A Foreign World
November, 1862. A last battle is held in Lexington, Kentucky, cornering the Union army against the Appalachian Mountains. A surrender is filed and the Civil War ends. Now it is the middle of the month, and reconstruction has begun...
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SnowClaw of Windclan
Willie nodded, smiling at him. "If you do change your mind, come and find me. I'll see what I can get done. I need to go now, it's been nice seeing you!" He waved with one hand towards the Irish man as he turned to leave, starting back down the filthy street and into the brighter part of the town, where he preferred to be.
3/13/2010 #31
writingbythepower
Fred watched the man leave, didn't say anything or turn around. Continuing down the road, he came to the Five Points, heading for his small apartment-sized home. Inside was his mother, two sisters, and another family. The house was barely the size of a large bedroom, most of the time Fred didn't sleep there. Greeting his mother and the rest of the household, he turned and sat down, leaning on the side of the rotting wood. Exhaling, he wished his life could be so simple that he could join the navy, get away from all of this. But it wasn't that simple, not in the least.
3/13/2010 #32
SnowClaw of Windclan
Willie continued down the street and was soon back in the light part of the town, waving and greeting others as they crossed his path. He saw a trader's cart and stopped in front of it, smelling the red roses that were kept there. "I would like to buy a bouquet of the pink ones, please," he said, smiling at the man as he gave him the money. He was given a bouquet, which he would give to his mother when he came back to see her.
3/13/2010 #33
writingbythepower
There was a fight going on outside of the house, gun shots and screams. No one looked up, tried to ignore the sounds. It was usually for a fight to break out, for there to be death all around them. One gang fighting another, some kid pickpocketing and getting shot or stabbed or something to that effect. Fred had closed his eyes, thinking of the sea. He had remembered the ride over, the waves. He was the only member of his family who didn't get sick, actually enjoyed the ride. So, for a moment, he began to seriously consider Willie's offer.
3/13/2010 #34
SnowClaw of Windclan
Willie started towards his mother's home on the center square, smiling. A white crescent was formed on his face and his cheeks, rosy and prominent, were raised with the smile. He moved his free hand in happiness, finding himself humming as best in tune as he could reach as he knocked on his mother's door. The woman opened it and made a joyous sound, throwing her arms around her son in the Navy.
3/13/2010 #35
writingbythepower
The screams had stopped now, but you could still hear blood dripping down from somewhere. The household had finally begun to get some work done, the girls sewing a little while the older men worked on fixing the walls. Fred decided to leave for a moment, get out of the dark hole that was his home. Stepping outside, he kept his eyes off the dead in the street, just began to walk as he had been before.
3/13/2010 #36
SnowClaw of Windclan
"Willie, I'm so happy that you're back," She said as she broke the embrace. He held out the flowers, smelling the aroma of soup moving through the house from the kitchen. "I bought these for you, mother. I thought that you would like them." Louisa Ford smiled as she took them, holding them to her chest. "Oh, Willie, they're beautiful." She kissed her son on the cheek before heading into the kitchen to put them in a vase.
3/13/2010 #37
writingbythepower
As he walked through the Points, a small boy came running up to him, pointing a wooden pistol. Fred tried to give a smile, couldn't really. Suddenly, the boy fell, crying in pain. Having pity on the child, Fred knelt down and picked him up, checking to see if the boy was bleeding. When he saw no evidence of that, he gave a smile. "There, you're fine, now go on." The boy smiled, grabbed the pistol and ran off. Continuing his walk, Fred put his hands in his pockets, finding that the two dollars he had in his pocket were now gone. Turning, he saw the boy run around a corner and then followed.
3/13/2010 #38
SnowClaw of Windclan
Willie sat down at the table and his mother sat down across from him, setting down a plate of hot, steaming food. So much better than the Navy food, just by looks and smell alone--! Willie grinned. "It's good to see you again, mother. What's been going on since I left?" As he ate, cutting small bites with his fork and knife and putting them in his mouth, his mother informed him of the happenings of several of their family friends.
3/13/2010 #39
writingbythepower
Turning the corner in pursuit of the boy, he found himself several members of the Bowery Boys, an anti-Catholic, anti-Irish gang. Taking several steps back, he turned and tried to run, running to get as far away as possible from them. Yet still as unfortunate he came upon several members of the Dead Rabbits, the Irish gang of the Five Points. Realizing the battle sure to come, he ran back toward his home, shut the door, and moved slowly away from it.
3/13/2010 #40
SnowClaw of Windclan
Willie had begun to recount the stories of his time overseas, part of the family 'tradition' for when their only son returned from being deployed. "Before we knew it, the ironclad was taking down the line and running straight over it," he said, making a small gesture, "We had to go to a harbor in Massachussetts to get another one before we went back out on the open ocean."
3/13/2010 #41
writingbythepower
The gun shots and screams continued, the family looking at the door as the sounds came through. When the sounds finally ended, they didn't leave out of fear. Fred sat back down, breathed as quietly as possible. That was close, he thought.
3/13/2010 #42
SnowClaw of Windclan
There was the faint sound of gunshots coming from Five Points, but there was never really a time when people couldn't hear some sort of armed conflict. So Willie continued with his story and got up to put away his plate after he finished, setting it to the side of the table. He sat back, smiling at his mother.
3/13/2010 #43
writingbythepower
He finally opened the door, looked outside. There were several dead bodies laying in the streets, some bodies still moving. One of the Irish boys from the neighbor came up to a dying Bowery Boy, kicked him then ran off. Fred wanted to say something to the boy, didn't. Simply watched the man die, didn't flinch, and then walked back into the house without saying a word.
3/13/2010 #44
SnowClaw of Windclan
When their dinner ended, Willie started towards his old room and smiled as he opened the door. "It's just like I left it," he said with a smile, before entering and shutting the door behind him. The bed had been made and the pillows were fluffed up, and there was a glass of water on the side table to the left of the bed.
3/14/2010 #45
writingbythepower
The loaf of bread that mother had bought was being passed around, everyone getting a slice. They couldn't afford any butter on it, sometimes it wass molding. Fred didn't look at it as he ate, didn't want to know. Eating slowly, he wondered what it was like to be in the Navy, to have food and clothes and a bed all taken care of. Must be pretty lucky, he thought.
3/14/2010 #46
SnowClaw of Windclan
Willie sat down on the edge of his bed and took off his shoes, setting them on the side of the bed and laying down on his back, still clothed. Looking at the ceiling he couldn't help but smile, completely happy for the moment in time and enjoying the feeling, the setting, his circumstance of life. All that the Navy had done for him...
3/14/2010 #47
writingbythepower
More shots, more screams, more things to pretend wasn't happening. The bread was gone now, his youngest sister saying that she was still hungry. She was five, didn't understand the circumstances of the life they lived. The her oldest sister, who was thirteen, didn't say anything, simply sat there and with crossed arms over her near empty stomach. Fred never opened his eyes, instead imagined the waves of the sea crashing on a boat, him wearing a uniform, watching the sunset on the horizon.
3/14/2010 #48
SnowClaw of Windclan
Willie let one arm hang over the side of the bed, smiling gently. The etchings of his laughter lines amongst his five o' clock shadow were more evident, now that he had finally lost the large white crescent of a grin. He wasn't physically tired and knew that he wasn't going to fall asleep. He was instead satisfied and pleased with everything, merely tired in his mind, but in a pleasant sense of the word.
3/14/2010 #49
writingbythepower
Fred had fallen asleep for a few minutes when he was awoken by his mother, told to go and see if he could get some more food. The youngest had continued to question, even beg. Fred nodded wordlessly, stood up and walked outside. Making sure that there were no gang members around, he walked out of the Five Points and began to search for sometime to steal from or some food to take. Having his last two dollars stolen from him earlier, this was the only option he had in order to bring food back.
3/14/2010 #50
SnowClaw of Windclan
It just so happened that a recruiter was walking the streets of Five Points to try to talk some of the poor into joining the forces. It was a good way to bring them out of poverty and gain new troops. He saw one eyeing him and walked over, flashing a faux propaganda boy smile and crisply extending a hand. "What would you say if I were to offer you food, shelter, protection, healthcare, a good, steady pay?"
3/14/2010 #51
writingbythepower
Fred didn't have time for this. While it was a good prospect, the army or navy, it would put him too far away from his mother and sisters, too far away from the people he needed to care for. "I'd say give it to me in cash now and I'll see you in about ten years." He walked past the man, then turned, wondering if he could pickpocket him.
3/14/2010 #52
SnowClaw of Windclan
The recruiter smiled. "Nine months of service and three at home doesn't sound like a bad bargain to me personally." His voice was deep and almost theatrical not in the way he spoke but in its very quality, it was slightly fast and lacked a New York accent. He sounded almost like he had come from a place like Connetticutt.
3/14/2010 #53
writingbythepower
"Really? Don't suppose you've ever killed a man, or seen one die." He turned now, withdrawing his knife. "I have, and I don't need to dress up in any uniform to see it again." Putting his knife back in it's place, he turned back around and continued, decided it wasn't worth the risk to steal from this man.
3/14/2010 #54
SnowClaw of Windclan
The recruiter shrugged. "In defense of our nation, not to take food or because I joined a gang." He was past trying to negotiate and wanted to get a word in. The Navy didn't need idiots like these, never. He shook his head slightly and turned to be on his way, his step crisp as his handshake.
3/14/2010 #55
writingbythepower
Our nation, the man had said. Our nation. There is no our nation, Fred thought, only your nation. Your nation that takes young Irish boys from the old country right off the boats, sending them off to Virginia to be killed. Your nation that sticks immigrants into dens of thieves like the Five Points. Your nation that raised children to become the Bowery Boys, who thought they were defending their country from immigrants. Those same Bowery Boys who killed my father and brother...
3/14/2010 #56
writingbythepower

December 1st

Fred awoke to find the rest of the house sleeping. Deciding not to wake them, he stepped out of his house and walked quickly out of the Five Points. It was cold, a freezing breeze rushing in the air. Having no coat didn't make the weather pleasant, but he managed without one. Leaving the Points, he strolled down the streets of Manhattan, wondering what this day would bring.

3/15/2010 . Edited 3/15/2010 #57
SnowClaw of Windclan

Willie awoke early by habit and sat up, getting out of bed almost immediately and walking to the mirror. He combed out his hair, a mink colored propaganda boy cut, and washed his face off with cold water before getting dressed in his uniform. Although Willie wasn't deployed right now or even really reporting to his commanding officer at the moment, he still liked to wear the uniform because he was proud of it and what it stood for.

Willie entered the kitchen and smiled at his mother. "Good morning, ma."

3/15/2010 #58
writingbythepower

Fred stomach began to growl, and that meant that he needed to eat sooner or later. Thinking of his mother and two sisters at their home who would need to eat as well, Fred decided he needed to steal some food. Walking into the marketplace, he found it full of people, no time to stick a hand in and grab a loaf of bread. So, instead, he determined that he would break into a home and steal some food that way. Finding an open window, he climbed in, being sure that no one was around to see. Noticing he was in a dining room, he heard voices and immediately moved into another room, away from the direction of the voices. One of them seemed familiar, but Fred did not think of that.

3/15/2010 #59
SnowClaw of Windclan

"Good morning, Willie," she greeted, handing him a plate with eggs and a few hotcakes on it. Willie smiled as he took it, a white crescent appearing on his face and showing his laughter lines more clearly. "Thank you very much, ma." He reached across the table and poured himself a bit of coffee, having not heard the intruder at all.

3/15/2010 #60
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