This series, tentatively called "New America" is an experiment in storytelling. It's geared for a young audience, and is about a farmer who is drawn into a war in the not-too-distant future. I'll be uploading pages as I go.
Page 1: Before the war, I was a farmer. Well, the son of a farmer anyways. I was only a kid. Daddy made me keep a rifle handy in case there was trouble with bears or wolves. I could shoot straight. Mostly I just aimed at soda cans. My buddy Jack kept me company when I was out in the fields. I tried to get him to land on my arm or shoulder once or twice. He usually just circled around and waited for me to dig up rabbit holes so he could have some easy lunch. When I took my breaks, he'd come down and say hello, which to the untrained ear, sounds an awful lot like "squawk."
Page 2: Working on a farm is a bit like trying to bottle up a river. No matter how much you get done, there's always more. Just ask my buddy Lucky. He lives on the next plot over from my dad's place. Lucky took to the ground in a way I never could. It just made sense to him. I figured it was my job as his friend to help him unwind from time to time. In itself, that's a job almost as hard as working a field, minus all the sweat and blood and toil and what not.
Page 3: I'd beg Lucky to come out riding bikes when I'd get tired of working. "I'm out in the field," he would tell me. I could barely hear him over the growl of the tractor. "No fun till the field is done." he'd always say. I think he picked up that line from his dad. So I'd cut him a deal... promise to help out the next day if he'd come out tonight. And I would, too. We had each other's backs.
Page 4: One night, when we went out on the bikes, Lucky asked me if he could ride the 650, which was usually my steed, seeing as it had a little more giddy-up than the 500x. I asked him if he was sure he could handle it. He said "yeah, sure, of course," but the fact that he had to answer three times left a little doubt in my mind. He asked me if we were gonna wear helmets. I asked him why. I can't believe how dumb I used to be.
Page 5: For the first few miles, I let Lucky think I couldn't keep up with him, like he had finally figured out how to beat me. So it pissed him off something awful when I finally hit the gas and smoked him.
Page 6: A couple of fighters did a low pass over the fields, and banked into a wide turn. The sound shook the ground. I told Lucky that next year when I hit draft age, I'd be volunteering for the Air Force. He said I was crazy to want to fly in those death traps. I laughed and said, "I just want to see what Jack sees when he's soaring around up there. He could keep walking around down on the earth, but he likes it better way high up. Must be something to it." Lucky said he'd be going into the Army, and hopefully he'd end up as infantry. That was the only honest way to fight. Up close and personal. He'd sign up for the draft, then propose to Laura Tanner the next day. I said I thought Laura would rather be with a pilot instead of cannon fodder. He didn't laugh. "We'll see," was all he said.