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Posts by Steve Newton

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  • Night Watch – An Old Sergeant Story

    03/07/2018 9:02:36 PM PST · 4 of 10
    Steve Newton to Gayle Rae

    By the way Gayle-———are these Freeper nite time stories?

  • Night Watch – An Old Sergeant Story

    03/07/2018 8:52:15 PM PST · 2 of 10
    Steve Newton to Steve Newton

    Great story Gayle

  • Night Watch – An Old Sergeant Story

    03/07/2018 8:51:39 PM PST · 1 of 10
    Steve Newton
    Night Watch – An Old Sergeant Story

    (When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.)

    Claire adjusted the night vision goggles and again scanned the desert horizon carefully. Thus far it had been a very quiet night. Nothing but the desert wind continually stirred the silence. The occasional howl of a distant animal or the nocturnal noises of the few in camp going about their business (that required them to be awake at that hour even as she was) were all that punctuated the peaceful somnolence.

    In the stillness of the wee hours of the morning, she took time as she often did to meditate upon the wonder of the life she found herself coming to love more reverently with each passing day. It was a life of service she cherished and a life she felt led to by the examples set before her in the lives of both her most cherished father and uncle.

    But more than that, in the innermost recesses of her heart, she believed with all faith it was a life she had been….well, called to—for lack of a better word.

    In Claire’s life the people of valor and honor were not those of myth and legend. They were the people of an Old and New Testament. People who recognized the might and power of the God of all creation. As she pondered the oft thumbed memories of stories sown in her heart from childhood, one consistent commonality contained them all: each had believed and served that same God with the idea that some things are indeed worth fighting for; worth preserving, defending, and should it be required, even worth dying for.

    It was a belief she herself subscribed to wholeheartedly; it was the foundation upon which she was building the life she now had.

    Claire had quietly observed Pappy during these few months. She noticed his never failing practice of calling upon the Padre in times of earnest indecision or doubt. Knowing that even Pappy, for all his gruff and impatient demeanor wisely knew that there is great benefit in seeking the counsel of those who walked with God deepened her respect and admiration for him.

    Seeing this side to the hard bitten old sergeant gave Claire a much deeper appreciation for the man her uncle had sent her to watch over. It also gave her food for thought.

    She let her thoughts drift back to the day she first encountered the angry glare of enemy fire aimed directly at her and her unit—a unit she had grown fiercely loyal to and protective of. It would be absurdly dishonest to brush off that initiation as anything but terrifying.

    There was no shame in the healthy honest fear of danger, she reasoned to herself. Only fools and idiots would regard a fight where the opponent was insanely, insistently intent upon making you die as something to be taken with casual lightheartedness. And she considered neither herself, the unit she served with, nor Pappy fools or idiot.

    But hand in hand with that knowledge came the even deeper awareness that had it become necessary, every single person on the ground that day, herself included, would have given their life in a heartbeat and believe they had done so for a cause worth that sacrifice. It was indeed knowledge of an idea that deserved to be meditated upon, long and often.

    Claire peered again thru the goggles, panning the surrounding environment with a thorough eye. In so doing, she keenly picked up on the subtle changes in the sky’s light.

    Lowering them she took in the rugged beauty of what would be the last of the star scattered darkness. Dawn was fast approaching, and her night watch would soon be over.

    Staring pensively into the rapidly lightening horizon Claire zeroed in on a thought that had been simmering on the back burner of her brain for several days now. The longer she stayed with Pappy and his men, the more she vowed to learn from them.

    The ways to take charge and the ways to delegate. The ways to care but not coddle. The ways to make a difficult decision and stick by its results, no matter what they may be. The ways…………………….to lead.

    Ultimately, Claire considered thoughtfully, it was totally within reason that she could find herself in a position somewhat like Pappy’s at some future time: responsible not only for herself, but for those under her whose job it would be to follow her instructions.

    It went without saying that the weight of those instructions could and would at times involve potential danger or even death to those who carried them out. To lead was to accept that responsibility ever how heavy it may be. Better, in her opinion, that the person bearing that responsibility be one who did indeed meditate in the night watches—and so she resolved to be.

    Psa 63:4

    Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

    Psa 63:5

    My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

    Psa 63:6

    When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

    The Old Sergeant is fictional. © Story by Gayle Rae

  • Changes An Old Sergeant Story

    01/29/2018 6:14:47 PM PST · 17 of 18
    Steve Newton to Gayle Rae

    Gayle! It is wonderful to see you finally done with your FR review. And its good to have you aboard.

  • Changes An Old Sergeant Story

    01/29/2018 6:13:14 PM PST · 16 of 18
    Steve Newton to Natty Bumppo@frontier.net

    Thank you so much! Hearing that others have enjoyed your stories is why most of us write.

  • Changes An Old Sergeant Story

    01/28/2018 7:50:32 PM PST · 5 of 18
    Steve Newton to Steve Newton

    Well. Her replies are going to review. But she is watching and says to thank everyone so much for being so nice to a new FReeper.

  • Changes An Old Sergeant Story

    01/28/2018 7:42:25 PM PST · 4 of 18
    Steve Newton to null and void

    Thank you...and guess what? Gayle Rae is on!

  • Changes An Old Sergeant Story

    01/28/2018 7:31:19 PM PST · 2 of 18
    Steve Newton to Steve Newton

    “Gayle Rae has teamed up with “The Old Sergeant” and has developed a character that is memorable and powerful, as evidenced by its reviews, and she has succeeded in seamlessly joining her writing style with those of the author. As such, it stands as a success, and we look forward to more from Miss Rae!”

  • Changes An Old Sergeant Story

    01/28/2018 7:30:04 PM PST · 1 of 18
    Steve Newton
    Pappy folded the newspaper he had been browsing as he had made his way along the path from his quarters to his office, tucked it under his arm and reached for the knob on his office door. Fully expecting it to turn automatically and allow him entrance into what was now a much more cheerful place than it had been before the arrival of Corporal Montgomery, he was rather surprised when it didn’t.

    He glanced up through the frosted pane of glass being further surprised to see that the lights were not on, either. He frowned. This did not please him. Nope. Not at all.

    Since that first day when he had decided keeping her around might turn out to be a very good idea, he had yet to beat her into the office. It was well known he got there early and stayed late, but the corporal had apparently decided that it was imperative that she also make a beeline for her desk before anyone got the jump on her.

    Stroking his hand over his freshly shaved chin, Pappy smiled to himself a bit ruefully. He reluctantly conceded to himself that at least one advantage to having the corporal around had nothing to do with how well she deciphered his messy rough drafts of any and all things written.

    It had more to do with the fact that she made a killer pot of coffee every morning. A guy could get used to that, he reasoned. And he had, he admitted much to his private chagrin.

    He frowned again. So. Where WAS his corporal? Fishing his own set of keys out of his pocket, he unlocked the door and stepped in. Flipping on the light switch, he glanced around the outer office. Even after four weeks it was still somewhat of a jolt to see the small but deeply felt changes she had brought to the space. When he let himself think on it (which wasn’t often) he had, in all fairness, to give her a lot of credit.

    The general had been right about her skills in organizing and keeping track of things in an orderly fashion. She had managed somehow to turn a dusty, nondescript, typical generic government cubbyhole into something functional, and maybe even… pleasant….? Bah! He thought to himself. It served the purpose. That was all that really counted in his book. Who cared if it was pleasant or not?

    Crossing the outer office space in three sweeping strides, he unlocked his inner office. He switched on the lights then headed for his desk. Sinking into his swivel chair, he immediately addressed the first order of business for the day: he lit a cigar.

    Puffing on it thoughtfully, he let his mind wander over the events of the past 4 weeks When he had decided to keep the corporal, a decision based largely on the fact that the General really, REALLY wanted her here, he hadn’t given much thought to what the results would be. As long as the job got done and no one got in his way, he wouldn’t have cared what sat in the outer office. Or who, either, as far as that went.

    He sighed gustily. Perhaps he SHOULD have thought what the results might be. If he had, then the events of last Monday morning would have gone much more smoothly than they did.

    He had arrived that morning already in a grim and gruesome mood because his recommendations for personnel rotations were due that very day. That being a task he loathed, he naturally had put it off to the last minute. It wasn’t that he didn’t already know precisely who was going where and why; it was that he hated dealing with the unavoidable disagreements that would arise when someone questioned his judgments and reasons for his choices.

    Invariably, he got his way, but only after much wrangling and heated debates in which he was always on the defensive. He shrugged. Be that as it may, HE knew his men better than anyone else – backing down about what was best for each of them was simply not an option. It had never happened as long as he occupied the chair he now sat in. It never would.

    Being deep in thought over one troubling member of his unit at mid morning, he suddenly jumped almost from his chair when a very loud, raucous ssscccrrreeeeccchhhh had shattered his focus.

    “CLAIRE!” he bellowed through the air. “What in blue blazes are you doing out there?”

    “Um, nothing, Sergeant. I’m sorry for the noise,” had come the meek reply.

    “Keep it down! I’m up to my eyeballs in personnel files and the last thing I need is a freight train roaring by out there!”

    “Yes, Sergeant,” came the meek voice once again. He picked up his file again, scanning it to try to find his lost place in his reading. Totally engrossed again in a matter of minutes, he had just turned a page when another obnoxiously loud ssscccrrrrreeeeeccchhhh assaulted his ears.

    Fuming, he tossed the file onto the desk, crossed to the door and flung it open in exasperation. What met his eyes defied common sense. There was Claire, struggling mightily with a massive filing cabinet that must have outweighed her by a good 100 pounds. She was in the process of actually attempting to move it across the office floor all by herself. Her face was red from exertion with little beads of sweat glistening on both her forehead and upper lip.

    But the expression on her face nearly made him laugh out loud. It was positively mutinous. If sheer determination were all it took, the look on Claire’s face clearly showed the cabinet WOULD move, or she would kill it.

    Speaking as calmly as he could, Pappy asked, “Claire. What are you doing?”

    “Well, it occurred to me that having this cabinet moved closer to my desk would be much more efficient. It’s the one I use most often. Getting up and down a million times a day to cross the floor to where it has been located is a total waste of time, and quite frankly, a pain in the butt.” She blew heavily, setting a stray curl fluttering across her forehead.

    Regarding her intently, Pappy dare not give in to the wicked impulse to laugh long and hard at both her remark and her expression. He decided to counter with as much gravity as she seemed to think the problem called for. “Corporal. Did it not occur to you to ask for……….help?”

    She dropped her gaze from the intent glare peering out at her from a face quite annoyed at being disturbed, never seeing the small glint of humor contained there. “Not exactly,” she almost mumbled. “Everyone is so busy, and this is supposed to be my responsibility. Making this office run smoothly, I mean.”

    Knowing a sympathetic response is not always the best, Pappy barked at her. “Corporal! This office is also part of a UNIT! What does a properly functioning unit require, Corporal?”

    “Cooperation! Teamwork!”

    “Correct! If one of the team needs a hand, what is the response of the rest of the team to be, Corporal?”

    “To see that the team member gets that hand, sir!” “Very well. Follow me.”

    Without a backward glance Pappy made for the door, Claire trailing in his wake. At the end of the hall, he threw open the door to the outside of the building where the majority of the unit had just been engaging in various forms of recreation. Dog and Judy came loping over at the sight of Pappy with Claire. A few members of his team were lounging on various crates and barrels, catching their breaths from what had been a rousing basketball game. Pappy headed straight for them.

    He noted with keen observation that every male face in the vicinity swung in the direction of Claire. Not that there was ever even the slightest suggestion of crude or rude manners toward her, they each know Pappy would have their hides for such behavior. Besides, most of them genuinely liked, respected and admired Claire. They treated her with the fierce protectiveness brothers give a favored baby sister. Teased her just as mercilessly, too.

    Eyeing the available guys in front of him, Pappy growled out, “You, you and you. You’re with me.” With just a slight glance one to another, those three stood up. Sarge turned around and strode back into the building. This time with not only Claire in tow, but the other three as well.

    As they entered the office once more, Pappy ordered, “Fellas, Claire needs your brawn today, not your brains. I hereby give you notice that whatever she says ‘Move’ YOU. MOVE. Wherever she says move it to. Got that?”

    “Yes, Pappy!” came 3 voices in unison.

    Pappy headed for his own private sanctum. Pausing briefly as he was about to cross its threshold, he gazed back across his shoulder and said more mildly, “and if you could……….move it all………QUIETLY???” Then he went in closing the door behind him with something only a little less pronounced than a slam.

    Pappy stirred from his recollections as he heard Claire’s bustling movements in the outer office. He smiled when he heard the tell tale sounds of the coffeepot being put to use. He got up and went to his door. Poking his head through, he asked, “What took you so long, Corporal?”

    Claire turned, then crossed to him with something in her hand. When she was at arm’s length she held it out to him. On a saucer sat a huge blueberry muffin, still warm from the oven. In it was one lit candle.

    Looking baffled, Pappy gazed from the muffin to Claire. “Corporal?”

    Claire looked rather sheepish. “It’s a thank you muffin, Sir.”

    “I see. Thank you for WHAT, exactly?”

    “Well, sir today is exactly one month since you decided to keep me. I just wanted to say thanks for giving me the chance. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this assignment, and I hope I’ve proved efficient enough that you’ll let me stay…?” Her face held the question as much as the inflection in her voice did.

    Taking the muffin, Pappy blew out the candle. He took a big bite, munching with obvious pleasure. Gesturing for his coffee, Claire went to pour it. As he took the mug from her, he gave a slightly sardonic smile. “Yeah, Corporal, you’ll do alright, I guess.”

    Claire breathed an audible sigh of relief. She went to her desk where her own coffee sat waiting. She reached down to turn on the computer. “And Claire?”

    “Yes, Sergeant?” She swiveled her chair back to look at him.

    “Call me Pappy.”

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 11:04:41 PM PST · 38 of 41
    Steve Newton to Liberal Anti Venom

    Done my friend

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 9:03:18 PM PST · 36 of 41
    Steve Newton to shoff

    Hummm. That’s a very good question. I know there are some out there. But a good leader cares more for his men than his own life.

    Your added my friend

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:59:45 PM PST · 34 of 41
    Steve Newton to stylin19a

    Done my friend

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:58:20 PM PST · 33 of 41
    Steve Newton to LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

    Hummm. I might have a story just for you

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:53:49 PM PST · 30 of 41
    Steve Newton to LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

    Done!

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:51:28 PM PST · 29 of 41
    Steve Newton to krizzy

    Done!

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:50:29 PM PST · 27 of 41
    Steve Newton to Bob

    Will do!

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:49:24 PM PST · 25 of 41
    Steve Newton to Steve Newton

    Well well folks. I’m proud to introduce Gayle Rae——the newest FR member!

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:46:29 PM PST · 22 of 41
    Steve Newton to Bob

    Probably not. But I did. Want me to add you?

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:37:40 PM PST · 20 of 41
    Steve Newton to LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

    I think so too. Her stories will be going into book four of the Old Sergeant.

    Want me to add you?

  • The Clerk---And Old Sergeant Story

    01/20/2018 8:32:02 PM PST · 18 of 41
    Steve Newton to null and void

    Great! Me too. I will add ya to the list

    And thank you