I used to be called Maisie, or Margaret in the English way, daughter of highland rebel, Ewan of Cluny McPherson. But because of the failure of the Jacobite uprising many years ago, and the threat of loosing our land. I became Daniel Cluny McPherson, the name of my long dead twin brother. The English came to my brother, Duncan one day and told him if he could not pay the taxes now upon his lands, they would become forfeit and we would be evicted. They also told him the fastest way to pay was to join the army in the American colonies. Well, my brother had his wife and child and kind heart and would be no use in an army, my young nephew had not reached the age of two yet and thus was much too young. So I, at the age of fourteen, enlisted for my family.
Late one night in the spring of 1774 I took my brothers' dirk and cut my hair as short as I could. I then took his highland cap and a pair of breeches, a vest, and a light cotton shirt from a chest that belonged to Daniel. I thought it best to leave his kilt behind and instead took his hunting tartan sash and used it as a strap for my bag. Inside I put his dirk, a cloak and food enough for three days. The only possession I owned myself of any value was my Sgian Dubh, a smaller blade than the dirk, which went in its new place in my cap; usually the knife would have gone in the folds of my skirt, but the breeches were no hiding place for it.
I slip out the door into the cool Scottish night and take a long, deep breath of the highland air for what I hope will not be the last time. then off am I, down to the lowlands and the recruiting offices of the English redcoats.
It takes me about three days to make it down to the camps and I meet more and more travellers the closer I get. the first peddler I past, I was terrified my disguise wouldn't work; but he only tipped his hat and asked me if I wanted to buy a pair of his fine shoes. I looked down at my bare feet, which had been that way my whole life. I thanked him and said in as deep a voice as I could muster without it being too obvious "no thank you sir, I dinnae have money." and we went our separate ways. When I did make it to the camp, my mouth did open a bit in awe at the sight. never have I seen a English army with my own eyes, only in stories from my father and brother. This was nowhere near the full force but was at least five hundred men strong. walking stiffly through the first rows of tents I can feel wary eyes on me and my plaid sash. But I hold my head up proudly like the stubborn Scotsman I am and head up to the first table I see.
"Can I 'elp yew with somthin' boy?" said the sergeant at the table, glaring at my sash and my cap.
"Ah'm here tae enlist tae pay off my family's debt...sir." I say.
"Name?" He leans down over a piece of paper, uncaring.
"Daniel McPherson." I answer, and I get a glance then he scribbles on the paper.
"well, welcome too the winning side boy, you'll get to see the might of the British army in the colonies." he smiled and I bite my lip to keep from firing back at him. He looks
Our revelry was short lived that day. Bright and early on Monday morning the fleet we travelled with had cornered a lone pirate ship. Whether the ship was sailing blindly through the early morning hours or simply did not see the four British man-o-wars was a mystery, but sure enough, the lookouts spotted him sailing in our direction. The HMS Falcon and Spirit were slightly ahead of the pirates and so cut off their escape to the west and north. While the Countess of Scarborough, our escort ship, swung around and cut off the southern escape. Now only the Chelsea stood in the way. The pirates headed straight for us, we who were the smallest in the fleet.
Jim had already shown us how to beat to quarters and the five of us stood on the quarterdeck with Captain Anderson while the rest of our company headed to the tops with their weapons. Michael and Chris were sent up as well to do the reloading of rifles for the men, since there was really no need for flag bearers on one of His Majesty's ships.
I watched the ship crawl closer and closer, men scurried over the decks in total chaos, then, not two ship-lengths away it turned to the starboard and gave us a broadside. The crack of cannons was deafening, but we were still facing straight at them and so escaped serious injury. One or two cannon balls ripped through the foresail and the rest plummeted harmlessly into the water behind us. We were now only one ship-length from the pirates and I could see their individual faces. Captain Anderson ordered the helmsman to turn to starboard as well and told the men to prepare for our reply. Six cannons on either side lined the main deck of the Chelsea, 18-pounders, and six on the lower deck as well. Twelve guns on the port side now faced the enemy.
"port guns! Broadside them! Fire!" shouted the Captain. The kickback was tremendous and the ship rolled backwards farther than ever. Splinters flew from the pirates ship , three neat holes appeared in the side, one near the water line, and another three raked across the main deck. Screams of pain rose from the enemy. Our momentum brought us within fifty feet of the pirates, and it seemed as though they had been subdued, until one particularly large man stood up and aimed a fat musket at the quarterdeck.
"Blunderbuss!" Captain Anderson yelled and ducked the head of his first mate and his own. I tackled Jim and Matty just as the shot barked out and over our heads. Alex and Nicholas made it down themselves just in time as well. I noticed the first mate, Thomas Merry, had dropped a pistol. Reaching over I picked it up and swung my arm over the rail, the hammer cocked back and I aimed at the foolish pirate who stayed standing to reload the grapeshot into his gun. I pulled the trigger and the unfortunate man fell with the lead in his shoulder.
When I ducked back down the First Mate was staring at me and smiling. "Practising in your off hours, lad?"
"I was aiming for his head, Sir." I lied and tossed the pistol back. Jim looked at me and whispered a stunned thank you and I ruffled his hair and pulled him and Matty to their feet.
"Prepare to broadside again!&qu
What if the whole world filled up with water? If God just decided to dump an extra ocean on the world since in the beginning he never actually got to say, “let there be water.” Amid the 8th sea all the fish would gurgle and smile and look at each other and concur, “Yes, this is good.” The whole world would suddenly be waterlogged and sunken, even the cities — the skyscrapers would barely poke out of the surface like the tops of mom’s wine bottles that poke out of their hiding spots. If the whole world filled up with water, used car lots and elementary schools would sit like the pebbles in the bottom of the largest fish tank ever, and parade balloons would float up like seaweed, undulating and dancing with bubbles, reaching up toward the sun to get a lil’ photosynthesis. When it rained, it wouldn’t matter because at the bottom of the new ocean, no one would feel the drops and no one would get caught in the rain and no one would ever have to hold big black umbrellas at funerals. If the whole world filled up with water, the whole surface of the earth would glitter under the sun, like the time mom was passed out on the couch and grandma tried to get rid of me by sending me next door for a cup of sugar and I spilled the whole cup in the dirt and it sparkled. Our backyard looked like it was full of diamonds until it rained four and a half days later. I stole dad’s old umbrella from the closet where mom entombs everything that reminds us of him and I stood in dad’s slippers and watched the whole world get washed away by the rain. The bottoms of my pants got wet, but I still stood out in the rain and thought that if the whole world filled up with water, everyone’s pants would get wet and no one would care.
You know how people have out-of-body experiences? I'm having one right now. Myself is sitting on the couch in the back of the coffee shop. I, right next to me. I look at myself and I see right through the wall that i built so long ao. Dad told me never to cry, never to show weakness. But, I did, and I do. I'm not afraid to say that I cry. A lot. In front of others? No way. I look back into my life and see my pain. I hate being this way. I hate those scars and I hate how I've let you people get under my skin. There was a time where I saw myself as a person. Now? I see a painting. Splattered paint and strangled emotions. Certainly not a Picasso or a Michelangelo, but something of some value.
I don't know exactly what value, but something, I mean I've got to be worth something, right?
Give me a minute here.
To the kids in school; I know that I'm different and, in your words, weird. Please, don't give me crap about it. It's how I get over stuff.
To the kids on the bus; Don't start with me, please. My best friend just killed himself.
To the freshman; I know your backpacks are heavy, but don't let that affect you. You are the next generation. No prenny-throwing, senior will change that.
And to my so-called "father;" I have nothing to say to you.
To myself; Hi, there. Do me a favor? Would you just live? Forget the kids, forget your...dad, forget all of the abuse and tears. Just live.
Some call it "love." Some call it a fallacy. Some call it "karma." Some call it a mess. I call it life. It is a mess and it most definitely is a fallacy, but in reality, it is all that we have. It's the only inkling of hope that we hold.
You and I, we have something in common. We're both lost; not lost like a puppy, lost like a soul. We're holding on for dear life, and if we let go...
I'm still sitting in the back of the coffee shop with myself. I'm trying to make sense of this all.
Stop, stop making sense of it. Breathe in a out. Slowly. Live.
tendered flesh where your
found my skin—
[jaw lines, joints, appendages twixt]
indistinct regret as my
turnt my chin.
reminiscent of your essence,
everpresent in all my recollections
seeps between discretion.
you linger like a dream
lining my subconscious,
you stick to my clothes—
[jeans dirtied, hair tousled]
you re-emerge in inhalation and contemplation;
disrupt the surface with ease.
the smudges left,
the rubber burnt,
the charcoal scent stains
in a chest pit;
fueled with every
the skin-to-skin sensation
and each beat accelerated—
a feather-lined stomach
wont to sway in anticipation
stays its state
as if it were expected.
and to lie beside
is more than welcoming,
to sit with a firelit
until the morning; tempting.
loyal like a dog,
loyal to a fault,
Reflecting on the fragile ability of technology to bring the world closer together and also to make it more isolated.
this piece is a poetic collaboration between brett & I. we decided to write something free-form, alternating authors every two or three lines.
[more elaborate introduction forthcoming]
this piece is a week-long collaboration between katie & I. there had been virtually no prior planning, save for an agreement to compose a fictional piece and to write from separate character perspectives. I portrayed liam, whereas she portrayed ethan.
I figured I would just get some ideas / a map of some of the things we mentioned including in this. We can add to it and then on Sunday make it look pretty once we have content taken care of? If there is anything that I add that you don't like or think could be improved upon, please feel free. I felt our guy needed a name, but even that can be changed.
Name: Karsten Schwartz
II. Work Experience
III. Volunteer Experience
1. Civvies - necessary Civil Service in home of aged persons at request of government. Unmatched tasks, assist in day-to-day objectives.
IV. Hobbies / Achievements
1. Bike riding, football playing, family and friends to visit, meeting new people, writing of poetry and narration.