it over his eyes. Without thinking, I slammed the blade down. My countrymen's head rolled and I watched another stare blankly."


You seemed to have forgotten the speech marks for the above conversation, I had thought it was Samuel thinking back to when he was told the story.

Now I’m really curious, like Samuel, to know more about Welcome’s father.

In ways I can related to Samuel’s excitement and his interest in family history. I had no idea on my own until my mum told me a bit about her ancestors and I remember asking questions and pestering her until she said she wouldn’t tell me. So that’s an excellent supplement.

And sorry for taking ages to post something. But as I have more free time I can continue later.

Oh and to answer your question, I sure do like this. Samuel is really inquisitive which reminds me of myself.




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Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:08 pm
Fishr says...



I suppose it depends on the writer. I've seen 'redcoats' both capitilized and not because technically it is a title, however... Well, another decesion for another time. ;) Thank you for your input, Jack.




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Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:20 am
Firestarter says...



I've never seen "redcoats" capitalised before ...




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Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:18 am
Fishr says...



Hiya Myth! First, thank you for taking the time in helping me out. You hit points that I always overlook, and I'm grateful.

By the way. You haven't made changes to the start which I critiqued in TSR.
Ah, that. Well, I left a bolded message in the beginning, but I guess since you've read it, the message was skipped over. :lol:

Chapter one and two will have to remain unedited for now because currently I'm finishing up editing chapter three, and then I have to finish writing chapter four. My goal, whether it'll be in my favor or not, is to get chapter five started before the end of the year. So, I apologize. I'll get to editing the two chapters as soon as I'm able but I'm not sure when.

think you need to work on Samuel A’s dialect. If he uses ‘ye’ instead of ‘you’ then you’d have to continue all the way throughout his speeches.
See, you're thorough. :) I overlooked that error. Thanks.

You repeated ‘tossed it over’ twice in one sentence. You could put it into other words
*hits head* :x But I do like your suggestion, Myth! Kudos for the advice.

Whoops on the 'redcoat' title!! You're right about that too. *hits head again*

Give Welcome some sort of action here, he is worried about his son remember. He could be pacing in front of Samuel or sitting close to him, examining him.
Well, since Samuel was just abruptly woken up... Hmm.... You have me thinking now. ;) I'll see what I can do. Challenges are awesome.

Overall, my thanks (again) for the help Myth. Are you still enjoying yourself?




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Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:35 pm
Myth wrote a review...



"My name… is… Sam…uel Garrison," I heaved, praying for oxygen. The sky began to turn a brilliant bluish hue and my lungs ached terribly. I tried freeing myself by punching his arm to break his grasp. No use, the man was too heavy and I felt weak without fresh air. The man let up on the pressure of my throat and I spoke hastily. "Sir, don't harm me! I thought you bought some sugar and only wanted to take it from you, and burn it. But I won't, if you don't kill me," I pleaded. "Please, I was only following my father's wishes."


To improve this just a little further you could add that Samuel gave his real name in fear. Or have him think whether to use a fake identity or his real name. That’s just a thought.

The man smiled and bowed. "Allow me to introduce myself, Master Garrison. My name is also Samuel; Samuel Adams to be exact." Mister Adams peered around as if he was searching for something important. He untied his gray tunic and tossed it over our heads and pulled me to the side, tighter into the ally, and then tossed it over his back and retied his tunic around his neck.


You repeated ‘tossed it over’ twice in one sentence. You could put it into other words eg, He untied his gray tunic and tossed it over our heads, he pulled me to one side – as tightly into the ally as possible – and then threw his tunic back to retire it around his neck.
Or something that would fit with you.


"Samuel, others and I would be gracious if you would attend a meeting tomorrow night. You have earned quite a reputation and the others have mentioned they would want to meet this shadow. The men think of the shadow, you, as the foremost character of brutish but essential action to perceive the answer – Justice. There are eight members of a secret society. We call ourselves, the Sons of Liberty." Mister Adams noted our surroundings and continued. "If ye come, venture into town in secrecy. Let no one see you. If the redcoats-"


I think you need to work on Samuel A’s dialect. If he uses ‘ye’ instead of ‘you’ then you’d have to continue all the way throughout his speeches. If you know someone who speaks the way you want him to speak then try writing out a few dialogues they might say and see how you can use it for your character. Otherwise you can check out books and see they way accents are written for a certain character. One example I can think of at the moment is Hagrid from Harry Potter or anyone else.
One other thing, shouldn’t redcoats be capitalised?


"Shh…" Mister Adams put a finger to his lips and began to speak hastily. "The redcoats are the British. We hope too see you, Master Garrison. Meet us behind the Old South Meeting House at precisely midnight."


Samuel A doesn’t mention on what day the meeting will take place.

I was lying on some torn, linen shirts in the sitting room, next to the fire pit. We only had four rooms in our house; the kitchen, the sitting room, father's chamber where he keeps his supplies from the war and father and mum's bedroom was located parallel across the warring room.


Instead of saying ‘father and mum’s bedroom’ you can have ‘my parents bedroom’.

There wasn't much space to build a proper area for me to sleep, and the warring room was too cluttered; too much work. Near the pit, I made due by piling bunches of shirts into a mattress and pillows. Father's gave me spare buckskins when he used to hunt, and I used the animal's skin as blankets. All the layers served as by bed.


Father gave me... All the layers served as my bed.

She frowned and looked hurt by my outburst but kissed me on the cheek anyway. "Mum…," I groaned, whipping the kiss away. "Don't do that."


Either take out the ellipse for the comma or leave the ellipses and take out the comma.

"I did, son," A familiar voice boomed. "You missed dinner. The sun is about to depart; care to explain what is wrong? Your mother has informed me that you have been sleeping all day. And it is not just her, Samuel. I have noticed it too. Your constant fatigue lately is beginning to worry us both. Now, would you care to enlighten us, or shall I swing my walking stick into your spine again?"


Give Welcome some sort of action here, he is worried about his son remember. He could be pacing in front of Samuel or sitting close to him, examining him.

I'll have the summery of the whole lot when I've finished. I'm going to critique in parts and post them otherwise it'll take forever. :D

By the way. You haven't made changes to the start which I critiqued in TSR.




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Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:04 am
Fishr says...



Wiggy! :D

The dialogue in your story is excellent, but it just seemed...proper. Now that I look at it though, it should be...
Take a seat, and welcome to colonial America. :)

I know that in colonial times children were very respectful of their parents. Very.
*stifles laugh* All except one little twirp named Samuel, ;) but for the most part, children were raised under a 'different thumb' then we're accustomed today.

In fact, the Great Awakening affected the Colonists, which is loosly based around Bound for Glory, but not directly. People took their religion very seriously, and thus the adults reflected those 'teachings' with their kids. A minor example with Patrick Henry and how proper and dedicated to religions some of Colonists were:

"Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of the number; and, indeed, that some good people think I am no christain. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance tha politcs; and I find much cause to reprough myself, and that I have lived so long, and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a christain. But, indeed, my dead child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast." Henry to Betsay Aylett, Aug. 20, 1796

This quote came directly from my notes. :) Hope you enjoy that little side track of history, Wiggy.


For dialogue, you don't have to do "he said, she said, etc." all the time after someone says something.
Thank you. I've wondered if I've overused them myself but I do get many opinions with the 'he said' and 'she said' senario. We shall see but thanks for the heads up.

Haha. This is actually my first historical fiction piece, which amazes me it took almost a decade to find my niche. *scolds self harshly*

Also, if it wouldn't be to much to ask-would you miind (if you have the time) critting my short story Inscription of Love? It's in other fiction. I want to send it off for publication, but I want to make apap (as perfect as possible). It's not all of the story either. There's still more coming.


I'll take a look at it, and when I a few minutes to breathe (my work schedule isn't very forgiven these days), I'll edit it but I'm very critical. ;) An if this story is to be published, I'll try and take special care to point out every known flaw, lol.

As for not being able to finish reading Bound, it's no problem. My chapters aren't exactly short by any means but I'm happy that it seems like you've taken an interest to it, Wiggy.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out.
Fishr




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Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:58 pm
Wiggy says...



Hmm, I'm not sure how to explain this really well, but I think it just had to do with that the dialogue seemed so prope. You have everyone telling you to make it sound like "real-life" and "like people talk nowadays" and stuff. I guess too much of that had rubbed off on me. The dialogue in your story is excellent, but it just seemed...proper. Now that I look at it though, it should be. I know that in colonial times children were very respectful of their parents. Very. So, please disregard my comment! (And me, a history buff. Yup, you can definitely tell that! lol :D I should have known...*bashes self over the head*)
I do have one suggestion though. For dialogue, you don't have to do "he said, she said, etc." all the time after someone says something. Of course, use of strong words (of which you have plenty) like bellowed, sniggered, etc. are great to use, but sometimes it makes the dialogue seem more realistic if you just go through certain passages without the "he said, she said" thing.
I am SUCH a lover of historical fiction! It's my "niche" too. lol ;) Now, if I just actually work on my novel instead of just character stuff...;)
Also, if it wouldn't be to much to ask-would you miind (if you have the time) critting my short story Inscription of Love? It's in other fiction. I want to send it off for publication, but I want to make apap (as perfect as possible). It's not all of the story either. There's still more coming. :D
And I have to admit I haven't had to time to read ALL of your story. I plan on doing it soon though. It's so...intriguing! :D Great job! If there's anything else, I'll let you know! Thanks again!
Wiggy ;)




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Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:13 am
Fishr says...



Thank you for your input WG! :) And many thanks again. Your commpliments made me smile. The letter, (counts how many...) well there's quite a few illistrations in the story but I'm happy you enjoyed it. It's difficult masking your own handwriting, lol.

A question though, if I may., just so I can edit. What about the dialogue makes you feel that it is unrealistic? Like what to you is lacking? What should be done in the dialogue to bring out the character's profiles more?

EDIT:

Oh, and I will definately post more, just I'm not sure when. :)

EDIT again:

With some thinking, I'm assuming, but I could be wrong, that the dialect is throwing you off? If that's the case, I'll mention, I'm very in tune with colonial dialect; how Colonist thought, their motives and well, speech.So, to add authenticiity to the story, I incooperated mild colonial dialect. My intention is to send the reader into a time warp but I will say, once a person gets a grip and understands the speech, it's not as confusing as it sounds.

But again, thank you very much for taking the time to read. :)




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Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:55 am
Wiggy says...



Btw-I love the letter that is handwritten. That is so cool!




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Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:54 am
Wiggy wrote a review...



There's just a few grammatical errors that I'm sure you can find. Also, try to make your dialogue a little more realistic. It kind of sounds stilted a little (at least the first part) so I would just imagine it as if they were real, live people. Try to "get inside their heads" as they say. Nice job though! Can't wait for more! :D




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Sun May 07, 2006 7:48 pm
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All right! I most definitely owe you for reading my story, so here are my long winded suggestions. :wink:

' log cabin.'- No matter how accurate this description might be, the average reader is going to liken these characters to Daniel Boone or someone like that. You might want to change this to 'log house' or something, since it is indeed Boston.

' A young, scrappy boy'- this cliche is probably the very image that makes everyone think that he's eight. I'd modify a little, so it's more original and portrays your Samuel as being merely young at heart. (And what does 'scrappy' mean, anyway? :wink:)

'Above the bookcase, a stone was rested on top of some pieces of khaki parchment. In front, towards the boy's right, there was a needle and some twine under a bench.'- a fairly good description for making sure the reader understands the sparsity of the family's belongings. However, it's in such an awkward position that if you're not going to make these items pivotal in the story later, you might want to alter this and go from 'foreshadowing mode' to 'mere description'. It would help if you made a comment about simpleness somewhere in here, too, if you're going for mere description.

'he began to tap a foot'- this mannerism will probably be more associated with women, but that's just my two cents. Really accentuate the pout in this sentence, since it's fairly early in the story and you're introducing Samuel as a character.

' "Samuel," his father began to laugh, shaking a finger at his son. "You know very well I cannot walk properly without my walking stick. Refrain from acting immature, run along and fetch it, Samuel."'- this sentence very much suggests that Samuel was shortening the distance to the walking stick. I would strongly suggest making sure every element of this conversation is tipped in the father's favor, since, again, you're still working to establish Samuel as a character.

'I'm helping Mum with the dishes.'- My two cents- colonial families probably wouldn't have had so many dishes, especially if the family is a small one, as it seems to be. You used the wool and parchment as your sparsity analogy earlier, so I'd stick to it. Add in a few more chores that he could do here to make it more worthwhile (and besides, if you're going for my mystique suggestion, I'd have him really have to work in order to get to see the uniform. :D)

' Samuel stroked the hairs on his arm and nodded slowly. He momentarily glanced at his father's cane which was lying by his right leg. He felt his eyes widened and he licked his lips. '- really odd mannerisms for just looking at something. Feel free to explain why he's making such a fuss. :wink:

'You know I hate it when you treat me as a kid'- just for speech, change it to 'child'. You're getting a sort of generation clash happening here. :wink:

'Welcome replied, smiling.'- I do love the father's name. Making fun of the Puritan names, yes? :P




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Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:20 pm
Fishr says...



June 29, 1767 - Boston, Massachusetts – Old State House

* * * *

Cries rang throughout within its walls. Hordes of businessman, merchants, journalists, and lawyers gathered for one common purpose. Some of the principle leaders voiced their opinions and voiced them strongly they did.

The Stamp Act was repealed in March on the seventeenth of seventeen hundred and sixty six. Bostonians rejoiced, hooted and hollered. They won a battle over England, though it had not caused bloodshed; it would be the first mark signaling to the colonies that strength in unity was far superior to acting alone.

I was among the group of men, towards the front of the crowd where Mister Adams, Mister John Adams, and Mister Patrick Henry faced the group, whom preached about freedom and rights of the citizens.

"Ye let Charles Townshend; Chancellor of the Exchequer use British legislation to raise revenue and assert imperial authority?" Mister Adams boomed.

The cries rang out in rage again. I turned to each of the men that surrounded my body and peered into their face. Their eyes showed the life of desperation, revolt and most of all - freedom. Tight fists rose high over some of their heads; others yelled, "Crown of Tyranny!"

Mister Adam's cheeks were a furious maroon colour, so dark it appeared he burnt his skin. He spoke of how the strength of Bostonians played a role in the repeal of the Stamp Act and called upon his fellow people to refuse imported shipments of levied duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea. Drips of sweat poured from his forehead, and the watermarks protruded through the armpits of his waistcoat.

Before he allowed others to address the situation, he added, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

Another roar of voices echoed throughout the State House. Man clasped each others shoulders and pointed to Mister Adams, nodding in agreement. Other men slapped the backs of their fellow members and smiled. A few didn't respond at all, but stared into thin air – emotionless.

I watched Mister Adams turn to face his cousin, who stood next to him for approval. He fanned his right side with a hand, clutched his shirt and nodded to his hotheaded cousin; then turned to address the hopeful and rapturous Sons of Liberty.

"The people have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge - I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers," Mister John Adams said.

A chorus of voices shouted with glee. I heard men howl the word freedom, while some of them shouted, "No taxation without representation!"

When chatter of the men began to cease, Mister John Adams continued, "As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children."

"Here, here!" Mister Henry bellowed, in agreement afterwards. He walked fiercely from behind and pushed the two cousins aside. "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" Afterwards, Mister Henry moved into the middle of crowd and stood proudly with his countrymen.

Clutching and readjusting my tunic so it would fit properly around my neck, I noticed men were smiling; others still clasped their shoulders.

An ill-tempered man spoke immediately after the speech. "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule," Mister Samuel Adams warned, pointing a figure to the Sons. "Boycott the goods, or ye is in servitude with the hands gripping your throat."

"Boy-cott! Boy-cott! Boy-cott!" cheered the Whigs.

"Meeting adjured!" cracked a hand above the head of Mister Samuel Adams. The group filed through the doors hastily into Boston's streets. I waited until the large group, consisting over sixty men, departed from the building, since I was standing towards the front, near the two cousins. I watched the men remove their shirts and robes, trying to relieve them of the intense heat. Some of the other men wiped the sides and neck with an already drenched rag of sweat.

Finally, when the majority of the Whigs departed, I clenched my stomach and bowed deeply in front of the Adamses, to show my allegiance. The two cousins returned my bow and asked simultaneously what the young Whig up to these days.




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Fishr says...



I sighed. I was disappointed, but I kept to my promise and didn't press father. He wasn't smiling anymore but father still seemed to be in a decent mood, and I did not want to alter that. A thought occurred to me, and I looked up from the floorboards, smiling in father's direction.

"What is with that smile, son?" father asked.

"Time is a wasting, Father. Ready to celebrate with me?"

He leaned across, hugged me tightly, and kissed the top of my head. "I cannot begin to describe how that one question from you, has created such happiness for me. I love you, my boy," he smiled.

"So do I," I giggled. "Would you like me to write Mum the note or do you wish too?"

"If you could fetch a piece of parchment from the top of the bookcase, and the quill, I will write it."

I held the bugle with my right hand, stood, and placed it on the bench behind me. I walked towards the bookcase, pulled a piece from under a large rock, grabbed the quill next to the pieces of parchment, turned around, and walked less than a few steps towards father. I handed him the quill first. Father reached and grabbed it with his left hand, and then he reached for the parchment with his opposite.

I stood in front of him, watching father tap his temple with his right index finger, and stared blankly at an empty page. After a few seconds passed, he peered up.

"What should be written?"

"Tell her that you and I went to the river to read, and we're celebrating your Honor. I know I will be thinking about it, and the rose and bugle too. I wish I could visit the country, just to see your birthplace. The way you described your friends, it appears that not all British are awful."

Father's bellowing laughter erupted. "That last comment by you son, has satisfied my jollies for today. Of course, not all of us are scoundrels. I am British, and your Father."

I grinned, and watched father scrawl writing on the parchment. After several minutes, he stopped, and handed me the letter.

"What say you be honest, and let me know what you think," he said directly.

I held the page, and read it aloud:

Image
Image

When I had finished, I peered upwards, and noted an expressionless man.

I grinned, and handed the letter to father. "Well, you were indeed in a rush," I commented. "There were several mistakes."

Father raised and eyebrow, and then brought the letter close to his face. The page was less than a foot from his eyes. I heard father mumble, as he read the letter aloud also.

He raised his head over the page, so that I only saw father's eyes. "What errors were there?"

"There were words capitalized that should have not been, and you misspelled believe and favor."

"Samuel," father chuckled. "That is my speech, and the majority of Bostonian's too, although you are correct, I misspelled believe but I did not misspell favor."

"The majority of Bostonians are illiterate," I retorted. "Shopkeepers have to nail signs with pictures, just so someone will know they are a shoemaker. Besides, the Bible doesn't have needless words capitalized."

"Oh, in the filth!" father grunted, by waving his right hand. "Your statement is sufficient, and there is no arguing with that assumption but where should it be placed so your mother will see it?"
I smiled inside. I had bested father with my own words. "Why not leave the letter on top of the bench? I can reach under, and place the Bible on top. You could leave the quill on top of the Bible as well; it might draw more attention for Mum."

"A fine suggestion, Samuel. Here, take these."

I reached, and gripped the pages. I hunched over, and grabbed the Bible with my right hand. I placed the letter on the bench, and put the Bible on top.

"There," I said.

"Take the quill too," father said.

I turned, reached for the quill, and opened the Bible. I tucked the quill in the middle, and released. I watched the book close on its own, as the pages made a flapping sound.

"Finished," I said.

"Good. Help an old farm animal up?" he smiled.

Laughing, I stepped in front of father. "Have your walking stick?"

His smile faded. "Thank you for the reminder." Father leaned to his right, and gripped the stick with his right, and extended his left. "Assistance by you, and we shall be off."

I gripped his left hand with mine, and with my right, I also wrapped it around father's left wrist. I pulled back, and brought him steadily to his feet.

"Go select a few books," father said, pointing to the bookcase. "And fetch the other Bible, please. Whilst I read it, if you wish, you can lean against me, and we can read the Bible together."

"If are wanting me to read along with you, all you need is to ask, Father," I grinned.

Father smiled. "Will you read the Bible with me, son?"

I rushed forward and wrapped my arms around his waist, hugging him.

"Careful, Samuel. You would not want to aggravate my injury," he warned.

I released my grasp, and peered upwards, displaying a wide grin. Father was still smiling, and pointed to the right of him.

I nodded happily, and walked to the left of me. At the bookcase, I found the second Bible on the first shelf, next to a gap, where the other was before. I gripped the Bible, and placed it under my armpit. Without reading the titles, I grabbed two other books; one was very thick, the other was short in length. I walked briskly in front of father again and said, "I have the Bible and two others, Father."

"Thank you, Samuel. Hand me the Bible, please. I will help lighten your load."

I handed him the book, and father placed the Bible under his right armpit. I put the other two books under my right arm too. I stepped by father's left side, and instantly felt extra weight. I held his weight and we walked slowly to the house's entrance. I opened the door with my left hand, father and I walked outdoors, and I closed the door.

I peered up, smiling as we walked down the steps. Father looked down; displaying the largest smile I had ever seen on his lips. Father temporally lifted his left hand from my shoulder, and ruffled my hair. I returned the gesture by pinching a cheek beginning to wrinkle.

"A cow doesn't wrinkle but a Father that has aged gracefully. I meant what I said."

I watched his stomach bounce as father laughed. "Many thanks, son. Shall we be off?"

I nodded.

Father's hand resumed its position around my neck. Our smiles remained, as we hobbled west.

Our destination: Enjoying each other's company on a brilliant August afternoon by the river.

* * * *




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Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:07 pm
Fishr says...



Old reply from 2005.




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Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:39 am
Fishr says...



Inside, I slipped from under his arm and asked if father would be alright without my assistance.

"I will be fine, son. I would like to accept that my body will cooperate by the few extra steps to the rocking chair," he chuckled. "Step aside please."

I stepped a few inches backwards from the entrance of the house, smiling also. I watched him approach the foyer, duck, and then limp to his chair. Father leaned forward, set his walking stick by his right foot and then leaned backwards. I heard a loud sigh and watched the steady rocking of the chair. Strands of hair by father's shoulders swung with the rhythm of his body. I smiled again, and walked briskly through the foyer and into the sitting room to greet father.

When I was standing in front of him, I noticed father had shut his eyes. Shrugging, I walked to the left of me, towards the bookcase. There were at least twenty books to choose from. With an index finger, I bumped it over the tops of each binding, trying to decide. Do I want to read a thick and long winded book or how about one that is fairly short in length? I frowned, unable to decide. Oh, select a book, and be done with it! I shrugged again, and chose my favorite from the top shelf. It was the one book that my family read continuously and the passages held many valuable lessons.

With the book in my left, I headed for the bench. As I walked passed father, I noticed his eyes were still shut. I sat on the bench, opened the book, chose a passage, and began reading silently to myself. The beat of wood connecting with wood greeted my ears, as the rocking chair tapped against the floor.

About a half hour passed, and I was still in the sitting room with father, reading. Mum hadn't returned yet, but I assumed she was probably in town searching for new news or just enjoying the brilliant afternoon. Although, she did not seem too pleased earlier, I thought. I quickly brushed off the unpleasant feeling, and continued reading. I had read five pages, but with a terrible habit of re-reading a page, sometimes twice, I was progressing slowly through. I was on the six page, when I jumped!

"Are you alright, Samuel?" father asked, by leaning forward. "My intention was not to startle you. What are you reading that has you absorbed?"

Sitting on the bench again, I swallowed, and lightly smacked father's left shoulder, laughing. "I'm fine. I'm reading the Bible, Father. Did you enjoy your nap?" I asked, and set the Bible on the bench next to my left thigh.

"I was not actually asleep but I do feel refreshed. Although…," he paused. "Although it appears the mild training you underwent unlocked certain things I have forgotten."

"Oh?" I asked curiously.

"Did you enjoy reading about our Lord?"

"Well, yes, I always do. It was the first book you and Mum taught me to read when I was able."

He nodded. "Is your neck bothering you still, son?"

"It is fine, Father. I believe it was sore because I was steadying your weight. You are much heavier and a bit taller than me."

"Heavier?" he chuckled. "Are you suggesting I am obese?"

"A cow is fat but if you prefer to align yourself with a farm animal, you are more than welcome to, Welcome," I laughed.

"Come here!" he laughed in return.

I moved quickly away before his hand grabbed me. "You cannot catch me!" I hollered playfully.

Father beckoned me with an index finger. I giggled and sat on the bench again. I peered upwards to the right of me and locked gazes with father. "Too quick for you old man?"

He gripped my earlobe and yanked it before I could react. "Ouch! That hurt!" I yelled, and rubbed the tender area.

"Not quick enough," he laughed.

"Hysterical," I retorted sarcastically. "So, what have you forgotten? What was unlocked?"

The smile on his lips faded, until all that remained were two dark brown eyes staring. I frowned also, regretting the questions but when I thought I had upset father, his lips produced a very faint smile. From a distance, I'm positive it would have not been noticeable but sitting next to him, there it was; a crooked smile, but a smile nonetheless.

I cocked my head, and rubbed my chin. Quite peculiar indeed, I thought to myself. Father is usually one or the other as far as emotions are concerned. If he is angry or sad, those emotions remain for a while but happiness does not show so quickly, especially after a frown from him. Although, father is smiling, even if it is a sideways grin, I suppose I should be grateful for that much, I thought.

"Samuel?" father asked, waving a palm in front of my face.

I shook my head, and blinked. "Huh?"

"I called your name twice, son. Do me a favor, and fetch the bugle, please. I wish to share something with you."

"Uh… Alright, one minute," I said.

I left the Bible on the bench and walked briskly out of the sitting room. In the hall, I made a left-hand turn into the warring room. The bugle was crumpled in a corner to the right of me. I walked towards it and gripped the metal. The dust that had settled onto the horn, gave away, and it temporally clogged my nostrils, causing me to cough and snort.

"I wonder why Father wants this?" I said aloud.

Before I left the room, I fumbled with the bugle with my fingers. To me, it was a plain and ordinary horn but too father it obviously meant something entirely different or else he wouldn't have requested it. Examining it further, I peeked at the part where the sound carries, and I noticed an odd object crammed inside. With a pinky, I hooked it and pulled out what appeared to be a flower. If it was a flower, it was dead. There was nothing left of it but a dried stem.

My eyes instantly widened, while I stared at the two objects. "How odd. Why would… How come…" I looked behind to see if anyone was watching me. There was no one in sight. "I hope he has a decent explanation."

With the two objects in my hands, I exited the warring room, and walked through the foyer that led into the sitting room. I stopped suddenly in the middle. Father still had that crooked smile but why was the corner of his eyes twitching?

Father leaned to his right, nodded, and beckoned for me. "Come son, sit. Sit. Please, sit."

I wonder why he is so eager? Without questioning him aloud, I walked closer, and sat on the bench, with the two objects in my lap. I gripped the Bible and placed it under the bench.

"I see. You have uncovered another secret of mine, son. You found the white rose."

"White rose? It's a dried, brown stem," I commented.

Father grunted, but the smiled remained. "Before you condemn something, know its history first, Samuel. It was a rose long ago but I will address that in a moment. Firstly, while I was relaxing, I acknowledged, my son is indeed growing into a gentlemen, and time is slipping."

"Slipping?"

"I am not my youthful self anymore, and there are some memories I wish to share to my only son, if something should ever happen to me."

I nodded in response.

Father reached, and gripped the bugle. He coughed, and then rubbed more dust off with a sleeve of his shirt. "It seems the bugle has collected more dust since the last time I have seen it. I suppose, I should have had it hung on the wall since it is my only link to my mates, and country."

I stared in complete confusion. I didn't know what to say to him. I didn't know father had friends, nor was I absolutely certain about this country he was speaking of. It had to be either England, or father was referring to Massachusetts as a country. Needless to say, I sat in silence, and patiently waited for a hopeful explanation.

He put the mouth piece in, inhaled, and blew the bugle. I had to cover my ears because the sound pierced my eardrums. It sounded like an injured wolf howling for mercy.

I uncovered my ears when father stopped, and continued staring at him.

"She still carries the brilliant tune," he smiled. Father turned to the left, and faced me. "A beautiful sound, yes?"

"I might comment on that brilliant sound later," I said sarcastically.

Father shrugged, and placed the bugle in his lap. "At least there are some memories that still bring me happiness." He turned into my direction again, and grinned. "I have mentioned it before, but this is a French horn," he said, pointing to it.

"Thanks for telling me, but what purpose does it serve?"

"I already informed you, son. It is a link to my mates and country." Upon that comment, he grabbed the stem in my lap, and slipped it behind his left ear.

Now, I was more confused then earlier. Father simply was not making sense, and now there were the remains of a rose in plain view next to his temple. The bugle, or French horn, did not excite me as much, but I continued to wait patiently in silence.

Father turned in my direction, with a thin smile. "You are awfully quit all of a sudden. I would have expected a thousand questions by now."

"I'm just listening, and trying to piece together the importance of a dead rose and bugle."

"You are correct. I suppose I should be more thorough. The two objects symbolize two different aspects of my life. The bugle actually has a more pronounced meaning but that story has no basis with this discussion, therefore, I will not explain its full history today. Perhaps if the situation arises again, I will explain further about the bugle."

"I understand. I shall be patient with the bugle's meaning, but you said it does have a purpose?"

"Of course, or I would have not requested it," he chuckled. "I admit though, to mention you will hold your patience is remarkable. I may have to pinch you just to see if you are still my son."

I slid over a few inches to the left after that comment. "I hope you are not serious," I said.

"Son, why are you moving away from me?" he laughed. "I was nothing of the sort. Come, no need for you to cower." Father beckoned me with an index finger, still smiling.

I trusted father would keep his word, judging from his mood, and slid to the right, closer to his body. "You seem to be in a great mood," I commented.

"Well, it appears the circumstances taken fold in Boston seemed to have allowed me to remember those I have chosen to forget. However," father pointed to the dead rose behind his ear, "This rose is a symbol of my country, my home, my birthplace."

"I'm very confused, Father. What country are you talking about? I assume England but I'm not positive."

A broad smiled formed on his lips. "You are correct, son. I knew my boy was intelligent."

I grinned upon that comment, and slid closer so that father's left shoulder touched mine.

"Samuel, I want to share with you my birthplace before I settled in Boston. I will be honest. I do not consider myself a Bostonian but an Englishman. I was born in Great Britain, therefore I am British. Now, before you ask, as I mentioned, I have never adhered to the likings of King Tyrant, and never will. I deplore His Majesty's reasoning, but I adore my native country. Understand so far?"

I nodded. "I do, mostly anyway."

"Good. The white rose is an emblem or symbol of Yorkshire, a small country in Britain. Yorkshire comprises of three ridings, or more apporperiately divisons. Samuel," he said, pointing to the dead rose again, "I was born in Ryedale, Yorkshire, England."

I shifted my weight slightly, and folded my hands in my lap. Father coughed afterwards. I shrugged in response. I knew I was behaving in a calm manner, maybe too much. Judging from father's good natured spirit this afternoon, he is indeed excited about speaking of his first home. And that was just that; I didn't want blurt rediculious questions, and sadden or anger father. Sitting in silenece seemed ideal, for now.

"Samuel?" father asked.

My head jerked back and forth. I blinked, and shook my head slowly. "Yes?" I asked.

"You seem to be deep in thought today. I spoke your name again, and again not so much as a whisper. Has the mild training exsausted you?" father said. There was trace of concern in his voice as it lowered into a softer tone.

"No, I'm fine. Really, I'm alright. I apologize if I have not spoken much. I'm actually afraid to speak. You seem to be a grand mood, and I do not want to be responsible with spoiling it by asking questions."

"Well, now. That is the most that has spilled from your jaw since returning to the house," he laughed. Father then placed his left hand on my thigh, grinning towards me. "I understand the hesitance, and I suppose I have never been too patient with continuous questions but in this instance, if any should arise, you may ask them, son. I promise, you have my vow, I will not behave in a perturbed manner. The ending of August and the training you underwent has retrieved fond memories so I believe there will be little to alter my current happiness."

"What does perturbed mean?" I grinned.

A thunderous laugh echoed throughout the house, and father slapped the back of my shoulder. The force nearly pushed me off the bench. I slid backwards, and readjusted myself, still grinning.

"That is my boy!" father bellowed cheerfully. "That is the Samuel Garrison I know and love."

I laughed, and nodded. "Could you continue, Father? I'd actually like to hear more about the bugle and rose."

"Well, I would have told you whether you approved or not!" he laughed again. "Anyway, whilst I mentioned this month, I might as well mention that August first was an anniversary, a date I have always remembered but never celebrated with others. Martha isn't much for ale, and what with being discharged, I left behind mates I had formed close bonds with. Therefore, I do not have really anyone to celebrate with, accept privately with myself."

"I'll help you celebrate!" I hollered happily. "What anniversary though?"

Father grinned. "I appreciate your enthusiasm, son. Since that women of mine has not returned yet, we shall leave her a note, and if you feel able by hauling a farm animal, you and I will visit the river in the outskirts of our property and read books together until the sun begins to depart."

"I would enjoy that but what of this anniversary?" I repeated. "And you never explained the bugle. How is it a link?"

"I might address the month of August, but let be known that the date has significant value. It marks a Battle Honor with the regiment I was apart of in the Seven Years War; the year I was shot, and sent home." Father's eyebrows eased upwards into two diagonal lines, and the corners of his eyes twitched. It was as if someone had instantly placed a sheet of glass over them, dulling the shade of his brown pupils, but his thin smile remained. "The French horn, Samuel, is a symbol of the type of infantry I was apart of in the British Army, and the regiment. The French horn was less cumbersome; lighter to carry than a drum or heavy artillery, such as muskets or rifles. In the war, the stem of a white rose was embedded in my uniform by my left breast, so the petals were in plain view, and I always carried it on the battlefield. I was not the only one, however. Many soldiers in my regiment proudly displayed roses. Some were tucked in their uniform; others had them tucked from the brims of their cocked hats, always in view." Father sighed, and held the bugle in front of my face, waving it. "So few memories that have brought me joy, but this instrument allows me to reconnect with the small band of men I was close too, and will never see again," father said, in a softer tone. "This dried stem," he said pointing to his ear, and resting the bugle in my lap, "Symbolizes Yorkshire, and the fond memories of nearly every soldier on the battlefield with a white rose."

When father stopped, he stretched, and I watched the dead rose slip from his ear. It lied just in front of his left foot. I suppose Father didn't notice because after, he stretched again, and scratched both sides of his ribs.

Holding the bugle with one hand, I leaned forward, gripped the stem, and set in father's lap. "You would not want to lose this, now would you?" I grinned.

He tilted his head down towards his lap, and for several seconds, he did not say a word. I wondered what father was thinking, but I kept my jaw shut and waited. Eventually, he picked up the remains, and jammed it into his white shirt. The dead rose was positioned how father had described it; by his left breast. My grin broadened, and I stroked it.

I stroked the stem for several minutes, father watching me, and smiling also. I stopped suddenly, peered upwards, displayed a wider smile for father, and then studied the object poking from his shirt.

"I will assume you enjoyed my story?" father smiled.

I nodded. "Very much so, but there are a few things I do not understand."

Father slapped my shoulder lightly. "Go on, speak your mind."

"I understand the bugle and rose's purpose, but what is a regiment? What was this Battle Honor you spoke of? Actually, what is a Battle Honor? And I do not exactly understand the significance of August."

Father chuckled. "My, that was a mouthful, son. Let us see if I cannot properly answer those questions. However," he said shaking a finger, "There are two I will purposely neglect to answer, as they may rejuvenate; refresh unwanted memories. I hope you respect my decision. Maybe in the distant future, I will inform you."

"Please continue, Father, and I respect that decision. You seem to be in such high spirits, I would not want to see you become sad," I said honestly.

"Thank you, Samuel," and father rubbed my shoulder for a few seconds, and then stopped. "I trust you are mature enough, what with your current responsibility with handling my musket and hunting, so I will reveal the meaning of a regiment. A regiment is a military unit of ground troops consisting of two battalions. Before you ask, a battalion is essentially a large body of troops. A Battle Honor…," he stopped, and tapped the side of his head. "Ah! A Battle Honor commemorates the celebration of victory in a war. Understand so far?"

"I do, Father. Thank you."

"You are very welcome. As I mentioned, I purposely did not answer two of your questions. Just remember, for me at least; never let me forget so far towards the end of this month. August first, was indeed a special day for my countrymen, but a grim day for me personally, especially readjusting to a normal lifestyle. I am sure if I do not mention the readjusting I underwent, your mother will, if the situation ever arises. Maybe when you are a bit older, I will reveal the regiment I was a member of, but I do not want to further increase your fancy with that subject."




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Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:07 pm
Fishr says...



Old replies from 2005. Not important to me anymore.




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Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:34 pm
Firestarter wrote a review...



Well, I think you have enough people looking at grammar etc, and they can usually be picked up through editing, but there's a couple of points I wanted to just highlight.

I shook my head, "Of course not. I did not know, Father. I thought you were born in Boston? You don't sound British, though. Your accent has disappeared."


Were the accents that different back then? I had this notion that the British and Americans in those days would have spoken very similarly. Clearly the dialect would be different, but I didn't think the way they spoke would be noticably contrasting. The slang might be different and the phrases used different, but on the whole I thought they still spoke the same. I think that in general, American became slightly more archaic than the ever-fluctuating English because by the time changes were being made in England, they didn't always cross over the seas to the Colonies. I'm not sure though, this was more of a discussion point.

Following on from this, how can Samuel know how the British speak but hardly anything else about them? There are numerous conversations between him and his Father, Welcome, when he it toally ignorant and things like King George. I was just wondering how he would know how they spoke but nothing else.

Father finally taught me to load and reload his musket. He had also taught the importance of reloading quickly; though I assume this was an old habit from his warring days. Needless to say, after much practice, I became skilled enough to reload less than sixty seconds.


Umm ... reloading in less than sixty seconds isn't particularly skilled when it comes to muskets. I would say this was incredibly slow. For a first time, that would probably be acceptable. British soldiers were trained to fire in less than thirty seconds, twenty seconds was acceptable and 15 seconds was the expected optimum, allowing a musket to be fired four times in a minute. Obviously Samuel wouldn't be able to load it this fact after just a bit of training from his Father. But you said he was "teaching the importance of reloading quickly," so I expected that this would be at least thirty seconds, or Samuel would simply just die in his first encounter. Remember, loading your musket quickly was a matter of life and death - in small encounters, if your opponent was faster than you, it was likely you would die. Since the accuracy of muskets was pretty much terrible - soldiers were taught to simply fire it into a mass of people - then loading was the skill needed to win.

That's all I had really. I skimmed a lot of your story looking for these sort of things, but read some passages, and found it really interesting. Your way of story-telling is totally different from mine, but I love it. It'd be great if you could post more, because I know you've done a lot.




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Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:50 pm
smaur wrote a review...



Okay, here goes! I'm sorry it took so long for me to get this together. I suck. :roll:

I'm not going to critique the historical accuracy, because my knowledge of the 1776 War is very very sketchy. But what you've got here is very interesting; I like the premise of the story, and you've managed to give each character distinct, enjoyable personalities. Samuel's enthusiasm shines through his every line of dialogue — you've captured his youth and vitality amazingly well. He's brimming with idealism and enthusiasm and impatience, and it translates to paper. (Er, text.) Lovely stuff. :)

Now ... the critique.

"Samuel!" a deep voice bellowed from another room of the log cabin house.


A couple of things here. First of all, you don't need both "cabin" and "house" because they serve to reinforce the same idea, so the use of both is redundant. I'd suggest using "cabin" (since "log cabin" works better than "log house") and cutting "house" out of the sentence.

Secondly, "another room" makes it seem as if the reader's already been introduced to the first room (which, I assume, is the kitchen where Samuel is). We haven't, so "another room" simply clutters up the sentence. I'm not sure what you'd replace it with, though — "from the depths of the log cabin"? "From within the log cabin"? "From the sitting room of the log cabin"? You may want to toy with the wording until you come across something you like.

A young, scrappy boy walked briskly from the kitchen, towards the voice that called for him.


This sentence seems a tad bit unnecessary. I'm not sure the readers need to know about Samuel walking from the kitchen to the voice — it lengthens the narrative without providing any kind of purpose. The information that we learn in this sentence (1. that Sammy is young and scrappy, 2. that he was in the kitchen) can be maneuvered into later sentences — in fact, we find #2 out later on, anyway. So I think it'd be better to cut it to, "A young, scrappy boy walked briskly into the wide foyer," or some variation thereof.

Which brings me to my next point ...

He entered a wide foyer that led to the sitting room where his family and guests sometimes gathered to enjoy each other's company, tell tales, laugh and have wonderful times.


I'm assuming that Welcome's in the sitting room, but when you say, "he entered a wide foyer," you never elaborate, so it seems that Samuel's still in the foyer. Rather than showing Sammy move from the foyer to the sitting room, I'd suggest simply having him enter the sitting room. (So, if you go with my previous suggestion, it would be something like, "A young, scrappy boy walked briskly into the sitting room.") And later on in the narrative, you can fill us in on the details of how the foyer. For now, though, simply having him enter the sitting room makes for tighter storytelling.

Once Samuel's entered the sitting room, you start to describe what people do in it. Instead, I'd suggest cutting the sentence off when he enters the foyer/sitting room and start the next sentence with your description. And while you're describing, remember one of the cardinal grounds of storytelling — show, don't tell. Instead of directly telling us that the family tells tales and has wonderful times in the sitting room and generally uses it as a place to relax, show us through little clues. Describe the room (this is a great time to stick in the little detail about the wide foyer) and leave us little tidbits of information. Maybe his mother's knitting is lying on a chair; maybe a game of cards is still spread out on the table. Maybe there's a book lying open somewhere. This way, you can do two things: (1) tell us what the room looks like (for example, "A game of cards was spread out on the mahogany table.") and (2) tell us indirectly what people do in the room (i.e. play cards, leading the reader to conclude that this room must be used during periods of relaxation).

"You called for me, Father?" the boy asked, with a somber expression on his freckled face. He stood, with his arms folded across his bare chest. The boy was wearing light, brown breeches and his hair was dark brown, cut short just below his earlobes. It had a greasy and grimy appearance and the strands of his hair stuck out like spikes in odd directions on the top of his head.


Cut out "with" — the sentence works just as well without it. There shouldn't be a comma after "stood," or a comma after "light." The word "short" is unnecessary, since right after that you specifically describe how long it is. And instead of saying "It had a greasy and grimy appearance," simply say, "It was greasy and grimy" — it cuts out unneccessary words and make the sentence stronger.

"Yes, I did son. Could you fetch my walking stick? I left it by the fire pit."

"But it's less than a few inches from you feet, Father. Couldn't you have been able to get it yourself?"

"Samuel," his father beginning to laugh, shaking a finger at his son, "You know very well I cannot walk properly without my walking stick. Maybe if my kneecap was not injured so poorly in the French and Indian War... run along and fetch it, Samuel."


A couple of things here.

First, the minor stuff: it should be "your feet," not "you feet", and I think you mean, "his father began to laugh." And because you're starting a new sentence of dialogue with, "You know very well...", there should be a period after "his son".

This scene (correct me if I'm wrong ;)) seems primarily expository; we learn that his father can't walk without his stick due to kneecap injuries, and we learn that he was in the French and Indian War (and was poorly injured there). And while it's all well and good to have an expository scene, I think it could serve some more purpose — I think it's an ideal place to better establish these two principle characters for the reader. For example, our Sammy boy seems very much the, well, little kid — he's impatient and eager and very vocal about his opinions. So why not infuse the dialogue with some of his character? Instead of having him directly say, "But it's less than a few inches from your feet," make him grumble it under his breath. Give him a scowl when he says it, or something else that an impatient boy would do under these circumstances. You'll still be conveying the same thoughts in the scene, but at the same time giving your readers a better perspective of these two characters.

Also, a bit of a minor nitpick: would his father really clarify it to be 'the French and Indian War', or would he not simply call it 'the War'? If the fact that it's the French and Indian War is significantly important to the plot, you might mention it later on in the story (even later on in this chapter), but I find it unlikely that he'd be so specific about it. Even if he did fight multiple wars in his time, or if several wars happened at the same time.

The other thing you could do is, instead of specifying the actual war, specify the location — "Maybe if my kneecap wasn't injured so poorly at Niagra ..." or something like that. Again, if his participation in the French and Indian War is significant to the plot (or even if you personally feel it's necessary in order for the reader to form a better picture of his character), you could mention it at a later point — for example, when they're taking out his uniform later in this chapter.

Samuel grunted, walked slowly over to the fire pit, where his father's stick was resting against a log, grabbed it and dropped the stick into his father's lap. "There. Now may I go back into the kitchen?"


I'd suggest chopping the first sentence into smaller ones, since it has five ("was resting" = one) verbs in it. If you do that, I'd also suggest varying the lengths and structure of the various sentences.

Er. Some rough examples:

- Samuel grunted. He walked slowly over to the fire pit, where his father's stick was resting against a log, grabbing it and dropping it into his father's lap. "There. Now may I go back into the kitchen?"

- Samuel grunted, walking slowly over to the fire pit where the stick rested against a log. Grabbing it, he dropped the stick into his father's lap. "There. Now may I go back into the kitchen?"

Like I said, they're rough, and only examples — you'll probably want to toy with the sentence until it flows to your satisfaction. (If you decide not to chop up the sentence, though, I'd suggest taking out the comma after "pit", since it's cluttering up a sentence overflowing with commas.)

The large, round stomach jiggled as he spoke, "Fine, fine son. You may leave," his father said, smiling as he laughed again. "Hold on son, before you go, may I ask why you are so preoccupied today? What is your fancy with the kitchen anyway?"


You may want to specify "he" to "his father", since it initially seems to be Samuel's large round stomach that jiggles. ;) If you do write, "as his father spoke," you'll probably want to change, "his father said," to a simple, "he said".

There should also be a comma after the second "fine" in, "Fine, fine, son." (Unless you mean "fine son" as in "his son is fine," which I assume you don't. ;)) And technically there should also be a comma after "hold on."

A couple of other things — first of all, the "may I ask," bit kind of undermines his father's authoritative stance. So far in the narrative he's portrayed to be jovial but commanding — heck, in the sentence right before this, he just said, You may leave. Which, in terms of dialogue, is a pretty I'm-in-control thing to say. I'd suggest cutting out the "may I ask" and (if you do that), "before you go," too, for the sake of flow.

The other thing is, he says "son" a couple of times in the dialogue. And while I can see him saying "son" maybe once (or even twice, if it's interspersed sparingly throughout the dialogue), twice in the same paragraph becomes kind of awkward. Of the two times it's mentioned, I'd suggest taking the first "son" out (this is entirely based on opinion, so you don't necessarily have to). So you'd have:

The large, round stomach jiggled as his father spoke, "Fine, fine. You may leave," he said, smiling as he laughed again. "Hold on, son — why you are so preoccupied today? What is your fancy with the kitchen anyway?"


Which leaves you with two minor nitpicks: one, there should be a comma after "kitchen", and two, you'll probably want to take out one of the "he"s in "he said, smiling as he laughed again." For that matter, you may want to cut out smiling, because usually when you laugh, you also smile. And if you do cut out smiling, I'd suggest changing, "he laughed again," to "laughing again," which would leave you with, "he said, laughing again."

"I'm helping Mum with the dishes. She promised that she would show me your old uniform from the war if I helped her."


In his father's next bit of dialogue, we learn that Samuel is very excited when he says this. So instead of just having his father say it, why not indicate it somehow during this piece of dialogue? His eyes might dance, he might be hopping up and down, grinning — something to show during this piece of dialogue that he's excited.

His father's expression grew stern. "Judging from the look on your face, you seem excited about this, but I do not approve," he said shaking another finger at his son. "Such things should remain buried. Promise me son that if she shows it, you will not form crazy ideas about warfare? Warfare is horrible, cruel and changes a man forever. I once witnessed –"


The same idea that applies to the last bit of dialogue works here, too. Show, don't tell! So in this case, instead of having Garrison say directly, "I do not approve," show him to be disapproving. You've got the stern expression and the finger-wagging, which is awesome — now show it through some reproachful dialogue! A favourite parental thing to do is something like, "Now, Samuel," his father began warningly. This is also a great time to draw on real life experiences ;).

"Father! Please," the boy groaned. "Save your stories. I'm going to go now and help Mum."


Okay — first of all, this is a great piece of dialogue. It gives us an amazingly vivid picture of Samuel's impatience; we get the idea that this has happened before a lot of times and Sammy's really not in the mood for it.

But I think this is as good a time as any to point out the conflict of character between our initial view of Sammy and his development thus far (if you can call this "far" ;)) into the story. When his father calls, Sammy comes obediently; he's somber and very much the serious boy. But as the story progresses, we get a much better idea of him. He's impatient and enthusiastic and kind of romantic (in the sense that he has these wonderful romantic notions of war). So we have these two conflicting images — one, where Samuel is somber and obedient, and two, where he's grumbly and vocal about his displeasures and quite obviously hates being interrupted. When he first goes to his father, would he really be so serious and attentive? Judging solely based on his character as it is presented for the majority of chapter one, I'd think he would be slightly impatient, but still somewhat attentive. (And possibly not quite as somber as he was when first introduced.)

The other thing is, I'm curious as to the father/son relationship and how willing (a) Samuel would be to interrupt his father and (b) his father would be to let Samuel interrupt him. On one hand, interrupting his father like that seems right up Sammy's alley (and like I said before, I think the dialogue fits perfectly), but I'm not sure if Welcome would be so happy that his son is bulldozing into his lengthy anti-war spiel, especially since he obviously feels strongly about this topic. And he's very serious when addressing his son. Like I said before, my image of Welcome has been a man who is jovial but commanding, and I'm not sure if this is in direct conflict with that image or not.

His father waved a weary hand, and the boy hurried out of the sitting room and returned to the kitchen. When he had finished washing all the dishes, his mother led her rambunctious, fifteen year old son to an unkempt room. Inside the room, it had one window.

"Mum, I can't see anything! It's too dark in here."

"Hush, Samuel. The candle is lit and it will take a few moments for your eyes to adjust," she said in a firm voice to her impatient son.

Samuel sulked and sank on the wood floor, near the entrance. "Alright, Mum. I'll wait."


When I was reading this scene, one of the things that really stuck out was the lighting. It's not nighttime (near the end of the chapter, Martha tells Samuel to bathe before the sun goes down), so when you say "evening" I assume you mean around five or six o'clock (give or take a few hours). There is a window, so I imagine there would be some amount of sunlight pouring in. (Actually, later in the chapter, you do say that sunlight pours in — "the daggers ... glistened when light poured on them ...") And then on top of that, they light a candle.

So already there are a couple of issues; first of all, if light is pouring in from the window, is a candle really that necessary? And even if light isn't pouring in through the window, it doesn't take time for your eyes to adjust to candlelight (generally speaking, that is; if you've been in complete darkness or very very bright light, it's a whole different issue, but since that isn't the case for either of the characters, let's not go there). I assume they were washing dishes in the fading sunlight, so if anything, when they step into candle light, their eyes would have to adjust to the brightness, not the darkness. And if they were washing dishes in candle-light (which seems kind of peculiar in itself), their eyes wouldn't need to adjust at all.

I'll point out the other lighting references when I come across them, because I think you might want to choose a specific light source and go with it. Plus, again — it doesn't take much time for your eyes to adjust to candle light (if indeed it takes any time). I'm not sure if that's a problem — it would be lovely if you could clarify this. :)

"Your enthusiasm is overwhelming," his mother remarked sarcastically. Samuel crossed his arms against his chest again and watched his mother move steadily around the room, occasionally stumbling on lead bullets or small stones. He watched her remove a white bonnet and carefully placed it near his filthy feet. She brushed her hands through her long, gray hair that flowed down to her waist.


"Your enthusiasm" or "Your patience"? Because Samuel is enthusiastic, thus nullifying her sarcasm, so it makes more sense for her to say "patience" (seeing as he's impatient and all).

Also — would they really leave small stones and lead bullets strewn across the floor? Even small stones I can understand to a certain degree (although I can't imagine them not cleaning the room once in awhile), but lead bullets? Unless perhaps there was a gunfight in the room (which I assume there was not), not only can't I see any reason for lead bullets to be scattered across the ground, I'm also slightly confused as to how they would've gotten there in the first place.

And as a minor note — specify that the white bonnet belongs to Martha. When you say, "he watched her remove a white bonnet," it could mean that she removed the bonnet from her hair (which I assume is the case) or that she removed a white bonnet obstructing her path. You could do a couple of things to denote the possessive for Martha's bonnet:

- Change "the bonnet" to "her bonnet". You'd then have lots and lots of "her"s cluttering up the next two sentences, and you'd have to tweak them so that they wouldn't sound awkward.

- Lump the last two sentences together, so something like, "He watched her remove the bonnet from her long gray hair, carefully placing it near his filthy feet."

- Combine bits and pieces of the two sentences, but still maintain two separate sentences. "He watched as she removed the bonnet from her hair, carefully placing it near his filthy feet. She brushed her hands through the masses of long gray that flowed down to her waist." (Except, not as horrible as that.)

Or, of course, you could do something entirely different — just clarify for the reader that the bonnet belongs to Martha, and wasn't randomly found in the room.

"Come here and sit next to me Mum. My eyes are starting to adjust already. I can already make out small objects." He patted a spot next to him with the palm of his hand.


Cut out "with the palm of his hand" — when you write "patting", we know it's with their toes unless otherwise specified. :) And cut out one of the two "already"s in the paragraph — I'd suggest the first one, so you have, "My eyes are starting to adjust. I can already make out small objects." (That's if, of course, you keep the lighting thing; again, it's highly unlikely that it would take this long for their eyes to adjust to candle light.)

And, minor nitpick — there should be a comma after "me".

His mother walked carefully and sat next to her son on the left side and waited also for her vision to adjust to the dim light.


Just thought I should point out that candle light isn't really dim at all. :)

There were two daggers hanging on the wooden wall; one each side of the window. The handles of the daggers were carved from deer antlers and glistened when light poured on them. There was also a hatchet that hung above the window. The boy's head darted in all directions of the room, glancing at every object he could see.


Again — you'll probably want to take your choice of the two light sources and go with it. Since there's sunlight pouring in from the window and a candle, it makes no sense that (a) the light should be dim, and (b) they should need such a long time to adjust to the light, let alone any time at all. As it stands now, though, the various lightings are somewhat contradictory.

Another note. The room has been carefully arranged with premeditation: the dangers flank the windows and the hatchet hangs above it. With that in mind, it becomes increasingly unlikely that (after such careful arrangement) whoever set up the room would simply leave lead bullets strewn across the floor.

"You always shooed me away and Father would have cuffed my ears if he ever caught me peering in here without permission. Father and you kept reminding me I needed to grow up s'more. He said he didn't approve when I told him today, but you let me Mum. Does that make me a man?"


Hmm. I thought this would be a good place to point out that Samuel doesn't really act like a fifteen-year-old. At all. He acts five or six years younger than his age — and what's more, his parents treat him like he's five or six years younger than his age. Would it completely skew your chronlogy if he was actually ten or eleven? It would fit his behaviour much better (plus, I find it hard to believe that by age fifteen he couldn't have snuck in once) and it fits his parents' behaviour towards him better.

"Oh, I'm so sorry your Majesty," she said, smiling.


Minor nitpick: comma after the "sorry". :)

"We were waiting for our eyes to adjust to the darkness, Father. Mum kept tripping, so I decided to wait, until I could see well."


Hee. Again, it should take them nowhere near this long to adjust to the light. :)

"Well, I will save you both the trouble of waiting. Step aside you two. I will fetch the horse blanket."


A bit of a minor note — Welcome has trouble walking, he hasn't had as much time as his wife and son to adjust to the light (or dark), and he has to maneuver around the stones and bullets. Would he really be able to do this without hurting himself?

Samuel and Martha moved away from the entrance and stood in a hallway.


Stood in "the hallway", not "a hallway".

Within a minute, Welcome called to Samuel. "Here, son; I found it." The boy entered the room again, his eyes sparkling with excitement. "Ohh… It's grand Father! May I put the uniform on?"


There should be a comma after "grand", so it reads: "It's grand, Father!" Also, it seems odd that he'd say "the uniform" right after he directly referred to it as "it". Would he not then simply continue to refer to it as, well, "it"? (Okay, I'm not sure how much sense that made; if you need me to clarify, let me know and I'll try.)

Plus, you've shown us time and time again that Samuel's an energetic boy. As someone who has obviously wanted to see this uniform very badly, wouldn't he show some sort of outward enthusiasm beyond his eyes sparkling?

"You may wear it, only if I have your vow that you will never engage in any type of warfare. I do not want any of these artifacts or this uniform to encourage your will to enlist in a war, if one should arise." Welcome squeezed his son's shoulder tighter, "What say you, Samuel?"


When Welcome says, "if one should arise," it seems as if he knows a war's about to occur. And while I'm sure it's entirely possible that he could've predicted the possibility of one popping up, it seems odd that this would be his word choice. Wouldn't he simply tell his son not to enlist in the army, or never use violence as a way to solve his means? The way he words it here, though, seems kind of unnatural.

"Of course, Father! I would never do such a thing. May I wear it now, please?" Samuel's hands were clasped, as he peered upwards to a tall and overweight man.


"The tall and overweight man," not, "a tall and overweight man." Also, I'd suggest tweaking the sentence to make it flow better — trying something like, "Clasping his hands, Samuel peered up at the tall, overweight man." Something that varies the structure of the verbs but makes for a smoother sentence.

"Do I have your vow, son?" Welcome repeated.

"Yes! I promise. Now, may I put it on, please?"

"How could I say 'no' to that cute face, Martha?"

"He's your son, Welcome," she said, grinning.

"Well, go ahead son. Put it on and let us see how it fits."


You've got some awesome dialogue here — now give us some additional visuals to make the images more vivid. Is Welcome frowning to emphasize thei mportance of his words? Is Samuel hopping up and down? (I can almost picture Welcome turning to Martha, his frown turning into a smile when he says, "How could I say no ...") You've let us hear the dialogue (and it's great!) — now let us (i.e. the readers) see the gestures and facial expressions that accompany it.

Samuel dashed to where the gray jacket laid crumpled on the floor; a small corner to the right of the window, where Welcome's musket was kept. "Can you help me, Father? It's too big."


This is slightly confusing; when I initially read the first part, where Samuel marvels at the uniform, I would've thought that Welcome was holding it in his hands. It seems strange that Sammy would dash up to his father when he's not holding the uniform — I think it would make more sense for him to dash up beside his father. Also, when he first sees the uniform, it might be good to clarify that it's lying on the ground. (And, while you're at it — it would be great if you could slip in a description of the uniform when Sammy first sees it. Recapture his enthusiasm for it; yes, it's crumpled and probably layered in dust and maybe even foul-smelling, but something about it appeals to him. Let the readers know what that appeal is through your description.)

Plus, "laid crumpled" should probably be "lay crumpled," and the semi-colon should be a comma. And the sentence is somewhat unwieldy — twice you describe a place with the word, "where," which may not seem like such a big deal, but both of them are unecessary and clutter up the sentence. As well, "to the right of the window" is also somewhat clunky; the payoff (we find out where exactly the uniform and the musket are) isn't worth the cost (the sentence becomes over-burdened with words). If you do choose to cut this out, you'll probably want to tweak the sentence so that it still makes sense and flows well — for example, "Samuel dashed to the grey jacket, crumpled on the floor beside his father's musket." Or something of the sort; decide what you want to keep and what seems unnecessary and/or can be omitted, and trim the sentence down a little.

"Indeed. It was my uniform," he said, bellowing cheerfully. "Come here, I will help put on the old horse blanket." Welcome dropped his cane on the floor and balanced his weight the best he could, and held up the uniform so Samuel could slip his arms into it. "Turn around, son. Let us take a gander how you look."


A couple of things. First of all, if he's bellowing, cut out "said" and replace it with "bellowed". ("It was my uniform," he bellowed cheerfully.) Although this is somewhat conflicting to the image you've presented of Welcome so far — yes, he's loud, but not necessarily the bellowing type (at least, as of yet he's never bellowed an ordinary statement). If it so happens that he is the bellowing type, I'd suggest going back to previous scenes with him and emphasizing his volume control (or lack thereof).

Also, it should be, "let us take a gander at how you look." :D

"I am not sure. Martha! Come in here, please."


Entirely a personal opinion: "I am not sure," sounds overly awkward to say, especially when he can say, "I'm not sure." Then again, it might be part of Welcome's strange and endearing speech.

Martha walked into the candle-lit room and glanced at her husband questionably.


Again, a bit of confusion — when Welcome says, "How can I say 'no' to that cute face?" and Martha replies, I got the impression that she was in the room; she didn't pitch her voice louder to carry across the room, or call to them, or anything of the sort. It seemed as if she was standing beside them, participating in the conversation. And when Martha walks into the room, it seems kind of bizarre, because I the reader got the impression that she was already in the room.

So in the initial dialogue exchange between her and Welcome, ("How can I say 'no' to that cute face, Martha?" to which she responds, "He's your son, Welcome."), could you clarify this? Slip in something like, "Martha called from the door," (So it would read: "He's your son," Martha called from the door.) or something like that, so that the reader knows she still hasn't entered yet.

Also — "she glanced at her husband questioningly," not "questionably". :) Even then, it would be great if instead of directly saying that she looks at him questioningly, you could indicate it through her actions. Maybe her eyebrows are raised, maybe she says, "Yes?" or something of your choosing along those lines. Show, don't tell!

"He looks filthy! When was the last time you bathed yourself, Samuel?"

Welcome's belly jiggled, as he laughed hysterically. "That will do. Come son, you have had your fun. It is time to put this thing away for another time."


Additional tags! I don't know if Martha's being amused here or horrified or angry, and there's no indication outside of the dialogue to help me reach a decision. Again, don't tell us directly, "she said laughingly," but rather, show us — for example, if she's horrified and amused, maybe she claps her hands over her mouth, a smile twitching at her lips.

Also — the comma after "jiggled" is unnecessary. And if you decide to cut "bellowing" out of the earlier dialogue ("Indeed. It was my uniform."), I'd say this is an ideal place to use it; replace "laughed hysterically" with a bellowing laugh; it's a stronger image, and the former indicates a kind of mental instability, whereas the latter simply suggests a deep laugh.

"No, Father. Can't I wear it a bit longer?" Samuel gazed upwards to lock his eyes with his fathers', bunched up his lower lip and pretended to whimper.


It should be "father's," not "fathers'". Also, I'd suggest cutting out "gazed upwards" and just going with, "Samuel locked eyes with his father." You've got the same idea with less words, making for a smoother, tighter sentence.

Also, I wonder at his word choice — would he say, "No, Father," or "Oh, Father"? If he's appealing to his father, it makes more sense for him to say, "Oh, Father" — "No, Father," makes it seem as if he's taking a stand against his father and being defiant. Which I don't think is the case here.

Welcome sighed and waved his hand, "Ask your mother." He reached down and picked up his cane, careful to not lose his balance, and exited the room, leaving Samuel and Martha alone.


Okay, the second sentence is very unwieldy — I'd suggest breaking it into two smaller sentences, ending the first one at "careful not to lose his balance." You'd have to tweak each of the two smaller sentences to make them flow right, but I do think it would be worth the effort. :D

"Well, can I?"

"I suppose you cannot get dirtier, what with the blood stains and all, embedded in Welcome's uniform."


A minor nitpick about your word choice — you can have blood stains on a uniform, but they can't really be embedded in it. (And even if you went with "embedded", it should be "embedded into".)

I'd also suggest adding some additional tags for Martha's dialogue, so the reader can get a better impression of her. Nothing ground-shatteringly major — maybe she's struggling to control her laughter, or shaking her head at her son, or something like that. Show, don't tell — you know the spiel ;).

Samuel's face lit up, after hearing that. He circled a few more times, admiring the uniform. I don't care what father says, he's a foolish old man, Samuel thought to himself. If the time comes, I will join proudly, he thought again.


Cut out "after hearing that" — it's unnecessary and simply burdens the sentence. The idea carries well without it, and it only serves to burden the sentence. Also, is he circling or turning around? I'm inclined to think the latter; "circling" means that he'd be going around the room, whereas I think he's simply spinning around to show off the uniform.

Also — "father" should be capitalized. And "he thought again" can be cut out — when you switch to first person, we know you're delving into Samuel's thoughts.

Samuel's wearing the uniform for a while here, right? Give us a little bit more to indicate a longer passage of time. (After all, he wouldn't go to all the trouble of begging to keep wearing the uniform if it was only to wear it for five more minutes.) So while he's spinning himself around and amusing himself, here's an ideal place to be expository. Tell us about the family (this would be a great place to tell us about Welcome's leg injuries, instead of putting it at the beginning of the story). You could give us some internal monologue courtesy of Sam, where we get to pick his brain and see how excited he is about the war, giving us a better impression of his character. You've got a nice lovely stretch of space here, and you can do a lot of things here — character development, plot development, exposition, etc. — just expand a little bit more here to enable the passage of time.

The boy nodded happily, removing the uniform and handing it to his mother. He didn't mention his secret conversation and turned to leave the messy room.


"Conversation" indicates two people, and since it was only him and his thoughts, it should be, "He didn't mention his secret thoughts," or better yet, "He didn't mention his thoughts" — thoughts are secret until you share them.

There's also no connection between Samuel's thoughts and his departure from the room, so that sentence seems somewhat awkward (especially since there's no segue). I'd suggest separating the two and tweaking them into two different sentences. (You may even want to tack, "He didn't mention his thoughts," onto the previous sentence, and if you make a couple of alterations to it, it should work.)

Upon hearing his mother's wishes, Samuel groaned, turned around a corridor to the right, walked slowly past the sitting room, where his father was in a rocking chair; reading. He walked straight, ten yards, turned to the left, which led to the front of the house; and exited outdoors to a nippy evening.


Cut out the "upon hearing his mother's wishes" and start the sentence at "Samuel groaned" — the part about hearing his mother's wishes is pretty obviously implied. Also, the specific details about the layout of his house are at the moment unneccessary; readers won't remember these specifics. In fact, I'd cut out all the details about his house in this paragraph and replace it with, "Samuel walked through the log cabin." It's simple and straightforward — like I said, the readers aren't going to remember the exact measurements between the hall to the front of the house.

The semi-colon after "chair" should be a comma, as should the semi-colon after "house". You may want to keep the detail about him walking past his father — I really like that you had it in there. It's your choice, of course. :)


.... whew! I'm done. If you have any questions or need me to clarify something (or want to bash me over the head with a baseball bat ...) just let me know and I'll try to help. I love your premise and, like I told you before, I love your characters. They're whimsical and charming and lots of fun to read about, and you've captured their essences wonderfully on paper. Great story so far, and I hope this critique helps. :)




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Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:26 pm
Fishr says...



After a few minutes, I returned with the hatchet, knife and I also brought the musket.

"You planning to hunt whilst we are out there?" father said, pointing to the gun.

"I brought it for protection."

He sighed. "You are learning too quickly. Come, let us go."

I let father pass and helped to steady his weight by allowing him to lean on my left shoulder, while I hauled the rest in my opposite hand. We stepped slowly towards the entrance and walked outdoors. I slipped from under father's arm temporally, shut the door firmly, and then resumed my position under his left arm again. Father walked one foot at a time, down the steps until we reached the earth.

Father instructed that we head into an open area. So, I led him twenty yards from the log house, in an effort to save him discomfort if he wished to retire.

"Samuel, leave the musket by the house. We will not be needing it."

Obeying his request, I walked north and behind of the house, I leaned it against the privy. It was in plain view, allowing me to quickly retrieve the musket if required, although, the stench seeping from the half-moon shack would kill a fly on contact. I plugged my nostrils and sprinted away. When I returned, I resumed my position by letting his massive weight rest on a shoulder.

"Thank you, son. The techniques I will begin teaching will transform you into an expert fighter. Before we start, I require your solemn vow-"

"Father…," I groaned. "Not the enlisting speech again. Spare me, would you?"

"Shush!" he bellowed. His sudden outburst caused me to jump a few inches. He grunted, "Keep that trap of yours shut for once. It is your involvement our family is in this predicament. I was asking for a pact, Samuel. The things I will teach; you will become a warrior. I want a promise son that you will never engage, unless first provoked. What say you, Samuel?"

"I understand. Will you be alright if I slip from under your weight? My shoulder is numbing."

"That is fine. Order of business today - technical combat and stealth. We have already experienced basic training. Remember?"

I nodded. "I remember, Father. You taught me the handle of the hatchet is as deadly as the blade itself."

"Right then; what I have not taught is the importance of stealth." He pointed to the forest. "I want for you to hand me your weapons and walk into the thicket, and wait for further instructions. If this was a normal circumstance, the object would be to sneak behind, without hearing your presence, and attack with an actual weapon. Of course, this tactic would be used in surveying an enemy also."

Confused, I handed him the hatchet and knife. "How am I to sneak from behind? You will hear me."

"Samuel," he sighed. "Firstly, notice I am not wearing shoes. This should be your first hint. Be cooperative, listen and watch. Go, whilst I sit and rest my leg."

"Alright, if you say so." I trudged into the forest, a few feet and selected a wide bush that I thought would hide my body, but allowed me to observe father. I knelt on my haunches and waited.

I watched him turn so that I was gazing at the hindquarters of a man. My heart began to quicken its pace, preparing to best father. Minutes passed and I started wondering if I strayed too far and couldn't hear his instructions. I bet I could creep near him, I thought to myself. After all, I have become a skilled hunter. Grinning, I slowly lowered my body, careful to not snap any twigs and I lied on my stomach. If I am able, I could slide my body along with my elbows and when I get close enough, I will slap his back and grin.

He remained seated, his back facing me. My nerves finally gripped my actions and I started easing my body forward, without father's orders. I was anxious to prove that I was already skilled enough.

I crept along, digging my elbows into the earth and slinked along slowly, gaining a few inches at a time. When I reached the border of our property and nearly out of the woods, father spoke.

"Samuel… Go back and hide. I can hear you a mile away, son," he said.

Groaning, I retreated and selected another bush, one that was closer to the property and waited again.

An agonizing silence passed. My haunches began to ache from resting my weight so long. His back was still mocking my intentions.

Finally, he spoke. "Samuel, show your old man how great you can be. Let see what you have again, son."

Licking my lips, this time I slowly eased upwards, bending my knees slightly to the earth and carefully watched where I was stepping. I attempted to avoid every stone, twig and leaf by sidestepping them. This time, I reached our property and father hadn't said a word. Tiptoeing, I crept up beside his back. Excitement flowed through my veins. This is it, I said in my head. With a wide smile, I prepared to tap his balding head with my index finger.

Instead, he quickly turned and pointed the knife directly into my abdominals, smiling also and catching me by surprise. "You are dead, son," he laughed.

"How… But… How did you know I was right behind you?"

Chuckling, he stood and handed me my hatchet and knife. "I heard you, again from quite a distance. Tell me, son. What was your approach?"

"Well, I first thought I try to creep along, by means of digging my elbows to the earth and inching forward. I suppose it is a habit of mine. I often stay downwind when I hunt. Next, I tried to kneel and tiptoe from behind. That seemed to work better. I was able to spot objects that wouldn't give my position away."

"I see," he said scratching his chin. "Whilst your attempts were good practice, there were several mistakes. First, remove your leather slippers your Mother sewed for you."

Cocking my head, I shrugged, and tossed them to the side. "So, what else?"

"By removing your shoes, you can use the pads of your feet to feel your surroundings. It is easier to judge what objects are more delicate then others by touching them with a toe, thus you are capable of ignoring them. Also, the pads of your feet should not produce clattering or severe echoes, which a shoe against a hard floor would."

"Oh, I hadn't thought of that. I will remember, I promise."

He nodded and sat to rest again. "The other mistake made was you breathe, Samuel, like it was your last breath. You breathe too loudly. Were you nervous at all?"

"Anxious. I wanted to best you," I replied honestly.

"Well, you will not that way," he said chuckling. "When you sneak towards an enemy, you need to learn to breathe through your nose, not your mouth. It also helps to train your lungs, so you are able to hold air for at least a minute. Though, your idea about crawling on the stomach is not exceedingly foolish. It is a great strategy, but in the future, attempt it in an open field, where it is less likely you will stumble upon branches and such. The strategy works well if no one has spotted your body, in which case the element of surprise is on your side. What say you, son? Do you follow?"

"I do, Father; every word."

"Good. Notice how dark my tunic is?" He asked me to untie and hold it over my arms, while I was holding the weapons. "It is also helpful to hide your body. If you ever are wearing a tunic and it is a darker colour, people will have a difficult time being able to spot limbs if you toss it over your head and crumple into a tight ball."

My face beamed at that concept. The thought of becoming invisible was thrilling. "Could I try it?"

"Of course, that is why you have my tunic in your arms. I want you to practice. Go ahead, move around on the earth and get a feel of your weight. It will directly influence your movements. I must require that you hand me the hatchet and dagger again; would not want you to impale yourself."

I smiled and dropped them into his lap, flopped onto the earth, tossed the fabric over my head and squirmed, trying to learn about stealth. While I was moving in different directions, I also attempted to break a habit and breathe through my nose. I tried to suck in deep amounts of air and count each time before I exhaled.

After several minutes, when I thought I learned the basic concept of father's advice, I stood and asked if there was anything else I should know.

"Yes, of course. You really seem to have developed a fancy with fighting, son. I never have seen you so eager. Usually, you would give me lip."

"I'm enjoying myself," I smiled.

"I see. Whilst, I am not enjoying it, I hope by my teachings you will be able to defend yourself if another riot happens and you are caught on the brink of survival. Now, I will demonstrate how your body is an extraordinary weapon itself."

I watched him drop both weapons, and his walking stick to the right, next to his injured knee. Father beckoned for me to stand as close to his body as possible. "Earlier, I showed the importance of the end of the hatchet and pointed to certain areas that would cause immense pain if you connected, even death," he began. "What I have not shown you is how dangerous your palms, knees and elbows could be."

"I don't understand."

"Watch, son." He flattened his hand, so I was looking at his palm. "If you arch your fingers into curls, your palm has a broader range to connect. You may not know, but there are very little nerves in this area," he said, rubbing it. "Thus, a person should be able to hit firmly against an object that would normally cause a flicker of pain. For example, if you attempted to punch a wall with your fist, chances are a few bones would break. But if you strike with your palms, the pain should be minimal."

"Can I try it?"

"On who, Samuel? I am the only one here," father smiled. "If events favor us, you will never have to worry. By using these palms; strike in the center of the nose. It will cause immense pain, possibly breaking it, in which case you are able to flee. If your attacker grips your throat and pulls you into their face, use that power; move in with the force and smack the sides of their ears with your palms. This should cause pain to travel directly into their brain; again you are able to escape. However, son, should you have to perform this technique, avoid the temples, above the ears. Your intention is to flee for safety, not to destroy your attacker. The temples are delicate, and an immense connection to them could potentially kill a person. Remember that, Samuel."

I was in awe of how much knowledge he possessed. I glanced towards my hands and marveled them.

Father whacked the side of head lightly. "Pay attention, son. Your elbows can be used to attack the sides of the stomach. The pain could be minimal, but in the event that your attacker moves into your face, you should be close enough where you can lean to the side and shove the elbow into their rib cage."

Watching father demonstrate the movements and the concept was simple to understand like the palms. I should tuck my fists inwards, so that it forced my elbows to protrude outwards. By doing this, I can sidestep the attacker and swiftly jam them into the rib cage, before the person reacts.

When he spoke of the proper technique to use my knees, he said I was able to cause complications, but no serious damage, like bones breaking but enough that it would allow me to escape. His own knee started to flare and I watched him sit and rest again. By speech, he instructed when I was in close quarters of my attacker, depending how agile I was, I could lift a knee swiftly and aim for the groin. If the person hunched over, in an attempt to punch, the opportunity was open to quickly smack underneath the jaw with a knee. Father mentioned, depending on my force, I could potentially tear the tongue if their teeth connected into the tender area.

"How are you holding, Samuel?"

"I feel alright," I replied, and a broad smile spread on my lips. "How are you holding, Father? Are you tired?"

"I am getting to that point, son. But I am fine for now. I want you to fetch your dagger. The last piece of your training is not melee, but rather attacking from a distance."

He slowly pulled his body from the earth and he leaned heavily on his stick. "Give it to me," father ordered. I handed father the knife and watched him limp away about three feet. He turned around and faced the side of the house. Father first gripped the knife and positioned the tip of the blade in his left index and thumb. Without warning, it flung swiftly and I gawked at the knife, which was firmly embedded in the wood.

"How?"

"Watch, my dear inquisitive son. Fetch the dagger and hand it to me, please."

I nodded, walking swiftly towards the house. I gave the knife a quick jerk, turned, walked towards him, and placed it into father's left hand.

"Notice how I am gripping it? I am lightly holding the end of the blade and using my thumb and index finger to steady the dagger. It be may be weeks, months or years, for you to throw it accurately. The idea is to throw in close company with your enemy and in such a way that the blade travels in the appearance of an arrow."

"The hatchet too?"

"Too difficult, at least I never learned," he smiled.

"Is there more to learn?"

"Of course. I could spend the next six months teaching you all that I learned but I believe the knowledge you possess now is sufficient for defense purposes. That is all for now, besides your earlier teachings. Practice and learn to harness them, son."

"Right now?"

A thunderous laugh rang. "Of course not. My feeble body is commanding that I nap. What say you and I both nap?"

"I am a bit weary now. My muscles ache in my neck. Need help Father? You can lean on my shoulder if you want."

"Yes, that would be noble of you, Samuel."

I grabbed his tunic, placed the weapons inside its folds, secured the fabric around and placed the bundle under my left arm. Extending my left hand, father gripped it and I hauled the heavy man to his feet, allowing him to lean on my right shoulder. We both hobbled inside the house to rest.




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Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:07 am
Fishr says...



___

A week had passed and August was coming to an end but before the month could bid us a farewell, a story was published. The article stated that Governor Thomas Hutchinson suffered an attack by Boston's most feared mob. The group attacked his home, removing all its contents from within and burning the mansion. Father and Mum had already read the article and slept in their quarters.

Dawn broke and the sun's rays slowly pushed the stars and moon away, presenting white puffy clouds and a brilliant blue sky. Its rays shone brightly through one of the windows in the sitting room and caused me to remove my shirt, so I was sitting on the floor in gray breeches and wearing buckskin slippers mum sewed for me.

I read the story twice already but I couldn't put the paper down. In dismay and shock, I read it for a third time:

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I laid the article onto the floor, and gawked into thin air.

Thwack! I ignored the sound of the door being shut; it meant nothing to me.

A yawn, followed by a groan and then light footsteps moved steadily into my sleeping area next to the fire pit. I felt a finger tap the bare skin of my shoulder, but I ignored the gesture.

A sharp sting connected into my spine. I yelped and quickly turned around, while rubbing the tender area. "What was that for?" I said, angrily.

"For being foolish and inconsiderate," mum said.

"Why are you angry? I didn't want to be bothered. That is why I didn't turn around."

Mum ignored my question, walked briskly into the sitting room and resumed a spot on the wooden bench, next to father's rocking chair. I twisted my body around so I could face her and waited for a hopeful explanation. Her expression was blank and her blue eyes appeared to be burning into my face.

Flexing my muscles, I decided to lean backwards and lie on my back and wait. A long silence passed. I thought about the governor and what was written about him. He seemed to be an important man, someone with authority. I began to turn my attention toward the Whigs and the vicious attack some where responsible for. Was I apart of a mob or was I a fellow Patriot? I am a rebel, I told myself firmly. Governor Hutchinson must have deserved it, I thought to myself. The Sons of Liberty represented freedom. They wouldn't attack, not unless he was allied with the Crown, I reminded myself. Or would they? Some doubt began to seep inside, and I felt the beats of my heart quicken. I started to understand father and mum's concern with my involvement within the Sons of Liberty. This group was a force, a cement wall. By growing into nearly twenty members, we were the new officials in Boston. Even the redcoats feared for their lives to become directly involved with the Whigs' motives. A lump began settled into my stomach and I lurched forward, gripping my waist as I coughed.

When I finished, I glanced at mum. She was still sitting. I forced a thin smile and asked for help.

Silence.

"Mum!" I screeched, "Why won't you talk to me? I feel horrible. My insides feel like their entangled. Can you help me?" I asked, in a pleading voice.

Mum reacted by moving towards me, rubbed my head gently and returned to her room.

"What help was that?" I hollered, hoping someone would hear my pleas.

I reached for the article, crumpled it into a ball and tossed it into the pit. I sat and gaped at the rocking chair and bench.

A couple seconds passed and I heard a door slam shut again. A heavy and awkward sound crept up behind me. I winced, prepared for another whack. Instead, the person moved passed and I watched a near naked man, whom wrapped the lower part with a dark tunic, hobble away. I peered up and locked gazes with fathers'. He dropped his walking stick to the right, sat in his favorite seat and beckoned for me to come closer towards him.

I obeyed and crawled so that I was in front of his hairy kneecaps.

He readjusted the tunic, making sure it wouldn't fall off. "Good morning, Samuel."

I grunted and said, "Good morning."

"I heard quite a commotion. What happened?"

"I felt ill and asked for Mum's help. But she didn't and walked passed me."

"Odd," father said, stroking the stubs on his chin. "Are you sure there was not anything else? Something you are not telling me?"

"Maybe…," I gulped.

"Out with it, Samuel," he said, sharply.

"Before Mum came, I finished the article about Thomas Hutchinson, for the third time and it shocked me. I was in no mood to be bothered."

"Go ahead," he urged.

"I heard Mum sneak behind me and tap my shoulder, but I ignored her. Then she smacked my back for no good reason."

"No reason indeed. Samuel, have you no clue? She is worried for your safety. It seems that your mother wanted to speak with you. By ignoring her existence, it caused hurt."

I had not thought of that. I pointed to the fabric slipping from father's lap. He looked down, thanked me and carefully retied it.

"Is she angry with me?"

"No, I am sure of it," he sighed. "She would pierce me a new belly button if I informed you but late in the night when you are snoring or off with Adams and Revere, I have to listen to Martha sob into her pillow. I always attempted to comfort your mother by pulling her under the wing of my arm; no use. Your mother is afraid for you, as I am."

"But…," I couldn't respond, words escaped me.

Father sensed something was wrong and asked.

"I'm not sure. I thought a little when Mum was in the sitting room while you were sleeping. I thought about the Sons of Liberty and the governor. I started to realize how fierce and powerful they've become. I finally understand their actions were a direct impact on me and us. Though I was not apart of the raid, I played a part in the burning of Mister Hutchinson's home and Mister Oliver hanging in effigy, for simply being a member of the group. That is when an illness struck my stomach."

"Praise God!" I watched him throw his arms up high. He reached forward, careful to not let the tunic slip and pinched a cheek gently. "You finally understand your involvement and the serious consequences it will and already has caused. Will you leave them now?"

"I would be a traitor. What if they think I changed my mind and sided with the redcoats? The Whigs know our surname. What if they came and attacked us?"

Father sighed and asked for me to check if mum was awake. If she was, he instructed for me to tell her to come into the sitting room. Standing, I turned around, walked briskly from the foyer, and turned a right-hand corner. I crept into their quarters and gently closed the door. On a bed, under a large bear skin cover, lied mum. I shook her and mentioned that father wanted to see us both. She nodded in the room, lit brightly by the sun's rays and told me she would be a moment. I nodded and closed the door behind me.

"Is she coming?" he called.

I stepped into the sitting room, walked passed the fire pit, careful to not trip over shirts near my bed and resumed my position in front of his knees. "Yes, she is coming, Father. She said she wanted to put her dress, bonnet and apron on first."

Thwack! The door to my parent's room slammed shut. I heard mum walking behind my body and stopped suddenly.

"Welcome Garrison! What on earth? You're naked!"

"I am not!" he growled. "Son, do you see anything?"

I glanced at the tunic and shook my head. "Nothing, Father."

"Put some clothes on, for Heaven's Sake!"

Father chuckled and pointed towards me. "Look at our son. He is not wearing a shirt, and rightfully so. The warmth is oppressive."

"He is covered, Welcome," mum said, impatiently.

"So am I, Martha. Unless of course, if you find this ancient thing such a bother, I will remove it." I watched father's hand slowly creep down.

"Stop! You wouldn't in front of Samuel?"

A laugh bellowed throughout the room. "Of course I would not, but boy, I sure got a rise out of you," he chuckled.

I smiled too. It was amusing watching mum in an uproar.

Mum stomped into the foyer and sat on the bench, glaring at him.

"Enjoying the excitement, son?"

I nodded happily.

"Ouch! What was that for, Martha?"

"For being you."

Father rubbed his left arm, smiling. "Full of piss and vinegar today, aren't we?"

She ignored his comment and sat in silence.

Chuckling, he reached over and hugged mum. "Right then, you know Samuel has been apart of these Sons of Liberty for some time, yes?"

Mum nodded, choosing to ignore him.

"Whilst you were in our room, he admitted he understands the atrocity he placed himself into."

"I what?" I asked, confused.

"You understand the brutality," father said, facing my direction. "Following this morning's events in the paper, I assume he would leave?"

He glanced at my face questionably and I nodded slightly. It was gut-wrenching to decide on which side of the coin my loyalties should remain. One half of my body was tearing and screeching for me to stay with the Whigs. The other was yelling angrily, remember who gave birth to me and my kin should outweigh any desires with the Whigs.

His rumbling voice snapped me out of my thoughts and I returned my full attention to father.

"However, our son has made a strong point. He cannot leave now, it is too late," he said, reaching and tightening the fabric.

Mum turned towards her right in father's direction. "Why couldn't he leave? Surely no one is forcing Samuel to stay? Or are they?" She looked to me for an answer. I shook my head in response. "Then why cannot he stop with all the midnight meetings, where it is only endangering his life?"

"That is the answer, Martha. Samuel cannot disband from them because he is apart of them. Judging from the brute force, what would stop this group to attack our son outright, if they thought he was betraying them? These Sons of Liberty have no distinct way of knowing Samuel wants out; it is his word against theirs. I am afraid, though it pains me terribly, we must support our son and no longer belittle his decision."

"Speak for your self," mum huffed, and her cheeks began reddening. "You knew what Samuel was up too, yet you never informed me?"

"A mistake I will regret later on, after life," he retorted.

"What can we do?"

"We can prepare him," father said firmly. "I may be nearing sixty, but that is some distance away. I am still able to move around a little. I will train our son thoroughly in all aspects of fighting."

Upon hearing that, I edged closer, excitedly.

"Do not assume I am doing this for your pleasure, Samuel," he said, waving a finger in my face, warning me. "Remember your vow?"

"What vow?"

"The promise you assured me that you would never enlist, when we showed you my uniform."

"But there isn't a war."

"If one should arise, you promised to not engage in it."

"I remember. When can we start?"

"Your vow?"

"Father!" I laughed. "Will you stop with the questions?"

He grunted, and delivered a message, forcing my heart to leap into my mouth. "We begin now, as soon as I am properly dressed."

Father clutched the tunic with his left hand and reached for the floor on his right to grab his walking stick.

Before he could lift himself, "And I?"

He tightened the tunic against his waist and glanced at mum. "And what?"

"What help am I capable of?"

"Teach the boy to sew," father said seriously. "If his clothes tear, he will need to know the proper way to mend." Standing, he limped across the room and shut the door to dress.

I stood and sat next to mum on the bench. I cocked my head and asked, "Are you angry with my choice being apart of the Sons of Liberty?"

"I'm not happy, but no Samuel," she frowned.

"Are you alright with Father further teaching me combat?" I asked boldly.

"I support defending one's self for his country, and his namesake," was all mum said. Then she stood and I watched her walk to the house's entrance and slammed the door.

After she left, the door to my parent's room immediately flung open. "Where has that women wandered off this time?"

"She went outdoors, maybe visit one of the neighbors or she is headed for town."

"Maybe…," father said, scratching his smooth chin. Son, fetch your hatchet and dagger from the warring room."

He moved closer into the light, away from the casting shadows. I smiled and pointed towards him.

"Yes?"

"Father," I giggled. "I think you forgot something."

"What now?"

"Look down."

He did, and yelped, trying to cover himself and bolted back into his quarters.

The door to father and mum's room squeaked as it slowly opened.

"How is this?" father asked, stepping into the foyer.

"Your cheeks are a brilliant red, aside from that, you are clothed," I said, giggling again.

He was wearing gray breeches, no shoes and the same tunic he had with him earlier, secured around his neck; exposing a hairy chest and a bulging belly.

"Move your bum and fetch your weapons!" he yelled. I sprinted away immediately, knowing he was not angry, but secretly embarrassed.




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Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:51 am
Fishr says...



*

It was late August when I thought about the new taxes. The Sugar Act was still in full operation and tension has started to boil. To be unjustly taxed on sugar, molasses, indigo and coffee without consent from the colonial legislators caused outrage. Then a new Act went into effect – the Stamp Act. This new tax by British Parliament required we pay an amount on every piece of printed paper we used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed. While the cost was small, what would happen in the future? Would the door be open for more taxation or unjust laws? The Quartering Act, however, were guidelines that we had to follow. The principles were each Colonist was directed to provide for the basic needs of soldiers stationed within its borders. Specific items included bedding, cooking utensils, firewood, beer or cider and candles. Would a sane person actually want to house a miserable redcoat? To me, it was an outrage to say the least. Being under the wing of the Whigs, I learned from their speeches, British Parliament was unfair and cruel because they had no respect towards the colonies and the three Acts combined caused hatred to the Crown; nerves were ready to snap at a moments notice.

I remained a member, but certain riots and events forced me to distant myself on an occasion. Father had warned me to use my head and not mix with violence. Since the three Acts, what were talks and planning early on in the Sons of Liberty became physical disturbances. The group grew and strengthened considerably in a short span to nearly twenty Whigs in total. While, Mister Adams believed murder to be extreme, he was a firm believer that actions spoke louder than words. Things were becoming bleak and its members created chaos – stoning target houses and tar and feathering were some exercises used. Its members didn't always adhere to their leaders. Andrew Oliver, Boston's stamp collector, was not so fortunate. Upon being surrounded by Whigs in the streets, he panicked and fled for his life to the safety of a burning house – his home. Shortly after, Mister Adams told and explained to me that he was hung in effigy from an elm tree, known by Bostonians as the Liberty Tree, for the world to witness.

News of riots began to spread; the British haven't a clue how to respond to such brute force. Word had also reached father. He has been spending time in town to catch up on events or find new news. When mum was outdoors, father pumped me with questions. He wanted to know why such force, and the purpose of it? He also became relentless and asked if I was apart of such acts. Every time he asked, I shook my head and promised I would never engage in that type of action again.

"Are you telling the truth, Samuel?" he asked for the third time today.

"Father! What more do you want from me? My blood? My hair? How about my neck?" The same question was usually asked by him and my answer was always, "No." Although, after defending myself for days on end, I was losing my patience.

A stick hovered over my scalp, causing me to close my eyes tightly, ready for a lickin'. A few seconds passed – nothing. I was still alive! Opening my eyes, the stick was resting on father's lap. I hoped he would place a sack over my head because his expression was frightening. Father's bushy brows lurched forward, the nostrils flared, his cheeks were crimson and father's brownish front teeth were in plain view, as he breathed heavily, open-mouthed. I watched how hard he gripped his walking stick and both hands were trembling.

"Samuel!" he roared. "I command for you to stop hiding by the fire pit and show me respect. Move your ass and kneel before my eyes."

I shook my head. I regretted my outburst and wanted nothing to do with father at the moment.

"Move it! If I have to crawl on my belly, so help me God, I will! Come here," he hollered. His voice caused an echo that rang throughout the house. I prayed mum would come home soon. Why did she have to, of all days, visit one of our neighbors today?

I watched father slowly stand and arched his finger, trying a different approach. "Samuel…," he called, taking a seat in his rocking chair afterwards. "We could go at this all night, son. What say you quit being stubborn and obey me?" his voice starting calm.

Reluctant to sit within a foot near him, I decided I should cooperate or a punishment would arise. When I knelt, my shins were facing the floor but my heels supported my bum, pushing me upwards a few inches, and allowing me to nearly sit eye level. "Father, I –"

A palm silenced me. He lowered his head and closed his eyes, rubbing his temples clockwise. I noticed both of his cheeks began turning a palish colour. Curiosity grew inside and I crept closer to study his face, his eyes were still clamped shut. I watched the rhythm of his breathing – his chest rising deeply under his black shirt. I leaned inward and pressed one of my ears tightly to father's chest and listened; rattling and snorts escaped freely inside. Two large arms pulled me tighter against his chest so that my left ear drum was pinned against a stomach. An awkward pitter-thump, thump, pitter, thump, thump of father's heartbeat greeted my hearing. One hand was firmly placed behind my head, stroking my hair; the other caressing my lips.

"Father?" I began, burying my head into his stomach.

Silence.

"Father?" I tried again in a muffled voice. When I never received an answer, I decided to glance into his face again. He was watching me, but oddly. Cocking my head, I glared at him, trying to make sense of the situation. I watched his eyes dart in all directions, as if he was studying every detail about me. Then without warning, he pulled me tight into his chest again and squeezed hard. On the rare occasion, I welcomed this affection and I did not bother to fight it. I rested my head on his jolly stomach, pretending it was a pillow, and took comfort of how deeply he was breathing.

Minutes flew by, and we finally broke contact. At first we both studied each other's face, and then I decided to break the silence. "Are you all right? I am used to your sensitive nature, but that was sudden. What happened? Are you not angry with me anymore?" I locked gazes with his and stared innocently… waiting.

A deep breath, another quick hug, and he finally spoke. "My only son and my only child. I will be honest with you Samuel. My emotions, since hearing about these local riots have escalated with mixed emotions of anger, sadness and most of all, fear. Knowing you are apart of this group… Samuel, there is nothing in this world, I fear more then to lose my only child."

"But, I told you. I have nothing to do with those disturbances."

Sighing, he patted the top of my head, while I was still kneeling on my shins. "I know. I had a gut feeling all along but the thought you are connected to these Sons of Liberty in some way - What if you were killed, Samuel?"

"I will not be killed. You have my vow, Father," I said, crossing my heart. "I will not become the stalker I once was. Those days are over but please try and see my point of view and others too. The Whigs are making a stand and believe strongly in the cause. They are trying to prove if rules won't be changed then maybe a physical approach is necessary."

Father leaned forward and scratched behind my ear. I let him and waited for his answer. Seconds slipped by before he spoke again. "Samuel, if I had known the web you would have entangled yourself in, I would never have asked for your assistance. This is my request; I wish for you to disband from that organization. I fear you are a walking target and we love you too much to risk your life. However," he warned. "If you decide to continue to follow, I feel it would only be right for Martha, your mother, be included. What say you, son?"

"I cannot leave in an instant. I believe in freedom, as much as you do, Father. I want to stay with them. But why does Mum have to know? She might blab our secrecy."

"If you stay, she has to know. As far as I am concerned these Sons of Liberty do not seem to be a secret group anymore, but raiders. What if something happens to you? How would you feel if Martha knew nothing at all? I will, however attempt to keep her lips shut if she enters town, so not all is lost. Do we have an agreement, young man?"

I nodded instantly. "Deal," and I shook, his hand swallowing mine. "Father?"

"Yes, son?"

I stood and clamped my arms around his waist and squeezed. "I love you."

A small, quivering sound rang out. "I love you too, Samuel," came a shrill voice. When we let ago of each other, both of us had tears dripping from our cheeks. Father was faintly smiling; I frowning, looking into a familiar face that I've grown with since birth.

Thwack! I heard a door slam shut and an object moved around the house; footsteps shifting quickly around the kitchen. The object eventually made their way into the foyer. "My, what is this? Samuel? Are you becoming a lovey-dovey?"

I didn't move, nor answered her. Father, at first, didn't either. But finally, when mum decided to sit on the bench next to us, her face grew with concern. "Welcome? Have you been crying?"

Father gently eased me away, by means of pushing a shoulder blade, and pointed towards my bed. I nodded, kissed a cheek and retired for the evening without food. I could hear the beginnings of their conversations perfectly but it did not matter. I knew what it would be about. Twisting my waist, I faced the wall and buried my own emotions deep and drifted off to sleep.




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Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:37 am
Jiggity says...



Honestly, sometimes, its just too much to go through. A lot of the time you couldshorten a sentence but you dont, you go for a longer version; this slows the story down severely, and makes it drag. instead of you are, try 'your' and other such things like this could be changed.
Only 2 things stood out for me and they were in the previous installment:

intensions
.

intentions.

that is why I you have my tunic in your arms


that is why you have my tunic in your arms

There may have been others that I didnt notice due to exhaustion.
Otherwise, as per usual, awesome story-great writing. Keep it up :wink:




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Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:40 pm
Fishr says...



The following day, father and I were outdoors, and he was barking commands.

"No, no, Samuel! Do not stand straight as an arrow, and swing. Spread your legs apart and bend your knees slightly. You will be more centered and not fall flat on your bum due to lack of balance."

I spread my legs a few inches apart, bent my knees and continued watching the objects cut in sharp arcs in front of me.

"Samuel! Do not swing in random directions. Your objective is to defend, not appear like a rabid lunatic. Grab the handle so that the end facing the clouds, lift and swing down as if you were cutting stumps of wood. This tactic should break the clavicle, and you can flee for safety."

With the hatchet in my left, the handle was pointed vertically towards a blue sky. I lifted my arm up and slammed it down. I watched the hatchet fly several inches in front of me instead. Behind me, I heard a groan, and father asked me to retrieve the hatchet. My cheeks began feeling warm, as I walked towards the hatchet, and grabbed it. Turning around, I walked three feet towards an expressionless father and stopped when I was near his body.

I turned my head sheepishly away. "It slipped," I said to a shrub.

"Nonetheless, ever since the incident with that Adams fellow, it has persuaded me in teaching you self-defense. Luck and the Good Lord were with you, son. If he had not removed the branch from your throat, you may have suffocated."

"I am aware of that," I said, returning my attention in his direction again. "Is that the reason why I'm holding the knife and hatchet?"

"You sound surprised," he smiled.

I shrugged. "I hadn't expected it. Normally, you're strict with this sort of thing."

"I had to wait until you matured. Besides, without a musket, you can defend yourself in hand-to-hand combat, as long as your attacker is equipped with melee weapons too. What say you practice more and cease on the chatting," he said calmly.

Grinning, I turned around and continued swinging the knife and hatchet. While I practiced, I smiled to myself. My day of birth was exceptional, but father surprised me again by further revealing information about himself.

As a soldier, he admitted he had been brutal in melee combat and father still attempted to instruct movements, while he sat on the grass, barking orders. His shouting didn't bother me. It only encouraged me to work harder and pay attention to father's commands.

"Samuel! What in the blue hell are you doing? God gave you legs, so use them. I guarantee your attacker will not stand in a single position."

I started bobbing and weaving, pretending to duck punches, and stabbing kneecaps with the knife.

"No, No! Whilst hunched over, your spine is exposed. With one quick response, you will have an axe embedded in your back. If it is necessary to duck, while hunched, try and consciously remember; aim the hatchet's blade towards their stomach and draw it as far behind you as possible. The purpose is that the blade will partially be protecting your spine. You will have a suitable chance of survival because hopefully the attacker's weapon will hit the blade instead. As soon as you hear the metallic sound, gouge their stomach."

"Thank you," I said and started swinging the weapons again.

Eventually, he gave up trying to teach with speech and decided to instruct by means of standing next to me. With father slowly guiding my arms, hands and legs into specific movements, I began to learn and realize I could disembowel, amputate or behead a person if I was in danger.

Though it caused him discomfort and needing to rest occasionally, the basic movements were fairly simple, now that he properly showed me. To offer fair warnings to my enemy, I would jab their chin, Adam's apple, stomach, shoulder blade and sternum with the handle of the hatchet. If the person continued, I could smack the center of their nose, pop their eyeballs, and on more drastic measures; use the blade of the hatchet and slice into their kneecaps, aim for the temples, and if the situation called, cut their throat. The dagger seemed to serve as an extra object to watch, but I could also stab in areas, causing deep, painful pricks.

When I had finished slicing an imaginary neck, I turned to my left, grinning. "How am I doing now?" I asked eagerly.

Father scowled and my smiled faded. "Well enough for a beginner. You definitely need to harness your skills but you seem to learn fairly quickly, son. However," he said shaking a finger, "I am not terribly pleased teaching you how to harm another man but these lessons are strictly for defense purposes only. Understand?"

"Yes, I understand. I would never attack unless I was provoked first."

"Even if a person threatens you, just remember, be on guard, and never engage in a fight unless you are certain your life is in danger."

"Yes, I understand," I repeated. "Is there anything else I should know?"

"Samuel…," father sighed.

"Is there?" I pressed.

He wrinkled his nose and groaned. "Give me the weapons, and go find a stump, while I sit and rest," father said.

"Here," I said. Father grabbed the weapons in his left hand and sat, with his walking stick resting in his lap.

I walked briskly into the thicket in search of a tree stump. His order was confusing but I did not dare to question father. I did not want to anger him, nor cause further frustration with simple questions. In the forest, I spotted several large rocks, bushes, shrubs, trees, but no stumps. Sighing, and hoping father would continue with his lesson if it took time locating a stump, I pressed farther in.

Snap! I collapsed, grabbed the sole of my foot and hollered in pain. I had stepped on a tree branch and part of it jabbed into the soft tissue. I sat on blankets of leaves, and massaged the foot. After a few minutes, when the minor pain ceased, I surveyed the forest. There has to be a tree stump somewhere, I said to myself. But no, I was surrounded with healthy trees and lush, green leaves.

Lifting myself into a standing position, I searched harder. I turned to the right, and pressed forward. There were more shrubs and bushes, but after five minutes of wandering, I found two stumps, and then it dawned on me. Did the width or length matter? One of the stumps was long and narrow, whereas the other was short and wide. Which one? He said get a stump, and that's all. I shrugged, and selected the short and wide stump because it appeared easier to carry. I bent my knees, slipped my fingers under, and lifted the stump upon my left shoulder.

When I reached our property, father was still sitting. I walked slowly towards him, and dropped the stump near his bare feet.

There was a thud as it hit the earth. I watched father peer at the tree stump, and then he peered upwards at me.

"Come sit next to me, son. With the dagger, I want to show you a few things."

Judging from father's tone, he seemed to be in a reasonably decent mood. He still wasn't smiling but he wasn't yelling anymore either. I sat by his right, and stared at the stump, wondering about its purpose.

"Could you hand me the stump, please?" father asked.

I reached, and carefully placed it in his lap. "Thank you, son."

"Welcome," I said.

In his lap, I heard scraping and watched pieces of thin wood drop on his kneecaps. I leaned inwards, trying to catch a glimpse of what father was carving with the knife. His right arm blocked my view, and all I could see was his left, carving away.

"What are you doing?"

"I am almost done, Samuel. Please be patient."

"I'll try," I said.

"Put the stump in front of my feet," he said shortly.

I lifted it and placed it within inch from his toes. I observed the stump and noticed father had carved unusual… pictures? There were two circles that appeared to be eyes, a vertical oval in the center, and a straight line underneath it.

I turned in his direction and raised an eyebrow. "May I ask what did you carve, and in firewood no less?"

"It is a face, but I am no artist by any means. Pay attention and I will explain."

I nodded. "I'm listening."

"The stump will be used as a visual explanation. Understand so far, son?"

"Yes, so far, I do."

"Good. Notice the two holes that represent eyes?"

"I see them," I said.

"Above the corner of your eyebrow, in the direction where the temple is located, there is a tender area. Find it," he commanded calmly.

I obeyed by tracing my brow with an index finger until I found the end, and pressed tightly. I winced and immediately felt a slight headache.

"Why did it hurt when I applied pressure?" I asked, dropping my finger.

Father swatted my stomach playfully, and he finally smiled. "Well, correct me if I am wrong, did I suggest applying pressure at all?"

"No," I groaned.

I watched the smile fade. "Right then. To properly answer your question, I suspect, although I am not absolutely sure, the area hurt because there are nerves behind the eyebrows. Applying slight pressure aggravates them."

I slid closer to him. "How do you know above the brow is sensitive?" I asked.

"You really seem to have developed an interest."

Smiling, I nodded happily. "Your knowledge amazes me too. Where did you learn all these tactics?"

"Son," he sighed. "One question at a time, please. Firstly, the amount of things I have seen, would shock you. Just accept that warfare has educated me."

Now, I was more interested than before. If it was in my favor, I'd inch nearer to father but unfortunately I was so close to him, I was able to feel him breathe. "So, the war taught you about melee combat?"

He wrapped an arm around back of my neck and combed his fingers through my hair, while he stared straight ahead. "One of these days, son, your curiosity will strike a nerve, namely a persons," he said quietly. "If you must know, I was trained to march to the beat of a French bugle horn and how to load a musket quickly and efficiently. I was taught obedience, discipline and strategic military principles to be used on the battlefield or surveying from the cover of a neighboring forest. There are other factors, but you mother will be calling us for dinner soon."

"But I don't understand, Father. What you described, it appears that the army barely trained you."

"The army trained me well, rest assured of that, son."

I licked my lips, and flexed my fingers. "Can I ask another question?"

"I suppose," he sighed. "You do realize we are delaying the purpose of the stump, yes?"

"Maybe so, but who exactly taught you about combat? Was it an officer? An experienced soldier?"

Father turned his head, and looked directly into my face, tight-lipped. "Do the initials, A.G. signal anything?" he asked quietly.

"No, what does that…" I stopped short, and gazed into father's eyes. I swallowed, and licked my lips. "He taught you?" I asked, stunned.

He frowned and nodded. "Yes, your grandfather taught me. His reasoning was 'preparing' me, although it has been too long, I cannot recall what he was actually preparing me for. I simply have forgotten. I assumed it was for self-defense purposes, the same reason I am teaching you now, Samuel."

"I have another question."

"Help me up, and then you can ask."

I extended my left, father gripped my hand and I leaned backwards, pulling him to his feet.

"Could you fetch my walking stick, please? I accidentally left it on the earth."

I hunched over, gripped the stick by father's right foot, and held it outwards. He grabbed it, and positioned it by his right side. "You always forget, don't you?" I said, cocking my head, peering up at the man, and grinned.

Father returned my expression and smiled also. "I would love to witness the day when you reach your sixties. I could only imagine how your body cooperates," he laughed. "I admit that my memory and reflexes have dulled. Age does that, son. Accept it, because age will only grow worse and mock you as life passes on," he laughed again. "Was that your question, Samuel?"

I folded my hands behind my back and stroked the soil with a toe. "No, although I do not wish to be gray and fragile."

He swatted my bum gently with his walking stick, and laughed. I looked directly into his eyes and smiled. "Fragile? You are describing me as a sheet of glass," father said, and ruffled the top of my head. "Now, what is this question, and why are you digging holes with your toe?"

I peered down at a black toe nail. Soil was caked underneath. I didn't realize I was still digging, and I stopped. I raised my head, and shrugged. He was smiling, and urged me to speak by waving the back of his hand. I raised an index finger, opened my mouth to speak, and then clamped my jaw shut, thinking better of the question.

"Go on, ask," father smiled. This time, he urged me to speak by waving his walking stick.

Inhaling, I nodded, and exhaled through my nose. "Alright, but remember you asked."

I watched his smile fade slightly upon that remark. "Go ahead," he coughed.

"Does Mum approve?" I blurted. Instead of backing away, I stood my ground, but I started fiddling with the locks of my hair.

Father cocked his head, and rubbed a smooth chin. His smile disappeared completely. I watched him curiously. Father stopped stroking his chin, and then scratched behind his ear, and then started rubbing his chin again.

"Father?"

"Does she approve of combat?" he asked finally after a couple of minutes.

"Yes or is she against it?"

"Do you want the honest truth?"

"Are you stalling again?" I retorted.

"No, do not be absurd. I am contemplating; thinking about revealing the answer. I am worried it will entice your interest."

"Tell me, please," I pleaded.

"It is nearly time for evening prayers, and dinner, I am sure, will be served shortly. We must go. Fetch your weapons. They are still on the earth, in the middle of my ankles."

"Father…," I groaned. "Yes or no? I want to know if she supports my training or not."

"Yes," he said softly, turned and limped away.

I walked briskly towards the weapons, quickly retrieved them, and hurried to catch father, even though he was moving at a slug's pace. I wanted to be near him as much as possible before we entered the log house, so I stopped by his left side, ready to offer my services if he required help.

"What about the stump?" I asked, walking to match his slower pace.

"Your questions have delayed its purpose, son," he said softly.

"Why are you speaking so quietly?"

"I suppose it is because I am upset, Samuel. Most people respond this way when something is troubling them. Surely, you know that much."

I rolled my eyes, as we were nearing the house. I could see the side windows more clearly as we approached. "What is troubling you?"

"Samuel, must we peruse this conversation further? What say you save that fine wind of yours, and use it wisely for praying to the Lord?"

Despite his softer tone, I was beginning to lose my patience. With my right, I clamped his left shoulder and tugged it. Father stopped immediately and shot me a glace.

"What now?" he said sharply.

The sudden change in his voice almost made me regret my action but I said the question anyway. "What is bothering you?" I asked stubbornly.

"Will you cease with the questions for the evening, if you know?"

I nodded.

"Your mother knows a little of my military background. She knows enough, that she asked me to train you."

My jaw dropped, and so did the weapons. I pointed to father, open-mouthed, and blinked several times.

"Surprised, I see. Well, fetch the hatchet and dagger. I believe I saw them fall by your right ankle."

I reached, and grabbed the weapons with my left hand. I opened my mouth, but a palm cut me short. "Not another word. Remember your promise. No more questions, please. Let us enjoy the meal Martha has prepared. I am sure she is wondering what has become of us. Besides, I want to pray. Lord knows I need to repeal any sins I have committed. The three of us should reflect and hope the three Acts will be resolved soon by Parliament."

"But, the Whigs?" I blurted. "Does she know about -?"

"Not. Another. Word," he said sharply by interrupting me. "And no, she does not have the slightest notion about your endeavors with these Sons of Liberty. Honestly, I would have preferred not to have shown you combat but your mother claims to have seen the people in town behave by means of spitting at heels and bickering bitterly in the streets. She also informed me that she has seen a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette depicting a jolly British lion. The animal was holding the British coat of arms, muskets aimed and firing at one of Britain's symbols - the lion. Your mother assumes these actions are distressing omens, and I agree wholly, but needless to say, Martha won the Words of War, and convinced me to train you."

Most of what father said slipped into one ear and out the other. All I heard were Sons of Liberty, Colonists spitting at each other and a cartoon in the Boston Gazette. Father's words didn't cling to my brain, I suppose, because I was still accepting that Mum was the one that suggested teaching me combat, not father. That is when the realization struck. Did father truly believe I was mature and used Mister Adams's attack as an excuse to train me or did he only teach me because mum insisted?

I wanted to know, so I blurted, "Father, I… have… another question, if I'm allowed to ask."

"If it concerns combat, or your mother, no more questions, please."

"Alright," I sighed. "Do you need assistance?"

"Your help would be graciously appreciated. Thank you."

I stepped close to his side, so that I was just under father's armpit. He wrapped his arm around my neck, and rested his left hand on my shoulder. I returned the gesture by slipping my right hand behind, and wrapped it around his waist. With the weapons in my left hand, I steadied his immense weight. As we made our way to the entrance, I thought about what father had said. Mum actually supported military training, and by her son no less! The actual realization didn't fully strike me but as I thought thoroughly about it, the excitement started swelling, and my heartbeat quickened its pace.

My mum, I thought, supports me. We approached the steps, hobbled up, and opened the door. Father released his hold from around my neck, and limped further within the house.

"Mum! We are home!" I called from the entrance, and shut the door, as I stepped inside.




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Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:33 pm
Fishr says...



Five months passed and on August fifth, I turned seventeen. I became noticeably broader, because of the hunting trips. My abdomens flattened and tightened. The triceps slightly bulged when I flexed, and thick veins pushed through my skin. My calves and forearms also grew stronger. I was able to haul heavier loads on my shoulders, without having to relax every couple of minutes.

Father finally taught me how to load and reload his musket. He had also taught the importance of reloading quickly; though I assume this was an old habit from his warring days. Father said it was time I help provide for the family, and that I would need to learn the proper way in defending myself if my life were at risk. Needless to say, after much practice, I became skilled enough to reload in thirty seconds. When I hunted, deer and pheasants were my new and primary target; no more need to accept meats from neighboring farms, although we still received vegetables from the wealthier families whom graciously shared their generosity.

I was standing outside on our property, polishing the muzzle and trigger with a tattered shirt. I was so focused on the musket, I never noticed father approaching me. I would have not noticed his presence at all, if he had not called for me.

Lifting my head, I brushed dark brown locks backwards behind my ears. I stared at father questionably as he limped closer. In his right, he had his walking stick, but his left hand was hidden behind his back. Holding the musket, so that the muzzle was aiming towards the sky, I walked towards father to spare him from spending energy and the discomfort he must be experiencing. While I was less than a foot in front of him, I tried leaning to the right and catch a glimpse of what father was hiding.

He shook his head and smiled. "Patience is a virtue, son," he said cheerfully. "August fifth, seventeen hundred and forty-nine, you were born today."

I smiled in return and nodded. "And you were born in seventeen hundred and six. Boy, did you grow old quick," I joked, and my grin grew broader.

"We will see how well you maneuver yourself when you reach my age," father laughed. He beckoned for me to step closer.

I wiped sweat away from my forehead and unbuttoned my shirt, displaying a bare chest. Praying the heat and humidity would pass, I walked closer, smiling from ear to ear.

"How has your day been so far, son?" father smirked.

"Grand! I'm so happy to finally hold your musket, and I'm happier that you've taught me how to use it today. Don't worry though, Father. I will be responsible and not misuse the firearm or think about wars. I understand its purpose – self-defense or using it for hunting."

"I am glad you feel that way because behind my back, I have two gifts for you."

Gifts? What possibly would he give me now? He already trusted me with his musket, and as far as I'm concerned, that is the greatest gift I've ever received.

"Drop the musket, hold your hands outwards and close your eyes, please."

I laid the musket gently on the earth, and looked at father's expression one more time. I peered into two eyes that appeared to be studying me. He was not only grinning but it was as if father had aged backwards. Perhaps, it was the intense sunlight reflecting a false image upon his face, but father's eyes sparkled with excitement, as if he was a young boy again.

"Go on, shut your eyes," father urged eagerly.

I brought my hands forward, closed my eyes, and waiting. I heard ruffling and then I felt a chill as an object was placed in my palms.

"Open them," father said.

At first, I disobeyed and kept my eyes shut. I hadn't a clue what were in my hands but the weight was decent and there was metal mixed with something coarse and pointy. At first, I tried guessing what were in my palms. More bullets? No, that cannot be, I said to myself. Bullets are not this heavy. Perhaps, it's a saw? That would explain the metal and wood in my hands but why on Earth would father be excited about a saw? The suspense had beaten my curiosity and I opened one eyelid. My jaw dropped, and I opened the other.

I heard a deep and bellowing laugh, and a hand clasped my right shoulder, as I gaped at the two objects in my hands.

"I leave with you, son, the family tradition. Happy Day of Birth, Samuel."

Father honored me with two gifts: one of the knives and his hatchet. I stared at the objects for a few more seconds, and then lifted my head, grinning. "I love you, Father! Thank you, thank you!" I yelled happily.

"You are very welcome, son. The dagger in your hands is the same I carried with me in the war. Look at the hatchet, Samuel. Notice all signatures?"

My heart might as well have exploded by the way I was feeling. I had hugged father at least six times when he taught me how to use the musket today, but now I felt as if I could grow wings and fly away. I fiddled with the hatchet at first, twisting and rotating it. Then I rubbed an index finger from the top of the handle all the way down. I turned the hatchet in circles once more, and then stroked the lines carved in the handle with my fingernails. This is where father dug his nails, and scraped away the wood, I thought. There were several fingernail marks, at least twenty-five. Some were very small and hardly noticeable unless the handle was close in view. Others were long, jagged and scrawled like father mentioned; vertical and diagonally.

I then looked at the initials of my ancestors etched into the blade. Some of my family had etched their full signatures upon the blade and the names were unusual, like father's name. I liked them, and smiled again.

"Look at this name, Father. I've never heard of it before."

Father limped closer and leaned forward. "Which one, son?"

I pointed to it. "That one. I always admired your first name because it is unique but this one is unusual," I said.

"That is the interesting aspect of the hatchet," he laughed. "You could stare at it all day and find something that catches your fancy."

"How do you pronounce the name?" I asked eagerly.

"I am not exactly sure myself but I suspect it is pronounced Syl-van-us; Sylvanus Garrison."

"Look! Here's another one! How would I pronounce this?"

"It is difficult to say for sure, son. Remember, these names are well over a hundred years old but if I had to lend my educated guess, I would say it was pronounced like this: Gee-once; Geonce Warren G."

My eyes scanned all directions of the hatchet's blade. Father was correct. There were many initials but unfortunately there was no room left to etch our names. However, there was one I wanted to find, but it was nearly impossible with all the names bunched together.

"I am going to sit, Samuel. My knee is bothering me. Care to join me?"

I sat, without removing my fixed gaze on the hatchet, in front of him. I lifted my head, and for once today, I frowned.

"Father?"

He stopped massaging his knee and looked up also. "Yes, son?"

"If I ask a question, do you promise not to get upset?"

"You want to know where your grandfather's initials are, I assume," he said in a surprisingly calm voice.

My jaw dropped again. "How did you know what I was thinking?"

"It does not take a brilliant gentleman to understand the curiosity of a youth, especially his own son. I suspected you would ask anyway, so I prepared myself ahead of time."

"Yes, I'd very much like find it, but if showing me the name is too hurtful, I'm sure I can find it on my own," I said.

"It is your Day of Birth, Samuel. I am as proud as you, if not more. As I said, I prepared myself for the worst indoors before giving you the dagger and hatchet. Your grandfather's name is on the bottom, right-hand corner."

I wiped away more sweat from my forehead and the corners of my eyebrows. Father was correct again. Towards the bottom, right-hand corner, were the initials – A.G. I rubbed an index finger over the name, tracing the outlines. That was my grandfather and he signed his name on this very blade that I'm holding, I thought.

Without thinking I asked, "What was his name?" I immediately lifted my head upwards, and frowned after I asked. "I apologize, Father. It sort of, the question slipped. I didn't mean anything by it."

The corners of father's eyes twitched, but he produced a thin smile nonetheless. "When I am able to accept his mistakes, then I might speak more thoroughly about your grandfather. However, you do know your grandmother's name, yes?"

"Comfort," I sighed. "Our family knew how to name them back then, huh?"

"Yes, I suppose they did," he chuckled. "At least no person in Boston can match the Garrison's creativity."

I smiled, even though I was secretly disappointed. Someday, I sighed, he'll tell me when I least expect it.

A hand rested on my shoulder, and the weight snapped me out of my thoughts. "Chin up, son. I know you are probably disappointed with me, but understand, I simply am not ready to speak about or mention your grandfather's name. I am just afraid that speaking his name will rekindle unhappy memories, and I do not want to place myself in that position," father said quietly. "What do you think of the dagger?"

I set the hatchet on my lap, and lifted the knife close to my eyes. Through my excitement with the hatchet, I had temporally forgotten about it. I ran a thumb across the blade, and noticed it was dull. The knife's blade was practically touching my nose but like the hatchet, I turned it in circles, and examined it. The blade was tarnished and it would need polishing but it was surprisingly longer than I remembered. It had to have been seven inches, and with the handle, the knife appeared to be around eleven inches in total length. I smiled when I started stroking the handle. It was coarse, jagged and marvelous. In my lap, rested my family's history, and in my hands laid a handcrafted knife by my father.

"Well?"

I lifted my head slowly and grinned open-mouthed. "I love both of them! Thank you, Father!" I said.

"Good to hear," father chuckled. "I am going to go inside, son. Enjoy your gifts and take special care of them."

"I will, but what are you going to do inside?"

"Cuddle with your mother," he winked.

"Thanks for sharing the information," I replied sarcastically.

Father rubbed the top of my head and smiled. "Remember to bring in the musket when you are finished. Leave it in the warring room, and you might as well put the hatchet and dagger in their respectable places in the room too."

"May I sharpen them? Both blades are dull, Father."

"I suppose so. You will need a sharp blade if you are to skin a deer. Hand me the musket then, and I will bring it indoors."

I reached for the musket and held it outwards.

"Samuel…," he grunted. "The muzzle should never be aiming for a person's chest when you hand it over. Be grateful that it is not loaded, and make absolutely sure the muzzle is aimed upwards," he said calmly.

I reversed the firearm, held it outwards again, and my head fell. "I apologize, Father," I said quietly to my bare feet.

A finger lifted my chin, and I peered into father's eyes, frowning slightly. "Samuel, you have nothing to be ashamed of. This was your first time with the musket, and you learned reasonably well, but remember all that I have taught you about the firearm so a person is not mistakenly injured due to neglect by your own fingers."

"I'll try and remember. Thank you."

Smiling, father patted my right shoulder, turned and limped away.

"Do you need help?" I hollered to him.

"No, I will be alright," came a muffled voice as I watched him turn a right-hand corner and disappear from my sight completely.

I glanced towards the sky and noticed dark, gray clouds had moved in, blocking most of the sunlight. Rain would be coming soon, I realized. Wiping away more sweat from my forehead, I headed for the forest that surrounds the outskirts of my property. In the forest, I spat on a rock and rubbed the hatchet's blade in circular motions until I was able to carve whitish slits into a thumbnail. When I was satisfied that the blade was sharp enough, I did the same routine with the knife, and then tested it against my thumbnail.

Off in the distance, I heard rumbling, and then a loud crack! Grabbing the two weapons, I stood and sprinted out of the forest. I glanced upwards, and realized the sun had vanished. The entire sky was a deep silver and blackish colour. Another crack of thunder, and I ran towards the entrance of the house.




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Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:18 am
Fishr says...



Hiya, Jig. :wink: I corrected the mistakes, thank you.




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Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:05 am
Jiggity says...



Okay, so, like before I noticed some small grammatical errors. The nasty little buggers that you dont notice whilst writing and are surprised to see later on.
Here we go.

Father and mum


There's a discrepancy there. One is fromal and the other not so, is that deliberate? If not it should read: Mother and Father, or dad and mum.

Its rays shown brightly through one of the windows in the sitting room and caused me to remove my shirt,so I was sitting on the floor in gray breeches and wearing buckskin slippers mum sewed for me.


Its rays shone brightly through one of the windows in the sitting room; heating it and causing me to remove my shirt, so I sat there on the floor, in grey breeches and buckskin slippers mum had sewed for me.

In the article, it should say say: He retained not only his position as lieutenet governor, but also a seat on the Governor's Council in which he had an active role.

Thwack!


Sound effects should really be reconsidered. Use description instead, unless you think the immediacy of "Thwack" is necessary.

Her expression was a blank


was blank.

A small flutter of realization tapped my brain


that needs to be reconsidered. Maybe: entered my brain or maybe something entirely different. Doesnt sound right.

My insides feel that their entangled


feel like their entangled.

I reached for the article and crumpled it into a ball and tossed it into the pit.


I reached for the article, crumpled it into a ball and tossed it into the the pit.

I lurched foreword, gripping my waist and coughed.


I lurched forward, gripping my waist as I coughed.

I started to realize how fierce and powerful they became


This is occuring frequently!! Your in the present and yet you speak in past tense.'' I started to realize how fierce and powerful they've become.


When I finally understood their actions were a direct impact of me and us, though I was not apart of the raid, I played a part in the burning of Mister Hutchison's home and the hanging of Mister Oliver, for simply being a member of the group. That is when an illness struck my stomach


This sentence needs to be revised. Too many commars. A suggestion (and that's all it is): When I finally understood their actions were a direct impact of me and us, an illness struck my stomach. Even though I was not apart of the raid, I played a part in the burning of Mister Hutchinson's home and the hanging of Mister Oliver by simply being a member of the group.''

He reached foreword


forward.

"I would be a trader


not entirely sure but should that be: 'traitor'

She nodded in the brightly lit room by the sun's rays


She nodded in the room, lit brightly by the sun's rays. (simple sentence restructuring)

"Heis covered, Welcome


He is covered

And that ends an epic editing session. One I hope to never repeat. Your doing well (apart from the tiny things) so by all means continue and finish your tale.




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Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:54 am
Fishr says...



*

Since I first laid eyes on the two knives and hatchet, I wanted them. I've never seen a knife's handle carved from a deer's antler, and to me they were unique. I repeatedly asked father about the weapons but he always gave me the same gruff tone and responses such as, "Quit bothering me, son," or, "When you are older, than we will see." The remarks did little to pre say me to stop asking but instead they increased my curiosity, to the point where I was asking father about the knives and hatchet nearly every other day. After days of the constant prying and pestering, father surrendered and he shared stories about the weapons that I knew nothing about. I was surprised I was able to pry information from him but the stories he shared increased my fondness for the weapons.

Father said, before he lost his ability to walk properly, it was a beautiful sunny morning when he burst into the door after a hunting trip. I was about five, jumping and yelping with glee when I spotted the objects in his hands. He dropped two deer antlers by his rocking chair, walked briskly away, and then returned with a saw. Father mentioned, after he sawed some of the points off, the blades were wedged snugly inside holes he had cut and then father secured the blades by tying rope tightly around the antler handles to hold them in place. To think, my father was actually a craftsman before he lost his walking ability.

The other story concerned the hatchet. Interestingly, the hatchet belonged to my grandfather, and he passed it on to his son, my father. When he made any type of reference to his father, his voice immediately became hoarse and incredibly soft-spoken. I had to inch closer on my knees and cock my head to listen, while father was sitting in his rocking chair, speaking.

"I…," he coughed. "My Father…"

When he drifted off in mid-sentence again, I asked why it was so difficult for him to speak about his father and what was his name?

He arched an index finger and beckoned for me to move closer to him, so I stood and walked two inches closer. Father's broad kneecaps brushed up against mine, and without warning, he wrapped his arms around my neck, and squeezed me hard. He held me in his arms for several minutes and I did little to refuse this type of emotion. Inside the hug, his right hand was resting on the nape of my neck – it trembled, and the other hand had shifted towards the lower part, stroking my back. Apparently, he seemed uneasy, so I allowed this awkward display of affection in an effort to console him.

About five minutes passed and father finally released me. "Thank you, Samuel," he mumbled.

"Huh? What did you say?"

"I said, 'thank you,'" he said louder.

"What was your Father's name and why; did your Father do something?" I pressed.

I watched father gulp and nod slowly. "He did. In fact, he did several things I wish to not remember. If it alright with you, Samuel, please do not ask about my Father."

"Can you at least tell me his name? You have to tell me some day."

"No," he replied firmly.

I sighed and stamped a foot, irritably.

He perched his left hand on my shoulder and asked if I wanted to hear about the hatchet or not?

"Yes," I replied sullenly.

"The hatchet is a family heirloom, Samuel. It has been passed down from father to son for over a century. The tradition is when the heir reaches a certain age; the son is in possession of the hatchet, thereby keeping the Garrison family alive for centuries. The hatchet, Samuel, has survived for almost a hundred and fifty years, although the wood used for the handle, I am sure, has been replaced through the generations but the blade is still intact."

Tension sharpened on my shoulder, as father dug his fingertips through the white, linen shirt. The pressure wasn't painful but it signaled to me that he was very serious as he explained the history.

"Are you listening to me, son?" he asked.

"Yes," I bluffed.

"I will not repeat myself later. Listen now, or forever hold you peace."

I nodded. "I'm listening."

He grunted and nodded also. "I know what I am about to reveal next will increase your fancy but I assume you are mature enough to accept it."

I licked my lips and flexed my fingers, eager to know more.

"I carried that hatchet and one of the daggers with me into war. The hatchet and dagger –"

"You did?!"

"Shush, Samuel," he said calmly. "As I was saying, the hatchet and dagger I carried with me into battle have seen the horrors of warfare as I have. They saw…-," father gulped. "The details are graphic, Samuel. Would you like for me to continue?"

I nodded my head eagerly. "Yes! Please, tell me, Father."

"I was afraid you would say that," he sighed. "It is unfortunate your mother is outdoors this morning. She would certainly swat my shoulders for mentioning details, but perhaps Samuel, if I further reveal information you will gain a stronger appreciation for the hatchet, especially when it will be in your hands and your responsibility to maintain the tradition."

"Are you stalling? What did you see in the war?" I asked impatiently.

"No, I am not stalling. I am making a point. What say you pipe down and listen for once in your life," he said sternly. I watched him inhale and exhale slowly, and then he scratched underneath his nose. I stood, waiting as patiently as I was able. "Allow me to recollect myself, son. The memories, well they… I have not reminisced about -"

"What does remin – How do you pronounce it?"

"My dear inquisitive, son. You are mighty curious, which is the meaning of inquisitive and to reminisce means thinking deeply about one's past; to remember. Now, may I continue, or would you prefer for me to school you instead?"

"Continue," I said quietly.

I watched him swallow, and then lick his lips. "Let me be perfectly clear on one thing, son. If I had the opportunity to avoid further explanations, I would have never spoken about my past today but there are two factors I must accept. One, your age; soon it will be the correct time, and two, I hope if you know the hatchet's history mixed with my own, you will indeed take special care of it and pass it down someday to your son. The hatchet is a link to our family's past. Each person that has held it, their spirit is held within the delicate balance in it. Someday, when you are able to study it more thoroughly, you will notice on the blade there are initials. Every Father and son that had it etched their initials, although there is no space left for me or you to continue with that particular tradition. However, on the hatchet's handle, there are claw-like marks, towards the center, which brings me back in full circle with my past." Father coughed and then swallowed. "Would you mind sitting next to me on the bench? I can already feel my throat tightening on me. You are not your mother, but your support would be appreciated."

I obeyed and sat on the bench. He rested his left hand on my thigh and began speaking to a wall, or possibly a picture frame. Father repeated a few things, such as how old the hatchet was and the father-son tradition, which didn't bother me. I listened and waited for further information. To learn about the weapons was more than I could have hoped for. To think, my family has this ancient hatchet and a tradition! I cannot wait until father gives it to me, I thought excitedly.

I returned my full attention when I heard father say, "Battle."

"…In my two hands, I held the hatchet and dagger. There was a line of bodies, Samuel, and behind me, a Serjeant waited for me to carry out his order. Son, there is nothing more rank or horrendous then stale blood and decaying flesh."

His hand moved, and then I felt it clasp my shoulder. I shuddered a little, thinking about dead bodies.

"The bodies - Are you sure you want me to carry on?"

It was my turn to gulp and I nodded slowly.

A loud sigh echoed through my eardrums, and then father's hand moved again. This time he wrapped it around my neck and yanked me. The side of my body was leaning against him. His hand patted my shoulder and then the rhythm changed so that a hand was rubbing it in circles as father continued to speak.

"The bodies were in a straight line in front of my feet. I will never forget their eyes, well; at least the ones that still had a head intact. I remember gazing down the dozen or so men, staring blankly. Two of the men had drops and puddles of blood still dripping off tendons where their legs should have been. One man was missing the center of his chest, no doubt from a cannon ball. A couple of faces were charred and wrinkled. Their faces were burnt so poorly that there was nothing left but curled lips, nose cavities, and missing eyeballs. Although, there were some singed hairs on their scalp, but their cause of death was more than likely being shot from close range. At the end, to the far right, and directly in front of my boots, there was one man barely alive. He was clothed but his pride had to have been stripped, the way his uniform was stripped from him."

Father moaned. "To be stripped of the very object that symbolizes your country is indeed shameful and frowned upon by your countrymen."

I slid closer to him, not because of interest but because I was starting to feel uneasy. The image had grown more grisly. I pictured corpses rising, groaning and limping by dragging a foot behind them. I didn't want father knowing I was starting to become frightened. If he had a slight hint, father might refuse revealing information, and I'd never find about the weapons, until I was old and gray, like him. So, I listened and I was grateful that he had his arm around my neck; it comforted me.

["My order from the Serjeant was to, in his words, 'Make ready and cut cleanly and efficiently.' Have you ever seen a grown man in his forties quiver?"] (Inaccurate/revise)

I shook my head, and continued studying his grim expression, as father continued to speak.

"Well, I did. It was seventeen hundred and fifty-six, the first year I served in the army, and I was frightened. I cannot begin to describe how much my right hand shook. I was certain the hatchet would slip from my grasp. It is one thing to kill in the heat of battle, but my commanding officer wanted me to abruptly end a life. I stepped forward. I… I… My victim's eyes blinked when I knelt beside him. I lifted the hatchet high over my head, and stopped. I pleaded with the Serjeant that there had to have been another solution. I asked if a proper fire squad was organized, would not musketry suffice? The Serjeant insisted beheading was the proper punishment for treason and he handed me a strip of cloth. I reached with my right, and held it tightly in my palm. (inaccurate/revise; beheading inaccurate)

After decades, I still remember the Serjeant's words. 'In which the criminal act, that hallow be our brother, has committed, he shall receive one mercy under God, and not endure the penalty of gaping into his own defiance, such as death.' My commanding officer was a fair but strict gentleman.

Samuel, the man I was about… I was about… Well, my victim was a British spy; a soldier fighting on our side, but he was secretly discussing plans with the French. He had suffered a tremendous amount of abuse already but I was ordered to carry out the Serjeant's command. Whilst I was kneeling and my arm still raised, I looked into the man's perfect eyes, and said a silent prayer, for even in War, Samuel, no person should have to endure staring into Death's Eyes. Tears…," father gulped. "A few tears dripped from the only part of his body that had not been beaten and battered. My hand was suspended, and I heard the Serjeant's shouts to obey orders or I would be branded next as a traitor. With my right hand, I fingered the cloth into a blindfold, and placed it over his eyes. Without thinking, I slammed the blade down. My countrymen's head rolled and I watched another stare blankly." (revise)

Father moaned again and brought his right hand to his forehead, rubbing it and shaking his head.

"Are you going to cry, Father?"

"I am very close. I am a murderer," he muttered.

I shook my head fiercely, and stood in front of him. I pointed a finger and said, "You’re not a murderer! You obeyed orders. It's not your fault. Do not say that!" I hollered, and stamped a foot angrily.

"Sit your bum down," he sighed.

I sat on the bench again.

"My thanks, Samuel," was all father said. "Whilst bringing up my past, it had a purpose – the hatchet's and a dagger's history. Someday, it will be your sole responsibility and now you know how important the weapons are in our family."

"I'll take special care of all three; don't worry. Can I ask a question?"

"Yes, I suppose you have a million questions bursting inside."

"Can you explain the claw marks? Where did they come from?"

"Oh, those. They are actually fingernail marks."

I raised an eyebrow. "Fingernail marks?"

"Yes," father swallowed. "The carved lines are my own."

"Your own? Oh, did you carve lines and such to remind you of the deaths like the powderhorn?"

"No, the wood deteriorated; gave away, from grinding my nails against the handle. It was a nervous habit, I suppose, but whenever I felt anxiety or fear, I scraped my nails against the wood. You will see. There are several vertical and diagonal indents, and slices. I cannot say chipping a few fingernails in the process was appealing."

"Does Mum know of your past?"

"She knows I took her as my wife," he said seriously. "But no, I hardly speak about my time in war or -"

"About your Father," I interrupted and immediately cupped my mouth.

Father turned and glared but his cheeks were slightly pale. "You really do wish to see me cry, yes?"

Removing my hands from my mouth, I shook my head.

"His initials – A.G. are etched in the hatchet's blade. I often wished I could erase the name but that would be breaking tradition. He does not deserve to be apart of our family," father said bitterly.

I wanted to press him for further information about his father but judging from a soft tone, I decided it would be a poor idea. Besides, father admitted he was upset and I didn't want to see him suffer by crying.

"I have a question for you, son."

"Yes? What is it?"

"Are you pleased?"

"Proud. I had no idea how far our family traced back."

"It is good you feel that way. To me, it means you will continue with the tradition."

"I'm more proud that you held the weapons in battle. When I have the hatchet in my possession, I'll be carrying you around wherever I go."

"And my spirit, as well as generations before us."

I leaned inwards and kissed his left cheek.

"Thank you, Samuel. I love you too, very much."

I pulled off my shirt and dropped it in his lap. "For you."

He lifted the shirt, fiddled with the folds and dropped it in his lap again. "What is this for?" father asked, pointing to it.

"Your voice is very soft-spoken and the colours of your cheeks are still pale. I have to use the privy. The shirt is there if you need it. That is, if you start crying and I'm not around for support, you have something to dry your eyes."

I watched his lower lip tremble and father waved a hand. I nodded and walked briskly from the sitting room, towards my parent's quarters, opened their door, and used the privy.




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Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:05 am
Fishr says...



Old reply from 2005 - unimportant.




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Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:44 am
Jiggity wrote a review...



there are some little grammatical errors, nothing that dramatically effects the story. But still...

"Come here and next to me Mum,


and sit next to me.

for the vision to adjust


for her vision.

why are you two squating


squatting

Perhaps, the British is looking


are

thats all I saw, otherwise I really liked the story; there was great description so it was easy to picture the scene. The only thing I didnt like was the father's name. 'Welcome'.
Change it to William. That sounds better.




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Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:02 pm
Fishr says...



Old news from 2005.




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Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:48 am
Griffinkeeper says...



Mr. Garrison?

Image

Sorry Mr. Hat.




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Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:36 am
Snoink says...



Crossgender is a word I made up for writing really quick, because I had to leave right then. So! If it has another meaning that could be used for writing, great! I'll keep on using it, because I'm not quite sure what it ought to be called.

So! In order: Crossgender, introducing characters, and dialogue. Of course, that's only the broad topics. They meld into each other quite well, I think you'll find.

Crossgender

This is only for advanced writers, but I'm sure you can handle it! Basically, what crossgender means is, in a way, "becoming" the other gender. We're girls. That's cool and all, but we got to learn how to be guys if we want to write properly. I think you can handle this easily. You're a writer who can easily pass for both sexes in your writing. Your style is flexible enough to go either way. But I think, because you want to convey this fifteen year old as just a boy who really doesn't understand what he's getting into, you're not getting into his character well enough.

This is perfectly understandable. It's hard enough to write for someone who doesn't understand the implications of war, but to have it as another gender is even more difficult. So, what do you do? My first suggestion would be to see how guys talk. You've probably done a lot of this already, but I think it would be that much better if you interviewed several young guys' opinions on Iraq. And then, to get a perspective of a vet's view about it, I would interview some of our vets and see what they think about war. :) It would be interesting anyway. Remember, though this is historical fiction, human nature is still the same. There are still horrors of war, no?

But don't hold back on the guy. Right now, he seems a mite unrealistic. We'll get more into that later though. :P

Introducing Characters

You might be surprised to hear about this, maybe because it seems so natural, but Sadie's father really wasn't really important at first. In fact, once he dropped her off, he was out of the story. Why? Because he just wasn't an important character! So, the introduction was lame, and I didn't try to improve it until I finally realized how important he actually was.

...oops.

When I first started writing for him, after I discarded any hopes for him being a minor character, I decided to make him supremely evil and mysterious. What did I do? I barely described him at all and made him sneer a lot. Oh, the drama.

So basically, when I should have been making him stand out, I didn't. And my descriptions! Gah! It made him sound like the typical stereotype.

So... don't fall in the trap I did. Remember to describe your character. Remember, stereotypes are good in a way. They help you come up with the basis of your character. But you have to describe them well.

Now! First let's look at the father. He jiggles his belly to an extent that is almost criminal, he bellow, and he seems to be pretty good natured. Except when he hears about war! Then he instantly becomes uptight.

You need to develop him. I have a feeling that he is a minor character, but he still influences the young'un's life.

Speaking of the young'un...

He is polite, but isn't, and is so... well...

More on that... tomorrow!




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Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:14 am
Fishr says...



Old news from 2005.




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Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:29 am
Snoink wrote a review...



to enjoy each others company


I'm pretty sure that there should be an apostrophe somewhere in there. Where? Er... I have a confession to make. I am really really bad with handling apostrophes. Maybe someone else can help...?

"You called for me father?"


It should be: "You called for me, Father?"

Note the comma and the capitalized F. The comma seperates me from Father, which means that the speaker "me" is not the father. Very important. As far as the capitalized F, when the words "mother" and "father" are by themselves and used as a title, they are capitalized. That goes for "Mom" and "Dad" as well. And any title really. If I say, "Go to Sister" I would capitalize the S. But that sounds wrong to our ears, so we say, "Go to my sister."

The main exception would be "sir" or "madam." They were used so much that it became common courtesy. We don't capitalize them.

He stood, with his arms folded across his bare chest. The boy was wearing light, brown breeches. His hair was dark brown and cut short just below his earlobes.


I think this would work better if this were combined into one paragraph.

That's the grammar portion. :P There's other parts of the story I want to touch on as well, including dialogue and introducing characters. Oh! And crossgender writing. But for now, salivate as you wait for my entry. I have to go now. ><




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Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:38 am
Fishr says...



"You are a what?" I heard the tension in his voice and braced myself for when his temper would erupt.

Raising my head, I faced two dark, brown eyes glaring. "I am a Whig," I said firmly. Upon hearing that news, he brought himself from the chair and limped back and forth, pacing.

After minutes slipped by, he sat in his rocking chair and asked why I would join such a group and asked about the purpose of it again. I stood, hugged him hard and told him the Sons of Liberty were a small band of men that discussed politics, primarily led by Mister Adams and how they spoke of tactics to overcome taxation without representation. I hadn't mentioned my attacks or how I came to meet one of its leaders. I was curious what father would say, after hearing my explanation.

He scratched his smooth chin and than rubbed one of my cheeks with the back of his hand. "It seems to me, you have learned a great deal through these gentleman, son. I admire your intentions, but why did you not come forth and speak to your mother and me about the situation?"

"I thought you would cuff my ears," I said honestly.

He finally smiled, leaned over and hugged me lightly. When he let go, father began to rub his chin again, thinking all that I have said so far. "Samuel, whilst I am not pleased about your drastic decision and mark my words; you will be punished, however, this secret committee you speak of sounds to be a noble cause. You are almost seventeen, and a year after that, an adult. As long as you are certain there has not been any violence or intolerable acts physically to His Majesty's officers, I do not see a reason why you cannot continue to keep meeting with them."

My jaw dropped and I ran to squeeze the old man as tight as I could. "Thank you, thank you, Father! You don't have to worry. We've only been talking, and that is all. I promise." A flash of a thick branch pressed against my throat entered my mind. I quickly released my grasp and turned so that my back was facing him.

Hearing a thunderous laugh, I heard a deep voice speak to me. "Afraid to show affection, Samuel? Turn around so I can face my boy growing too quickly for me."

I remembered how he warned to not show violence towards the redcoats and the penalties that would follow – physical pain or death, but how would he react to an attack? And on a fellow Colonist, even if they were supporting the King. His orders in the past seemed to require if I found goods freely, burn them. He never mentioned to hunt and punish those supporting England.

After a few seconds of my mind racing, I mentioned I had one more story left. Father swatted my hip gently with his walking stick and urged me to tell him. I began to inhale and exhale slowly, trying to calm my nerves. When I felt confident, I ran through how I bumped into Mister Adams, about how he mistook the attack and asked me to be apart of the group. I told him how I earned a reputation on the streets of Boston as a 'shadow,' stalking and knocking Colonists unconscious behind their backs, stealing their sugar, rum or anything that had a tax, and burned them at home.

When I finished, I waited for his reaction. Father at first, didn't reply. He sat in his chair, staring wide-eyed into thin air. After a few seconds, I wondered if he fallen asleep with his eyes open, so I waved a hand in front of his face to snap his attention. It worked; snatching my wrist tightly, he pulled me into his face. "Samuel! You… Are you… I thought we raised you better. What in the blue hell were you thinking? I warned you to not attack… I did not think you would harm… Why?" he barked.

The sound caused me to jump backwards, but he still gripped my wrist and yanked me forward into his face again. "I… But you said… You said to not harm any redcoats, Father and I haven't. I made sure they weren't British officers. The people I stole from were not wearing red uniforms."

"Samuel," he signed and finally let go. "They are things you do not know. The British do not always wear their customary uniforms. You could have been harming His Majesty's officers, and you say Boston has been in an uproar because of you? This is not good news. If that was the reason Adams wanted you to join his Sons of Liberty, then I am afraid I am having a difficult time judging his motives."

The thought of possibly attacking the redcoats, while they walked the streets as ordinary Colonists hadn't occurred to me. I felt my insides quiver, like I swallowed something foul and clenched my stomach.

"Samuel," he began with a grim appearance, "If this was a normal situation where you misbehaved, the punishment would be fierce; something you would never forget but this whole dilemma is my fault."

"It is?" I asked, removing the grip around my stomach.

"I am afraid so, son. Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned my kin become so loyal to Massachusetts. You are correct. I said to not harm the British, but it is my fault to not have mentioned that they can appear anywhere, without their red uniforms. I understand you were trying to follow my wishes and in doing so, you furthered your own belief to alter the cause. Though I am not entirely sure if I am with this organization you have been following for God knows how long, I will follow through what I said earlier. If you are certain this group is not violent and you acted on your own accord, then I assume you have learned from your mistake, Samuel. You may continue to meet in private with these men. I promise I will not visit or share your endeavors with your mother."

"Oh, thank you!" I hopped onto his lap, hugged and slobbered kisses all over his cheeks. When I finished, I laughed to see my father overtaken by my sudden reaction. "Are you blushing?"

He rubbed one of his cheeks, holding me tightly in his arms. "No."

I rubbed my hand on the other smooth cheek. The right side of it felt warm and sticky. "Liar, your cheeks are red and warm," I smiled.

Father returned my smile, agreed he had bluffed, and eased me off his lap, so that I was standing.

"It's good you won't tell Mum. She probably blab it to everyone."

"Possibly, but speaking of which, it is late. I bet the old bird is fast asleep and you must be exhausted yourself, Samuel. I said you could meet with Revere, Adams and the others but I do not want you to go off scampering every night. Furthermore, let us make some sort of sign to acknowledge you have left for the night."

"Like what?"

"I am thinking. Give me a few. I might have a solution," he said, shortly. "It will cost me some much needed rest but I will check the sun dial in our room when the sun rises and keep track of the hours until midnight. Before you leave, I want you to caw like a crow, outside, near our window. This way you have signaled to me you are leaving but mix the sounds every now and again, like croaking like a frog or hissing like a snake. Please do not howl; we do not want your mother thinking there is a wolf nearby. By mixing the sounds, she should not become suspicions."

"But she will notice how tired I am."

"She will not, if you do not venture out every night. Mention to Adams or whoever is primarily in charge-"

"It's Mister Adams in most cases," I interrupted.

"Alright, then mention to Adams that you cannot meet every night because it is causing you to become overly tired."

"I can do that. Thanks Father," I said, hugging him again.

"Well, come on, let us gets some sleep. Would you like me to tuck you in?"

"Father, I am not a child anymore."

He smiled and asked if I would be warm enough. "Yes, I will be fine."

I walked slowly to the left of father, while he leaned on his walking stick. I stopped at the fire pit and lied on my side, where as father turned a right-hand corner heading for my parent's bedroom. A thought occurred and I called him back from the hall.

I heard an awkward sound, as father limped towards me and stood in front of the foyer. "What is it, Samuel?" he asked, yawning and stretching.

"Why do you say, 'His Majesties' when you are referring to the redcoats?"

Yawning again, he hobbled into my quarters, and whispered. "To make an exceedingly long story short, you have forgotten the time I spent in war. I served and fought with the British and pushed the French away, securing new territories. I suppose deep in my heart, I have a small shred of loyalty left. You may not know, but I was born in England. That is between you, your mother and me," he said shaking a finger, warning me not to blab. "You would not want your dear Father to be executed for treason, would you?

I shook my head. "Of course not. I didn't know, Father. I thought you were born in Boston?"

"I left Britain and settled in Massachusetts when I was a boy. They provided food, a roof, and when I was old enough, my parents taught me to read and write but your mother is native to Boston, as you are."

"Are you a Loyalist, Father?"

"I am nothing of the sort! I may have been born overseas, but I never adhered to the likings of King Tyrant."

He yawned, turned and before I allowed him to enter the hallway, I called him back one more time.

"What is it now?" he said, starting to become irritable.

"Was there any news in town today, while you were there?"

He nodded and leaned forward to deliver a fright into my ear. "Are you certain?"

"I am certain, son. I wish not to tell your mother tonight, but tomorrow I will. The new tax that is included with the previous is called the Stamp Act and another – the Quartering Act," he said in a hoarse whisper. "Now, I am sure you will ask what they involve, but go to sleep, Samuel. I will fill the pair of you with all the details tomorrow. Rest my little Patriot."

Before I could ask what a patriot was, he had already limped away and I heard a thwack as the door to my parent's room was shut. Laying my head slowly on top of the shirts, I felt dazed and tired but I didn't fall asleep right away, not until dawn approached.




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Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:38 am
Fishr says...



double post




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Wed Dec 28, 2005 4:23 pm
Fishr says...



* * * *
March 22, 1765 – Boston, Massachusetts – Boston's Radical, Homeless, and Two Gifts
* * * *

These were troubling times. Father asked for my help; he wanted mum and me to rebel against English shipments of imported foreign sugars, molasses and coffee. Earlier in life, when I was thirteen, I explored every trail around our property, as well as the main roads that led into town. I often pretended I was a great soldier, like father. I'd sharpen the ends of thin sticks with a rock, which served as swords. Slate that I found on the earth became my knives. The forest that surrounds the outskirts of my house, served as a fort and for hours, I would pretend I was protecting my fort from intruders. I worked on becoming as stealthy as possible by crawling on my belly, hunting frogs or snakes with my knives. I learned that by lying downwind, animals couldn't sense my presence as easily and I was able to creep towards and slash them proudly, bring my prizes home and watch mum squeal and screech.

Now, that I had a real mission; I helped boycott the Act, with father's direction. Since April of last year, the taxation continued and anything I found that represented the tax, I burned it. Father encouraged me to do it but outdoors so our neighbors would witness the bonfires. When word reached of what my family was attempting, others joined too, to the point where sugar, molasses and coffee were hardly in use. Our view was that if any Colonist purchased them, they were loyal to England. This led to friction, and trusts among friends were divided.

However, I became something of a local hero in Boston - the boy that would risk his own neck to uphold the cause. Late at night, when mum and father were asleep, I'd creep into town, not far from my house and meet with gentleman regarded highly among the Colonies. Using the little training I formed as a younger version of my self, the moon became my candle to guide my feet and the trees to hide my presence until I reached the Whigs in town; a group of shopkeepers, merchants and politicians who discussed plans in secrecy to abolish taxing without permission from the Colonial Legislature. We felt we should have a say on how we're to be taxed.

One of the leaders of this organization was Samuel Adams, who voiced his opinions strongly. He believed there shouldn't be 'taxation without representation,' as he often mentioned it. The other person, who was also popular, was a silversmith from Boston, named Paul Revere. In total, there were nine members, including myself. Although, I had not played an important role within the group by speaking of politics, I sometimes lashed out to those who bought boycotted goods from ships. I'd follow a person into an ally, and observe them for a few moments, taking special care to not attack a British officer. When I was certain I was alone, I attacked the Colonist by means of knocking the person unconscious, steal their sugars and such and sprint home. This way, they would not know my identity. When word reached of a 'shadow' attacking unexpected targets, alarm and worry started to spread.

A few months back, I was hiding in the shadows of an abandoned ally, studying my victim. That day, I was reckless and never made sure he had purchased the goods. Instead, I crept behind the person in preparation to attack the Colonist but I stepped on a twig; it snapped and the man whirled around to spot a young man, holding a thick tree branch. He was quicker than me and snatched the branch at lightning speed before I reacted. Upon doing so, he knocked me flat on my bum, jammed his knee into my stomach and pinned my head by pressing the branch against my throat.

The man asked who I was and why I was about to attack him.

"My name… is… Sam…uel Garrison," I heaved, praying for oxygen. The sky began to turn a brilliant bluish hue and my lungs ached terribly. I tried freeing myself by punching his arm to break his grasp. No use, the man was too heavy and I felt weak without fresh air. The man let up on the pressure of my throat and I spoke hastily. "Sir, don't harm me! I thought you bought some sugar and only wanted to take it from you, and burn it. But I won't, if you don't kill me," I pleaded. "Please, I was only following my father's wishes."

The man loosened his grip immediately after I spoke and held out his right hand. Confused, I grabbed it and he pulled me steadily to my feet. While fresh air poured into my lungs, I leaned against the man for support so I didn't pass out.

"So ye are the infamous shadow? I do not think you know how much trouble ye caused boy," the man chuckled. "The streets of Boston have been on guard for some time now. I apologize for the attack but are you alright?"

I nodded, while rubbing my throat for comfort.

The man smiled and bowed. "Allow me to introduce myself, Master Garrison. My name is also Samuel; Samuel Adams to be exact." Mister Adams peered around as if he was searching for something important. He untied his gray tunic and tossed it over our heads and pulled me to the side, tighter into the ally, and then tossed it over his back and retied his tunic around his neck. "Samuel, others and I would be gracious if you would attend a meeting tomorrow night. You have earned quite a reputation and the others have mentioned they would want to meet this shadow. The men think of the shadow, you, as the foremost character of brutish but essential action to perceive the answer – Justice. There are eight members of a secret society. We call ourselves, the Sons of Liberty." Mister Adams noted our surroundings and continued. "If ye come, venture into town in secrecy. Let no one see you. If the redcoats-"

"The what?"

"Shh…" Mister Adams put a finger to his lips and began to speak hastily. "The redcoats are the British. We hope too see you, Master Garrison. Meet us behind the Old South Meeting House at precisely midnight."

"But-"

Mister Adams interrupted me by lightly hitting my back. "God speed, and be cautious, Samuel." And before I was able to mention that my father would disapprove, Mister Adams walked briskly away.

*

"Samuel, are you alright? You look you haven't slept a wink for some time. Has your Father been pushing you too much?" Mum asked with concern.

I was lying on some torn, linen shirts in the sitting room, next to the fire pit. We only had four rooms in our house; the kitchen, the sitting room, father's chamber where he keeps his supplies from the war and father and mum's bedroom was located parallel across the warring room. There wasn't much space to build a proper area for me to sleep, and the warring room was too cluttered; too much work. Near the pit, I made due by piling bunches of shirts into a mattress and pillows. Father's gave me spare buckskins when he used to hunt, and I used the animal's skin as blankets. All the layers served as by bed.

Sitting up, I leaned against the wall, and rubbed my eyes. "I'm fine. Where is Father?"

"He went into town this morning, while you were resting. He wanted you to join him, but you appeared so weary; he decided not to interrupt. How are you feeling? For a strapping seventeen year old lad, such as yourself, you shouldn't be tired. Are you not sleeping well? Perhaps I should go to town and have a proper bed built -"

"Mum! I'm fine! Really, I am. I've been going… I've been going to bed later than usual. Besides, I'm not seventeen yet; another five months to go, remember?"

She frowned and looked hurt by my outburst but kissed me on the cheek anyway. "Mum…," I groaned, whipping the kiss away. "Don't do that."

Patting my head gently, she walked back into the kitchen and tended to other matters. Feeling my head becoming heavy, I collapsed on top of the shirts and went back to sleep.
___

"Ouch! Who did that?" I screamed, shaken from my nap.

"I did, son," A familiar voice boomed. "You missed dinner. The sun is about to depart; care to explain what is wrong? Your mother has informed me that you have been sleeping all day. And it is not just her, Samuel. I have noticed it too. Your constant fatigue lately is beginning to worry us both. Now, would you care to enlighten us, or shall I swing my walking stick into your spine again?"

I bolted upright after hearing father's threat. Ignoring the minor pain, I raced through my mind, trying to figure a way to explain the meetings with the Sons and my vicious actions in the allies of town.

"Well…?" Father sat in his rocking chair and beckoned for me to walk closer to him, with his finger. Obeying his wishes, I nervously walked and sat in front of his feet.

"I asked your mother to leave us be, so do not bother calling for her." He bent over and clasped my shoulder tightly, with his left hand. "Come, son," he urged. "You have never kept secrets from me before. What is wrong?"

"Late at night I have been sneaking out!" I blurted and immediately cupped my mouth. I thought my heart skipped a beat and I braced myself for a lickin'.

"You've what?" he said sharply, removing his grasp from my shoulder and glared into my frightened face.

I shook my head, afraid to remove my hands and blurt more.

He leaned forward, tore my hands away and pressed his stick tightly on my right palm. The pressure caused me to yelp in pain. I tried to pull it from under father's walking stick but the weight of his arm kept my hand pinned. My eyes began to swell and small tears trickled down my cheeks.

"When you decide to cooperate, I will remove it. Until then son, remember the pain you are feeling, is the pain I am feeling now. You disobeyed your mother and me, and ventured out in the darkness? What were you thinking? Have your brains fallen through your ears recently? Brace yourself that I do not insist you sleep with the bears tonight," he said firmly.

The pain was beginning to become unbearable and my hand was turning a brilliant red, like a tomato. "I'll cooperate!" I screeched, unable to handle the pain any longer.

He removed his stick instantly, hunched over and rubbed my swollen palm tenderly. When the colour returned normal, I decided that my ears would be boxed no matter what I tried: If I was silent – hollering and a punishment by father. If I spoke, I ran the risk of blurting too much – hollering and a punishment. I was damned either way. "Father, I have something to tell you, but please don't be angry. I was following your wishes about that tax."

He removed his hand from mine and rubbed his chin. "What does the Sugar Act have to do with your feet running all over God's green earth at all hours of the night? I do not follow. Please, clarify yourself, son."

"Remember last year when you wanted me to become your middleman and asked me to carry out your wishes in attempt to rebel against the redcoats?"

"Yes and where did you hear about that word?" he said, studying my face carefully.

Feeling hope that he would understand, I continued. "Samuel Adams taught me the word, Father. He says the British are known as redcoats because they dress in red uniforms. I've been sneaking late at night, while you and Mum were sleeping and scurrying into town. There is a group of men, Father. Every night, we meet behind the Old South Meeting House at midnight, and then relocate to the Green Dragon Tavern to hold our meetings. Paul Revere is part of the group too."

He studied my face. I watched his eyebrows arch down and his cheeks began to turn a rich, reddish colour. "May I inquire what sort of group is this? I know of the two you speak of, however. Adams is becoming recognized for his views about politics and Revere is renowned in Boston for his skill in wielding metals."

My face lit up when father said he knew these two men. I temporally forgot about my worry and spoke, delighted that he wanted to know more. "It is a committee. They call themselves, the Sons of Liberty or Whigs for short. I'm not supposed to tell anyone about their identity and where we meet, but you're family, so it cannot hurt to tell you."

"What do you mean by we?"

Panic gushed inside again, and I realized I spilled too much, too soon. My head fell. "I am a Whig," I murmured.




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Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:01 am
Crayon says...



I really did like your choice of words thought. great Imagery, i could really see them sitting in the doorway (oh i love southpark....so does me dad...weird!)




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Sun Dec 25, 2005 4:20 am
Fishr says...



Interesting. :lol: No, I assure everyone that I did not draw influence from southpark for the surname. The name came to me instantly when I was "speed writing" and went with it. 8)




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Sun Dec 25, 2005 4:05 am



Shes refering to Mr. Garrison, the kids gay teacher who carries around "Mr. Hat", a weird sock puppet that he talks to. He also had "Mr. Slave" at one point.




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Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:51 am
Fishr says...



he shares the southpark lastname?

:shock:
Come again? It's been years since I've seen southpark, maybe thirteen. Which charactor are you referring too? :) [/quote]




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Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:22 am
zelithon says...



Is it a cuweenkydink, he shares the southpark lastname? :?





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