Against The Wind

So I started writing this project a long time ago. I found the first chapter and decided, well to publish it here and see what you think about it. I will do it in installments so you don’t have to sit here and read 50 pages at once.

Please comment so I get some feedback. You can post without having to be identified on the blog or post on my social media. It would be much appreciated.

It is one of those days that remind me of a film. One of those films where a bunch of young men is sitting on a plane waiting for it to land in some strange country. Where nothing but death hangs in the air like a noose around a suicide victim. There is this nervous electricity in the air, all of us wondering what is going to happen to us in the next few minutes. It is time for the dreaded “shark attack”, and I am sitting on a white school bus with a duffle bag hanging from my chest and waiting for a bunch of strangers to yell at me.

Why am I doing this? Why on Earth did I volunteer to put myself through a bunch of random strangers yelling at me and making me do pushups? Am I going to leave a different person? Am I going to throw up like I always do when I get nervous?

The only thing I can hear on the bus the rumbling of the engine is the sound of the girl in front of me rumbling some kind of prayer. I have this vision in my head of a Drill Sargent yelling at her and telling her that Jesus is not going to help here in Delta company.

I am learning that nothing helps you in the Army. All of the Drill Sergeants yell when anyone complains and talks about how this was not what the recruiter promised them in the various shopping malls where they signed their lives away. Where are the spacious rooms, great pay, and tons of opportunities? When anyone asks this question, the Drill Sergeants laugh and tell us if we were not happy to call our recruiters on the phone. This does not make sense, however, because as much as they tell us to call, there are never any phones for us to use.

The ride on the bus seems to be taking forever. Sweat dripping from my forehead, and my itching on top of it (we are in Alabama after all). I look out the window and see lines of green marching back and forth through the parade fields; some with nothing, some with guns, and some with backpacks that look like the size of the people that are carrying them. The bus suddenly comes to a stop, and I can hear the sounds of air being sucked out of everyone on the bus.

It is our last breath of freedom. We know this.

A tall man wearing an olive green hat like Smokey the Bear walks on the bus and smiles. It is a Drill Sergeant. I look closely at his nametag and it says “Bacon and I am silently laughing at the fact that this man has spent his whole life being called a breakfast food. Going down range may not be so bad after all if I have these little things to entertain myself with.

His skin is mocha colored. He is clean-shaven, thin, but athletic. He opens his mouth and I see he has a gold tooth. Seriously, a man named bacon with a gold front tooth. We are all stunned in silence. I am stunned in silence also, but I am having to battle with myself not to laugh at this man and his tooth and his name while trying to do so.

            -Good morning. He says in a calm voice. My name is Drill Sergeant Bacon and I would like to welcome you to Delta Company.

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