The Great Fight

January 6, 2009
By Vickie Phelps, Marion, IL

It was early morning; the dew was still on the grass. It had been raining and puddles were all over the place. There’s a huge hill behind the faded yellow duplex of ours. The path was very muddy. Life all around was quiet except for the purring cat softly rubbing its warm body against my skinny legs. The creaking of the screen door behind me awoke my senses. I already knew who it was, but I turned to see anyway. My short, stubby, fair-haired brother Scotty was standing in the doorway munching an apple. In his shadow was my baby brother, Timmy. Timmy was still very young for what was to happen on this day. He ran out to pet the cat, but I jerked im back by his collar because on this day, we fight.
The Crums were our neighbors from down the street. Their mom was sweet. Their dad on the other hand, he was on the sexual predator list. Maybe that’s why the children in the family are so messed up... The Crum children were insanely odd, rude, and just misplaced. Jason, the youngest of the Crums was your average fiery, freckle-faced redhead. Mandy, the middle child had a sweet disposition, until you got on her bad side, which was fairly easy. Last but not least, was Marie. Marie was tall and skinny, beautiful, but the meanest kid on the block. One time she put a cat in a cooler and threw it in her mom’s trunk to die!

I caught sight of the Crum kids walking toward us as if in a movie. Neighbors opened the wooden doors to their faded blue, yellow, and green duplexes, but dared not to open the screen door for fear of flying objects. . . Or people, whatever happened to sail through the air.

Life all around seemed to slow down as we made eye contact with the Crums. Marie, swishing her long, golden-brown hair. Mandy stares with her one green eye and one blue, and little Jason picks the boogers out of his nose. Even the cat pounced away in fear, because ever since the beginning of time, Crum after Crum had terrorized the neighborhood and we, the Littles, were the only ones with guts enough to try and stop them. They walked up to us as my brother spit the seeds from his apple on the ground at their feet. Our leaders began their journey to the playground and as silently commanded, we follow. The streets of Harmson Circle were hushed except for the fall leaves raking across the ground. The playground was slightly muddy. Armed with only our fists and our communicational walkie talkies, we took our positions. Now these weren’t the walkie talkies you see today. These were bigger than the first cell phones. We held up our weapons and gasped a deep breath. This war was not going to be easy.

A bellowing yelp from Marie began the battle. She ran and tackled Scotty to the ground. They seemed to go down in slow motion to the softened earth. Right before they hit, I feel a sudden blow to the left side of my face. I turn around to see Jason’s fat brown freckles open to show a nasty yellow smile as he ran for his life. I jerk Timmy to the ground to avoid him being hit by Jason also. Children ran amuck and walkie talkies were seen flying through the air. The neighborhood dogs bark madly on their chains. Mad Maniac Marie lunges for me and I jump out of the way to evade the pain that would have come with her extremely tall body slamming against me. I saw Mandy and sprint to catch her. My heart races and my ears pound against the cold. My body gave way and I slowly fell to the ground with my arm outreached, in hopes I would be able to grab at Mandy’s leg. My eyes cleared and I realized I had a pant leg in my hand. I feel accomplished. I drag my self up on top of her and hold her down. She wriggles and squirms beneath my eighty-five pound body. She pauses for a moment comprehending what I was about to do. She begs for me to let her go, but I can’t. I have a loyalty to myself, to my brothers. So with all my breath, I suck in and hock the biggest loogie and spit right in her face. I finally jumped up and laughed until my stomach hurt.
The fight went on for at least another hour. The neighbors began to go back to their duties. Working moms came home from their midnight shifts, including Mrs. Crum and my mother Loretta. When they saw us covered in dirt, blood and tears, they yanked us by the arms back to our houses.
Our moms wanted to know what was going on and why we were fighting but we couldn’t tell them the truth that we were fighting for territory and honor. They would find it ridiculous.
So we loaded up in the truck to get our punishment. We arrived shortly after at the carwash to get a power spray. Those things are painful!
That cold October morning of blood, sweat, and tears was an important part of my life. It taught me about family, friendship, and sweet revenge. No one knows exactly who won, but it was a good fight. The battle was fought but in today’s world, the war for peace still goes on.

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