Hillary Griffis’ fictional skylark series – Eight: More than one way to enjoy Jägermeister
The race is on through the grounds of this historic military college, not only to have the most unique skylarks but to be remembered forever. The cadets want to go down in history but will it be for their greatness and team work or for the danger they put themselves in? With only so many months to make an impression, the skylarks are bolder than ever before. Fun or dangerous, the cadets are skilled and unstoppable.’
Second-year Ryan Kemble drips bright green paint on his shoes. He mutters a curse and wipes it off with his long sleeve shirt. He was prepared to get his clothes messy but not his new shoes. He was pretty excited to buy these new running shoes because his old ones fell apart during basic training last summer and sometimes what got him through waking up and putting on his old running shoes at 0441 hrs was the idea that he could buy new shoes once it was all over. They’re also the most expensive running shoes he’s ever bought and he wants to keep them clean but this bright green paint isn’t helping. As a proud member of Mackenzie squadron Kemble expects by the time he graduates most of his workout clothes will be covered with bright green paint but he just wants to keep his shoes blue and white for as long as possible.
“I don’t understand why we’re painting a fence” Kemble says to his friends sitting beside him also painting.
Fourth-year Russell Jones is squatting a few people down from him, but is lost in thought remembering what he loved the most about skylarks. It’s a lot like playing a rugby game: You’re nervous and excited, you feed off your adrenaline and the adrenaline of your team. As team captain of the rugby team, Jones takes every opportunity he can to make people feel as if they’re part of a team. The feeling of the rush you get when you win a game, especially after working together for so long. Even with 0600 hrs and 1700 hrs practices every day, he understand that his teammates give up so much from their social life and sleep, making it all worth it for Jones.
Jones stops reminiscing, hears Kemble, and says, “It’s not about painting the fence, Kemble.”
“Then… why are we here? I’m cold and tired, and the grass I’m sitting on is wet. You have to be at rugby practice in like 5 hours, aren’t you pissed too?”
“Would you rather do a skylark like nine squadron and end up in fours and gaiters for a month?”
“One squadron put a boat on the arch, how does this compare?”
“One squadron also dropped a boat off the arch.”
“It’s just not that fun…”
Jones takes a deep breath and says, “Well… Look, it’s not about fun. It’s about team work. Doing this as a team is fun. Being with our squadron mates is fun. Doing it properly and not getting breached, is also fun to me. I don’t mind loosing a little sleep over painting a fence with you guys. Do you?”
The second years around him are quiet for a while while they paint.
Jones breaks the tension, “This might make it a little more fun”, he pulls a bottle of Jägermeister from out of his backpack which was holding some of their painting supplies. The eyes of the second-years around him widen. “It’s not for us, it’s the only green bottle of alcohol I could find. Now, go put it on the steps of the commandant’s house.”