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  1. SoldierNurse22

    Christmas Vacation ?! What would You do??

    I'd head home. Vacation time isn't so easy to come by in the service, especially during the holidays!
  2. SoldierNurse22

    Independent Scotland?

    Hmm...I'll have to chat with my instructor about that!
  3. SoldierNurse22

    Independent Scotland?

    Alba gu brath!
  4. SoldierNurse22

    The "I'm running away" thread

    I'd also want to do medical missions, primarily in Africa. I'd spend a fair amount of time traveling locally in the US to see friends and family, especially as my military friends are flung far and wide these days. For times when I wasn't home in the US or on a mission in Africa, I'd keep flats in different European countries and visit over the course of the year--write on the Danube, see a play in London, sip coffee in a French cafe, attend a ballet in Russia, and go just about anywhere I pleased. All while learning the languages, of course. With all that travel and potential for immersion, I'd be shooting for fluency in 5+ by the time I hit 35.
  5. And here's the last word from the characters you've come to know over the past year. Please feel free to leave comments for me throughout this series as I enjoy hearing your feedback. Thank you again to everyone who's followed this tale from start to stop. It has been my pleasure and privilege to tell you a story. Those gray eyes had returned to their perch, ceaselessly searching the water as a thick line of deep blue clouds formed over the endless western sky. Liesl adjusted her position slightly on the lantern room ledge and inhaled the heavy residual scent of kerosene as she searched the winding, billowing storm. White sails still dotted the lake, the sailors knowing that the storm which appeared as a mere sliver on the horizon was still hours away. But the birds had already begun a quiet retreat and the winds were whispering excitedly about the tower, conversing in anticipation as the autumn gale made its steady approach. It hardly seemed possible that four years ago, she had sat in this very place on an afternoon much like this one, the first to greet the storm that would change every aspect of her life and the lives of those she loved most.
  6. Part 22 Ellie and Liesl sat in silent appreciation on the porch steps, dawn breaking in brilliant display behind the lighthouse as they stared out across the placid lake. The women had awoken to tend the light after a few hours of sleep, meeting in the hallway as they reluctantly left their warm beds and sleeping husbands to extinguish the strong-burning beam and clean the lens. They slipped quietly through the hallway past the room of sleeping sailors and into the tower, taking care to move silently on the steps. The chill of winter had crept into the tower, stealing in between the bricks and chasing them to the service room. Reluctantly, Liesl extinguished the flame--and with it, the only source of heat. The women worked thoroughly and silently to clean the lens, hurried by the rapidly advancing cold. By the time they returned to the quarters, they checked the kitchen to find their guests still asleep around the fire that burned as coals in the stove. At Liesl's suggestion, they gathered coats and blankets and traipsed to the porch to watch as the strengthening strands of daylight overtook the sky, streaking it in yellow and pink and red. And before Ellie knew it, she was telling her sister everything.
  7. SoldierNurse22

    To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 21b

    T-minus 2 more sections to completion. Parts 22 & 23 will be published together. Part 24 will be the epilogue...because even I hesitate to let this story end. As always, thanks for reading. The sailors, witness to it all, whispered between each other in shock, speculation running rampant. Captain Hext moved closer to Clary, the two men exchanging expressions of disbelief. "Ellie," Hext said softly, the distant eyes of the mysterious woman rising at the sound of her name. "Where... how did you know to do that?" There was a moment of hesitation, but from the corner of her eye, Ellie caught Samuel's confident gaze.
  8. SoldierNurse22

    To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 21a

    The fictional tale of lighthouse keepers in the 1880's, tending a Lake Michigan lighthouse. The characters in this story are completely fictional, while the lighthouse is quite real and still in use. The details of its function, while not necessarily specific to this exact light, are consistent with the general function of lighthouses in this era. Ellie, Liesl, Samuel and Mr. Nichols sat in silence, at a loss for words. ....want the rest of this article? SoldierNurse22 is publishing! Look for us soon on Amazon Kindle.
  9. SoldierNurse22

    To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 20b

    All right, gentle readers. Here comes the end. The last few posts will (hopefully) come pretty quick now, so stay tuned for the end of this saga. Much thanks as always to those who've followed this unexpected tale, both members of AN and those visitors who lurk namelessly at a distance. Hours later, Corbin awoke with a cough, spitting blood onto the splintery deck of the brig as jagged shocks of pain shot through his ribs. Dark red blood was pooled beneath his head, and a cursory glance around revealed guards standing at the iron bars that held him prisoner aboard his own ship. Corbin attempted to push himself up, but an immediate, engulfing pain that ripped up and down his chest brought him back to the floor. He quickly found himself gasping in quick pants for the breath that came at a cruel price as even the slightest movement of his chest initiated hot waves of agony that shot across his ribcage.
  10. SoldierNurse22

    To The Lonely Seas And The Sky -- Part 20a

    The creaking boards of the sturdy ship seemed to cry out beneath him, begging him to reconsider his plans. Nightfall's shifting shadows crept about the fringes of his peripheral vision, scurrying away each time he turned his head. Danger was thick in the heavy night air--even if he was not fully conscious of it, he could sense it. But Corbin Taylor could not turn back. His shirt sleeves billowed gently in the soft evening breeze, and despite the open neck and undone tie that hung down his chest, Corbin felt restricted, as if a hand were tightening around his throat. Seconds closed the short distance to the captain's quarters. The large, heavy door was all that stood between the way things had been for over thirty years and the changes that would be underway the next time he'd pass it by. Turn around. Walk away. The quiet voice of instinct warned again. But he ignored the nonspecific inkling of foreboding, knocked, and at the barked order from within the quarters, Corbin took a deep breath, turned the knob and stepped inside.
  11. SoldierNurse22

    To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 5

    Hey No Stars, thanks for the comment! Glad to hear you're enjoying this story. You're arriving at an ideal time--the end is in sight! Always glad to hear your thoughts as you go. Happy reading!
  12. SoldierNurse22

    Why so mean??

    Ah, so MedChica's opinion is invalid because she disagrees with you? I think that's mean. Also, it apparently does interest her as she took the time to respond. She clearly was paying attention as she directly responded to points made in your OP. And your kneejerk reaction was to tell her to...leave? Given the subject matter, I'm afraid your reaction is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, Jillybean. If you want to have a discussion on a professional board, be prepared to hear both sides of the debate.
  13. SoldierNurse22

    To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 19c

    The man's eyes lifted abruptly, coming to settle sharply on Samuel. "Aye... but how... how do you know... my name?" He gasped in utter confusion, that signature Scottish lilt emerging clearly in his voice. It was then that Samuel noticed Ellie standing like a statue in the porch doorway, the lantern once more alight in her hand, her mouth agape in disbelief. She had heard everything. Liesl lurched forward over Samuel, catching the lantern at its base just as it slipped from Ellie's fingers. Taking the lantern by the handle, Liesl rose up on her knees and held it high into the darkness. The flickering candlelight immediately illuminated the sharp nose, square chin, curly hair and flashing green eyes of
  14. SoldierNurse22

    To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 19b

    In that brief split-second of light, there had been a hand in the surf, desperately grasping for the shore. A formless body rolled violently, dimly silhouetted in the shifting whitecaps. The hand stretched out, reaching for the safety of the sand, but the surf was going out, and it swallowed the struggling unfortunate back down its thirsty, aqueous throat. Liesl stopped pulling at Ellie immediately, following her sister's gaze and outstretched finger. She saw nothing, but that was hardly a novelty. She looked back to Ellie, uncertain. Has she spotted an ill-fated sailor? She has unparalleled eyesight. Liesl mused, her mind racing. Perhaps she's only seen a piece of timber from that ship. Samuel himself has often seen fragments of ships on the sandbars, mistaking them for men. And look at her eyes--she looks perfectly wild. Has that secret finally taken her in? After all these years, has she lost her mind?
  15. SoldierNurse22

    To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 19a

    As Liesl emerged into the service room she looked up, expecting to see Ellie's feet on the lantern room ledge. But the ledge--and the rest of the service room, for that matter--was completely empty. A breeze full of fresh air wandering past her nose caught her attention. The door to the balcony stood open. "Ellie?" Liesl called, moving through the door and looking up in surprise as she stepped onto the balcony. Another lull had fallen over the land, the storm suspiciously silent as the light from the lantern exposed the curled, low-hanging mist that lay over the lake. A burst of warm air stroked Liesl's cheek. What a strange storm. Ellie sat on the balcony, her face pressed against a railing and one of her feet situated precariously between two rails, dangling over the 112-foot ledge. Her eyes had wandered into the night, but she looked up and smiled as Liesl appeared in the doorway. "Another break in the storm." Ellie mused, her eyes returning to the murky atmosphere that eclipsed the lake. Liesl wasn't sure what exactly she sensed, but something was different about Ellie. She studied her for a moment before realizing what it was. Her normally unflappable sister's position on the ledge and the wonder in her eyes was almost child-like, a certain innocence returned that Liesl hadn't seen in over twenty years. Ellie's hair tangled gently against her neck as her fingers absently moved over the rails, her rapt attention on the cloud-curtained horizon. Unsure of what to say but desperate to keep from saying the wrong thing in this rare moment, Liesl stepped onto the ledge and sat down next to Ellie, though she opted to keep her feet safely on the balcony. Ellie inhaled the wind, the sharp, fresh air stinging her senses. "I think I shall miss this place when the time comes for me to return home." She mused. Surprised to hear such an honest admission from the typically tight-lipped Ellie, Liesl paused before replying. "I--we--shall miss you too, Ellie. It has been good to have you here and your help has been invaluable. We are in your debt." Ellie waved away such an idea. "Don't you dare entertain such a silly notion. If you cannot depend on family, then whom?" She reasoned, her gaze remaining locked on the lake. "Besides, you've given me company and a purpose for the past two weeks, and I could not pay you enough for that." The wind rose from the west, a slight chill on the breeze. The storm is due to return, Liesl realized as she tensed up against the cold. "You are welcome here, Ellie. I do hope you know that if nothing else. It seems we were so close as children, but the years have made us strangers." Nearly immediate regret followed that statement, knotting Liesl's stomach as she spoke. I shouldn't have said that. Ellie was talking--finally talking. She'll surely stop now. On the howl of the approaching tempest, Ellie could have sworn she heard a familiar voice returning on the winds of yester-year. Do not be afraid. She drew a deep breath and summoned to memory her recent discussion with Samuel. Tonight. Tonight is the night that I cast off the shackles of yesterday. "You know, Liesl, there is a great deal that I haven't told you...that I couldn't tell you." Ellie began, shifting uncomfortably where she sat.