The Fort

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As a kid, I loved hanging out with friends in the neighborhood. There was no waiting period to see if their parents could find the time in the day to bring them over. I could just go to their house, see if they’re available. Most of the time they are, and then most of the day is spent with them, looking for cool things to do. There was one problem - there was never a place to hangout without bothering parents. We decided we could make a fort, because not only could it be created to our liking, it could not be a bother to our parents. We first found a great spot at their house - the attic in their garage. All it was used for was storage, so it didn’t seem it could bother anyone.


After a few weeks, everyone put their own ideas in. We even had a spare change jar to put extra money into use for snacks and other parts of the fort. Me and my sister had brought fold out chairs from our house to the fort, but had to take them back home after my parents asked for us to bring them back for a party we were having. We had sheets hung on the sides (because you could see out the sides down to the garage. There were a few problems with being up there, such as it being at least 100 degrees in there on an 80 degree summer day, but thankfully, they had a swimming pool we could swim in. Another problem was their parents were beginning to get annoyed with us being up there. For a short period of time, their step dad kicked us out of their, so we found another place to build a fort in their house. We found a crawl space in their basement that was perfect for a fort but we ended up getting kicked out of there too.


Soon, we finally convinced their step dad to let us use the attic again. We managed to make everything back to the way it was. One day, another one of the neighborhood kids came up there with us to check it out. What we didn’t realize was the box of lightbulbs sitting right on the edge, and neither did the neighborhood friend. He accidently knocked it right off the edge right when their mom was walking into the garage, and the box crashed right in front of her. She cursed, and then from that day on, we were never allowed back up there.


Now, behind my house there are woods, and then a little further back there is a fence that leads downhill to a marshy area. Those woods have never really been ventured into, because of all the thorny weeds, overgrown plants, and poison ivy everywhere. Me and my friends used to just walk through all that with jeans and jump the fence to get back to the marsh, but we were getting tired of that. We also wanted a new place to ride our bikes. So one day, someone popped the idea of clearing a nice trail through the wooded part before the fence to ride our bikes on. It took a lot of digging raking, trimming bushes, and pulling weeds, but we finally finished the trail and made it wide enough after a month. Once it was finally done, we rode our bikes on it a lot, and added new parts every now and then. Soon, this got very old, because riding bikes on the same trail over and over again can get pretty boring. Around this time we were really into Airsoft gun wars and we had an idea for a game we could play. First, we would split the teams in half, one team would get the trail, and the other would have to ‘take over’ the trail without being shot three times. It was pretty fun, but the people in the trail were at a slight disadvantage because they had limited things to hide behind.


After playing airsoft for awhile, we decided to make the trail into a better airsoft fort. We dug a nice hole, and set up a tarp over it. It was a perfect trench to hide in. We also built walls with bricks to lay behind. It was probably one of the best things I did myself as a kid. After a while, we decided to go explore the marsh. We jumped the fence, and went to the bottom of the hill only to find a muddy creek running across in front of us. Across the creek, was dry land. There was no way to cross directly behind my house so we walked along the creek and found a fallen tree which we crossed on. We realized some parts of the ground were muddy and would suck you right in, so we took a stick and checked all the ground before we walked. It was pretty nice back there.


One day, our friends came over and told us they were moving. Just like that, the fun was over. Me and my sister could maintain the trail/fort ourselves, but it just wasn't the same. After one winter passed, we didn’t clear the weeds and before we knew it, the trail was overgrown. Since then, the trail was basically gone. It remains back in my woods, still overgrown to this day.






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