Site hosted by Build your free website today!


Today was the first day of work. Mary-Kate and I had no idea what to expect and as a result were rather nervous. A lady led us to a factory type place. And pointed out some pots and pans.

"These need washing" she said then moved down the line a little to where there where lots of sheets and stuff "so do these" she said.

"Excuse me. Can I ask a question? What's all this stuff from?"

"The war evacuees who can pay for their board" she explained.

Mary-Kate and I glanced at each other. How totally unfair.


After a few hours of pushups and running, we had a small break to drink water and rest. A total of ten recruits were thrown out of the squad, one of which had to go to the infirmary due to heat exhaustion. Captain Gibson only started to break a sweat by that time.

"How can only be starting to break a sweat while we're half-dead?" I asked Matt and Brett.

"He isn't human." Brett said. "They must assemble captains from body parts of dead GIs."

We shared a small laugh as the captain called everyone to attention once again. It was now time to do the obstacle course. He gave us a brief run through of the course. Going over and under obstacles, swinging from a rope, stepping in and out of tires, thirty pushups, twenty sit-ups and, to finish it off, climb a wall to grab a flag.

Brett was up first.


I'd been scrubbing away at a stubborn bit of food on a pot when a boy casually strolled over. I glanced at him from the corner of my eye while still scrubbing the pot.

"Hey" he said leaning against the table.

"Hey" I said.

"You work here?" He asked


He laughed embarassed "obviously... I do too"

"Really?" I asked though not at all interested.

"Yeah, I have the ever fun job of carrying peoples bags and showing them to their rooms" he said "It's kind of sickening. We're in the middle of a war. And some people just act like they're on vacation"

His last comment sparked some interest from me "I know! It's disgusting" I said poking at the pot angrily, the bit of food finally came off.

Having finally finished the pot I picked up a bowl and started cleaning it.

He picked up a towel and started drying the stuff I'd done.

We got to talking....


I ran over and under the obstacles with little trouble. I cut my arm on the barbwire, but didn't pay attention to it as I continued to run. My feet stepped in and out of the tires lightning fast and did the thirty pushups with some effort. My abs burned as I did the sit-ups. I was up to the last event, climbing the walls. I took the rope and started to climb. I started to go down a little, as my hands became slippery with perspiration. I pushed myself to the limit and finally climbed up and touched the flag.

"Alright recruit, get down here on the double!" Gibson ordered.

I slowly climbed down the rope and stood at attention in front of the captain. I was fighting hard not to pass out.

"That was one of the most impressive performances I have ever witnessed. You should be proud." He said.

"Thank you, sir!" I said.

"You may relax." He said.

I happily followed his orders as I fell to the ground.

Marc-Andre was next up. He received the same praises as I when he finished just two seconds after my time. Matt followed suit, coming in three seconds behind.

"You boys show some promise. Keep it up and you'll make it out alive." Gibson said.

Three recruits were cut from the squad when they couldn't complete it. The wall was the main eliminator for the course. The squad was now down to nineteen recruits.


I got the second load of laundry out of the washing machine. Wiping my head with the back of my hand I went outside to hang it out.

"Ashley?" A lady with an adorable three year old girl asked walking over to me.

I was confused for a minute then recognized her "Mrs. Thompson? Wow! I haven't seen you since I was 7!"

She smiled. "You've grown up so much! How are your parents?"

I saddened "I don't know"

"Oh Honey I'm sorry"

"Are you staying round here?"

"Yes." she pointed to the apartment building next to mine. "over there!"

I smiled "great to know someone here"

She nodded "definitely... OH! Silly me! This is my daughter. Samara" she said motioning to the little girl.

"Hello Samara" I said crouching down to be the same height as her. She smiled at me.

"She likes you" Mrs. Thompson noticed. "maybe you could baby-sit for her sometime"

"That would be great" I said with a smile.

We talked a little longer then said good-bye.


Weapon's training wasn't as difficult as we thought it would be. The pieces of the gun were relatively big enough and easy to remember. We spent an hour putting together and disassembling the M-16 and then came the best part, target practice.

It took a little getting used too, but we could all fire our guns fairly accurately in semi-automatic mode. Marc-Andre had incredible aim in single-shot mode. He used to shoot BB-guns at his cottage as a kid and developed great aim. Brett and I were close to getting bulls eyes every time, but couldn't get them all. We fired for another hour to get really good with the weapons and were sent home.

"Tomorrow's training will commence at 0800 hours! Dis-missed!" Captain Gibson ordered.

"My head feels like it weighs a ton." Marc-Andre said.

"How's your arm Brett?" I asked him.

"It's doing fine." He said. He had used the bandana that each recruit was given at the beginning of the day and a dressing for the wound to stop the bleeding. His arm was stained red since he didn't have the chance to wash his arm during the training. "How you holding up?" He asked me.

"Other than the fact that my everything hurts, I'm peachy." I joked.

We took the bus back in town.

Chapter 11

Back to Story Index