Just something that I have been working on. Not really sure if I will continue it or not. Chapter 1 The street was crowded with tourists as Landon McAllister made his way to the photography studio. In his hands his photography equipment which threatened to be bumped from his hands on numerous occasions. Cursing at the stupidity of many around him he finally made it to the front door, but not before a tourist stopped him. “Excuse me, sir?” Landon turned and smiled. “Yes, how can I help you?” “Do you know where tours will be given?” “Just go down the street and in front of the cemetery will be a large, brick building. They’ll give you the information you want.” The tourist smiled. “Thank you.” Smiling again at the tourists Landon then juggled his way through the door grunting as he did so. Once inside he saw the studio was filled with tourists wanting to get the latest shot of the battlefield, reenactment, or reenactors. He excused his way through the crowd, smiled at some tourist who asked him a question, then placed his equipment on the large front counter. “Thought you were going to be in the reenactment?” Asked his partner Quincy Abel as he took the equipment and headed to the backroom. Landon grabbed a folder and shook his head. “I’m suppose to take the pictures this year.” He placed his camera bag onto the table not really sure what he was suppose to do now. “Why did I even come here?” Quincy laughed. “Maybe to get away from the tourist onslaught.” He stopped to turn around to face the much older man. “They act like it’s the end of the world out there. Which battle you going too?” “Pickett’s Charge. I’ll be dressing in full uniform so I can sorta blend into the crowd.” Landon started to check his camera making sure it survived the trip. He quickly snapped his head up as his hand went to his forehead. “Shit, can’t believe I forgot.” “Forgot what?” Landon shook his head. “The tournament coming up at the college. I promised Joe that I would take pictures.” “And when is this?” “Tomorrow on the first day of the reenactment. Can’t believe I forgot.” He began to busy himself with his camera as his mind worked. “Well, whose smart idea was it to have a tournament on the busiest day of the season? It ain’t your fault, Landon. Just tell Joe you got work to do.” Quincy picked up a lens and leaned against the counter. “Besides there’ll be plenty more tournaments.” “No, there won’t be.” “What?” Quincy placed the lens down. “But Joe holds a tournament every three months.” Landon turned to his young pupil and partner. “He’s closing the school due to inefficient funds. This tournament is the last one these students will ever go to. And some, well it will be their last time to ever put on the gi.” “That’s harsh. What’s going to happen to the students?” “Well, the only Olympic Tae kwon do school near here is in Newport fifty miles away. Unless they want to travel that far, some would just decide to quit and go on with their lives.” “But don’t you have martial arts experience?” Landon quickly shook his head. “Not going to do it.” He picked a lens up, cleaned the glass, then placed it back into his bag. “Besides I haven’t trained in over ten years. There’s no way I’ll be able to do it now.” “I heard you were quite good.” “Listen, I don’t want to talk about it. Okay?” Landon grabbed his bag and went to the supply closet. “I’ve got to go to Taylor’s.” **** Later that day a knock came on Taylor Douglas’ office door, he assumed it was one of his students, but as he opened it he saw it was Landon McAllister. Opening the door wider he waited till Landon was in before he cleared a chair for him to sit on. “I’ve got some bad news.” Taylor sat down and looked at his old instructor. “What’s the matter?” Landon sighed heavily. “I won’t be able to take pictures of the tournament.” The young man nodded. “I see. Is it the reenactment?” “I’m sorry, Taylor. But why did you decided to do the tournament today?” Taylor shook his head. “I have no choice. The bank threatened to foreclose the school at the end of the month. If I move out and close the shop I don’t have to pay the fees.” He shrugged. “Sorry, Mr. McAllister, but ever since you left it hasn’t been the same.” “I figured it wouldn’t be. I’m surprised you kept the school open so long after I left.” “Well, there were still a few die hard students left. Jeff, Mario, and Katrina. They’re really upset about the school closing. Mario is thinking about moving to Denver so he could train full time for the Olympics.” He sighed heavily and leaned back into his chair. “Why don’t you ever come back, sir? It’s been five years and I know James would have wanted you to.” Landon quickly shook his head no. “Too many memories in that school.” Taylor smiled. “Yeah, that’s definitely true. You know, that hole is still in the wall.” Taylor began laughing. “I’ll never forget when James did that. You ripped him a new one. Then he just looked at you and said…” “’Dad, I finally got the flying sidekick down.’” Landon began to laugh at the memory of his son. “After he said that, I couldn’t stay mad at him.” He slowly shook his head as he thought about Jarod. “Is there any items left at the school that’s mine or his?” “Some old sparring gear, few weapons and kick paddles. But that’s it. You want them back?” “No, donate them to another school.” Landon took a deep breath. “I gotta get going. Gotta make sure my uniform and supplies is ready for the reenactment. See ya around.” As his old instructor left Taylor had to sigh heavily at the memories that had flooded back to him. Him and Jarod were best friends, had been from age five to his death at the young age of twenty. He surely missed Jarod, always a prankster, making light of the toughest situation. Since his death, life seems rather bland. Especially since Landon lost his sense of humor and was rather depressing to be with. The only thing that ever got that man excited now was buying something for his camera or business. Shame he cut all ties to anything Taekwondo. He glanced at a picture taken seven years ago at Jarod’s third degree black belt test. It showed a time where everything was perfect. Jarod had begun to teach at his father’s school, which was growing by two students a month and had loved when kids learned new techniques. In fact he was the instructor that had started the after school program that had helped many kids get passing grades and to even graduate high school with honors. Ever since his death however the program slowly faded away. Taylor still spear headed it, but he’s no where near as passionate as Jarod. Today there were only two students who did the after school program. Five years ago was the time when both he and Jarod had began their training for the Olympics. It was during a tournament down in Alabama when the unthinkable happened. A rare fluke that only occurs once in several years. Jarod suffered a roundhouse kick to the side of his head, right under the jaw line. Unfortunately the kick had enough momentum to snap his spinal cord. His best friend was dead before his body hit the mat. Ever since then things have never been the same. To this day it was extremely hard for him to go into the ring. The memory of what had happened still fresh in his mind. Taylor shook away the negative thoughts then went to get a quick snack from his kitchen. He glanced outside the window to see downtown Gettysburg. He lived in one of many small apartment complexes that skirted downtown. His was a bit nicer, though most would still call his place a little ghetto. Across from his complex sat a row of six town homes, one of which had a U-Haul sitting in front. Well, it looks like he’s getting new neighbors. **** The neighborhood wasn’t too bad, though there were a few abandoned cars along with trash that could have been cleaned up. Mikayla Flores sighed heavily at the neighborhood in which she now will live in. It was a complete one-eighty from where she use to live which was in a pleasant housing distract in a small town outside Kansas City, Mo. Why did they have to move cross country? What was her mom thinking bringing her and Kaylin here? She shook her head then went back to unloading the large U-Haul truck. Most of what was inside were just boxes and other miscellaneous small things. Her mom had the smart idea to sale all of their furniture to help with the move. Which meant no beds, no couch, not even a dining table or a chair to sit on. Hopefully they will be buying some furniture in the near future. “Hey, Mikayla I already picked my room.” Kaylin gave Mikayla a smug smile. “I hope you enjoy your room. I think it’s actually a closet.” Mikayla nearly threw the box down she was holding. “But that’s not fair!” “You snooze, you loose.” Her younger sister stuck her tongue out then ran back into the town home. “It better not be as big as a closet.” Mikayla grumbled under her breath. Slowly she made her way to the town home, stepped through the front door to see where her mom and sister had placed most of the boxes. She glanced down at the box she was holding to see it was one of hers. Guess she could just take it with her since her room was her next destination after all. Up the stairs she went, till she came to the small landing where a few boxes with her name on it sat next to a door. Gradually she sat down her box, opened the door then groaned at the room that was given to her. It was small all right, might almost be too small if that was even possible. At first she thought this wasn’t a bedroom till she saw the small closet. How the hell was she suppose to live here? If lucky she could fit a twin bed and a small dresser in this room, but that was it. “Great.” She turned around as Kaylin came walking up to her from the end of the hall. “Surely your room can’t be any much bigger then this.” Kaylin beamed. “It’s big enough to make a difference.” “Fine. I don’t need a big room anyway!” Mikayla slammed the door shut which got an irritated whine from her sister. “Go away, Kaylin!” “You know you have to finish packing the truck, don’t you!” “Where’s mom!” “I don’t know! She took the car and just drove off! Now, help me Mikayla!” Their mother, Teresa was one strange character when she was married, how much stranger will she get being single? She never really cared much for her and Kaylin and in fact hardly ever loved their father Roger. Before he was sent to jail not once did Mikayla hear her parents say I love you to each other. She didn’t even see them hug or even kiss, maybe all moms and dads were like that? Something in Mikayla told her though it wasn’t right.