Sammy Silvertooth's Guide to Revolution: The Moxy Byrd Chapter 1

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RescueRaptor
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Sammy Silvertooth's Guide to Revolution: The Moxy Byrd Chapter 1

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At the heart of The Moxy Byrd is the story of an immigrant struggling to find balance between the two parts of herself. As an immigrant myself, I find the relationship between people's identities and their personal circumstances to be fascinating. So I wanted to break that relationship down and look at all angles of people's stories of immigration. This is why the Moxy Byrd doesn't just focus on how Moxy came to be where she is, but how she changes.

Not only that, but I wanted to really capture how much social standing immigrants may lose in their new country. This is why the story of Moxy Byrd works back and forth between her past and present. I really wanted people to understand the sad irony of her new life as an uneducated grocery store clerk. I hope that Moxy's story will help people take a look at the immigrants around them and consider why they may be where they are and how that may feel to them.

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Re: Sammy Silvertooth's Guide to Revolution: The Moxy Byrd Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

May 6th, 2043 5:30
5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Tony’s pager went off. Groaning, he rolled over to look at it. Code 15; he was getting called in to work. He gave an exasperated sigh and sat up. One of the EMTs must have called off again. Stretching deeply, he curs-ed Monique for suggesting he get an EMT license. Like being a nurse didn’t keep me busy enough.
“Fifty cents more an hour, but when am I ever gonna have time to spend it?” he muttered as he stood up. He yawned and stretched again before taking a glance at himself in the mirror. He grimaced. Nothing but boxers apparently only looked good on models. Or maybe he was just too skinny. Man, I really ought to put on some weight. At just over six-foot and weighing at most a hundred and fifty pounds, he was basically a lanky skeleton wrapped in tattoos.
He groped around his room for his glasses. Not finding them on his dresser, he staggered over to his desk. A random shirt wrapped around his foot, and he nearly toppled over. There was a moment when he thought he was definitely going to face plant into the wall. Instead, he managed to only stub his toe on his dresser. His yelp woke his mom.
“Why’re you up, Tony?” his mom called from her bedroom. Her voice was muffled by blankets.
“Sorry, mom. Just got paged, gotta go to work,” Tony said, finally finding his glasses under the burger wrapper left over from his dinner last night.
“That’s ridiculous, Sweetie. Call them and tell them you just worked a double.” Her voice now clear, Tony knew that she was sitting up, ready to call his boss for him.
“It’s fine, Mom. Not like I got anything to do today any-how,” he shouted back, hoping to evade the flood of nagging that could come at any moment. “Love you! See you tonight,” he quickly added, hopping around as he hurriedly put on a pair of jeans.
“Didn’t you and Yuna have plans?”
Tony flinched. Yuna. He’d forgotten that he was supposed to take her to brunch. She was going to be angry, but what was he supposed to do? He couldn’t just say no to work. They needed him. Digging through a mass of hip-hop maga-zines and comics, he found his cell phone. As he slipped on his sneakers, he quickly typed out, “Gotta work today. I know. I suck. Sorry. I’ll try to get off early. Just don’t be too mad.” He slid the phone into his pocket and headed into the kitchen to see if there was anything to eat.
“Bye, Mom. Love you.”
“Love you, too, Sweetie.”
Not surprisingly, his seventy-year-old grandmother was al-ready awake, sitting at the table drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. She looked up as he walked in and smiled warmly. “Good morning, little puppy,” she said.
“Morning, Halmoni. Any good news?” he asked in halting Korean. His grandmother, who actually spoke decent English, had refused to speak to him in anything other than Korean since she’d moved in nineteen years ago.
“Doesn’t seem like it. Why are you up so early?” She stood and walked to the fridge. Opening it, she began pulling out plate after plate of Korean side dishes. “Here, let me get you breakfast.”
“Thanks, Halmoni, but I…” He paused, grasping for words. “Late. Just cereal.”
“That’s not real food, you know,” she grumbled, shuffling the contents of the fridge around as she tried to stuff the banchan back into their places.
“I know, but I don’t… time.” He gave up on the sentence as he reached up and pulled a box of generic cereal from the top cabinet.
“Your Korean seems to be getting worse,” she said, sitting back down with a loud sigh. She picked up her coffee mug and looked at him pointedly.
“Yeah, I know. Sorry. I’ll study. Promise,” Tony said be-tween the huge spoonfuls of cereal he was shoveling down. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and standing, he leaned over and kissed her cheek. “Love you Halmoni. I’ll try harder,” he said and dashed to the door.
Grabbing the skateboard that he kept jammed behind the coat rack, Tony threw his helmet on and rolled down the driveway. He’d loved skateboarding from a young age. May-be it was his attempt at trying to overcome the stereotypes about Asians. Or maybe it was how cool all of the skate-boarders on TV had seemed. His mom hated it. She had ar-gued with him about it a dozen times, but it was one of the few things he was not willing to give up for her.
That and the tattoos. She’d cried for three days after he’d gotten “No Brain” tattooed just above his left elbow right af-ter high school graduation. The explanation, “They’re a Kore-an punk rock band. Didn’t you want me to be more Korean?” had done little to help. Her tears and threats hadn’t stopped him from going under the needle again.
As Tony rolled down the hill towards the hospital, he looked over to his left. Far out in the distance was the huge, green, pulsing wall of energy known simply as the Dome. It was an enigma to end all enigmas. Three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, people had awoken to find that a huge chunk of the country had been swallowed up by it. No one knew what was under it or why it had appeared.
In fact, all that was really known about it was that it dis-rupted electrical devices within a three-mile radius and was impenetrable. Actually, more than a dome, it was a sphere, with a one-hundred-and-eighty-mile radius. Above ground, it engulfed the top half of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, most of Tennessee, a good portion of North Carolina, the bot-tom of Kentucky, and the little tail part of Virginia. It dove deep into the ground and ascended straight up into space.
As a boy, the Dome had seemed so important and mean-ingful. But that was probably because they studied it non-stop at school. History, English, Science, Math. There was no subject that hadn’t covered at least one facet of the Dome. And despite the fact that all of the government tests conclu-sively proved that nothing was living in there, there’d been a hundred stories passed around the playground about mon-sters and cavemen living inside. Not that anyone he knew had ever seen one.
But honestly, now that he was an adult, he almost never thought about it. For him, it was just part of the landscape. He’d never known the world before the Dome, and even if it had caused catastrophes a hundred years ago, it wasn’t do-ing much of anything these days.
Tony rolled into the hospital parking lot, jumped off his skateboard, and trotted into the lobby. He went straight for the changing rooms and dropped his skateboard off in his locker. The box of donuts was still on the table from yester-day. He stuffed one into his mouth before making his way to the ambulance docks. He looked over the list of intakes from the night before, chatted with a couple of the guys, and then plopped down in a chair to take a short nap. It was unlikely there would be any emergencies at this time in the morning. Here in Wytheville, there just weren’t that many emergencies in general, which was fine by Tony.
He awoke with a start to the sound of murmurs and gasps down the hallway. He leaned back in his chair and peered down the hall to see what was going on. The TV in the lobby was at full volume. It sounded like the news. Most of the staff was crowded around it. People were all talking at once. Someone was crying hysterically.
Tony stood up and jogged over to the mass of doctors, nurses, and techs. There on the screen was an aerial picture of the Dome, and then, suddenly, with a huge explosion of light, the whole thing disappeared. Tony gasped. Now, with the inside finally visible, he could make out some small make-shift towns here and there, and a long, wide strip of dead ground running all around what had been the edge of the Dome. Tony’s eyes bulged out of his head. “Is it really down?” he asked.
“I guess,” the tech next to him said.
The news switched to a clip of the Dome when it was still up. Tony struggled to comprehend anything the anchor said.
“This clip is from the moments before and after the Dome went down. Look carefully in the bottom right corner,” the anchor announced, a concerned expression marring her fea-tures. There it was again, the flash, the sudden dissipation of the green energy, and then in the bottom right corner, a hu-man-shaped blur was staggering, falling, and dragging itself into one of the houses. The lobby broke out into gasps and anxious mutters. People. There were people in there.
“I’ll be...” he said.
It was hard to know how long he stood there staring at the TV with the others, but at some point, he was pulled out of his shock by his pager going off. He raced to the ambulance bay where the driver was already waiting. “You’re not going to believe this, Tony, but a house down on Merkle Street says their kids were down playing around by the Dome, and they found two girls out there. They think they’re from inside. Both are in pretty bad shape. Come on.”
Tony nodded dumbly. They flew out of the hospital park-ing lot. On the way over, they were mostly silent. Tony tried to think of something to talk about, but all that would come out was, “Can you believe it?” The driver continually re-sponded with a grunt and a head shake. Ten minutes later, they met a breathless woman waiting on her front lawn.
As the ambulance pulled up, she rushed over. “We brought them in the house. One of them’s bleeding pretty bad. I think the other one’s alive, but it’s kind of hard to tell. The one that’s awake kept saying something about burning. I think. She’s hard to understand.”
Tony grabbed his kit and followed her into the house. She led them into a back bedroom. Lying on a bed were two girls. Both were painfully emaciated. As soon as he entered the room, one sat up with a jerk. She stared at him with wild eyes. He glanced behind him at the driver, who shrugged and shook his head.
Tony turned back to the girl. Tatters of a coarse shirt hung from her. All of her bones were painfully prominent. She watched him cautiously, not making eye contact with him. The Dome. She had been inside the Dome.
He worked up the courage to speak. “Hi.” He approached the bed with uncertain steps. She made no response.
“Hi, what’s your name?” he tried again.
The girl’s lips drew into a thin line and after a moment’s hesitation she said, “Moxy.”
“Moxy?” Tony asked.
He crept a little closer. Nearing the bed, he struggled not to stare. Her skin was a silvery white, so translucent he was pretty sure he could actually see her blood vessels. Her eyes, which were darting all around the room, were pale amber, ringed with a thin line of light blue. All of this was set off by a mass of caramel curls. She belonged in a fantasy book.
“Moxy. That’s pretty. Moxy, can you tell me what hap-pened to your arm?” He motioned to the huge blood stain slowly spreading around the crown of her left shoulder.
“Crier. There was a crier,” she said.
“Can I look at it? I’m a nurse. I want to help you,” he said, raising his med kit to show her the red cross on the front of it.
“No. I’m okay. Please, my friend.” She motioned to the girl laying on the bed next to her.
“Is your friend unconscious?”
“Yes. We were attacked. She won’t wake up,” she said.
“You were attacked by an animal?”
“No. Crier.”
Crier? “Your friend, too?”
“It didn’t bite her. She’s okay.”
“But she’s unconscious?” He checked the second girl for a pulse. It was racing. Her breathing was dangerously shallow. Slowly running his eyes over her body, Tony found no bites, cuts, or significant wounds, save for some deep burns on her hands and feet. He looked at Moxy.
“Did your friend touch the Dome?”
Moxy flinched. “No. We can’t touch it. It’s dangerous.”
“Can you tell me how she got those burns?”
“We had a fire. Stephanie … the wood was too … the cri-er…. burned her.” Her voice rose and fell in soft lyrical waves. He gently lowered her friend’s hand back onto the bed.
“She seems to be in some sort of shock. We need to get both of you to the hospital. Will you come with me?” he asked.
She stared at him. What if she refused?
“I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise.” With a soft smile he hoped would ease her fears, he reached out a hand to her. She caught his eyes and held them, gnawing slightly on her bottom lip.
“Okay.”
Tony called for his driver to bring in a stretcher. Under the ever-watchful eyes of Moxy, they loaded Stephanie onto it. Moxy refused a stretcher, choosing instead to walk through the house, limping heavily on her left leg, ever watchful, body tense. As they entered the living room, Moxy gave a soft grunt of protest and averted her eyes. Her breath quickened. Tony glanced around the room, trying to understand her sudden change. His eyes fell on the sunlight streaming in from the windows. He put up his hand and motioned for her to wait. “Ma’am?” he called to the house’s owner. She appeared around the corner.
“Yes?”
“Do you have any sunglasses? And maybe a hoodie? I think the sunlight is hurting her.”
The woman’s eyes opened wide in understanding. “Yes, of course. Just a minute.”
Moments later, she was helping Moxy put on a pair of glasses and a hoodie. Moxy flinched every time the woman’s hands grazed over her bare-skin. How badly is she burned? How sick is this girl? Tony’s brain was churning as he led her out to the ambulance.
After Stephanie and the stretcher were loaded, Tony mo-tioned for Moxy to sit in the front seat of the ambulance. She froze. Were there even cars in the Dome? “It’s a car. Do you know what a car is?”
“Yes.” She still didn’t move.
“You have to get in.” Tony pulled the door open, and she struggled to pull herself up. When she was situated, he rushed to the back where Stephanie was. Now free from Moxy’s protective presence, he took a closer look at the girl.
She didn’t appear to be more than eighteen years old. Her hair was dark brown, and her whole body was even more emaciated than Moxy’s, with almost no muscle at all. The burns on her hands were a suspiciously uniform depth and color. Not exactly what you’d expect from a burning branch.
Before he had more time to contemplate the situation, they were at the hospital, and the back doors of the ambulance were being yanked open. Stephanie was wheeled away, leav-ing Tony to deal with Moxy. He hopped out of the back and walked to the passenger side.
“I’m going to open the door,” he called through the glass. She locked eyes with him, nostrils flared, muscles tensed.
Tony took a breath and forced his lips into a friendly smile. She seemed less than comforted. “Moxy, we have to go into the hospital now.” He pulled the door open.
Once he got her to a room, it took Tony fifteen minutes to get her out of her shredded clothes and into the hospital gown. As he extracted bits of her shirt from the huge wound on her shoulder, he couldn’t help but notice the kaleidoscope of scars wrapped around her arms and back. Seven long, jagged scars ran from her waist up to each shoulder. What would even make those? Claws?
Once she was in the hospital gown, Tony began re-examining and cleaning the wound on her shoulder. It seemed to be a bite wound, but Tony couldn’t begin to imagine what kind of animal could have made it. It was massive and al-ready seriously infected.
By the time the doctor arrived, the girl was nearly uncon-scious and running a dangerously high fever. The doctor called for a strong round of antibiotics along with a morphine drip. When they tried to place the IV into the crook of her arm, Moxy muttered a pained stream of gibberish. The only part Tony could understand was, “I didn’t know. I didn’t know.”
The medicine soon took effect and her eyes closed. He watched her body slump against the bed. The hand he was holding went limp. When Tony pulled away, he found that his whole body was shaking. The enormity of the situation slowly dawned on him.
All those years, he’d been throwing rocks at that Dome with his buddies and listening to late night comedians joke about what might be under it. Well, here she was in his ER, half-starved and mutilated. A real person from the Dome. It was impossible to wrap his mind around. He arranged the covers on her bed then darted out to find a quiet corner to breathe.

If you are enjoying this book please visit www.mirandanew.com to find more information and the complete book available.

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Re: Sammy Silvertooth's Guide to Revolution: The Moxy Byrd Chapter 1

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I must say that once I started reading I couldn't stop. I am interested to see what comes next.

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Re: Sammy Silvertooth's Guide to Revolution: The Moxy Byrd Chapter 1

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Thanks. I am posting more here. The first chapter is slow and my wife knows it. She is planning a rewrite it, but that would take time from her other writing. If you want to download the book it is free everywhere...but I will post it here too.

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