Sunday, February 17, 2008

Posted by Josh, a member of Brand New Aspiring Writers

1918. France. The air was clear, as with the skies. The sun was shining like an over-powered light bulb. Nature was just doing her normal business. It was a normal day. What was happening? Soldiers fighting for their lives. Christmas decorations of death littered on the ground. Civilians shrieking and desperately looking for a place to escape from the chaos, with no luck. Lead flying all over no man's land. Blood shedding constantly. Someone dying every second. Yeah, this was just a routine day in France.

On the ground, rifles pattered. Cannons pounded. Screaming of the nearly-dead made things worse. Men ran around in their trenches and shot at the enemy. Both sides tried to break through the opponent's line, but with no success. It was now impossible to move without tripping on dead people. Total stalemate.

That was, unless you were in the air. In, the air, it was a different story. Now you had space. Things were always moving. It was very difficult to be destroyed from the ground. In part it was actually somewhat fun.

However, this didn't mean it was safer in the air. It was too easy to be spotted. It was difficult to fly the plane and use the weapons at the same time. The planes were weak, one shot meant relocating your bedroom underground.

Even still, the air was still an advantage. Planes struck horror in the enemy's heart. It was easier to get the entrenched infantry from the air. So, both sides attempted to dominate the skies.

I wish to talk about a special man to me. His name was Walter Cain. About 6 feet tall, skinny, he was pretty much a normal guy. Except for one thing: he was a great pilot. He was an American who fought for the British. He considered himself invincible. He shot down many German planes and strafed many to death. He was admired.

However, one day, the worst day of my life commenced. Even though I wasn't there, well, you know, it still hurt. Walter was doing his usual routines. He was assigned to strafe the trenches and knock out as many German planes as possible. After eliminating a small group of German planes, his group felt free to attack the ground targets. He was lucky enough to find an artillery position nearby, so he and his squad knocked out that. Then, tragedy. He returned to the action to find that the rest of the group was missing. He looked everywhere, but could not locate them. Then he heard another aircraft closing in from behind. He sighed in relief, thinking it was one of his men. Suddenly, he realized something was wrong. The plane didn't sound like one of his. The mysterious plane attacked Walter. Walter looked back after surviving the first spray of lead. There, behind his aircraft was a large, red, and terrifying plane, locking in to his target. Walter knew he could not escape the German flying monster. He look back in front just in time for the final spray of bullets, which crippled the plane. After some puttering of the engine attempting to work again, it finally failed. Walter's plane began falling to the ground.
His life was coming to an end. At any moment, he would hopelessly collide to the ground. It would be a loss of a great American pilot. His heart shrunk as the increasing winds blew across his face. Doom was just in front of his eyes.

But, before impact, Walter noticed something on the battlefield he's never seen before. It was a huge chuck of metal with sticks coming out of it. He immediately knew it was a tank, but he didn't think it was Allied. He slightly saw a sign on the large monster. It was German. And there were no Allied tanks nearby. He figured his buddies could use his help. He yanked his joystick up as high as he could. This placed the plane in a fast 45 degree angle drop, putting the helpless tank within his path.

"Hello, German steel box!" he said during his final moments of his life. "My name is Walter Cain! Feel the glory!"


Now what I just told you is mostly fact, with some legend thrown into it. No one knows what he said or heard because, obviously, nobody was there when he died. This story is about how my experiences almost left me in a similar situation.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Posted by JM, a member of Brand New Aspiring Writers

1000 Words

The journey of one thousand words is a path every “other” has had to walk. Even if you are part of an “us” that still make you part of a “them” to somebody else. As many of us are all too aware, being a “them” can often lead to having judgment rained down on you and being condemned in willful ignorance.

The journey of one thousand words does not start with a single word. Rather, like any other journey, it begins with a single step. That single step will often be the hardest step you will ever take and the most painful, this step having cost some their lives. Just as you step out of your metaphorical closet, there are those who will seek to shove you back in it just as your eyes are adjusting to the light.
Some will go back in the closet and never come out again.

By stepping out, you are labeled whether or not you care to claim or accept that label. It is human nature to name and label, no matter if the label is actually true. The safety and security for most comes from the label, not the correctness (or lack thereof) or the label. That which is labeled is safe and predictable and therefore should be boxed appropriately. Left to wander free, the being could change the thoughts of others and even bring out more of those with the same label. This would be considered detrimental because with each newly labeled person, the label changes slightly.

And no one likes a changing label.

Some lose their lives because of their labels. Others retreat back to their closets and try to forget they ever stepped out.

For those who have successfully stepped out of their closet, the journey truly begins. Labels are often, if not always, wrong when applied en masse. The journey of one thousand words is a path to be traveled many times in an effort to gain acceptance and understanding that often doesn’t come. Still the words are uttered in hope and, indeed, in longing.

Many of those from closets revel against the longing and delight in being different. Yet many, many more simply want to be treated like humans. Things often escalate into an involuntary war. One that so many don’t want to fight but end up as victims of anyway.

The journey of one thousand words is not one person’s journey. For every speaker there needs to be a listener. Unfortunately, those who have valuable words are often surrounded by deaf ears and muted by labels. They are forced back into their closets and expected to keep what makes them different carefully tucked away until someone else comes along to poke and prod it. They are abnormalities of human nature to be feared and/or looked at with disgust. They are not to be understood but merely observed to better be able others who are “their” kind faster.

No one should be condemned to silence, solitude, or any sort of harm because they are willing to embrace who they truly are and are labeled because of it. A label that often isn’t true. Everyone is a part of an “us” and thus must suffer through the trials as being part of a “them”. Everyone is also on their journey, as both a speaker or a listener. The key is to speak wisely when others are listening and to listen more than you speak.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Posted by Sara, manager of Brand New Aspiring Writers.

There is this second that you own.
Though most would waste it, heaven knows.
Breathe deeply before God calls you home.

For sins we later can atone-
washed clean, like water off a rose.
There is this second that you own

Buck hard against the buffer zone;
rage like wild fire on the status quo.
Breathe deeply before God calls you home.

Ride the world like a cyclone.
Leave not a breath for regrets to grow.
There is this second that you own.

Blink twice, the pages have all flown
off the calendar, fate cruelly exposed.
Breathe deeply before God calls you home.

Hope dies quick when postponed.
Dreams give in to the death throes.
There is this second that you own
Breathe deeply before God calls you home.

Note - This is my first attempt to write a villanelle.