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The first fourteen years of my life were spent in a neighborhood riddled with kids of all ages. You had the youngest ones whose parents showered them with video games and expensive playsets, the oldest ones who rode their bikes in packs and tormented everyone else, and you had the middle group, where I fell. The kids who mooched with the youngest and fought dirty with the oldest. We were the self proclaimed kings and queens of the neighborhood and with good reason.

The school year seemed to drag by, but as soon as that final bell rung it was official. It was time to prepare for battle.



There was no sleeping in when war was upon us. As soon as the sun rose my bedroom window was being knocked on and I was running out to join my squadron. Dragging my bike from the shed where it'd sat for the long Ohio winter and pedaling down to our base. Sean and David were twins, and polar opposites. Sean was sensitive and collected Care Bears, David was wild and ate leaves; their home was our base. It sat in the middle of the street, and our enemies lived behind and next to them giving us plenty of opportunity to spy. Each member of our team offered a valuable skill, just like the enemies.



Water balloons were our grenades. Every summer we'd invest in hundreds of them, filling them full and tying them till our fingers swelled. We'd fill up a wheel barrel with them then stash them in someone's shed or ask another neighbor if we could leave them in their backyard till needed. Megan had the arm, she could fling a water balloon from the top of her driveway to the top of the driveway on the opposite side of the street. Once she got started, she didn't stop until everyone was drenched.


Ruining good times everywhere!

Amanda maned the other team, her nickname was Willy as she was notorious for killing the mood at the pool with her massive belly flops in her black one-piece. She'd fill her balloons just enough that they'd pop, but once they hit you they left a pretty good bruise. She couldn't throw far, but she could throw hard. We took shelter in my backyard, using the cars in the driveways as our shields. It was a long and grueling battle dragging on for most of the day. But a sack that held only 15 water balloons before it needed to be refilled couldn't hold a match to our 100, and thus round one went to the middle class!


Disclaimer: Never squirts out as much as the package shows, must be refilled every 5 squirts and replaced every 30.

Water guns were a last resort for a while. Forced to use the small dollar store guns due to parents worried about someone loosing an eye we didn't fair well when challenged in this area. Derrick was their water gun man, he carried a full artillery and could ride for miles on his bike with no hands. We would hide in the bushes when we'd hear him cackling because we knew we didn't stand a chance. That is until one summer when the blessing that was Toys R Us finally returned the favor of all the allowances we'd drained into it.


Warning: You could go blind, but at least you had fun doing it, and can forever carry and interesting story to tell.

They took the brilliant Super Soaker CPS 2000 and marked it down to $10. When you had a mom like mine, a deal like that couldn't be passed up no matter how dangerous she thought it was. And so my sister and I waited anxiously, poised behind the bushes with our guns loaded and pumped as Derrick spun madly around the corner cackling as usual. He was no match for the furry we unloaded on him though as he fell off of his bike surrendering. We weren't done, we continued to spray him emptying every last drop of water till he grabbed his bike and ran away in frustration. Round two and we had dominated yet again!

The final round didn't need physical skills, only brains and being the oldest I was left to face their smartest contender which wasn't saying much for them. His red hair, and freckles made him reminiscent of Scut Farkus.


Ain't no silly girl gonna beat me!

He had a thick Southern accent with a nasally tinge and always wore t-shirts that were stained with dirt. He was a tough contender none the less. We claimed the sidewalk as our playing field. Pokemon was the game. Leaf and lightening were his elements, he was content that he would beat me from the start as he'd done so many times before. I had a surprise though, a new deck, primarily colorless with all fire energies. We shot attacks back and fourth sending one Pokemon after another to the bone yard. He had one more round left to win, I had two and only one hope left. I drew my card and knew... I had won. My Charmeleon had sat lonely on the bench for rounds upon rounds and now it was time to put him to use. I smacked my Charizard down on the pavement and unleashed his firespin taking down his Zapdos and tying us up.


Pity the fool!



His Chansey came off the bench, it jumped back and fourth between us he hit me first doing damage to himself along the way, I wouldn't be defeated though. I shot back, taking him down. I'd won!



Yet another Summer goes to middle class, they may have had more physical strength, but in the end they couldn't take away our Summers. Our prize was peace, the remaining days were ours to do with whatever we pleased. This mostly involved putting on plays of Disney movies, spending our pocket change on Warheads and having contests to see who could eat the most without throwing up, and of course the good old American pass time of baseball. My mom would practically have to drag me inside at nights.



Summer may have been ours, Winter however is another tale for another time.



Thanks for reading! Props to my pic people.