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America Fighting - Six

by TheScribe


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

September 30, 2020

Memphis, Tennessee

"I found him with Mom and Dad," Emma whispered, wrinkling her nose distrustfully. Her round green eyes narrowed as she glanced between the stranger and her grandfather. "Grandpa, he sounds like a Southerner, but his accent's off. it might just be because he's from Florida--"

"Honey, Florida's always been a hot mess," McHale replied firmly. "I dunno if we can trust him just yet, but for now, he's staying with us. What was his name again?"

"Williams," Emma answered roughly, like the name was poison in her mouth, "Coryn Williams. Mom and Dad told me how they met him... said they found him half-dead in a patch of mud along I-75. I think they said it was near Valdosta-- that used to be in Georgia."

The strange boy sat on a lawn chair on the other end of the periwinkle porch as the sun cast long shadows across Memphis. In the distance, Coryn was staring at the magnificent bronze glass-glazed pyramid as it gleamed beneath the sky. Pastel reds and creams painted the heavens, only the brightest stars now visible. The pale moon was hardly visible, its faint outline overridden by the dying rays of the sun.

"He makes me feel... wary," Emma admitted.

"Wary?" her grandfather repeated to himself as if he did not know the word's meaning.

"Cautious," she confirmed, coughing as her mother opened the door and stepped outside, foul smoke rushing out of the house.

"Your father burned the turkey," Luna wheezed, half-choking on the air. "He says he forgot how to use the oven."

Coryn's head shot up from where he sat. "I can cook," he said. "I might even be able to salvage your turkey!"

Luna tilted her head, eyes widening with surprise. "You can?"

"As a teacher of mine once said, The world is but a canvas for one's imagination: if you test its limits in any way, you will always change where the line is drawn."

"That sounds like part of a Thoreau quote," Grandpa grumbled, "but different."

Coryn asked who Thoreau was, and Luna took him inside to explain while he began saving their dinner.

"What were you saying, Emma?" McHale asked after it was quiet again.

"I said cautious. There's something..." She paused, glancing around for a moment. "There's something off about him. Something... different." After McHale narrowed his eyes, she hastily added, "Not that different is bad, of course! Just-- he's different, and I don't know what to make of it."

The old man stroked his gray whiskers and suspired, shaking his head as he sat down in another lawn chair. "He's from Florida, Emma. It's been a hot mess as long as it's belonged to America. There's never been a president from Florida for a reason. It's Florida. It's the... it's the Italy of America."

"...do I want you to elaborate?"

"Probably not, Now let's go see what Austin's going to do when he finds out someone other than him or his father are cooking. I think we may just have dinner and a show."

-----

"Coryn, I don't know how the hell you saved this bird," Austin insisted, "but this is the most succulent, tastiest turkey I have ever had. You must tell me your secrets or I will personally send you back to Florida."

"Magic," he replied simply.

Emma noticed that he seemed to regret it for a moment before Austin laughed, "Fine, keep your secrets! It's delicious nonetheless!"

"It looks like you're going to be drowned in praise," Luna chirped. "It's not often he glorifies anyone else's cooking-- even my own, let alone this much." She took a large bite our of her turkey-potato pie. She chewed through the flaky crust and creamy potatoes, sucking on the strips of turkey that had survived the oven. After she swallowed, Luna looked at Emma's plate. "Not hungry?"

"No," she admitted. "I guess I'm just worried about the virus thing that's going on... The radio said cases have been found all across New England, and--"

"Emma, no politics at the table, that's the rule," her father interrupted.

"Coryn?" Grandpa McHale interrupted before Emma could reply.

"Yes, sir?" the young man replied.

"Do you know how to cook bear?"

"No, sir. Why? Do you have some meat you need cooked?"

"No, no..." McHale jokingly looked at his son-in-law and said, "So long as we praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and Alistair holds his tongue every now and again, I can guarantee that--"

"Are you insinuating that it is morally upright to jokingly say that you may kill your son-in-aw due to your disdain for him or because he, in your eyes, acts like an animal?" It was Coryn's turn to interrupt.

Around the table, almost everyone dropped their forks, apart from Grandpa and the stranger.

He interrupted Grandpa.

No one interrupted Grandpa.

Not even Smith had dared to interrupt Grandpa.

McHale leaned forward and narrowed his eyes. "I am. Got an issue with it?"

Coryn's gray eyes glistened in the light of the dining room. "Considering that my people have previously been slaughtered because they were considered subhuman, I find it disdainful and inappropriate for anyone to make such a joke." He said joke as though it was a curse-- an evil word that ought not be said unless you wanted to truly insult someone.

Emma glanced between her grandfather and the stranger for several minutes. A never-ending, awkward silence settled upon the room. A pen could have dropped, and still the silence would have been unbroken. Then--

"I apologize for offending you," Grandpa McHale said, voice flooded with sincerity. "That was not my intention. You are a guest in our home; I promise you that I will not say such things again."

"Thank you," Coryn replied simply, setting down his fork. "Your apology is accepted." He turned to Luna. "May I be excused, Mrs. Nightshade?"

It took Luna several moments to realize he had addressed her. "Er-- yes, um, you may."

Coryn stood, took his plate to the sink and quickly washed it. After setting it up in the strainer to dry, he washed his fork and put it in its drawer before going upstairs in silence. After he was gone, everyone stared at Grandpa McHale.

"What the hell just happened?" the old man asked.

"That," Emma said with a smirk, "is called being one-upped b the next generation."


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51 Reviews


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Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:59 am
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Spearmint wrote a review...



Hello hello! YWS recommended reviewing this piece, so here I am! c: And also-- seeing the name "Coryn"... I think I remember in a pad once, you and Ches were talking about Coryn being a floating head?? Hmm... I will definitely have to read the rest of this series :p (oh and disclaimer, I'm jumping into this review without having read the other chapters, so sorry if I sound sort of clueless! XD)

September 30, 2020

Ooh interesting, you're setting this in the present-dayish. I'm wondering whether this is an alternate reality or not? (As in, is the pandemic going on in this world?) But that's probably been cleared up previously :>

...Emma whispered, wrinkling her nose distrustfully. Her round green eyes narrowed as she glanced between the stranger and her grandfather.

I like how, even without any prior knowledge, I'm not completely lost here c: (I can tell that Emma's family has recently taken Coryn in, and that Emma is a bit suspicious). You've done a great job setting up this scene and letting the reader know what's happening!

In the distance, Coryn was staring at the magnificent bronze glass-glazed pyramid as it gleamed beneath the sky. Pastel reds and creams painted the heavens...

Like star said, this is an excellent piece of description! Such beautiful imagery~~
But hmm... I don't remember ever hearing about a pyramid in Tennessee... omg this is making me so curious about the other chapters XD

Coryn asked who Thoreau was, and Luna took him inside to explain while he began saving their dinner.

Okay, this line is making me think that Coryn is not actually from Florida... (and there's also the fact that Emma seems rather suspicious of him, and that star mentioned an alternate universe... :p)
Also just a thought, wouldn't Luna also be kind of curious about Coryn not knowing who Thoreau is? Or is her personality just inclined to not question people or something? Although I guess even I don't completely know who Thoreau is (just that he's a pretty famous writer or something), so I shouldn't judge :p

"So long as we praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and Alistair holds his tongue every now and again, I can guarantee that--"

Okay, I'm a little confused. How is Alistair related to a bear? Is this something from a previous chapter? If so, sorry for the silly question XD

"Are you insinuating that it is morally upright to jokingly say that you may kill your son-in-aw due to your disdain for him or because he, in your eyes, acts like an animal?" It was Coryn's turn to interrupt.

Interesting, Coryn speaks really formally. That also hints at the fact that he's not an average person... And nice characterization here, it's neat to see how Coryn's personality and manner of speech contrasts with the others. c:

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this chapter and I can't wait to read the others! :D




TheScribe says...


Coryn's not even from earth, hehe...

This is book two of my "America Rising" series. Book 1, America Gone, has been completely published on YWS. Book 2 is acts as a crossover and tie-in with the events of "The Sorcerer's Secret," which explains Coryn's story. Given that America was nuked (which is a big part of the story, because they still don't know "whodunnit" perse), Luna just assumes that he didn't learn about Thoreau in school.

Grandpa calls his son-in-law a bear because Alistair is just very large and also very much a redneck XD

Thanks for the review!!!



Spearmint says...


:eyes: Not from earth? Sounds exciting~ cx
Oh and I'll have to give your other stories a read too! Thanks for telling me about them, and for the clarifications!
And you're very welcome for the review ^-^



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starlitmind wrote a review...



I AM EXCITED FOR THIS CROSSOVER <3

"I found him with Mom and Dad," Emma whispered, wrinkling her nose distrustfully. Her round green eyes narrowed as she glanced between the stranger and her grandfather. "Grandpa, he sounds like a Southerner, but his accent's off. it might just be because he's from Florida--"


Okay, I don't blame her for distrusting Coryn xD I mean, he's just a random guy, and things are really crazy right now in America aha. And yes, he isdefinitely from Florida cx

"Honey, Florida's always been a hot mess,"


Omg-

Coryn was staring at the magnificent bronze glass-glazed pyramid as it gleamed beneath the sky. Pastel reds and creams painted the heavens, only the brightest stars now visible. The pale moon was hardly visible, its faint outline overridden by the dying rays of the sun.


I am loving all of the colours omg!! Such a pretty picture, and "dying rays of the sun" gives a great indicator of what time of the day it is while also being a lovely way to phrase it

"He makes me feel... wary," Emma admitted.


Don't worry, Emma, he's just a dude from an alternate universe sort of thing and he can do magic. Just an ordinary guy xD

Coryn's head shot up from where he sat. "I can cook," he said. "I might even be able to salvage your turkey!"


YESSS CORYN TO THE RESCUE LOL

"That sounds like part of a Thoreau quote," Grandpa grumbled, "but different."


Kendall, I am finding this chapter so funny for some reason omg

Magic," he replied simply.


Yeah, I figured that's what he meant by salvaging the turkey cx I wonder how he was able to do it? weren't there a lot of people in the house? or at least Luna who went with him

"No," she admitted. "I guess I'm just worried about the virus thing that's going on... The radio said cases have been found all across New England, and--"

"Emma, no politics at the table, that's the rule," her father interrupted.


Rip Emma :( I think that's a nice rule, but I also think it would've been nice if Emma could get off what was on her mind so she could enjoy dinner as well

"Are you insinuating that it is morally upright to jokingly say that you may kill your son-in-aw due to your disdain for him or because he, in your eyes, acts like an animal?" It was Coryn's turn to interrupt.


ASDFHJKL omg Coryn, the way he phrased that cx I think this is a nice characterization spot, because the reader can see that Coryn find McHale's comment shocking -> perhaps this means that he's morally strict or at least has his boundaries (also, I believe you meant "law" not "aw" :p)

No one interrupted Grandpa.

Not even Smith had dared to interrupt Grandpa.


Okay, well, they have to cut the kid some slack, because how is he supposed to know that McHale is a guy you don't want to mess with or interrupt? cx

"Considering that my people have previously been slaughtered because they were considered subhuman, I find it disdainful and inappropriate for anyone to make such a joke."


oh my gosh :O I love this sentence because not only do we get some background information about Coryn, but wow. that's terrible, and McHale is going to feel bad now oof

"I apologize for offending you," Grandpa McHale said, voice flooded with sincerity. "That was not my intention. You are a guest in our home; I promise you that I will not say such things again."


AHA WHAT THAT WAS A NICE APOLOGY AND "I will not say such things again" is quite the statement. here again, we are seeing that Coryn does have an effect on these people

"What the hell just happened?" the old man asked.

"That," Emma said with a smirk, "is called being one-upped b the next generation."


(I believe you meant "by" not "b")

OKAY I FEEL LIKE I SAY THIS A LOT, BUT THIS IS NOW MY FAVOURITE CHAPTER. I really don't have any big critiques - I love how this chapter was a step-back from serious matters. Lately, there's been a lot of action and advancing the plot, but this one was laidback and super fun to enjoy. I love how you took a chapter to have a bit of fun :)

IT IS SO FUN TO SEE CORYN FROM OTHER PEOPLE'S EYES XD They are so confused and find him mysterious, especially Emma. She noticed his immediate regret after saying magic, so we can tell that she's quite focused on him. But in the end, I think Coryn might've won her over - at least maybe a little bit cx but this chapter was so much fun with the dramatic irony. It's so much fun, also, to see them guess and make conclusions about his life and that he's from Florida, especially since Coryn didn't even know what Florida was before this haha xD

ALSO this chapter was just so funny to me?? Like literally every sentence put a smile on my face xD The dialogue and interactions between the nightshades and Coryn was super fun, especially because of the dramatic irony of knowing who Coryn really is. Overall, I think you nailed this chapter :D

Good luck in your writing, Kendall, always a joy to read your works ^_^




TheScribe says...


Thanks for the review!!!

Yes, this chapter was intentionally funny cx

Ahhh Coryn views himself as a very morally upright person, and this will become very clear in Ch 3 of TSS I promise, his ancestors have very sad stories ;-;




It takes as much imagination to create debt as to create income.
— Leandro Orr