Holy smokes. It was really coming down out there. The enemy would surely be assembling their war gear.

Brain poured real maple syrup on the french toast. His sister had finished the cooking. She was standing in the kitchen, leaning against the counter watching him.

“What?” he asked.

“Nothing,” she said.

“It’s something,” he said.

“When you older maybe you’ll get it.”

Brain fidgeted with the fork in the maple syrup. Licked the fork. “You’re not that much older.”

“It feels that way though,” said Al. “Jeez. Look at that.” She went to the window and looked out. Goose down snowflakes were drifting past the window.

“Think they’ll call school now?” asked Brain.

“I’m sure they do.”

Brain turned back to his last piece of french toast, soggy with syrup. “You are now my enemy,” he said to his sister.


The trenches were a dangerous place. Damnit, Riley where were those bunker busters? He was out of ammo and the enemy was raining hell down on him. Cold, snowy hell. So much better than being at school.

He pushed himself against the snow wall they had built, trying to avoided the lobbed snowballs from the girls across the street. The enemy is relentless, boys. So far there had been no real casualties.

“Where’s Billy?” shouted Brian over the screams and labored breath of wounded men.

“Got hit in the face,” said Donald. Two years older.


“Naw, he’ll be fine,” said the older boy. “Just went in to warm up.”

“Where’s Riley?”

“Not sure, but we could use that payload,” said Donald.

Brain  nodded. He swiveled around and peered over the wall, through the still falling snow to where the enemy had erected their own fortress. He ducked just in time to avoid a barrage of snowballs. He scraped the ground around him, trying to scrape enough snow together to form ammo. There wasn’t.

“Where’s Riley?” Brian yelled, as if Riley would hear him.


Brian swiveled his head around. “Huh?”

John Stig was ran across the parking lot with measured steps so not to slip on the slick pavement. Snowballs peppered the places he just stepped. He slid in beside Brian.

“Riley’s got a problem,” said John.


“The wheelbarrow got a flat tire,” said John. “Ran over a nail.”

“Pick it up,” said Brain.

“We need a third person. It’s too heavy. Full of ammo.”

Come on boys. Things were looking bad. If you want something got to do it yourself.

“Come on,” said Brain. “We’ll run for it.”

“You’ll be sitting ducks,” said Donald.

“Be our decoy,” said Brian.

Donald breathed out. Snowballs smacked the snow wall they hid behind. A couple flew over their heads.

“Ready?” asked Brain. Even though he wasn’t the oldest, he was commonly the leader. “One, two, three, GO!”

Donald took off in one direction, John and Brian in the other.

Brian’s feet slipped, not catching tread. Then it caught. The enemy’s fire was divided. Nothing landed.

Brain’s breath was ragged in his ears.



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