Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Watchmen File // Chapter Eight // Appletree Grove

Hey yo, everybody!

   Wow! Another day, another chapter!

   Of course, this is chapter eight of the Watchmen Files, and I know I said that we would have gorillas from the Amazon (don't ask) guesting on this chapter, but then I figured out that this one needed to come first. 

   I've been anticipating this chapter for a while now.

   And I know you're all wondering if I have had bonk on the head or something for naming the chapter Appletree Grove. I mean, what is an apple tree doing in the Watchmen Files? Well, you will have to see for yourself :)

   So here I give you Appletree Grove!

Appletree Grove

   "Hey!!" Sargent Graham belted out at his slumbering training squad on a warm summer Sunday morning. They were all so startled that some of them shouted in surprise, or fell out of their bunks (i.e. McKee), and others scrambled to attention.
   "Um, sir," Hank started, "I thought it was Sunday today...?"
   "It is," Graham nodded and straightened his tie as the rest hustled into formation.
   Mason choked, then rubbed the sleep out of his eyes to clarify what he saw. "Sargent, are you wearing a... a suit?"
   Graham, much to the squad's astonishment, was wearing a white dress shirt, black tie, grey dress pants, and sharp black dressy shoes. "Actually, this isn't a suit," he coughed awkwardly. "I was wondering if any of you would like to attend chapel with me?"
   That was the nicest way he had ever asked a question before, and almost no one knew how to answer him.
   "Church?!" Well, I did say almost, right? "I'll come, I'll come!" Conner chirped, leaping up from the floor, now quite awake. "Just let me grab my Bible." His green eyes sparkled as he jumped through one of the bunk beds to get to his trunk, then paused. "But what will I wear?"
   "I've taken care of that," he gestured to the nearly identical stack of clothes on top of one of the trunks. "Go wash up, the two of us are to be there in fifteen minutes. Unless, anyone else would like to join us?"
   The group shifted uncomfortably for a minute, Mason studied his bare feet, and Chris shifted uncomfortably.
   Jared stepped forward. "I'll go, if it's okay with you, sir."
   "Of course!"
   Jared followed after Conner to change and more silence followed his absence.
   "I'd be glad to have all of you come with me."
   More silence. More studying. More shifting.
   Graham wasn't one to give up easily. "Gabe, have you ever been to church?"
   Gabe shook his head. "No, sir. I don't know anything about God."
   "Well, if you come, you can learn, if you'd like."
   Gabe took a moment before slowly nodding and picking up the clothes and followed after Conner and Jared.
   "The pastor will be preaching in James, it's a great book."
   Felipe sighed dramatically and stepped forward as well. "Mother use to take us to church when we were young, so I suppose we will come."
   Jean-Claude nodded. "Yes, what else is there for us to do?"
   "Come on, Mason," Conner had come out, face shaved and smile bright. "You can sit next to me."
   I don't wanna go, he sighed, but found himself nodding begrudgingly. "I'm already up, so... fine, I'll come."
   Conner looked positively gleeful. "Fantastic!"
   Mason had actually never been to church, he had only gone with Ava once, and that was to drop her off and then come back to walk home with her. Ava... she would want him to go to church. He remembered her tugging on his shirt, batting her eyelashes at him to come with her this time, just once. She's probably not in a church today. Not today.
   After having a difficult time changing into the dressy clothes, he was about to head out when Conner stopped his suddenly. "What is that?"
   "Uh," he glanced down at what Conner was staring at. "It's a tie."
   "No, it's a mess! Have you ever actually tied one before now?"
   The long clueless stare from Mason confirmed his suspicions.
   "Oh, let me do it."
   It was a little embarrassing to have another guy correctly tie his tie, but it had to be done, and apparently, he couldn't do it himself. Come to find out, Graham had convinced everyone to come with them, which wasn't bad. He didn't have to be embarrassed all by himself. The jog to chapel wasn't too fast paced, even Conner could handle it.

   "So, what did you think?" Conner inquired, trotting up beside Mason who had gone ahead of the rest of the group after chapel was over.
   Mason's stride didn't slack. "I dunno... I just didn't get some things."
   "What didn't you get?"
   "Well, what did he mean by 'doers and hearers'? What's that suppose to mean?"
   "Oh, you mean when he was in James 1. If you hadn't been playing around with your tie you might have heard him explain that the doers would be the Christians who do the will of the Father, and the hearers are the ones who go to church but just don't do what the Bible says."
   "Huh. You know, I've known some good people. Why wouldn't God let them into Heaven? I mean, not that I believe there's a God or a Heaven, but... you know..."
   "Mason," Conner started, stopping in his tracks and cleared his throat. "He would."
   "What? Really?" He hadn't expected that. "I thought your pastor dude said-"
   "He did say. Tell me, do you know if that 'good person' has ever... say, lied to you or someone else?"
   Mason paused, then shrugged, "Yeah."
   "Have you ever used the Lord's name in vain, or stolen something, anything?"
   "Yeah, everybody does."
   "Exactly. Every person who ever lived on this earth has broken God's commandments, and that makes them a sinner. All except One. Jesus lived  a life without sin-"
   "Yeah, yeah, I know the story."
   Conner didn't flinch. "But you don't believe it."
   "Not really. I mean, it's a great story and all, but..." Mason trailed off.
   "I don't see how He can be a good God if all this bad stuff happens. Why wouldn't He stop that?"
   Conner paused and thought a moment, trying to find the right way to say it. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And at the end of the creation week, He made His prime creation: man.
   But man sinned, and because God is just, all of creation was cursed. We are all descendants of Adam, we are all sinners.
   So God, in His merciful nature, found the only way that the sin of man could be forgiven: by the sacrifice of the only perfect person in the whole world, the Son of man, Jesus the Christ. And He died on the cross for all the sins of all who would believe, and rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God.
   Right from the beginning He had a plan to save man, to offer them eternal life. To give us a way out."
   "I know, but why? I mean, why would He have to send people to hell if He's good and mercy and all?"
   Conner took a moment to rephrase what he had meant. "Let's think about it like this... let's say that the bloke who kidnapped Ava, what was his name..."
   "Sven Kruger, he's my cousin."
   "Right, Sven. Let's say that we caught him, but found that he had killed Ava."
   Mason cringed at the thought of his little Ava being harmed at all by that Nazi.
   "And then we put him on trial and he tells the judge, but sir, I'm not a bad person. I may have murdered an innocent person, but I'm not really a bad guy. I'm basically a good person. And then the judge lets him go. What would you think about him? Was he a good judge?"
   It didn't take a rocket scientist to answer the questioned, but Mason still took a second to think about it, and finally gave up. "Yeah, he would be a pretty rotten judge."
   "You're correct, he sure would be," Conner nodded. "And now apply that to God. We sinned against Him, then killed His Son! Would He be a just God if He said, sure, you've done a few good things in your lifetime, so why don't you come on in? Don't fret, the kettle's just boiled. He would be doing what was wrong, and by nature, He cannot do that. Do you understand?"
   Mason sighed, but he couldn't argue. Conner was right. He'd never really thought of God as being a judge. All he had ever heard was that God had a plan for you and that He loved you, all sorts of mushy baloney. It never really struck him like that. "I... I guess you're right."
   Conner smiled and a moment later Graham called them over to the others.
   "Alright boys, I've got something special for you. Follow me."
   They walked out into the pleasant breeze and warm sunshine, over the track, and through the training courses to a large grove of trees bordering the facility.
   Jared reached up, plucked an apple, and began to munch contentedly.
   Once they had gotten pretty far off from the Training area, Duke spoke up. "So what's up? Are we gonna have a picnic or something?"
   Conner's face brightened at the mention of food as Graham pressed on. "Just a little while longer... ah, found you."
   The guys entered a small clearing where the apple trees were parted as if someone had forgotten to plant a row of them.
   "What's... oh." Mason started, then stopped when he spotted a single gravestone in the center of the clearing.
   "Eliot Peterson," Graham spoke quietly as they came nearer to the lone, white grave. "His ship was on fire and heavily damaged, he knew if he attempted a landing, he would crash and his vessel would explode. After the rest of his crew evacuated, he steered the good old Trustworthy to their end." Graham gestured around him, "This place use to be an old abandoned factory. But his ship was carrying apple seeds, if you can believe it, and when she exploded, the seeds when flying, and now this."
   They gazed about at the many apple trees, speechless. To just... die to save others? How?
   "McKee, would you read the stone please?" Graham asked.
   Conner nodded and knelt next to the tombstone and read it in a gentle but serious tone. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man, someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8."
   Graham waited a moment for the verse to sink in. "Thank you. I think it speaks for itself, but let me clarify.
   If you are a Watchman it is your manly duty to risk your life for you friend, or whoever needs it. I know that some of you, like Peterson, will be asked to give your lives for the sake of others. Are you willing? Are you ready to meet your maker? Do you have what it takes to do this? I know it's a hard concept, but this is what you signed up for. I know it's easy to say you'd do it when you're on this side of the barrel, but I want you to really think about today. You may have what it takes, but it will take everything you've got. Understood?"
   Some of them made mumbling sounds in acknowledgment as Mason and Conner just stood, pondering. Tears began to well up in Conner's eyes at the idea. Not of his own death, but of the One who had died for him. A prayer of thanks was silently lifted up as the others left him the clearing.
   "Con?" Mason inquired from the small path their squad had created as they left. "You coming?"
   He didn't move, but patted the gravestone and nodded without turning around. He knew what he would have to do. "I'll be right there."
   Mason didn't let him wait by himself but stood by for the moment of silence until Conner spoke again.
   "We don't need to mourn the loss of this brave hero. Christ died for him, I'm sure he's quite content up there," he turned and gave his companion that award winning smile, and they walked back to the barracks together.

And we're finished! Well, not with the entire book of course, but with the short rest of a chapter you just read here. So, as always, tell me what you think in the comments below (or on the pin on Pinterest)! I'd love to hear what you think about the characters especially.

Psst! Ammelia has her second chapter up, so you have time to start reading! She's doing great :) Oh, and not to be forgotten, Willow's story, Friends and Enemies is going swell. She has a question and answer session going on right now, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask her! And I (Darrion) may be making an appearance in her book, so stay tuned!



  1. That was great D! It might be the best chapter so far!
    O, I hope you show up in Willow's story I was wonder why you weren't in it. Can't wait to read more of all of you guy's books!

  2. THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE CONNOR AND GRAHAM AND EVERYONE ELSE!!!!!! AWESOME JOB!!!!! I cannot wait until the next chapter because you are doing an excellent job and I cannot wait to find out what happens next!

  3. Oh my goodness, Darrion! This is amazing! I loved the part especially when Conner was talking to Mason about God. It was amazing-- you did that VERY well! I love your book, girl! it's so good! This was my favorite chapter, I think. :) It' was very epic and wonderful! I am anticipating the next chapter!
    ~Megan Jane~

  4. Okay, so I have a random question. What does "Don't fret the kettle's just boiled" mean? I've never heard that expression before. :) Thanks so much! Can't wait for your next chapter!


    1. Hum... uh, I heard it on a TV show, so I'm not positive. But I think the kettle's just boiled means to us Americans come on in and make yourself at home. I think. Hope that helps :)

  5. :) Thanks! I say it all the time. :)



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