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Sand Castle War This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Damn," I screamed as the smoke bomb would not go off in my sandbox. It was a dud. I knew it; that cheap skate sales clerk had sold me duds. When I bent down to pick up the no-good, useless smoke bomb, I noticed something green and shiny in the sand. It was one of those little swords you get at Chinese restaurants in cocktail drinks. All of a sudden I remembered what happened a longtime ago with these little things.

* * *

One summer day about seven years ago when kids were kids and I played with my creep sister who was more normal than she is now, we had one little problem in common: it was the people down the street. Our whole family hated them and they hated us. It was a family tradition to dislike each other. My sister and I especially hated the kids. These kids were our worst enemies and were ugly too. The hatred between us was so great, it was like the fight between good and evil that would never end. These kids decided to threaten me to take over our sandbox. "No way, man," I said to my sister. They are not going to take over our fort. Our sandbox was like a second home; it was a place to hang out; it was the world put in one little sandbox. This meant war to me and my sister and we would fight to the death to save our sand castle.

That morning we worked, preparing for the big fight. First we filled up at least 50 water balloons. Then we started to dig to China or so we thought. When we hit the bottom of the sandbox we asked my dad to drill a hole through the bottom, which he did. After that, we dug a trench all the way around the sandbox, which we filled with most of our water balloons. I then put a thin layer of sand over the balloons, so nobody could see them. We did this so that when the kids charged at the castle, they would trip in the trench and get all wet.

I started to build the castle; it was going to be the biggest and baddest castle ever. This castle was going to be so mean that any little wimp couldn't touch it. When I was done, it looked five feet taller than I was. (Everything looked five feet taller than I back then.) My sister stuck a hose in the hole to make a secret water gun. After that we decided to decorate the castle with those little swords you get in cocktail drinks at Chinese restaurants. Now we were almost ready for the fight.

We dressed up in army clothes and ate a special lunch of PB & J.

Then we got our bikes. These were not regular bikes; these were rough, tough three-wheelers that could run down a freight train. My sister's was a pink, powder-puff bike and mine was the brand new Red Rider special with power steering and antilock brakes. We thought we were ready.

My sister hid in the woods and I was in front of our sand box. The kids came around the corner and were heading for me. Just as they were about to pound me, my good ole sis shot out of the woods, knocking the boy off his bike and bending the front wheel. Then she gave him a couple of kicks where it counted and he was down for the count. As the girl was heading right for me, I quickly chucked a water balloon at her. Bang! It nailed her. She got up and socked me right in the kisser. Now she was running for the castle. Just as she got there, she tripped in the trench and landed right on the hose, getting soaked. "We won!" I screamed to my sister. After that we tortured them by throwing sandy water balloons at them. Those kids never bothered us again.

* * *

"Wow," I said as I lit off a smoke bomb that worked. I wish I could go back to that time, when there were no worries and everything was fun. I remembered that day with the sand castle as one of the last days of being a real kid, with imaginary friends like Skeeter and Jack. The next week I turned eight and I forgot about the sand castle. Girls were more important then.

"Justin, stop lighting smoke bombs," my mom screamed, "and get in here." n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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