Chapter 1 “The Ghost Of Stuffed Animal Past”
My brother and I had so many fights I can’t even remember most, like who is taking a shower in our only bathroom first, who gets to have dad’s old Star Wars figures, or who gets the bike with a chain that won’t fall off. There was one that always caused a fight though: who will sleep on the top bunk of our bunk bed? This was an important matter, Ben and I thought that the top bunk was haunted. The reason being is that anything we took up there would disappear after we left. This carried on and on because we would always want to bring a stuffed animal up with us.
Our arguments went like this most of the time:
“Well I slept there last time with no stuffed animal” I would say.
“Well I slept there for practically a month,” Ben would say in his calm, I’m-way-older-and-know-way-more-than-you voice.
“Guys pick your battles,” my mom would say to try and keep the peace between us, but that never worked so it would always go further and further. Then I would say this:
“You did not! You slept there for like… 2 days!” I say stuttering
Then Ben would make some threat about keeping all my legos from me and I would have to lose yet another stuffed animal by the ghost.
We later found out that they were just falling down the crack of the top bunk and going underneath the bed.
The mystery was solved when we moved, Dad took the bed down, and it was as if a family reunion was happening. We punched and kicked to grab all the ones we could before one another. Ben got the most though always. That's just how it was.
Chapter 2: Unfair Bedding
Two months after we moved into this house my brother and I got a big upgrade. We finally got to sleep on mattresses on the floor instead of a sleeping bag and a pillow on the floor.
Of course, we complained about not getting a real bed, so this is how this conversation went:
“Why can’t we just have a real bed like every other normal kid,” my brother and I would say. My dad would quote the comics “Calvin and Hobbes” by saying:
“It helps build character.”
“But Annie and Maggie and you guys get a bed” Ben said.
“And the dog always sleeps with them because of it.” I added prominently.
“But we can only afford one more bed. Do you guys really want to sleep in one bed together?” he asked and that was what ended it every time.
We still fought about this every once and awhile, but we eventually got a bunk bed from a family friend.
“At last no more chronic pain,” my brother said as he passed my dad.
“What’s chronic pain?” I would ask.
“Something your brother complains too much about, but doesn't actually have,” my dad would remark as he put the leash on our dog for a walk. This would make my dad and brother laugh though I never quite got it--until I actually knew what it was.
Then my dad forgot to take the dog on a walk one evening and he peed all over my mattress.
Chapter 3: The Goose WW11
So my brother and I would be playing in our backyard and one of us made up a game where if geese flew over us they would drop bombs and you had 5 seconds to get under something before you were “ exploded ” into a million pieces.
A big flock of geese would fly over right as my brother was about to stab me with a stick, and we would bolt to get under something. Ben would slide under the trampoline (two people can’t hide in the same spot), and I would go under a tree.
“You can’t go under trees.”
“Nuh uh you did it twice yesterday.”
“I hid under the playset.”
“I saw you hide under the trees.”
“Well too bad you’re dead now.”
And well, that was case closed, my brother would win the argument most of the time with some clever threat or smart comeback and I would lose the argument. That's just how it was.
I can remember one time where our mom kicked us out of the house right as the whole Canadian goose population was migrating over our house, and we had to run because they weren’t dropping fake bombs, they were dropping bombs of bird poop. We disregarded the rules and ran under the porch. We could hear the bombs hitting the aluminum roof we had, and it sounded like machine gun fire.
“It’s a goose WW11!” my brother yelled.
Then he poked his head out, and a bomb fell right on the top of his head.
Chapter 4: Army Men
My brother and I always mixed up our army men when we would battle each other. He would give me all the leaning guys that never stood up on the carpet, and he would get all the machine gun and sniper guys that looked way cooler and stood up better. A few guys on my side always had missing arms and legs because our dog would chew them up so my brother and I made a “hospital” that all the casualties would go.
One day as we were battling, my brother took a toy plane and dropped a bunch of legos onto my men, making them fall over.
“All those guys are dead now.”
“You can’t do that,” I said.
“Yeah huh, we never made a rule about it, so I can do whatever,” my brother remarked.
“Oh yeah, that means I can do this,” I said as I took a kids book from a drawer and smashed it into all of his army guys, making them scatter all over the room.
“That’s not fair!” my brother said and scooped all my army men into his hands, so he could throw them at me.
I started to run.
My brother chased me to the steps.
I started down them.
My brother dumped the army men on me.
They spilled all the way down the stairs and onto the floor below.
“Look what you did Ben!” I yelled, my dad already coming over to see what happened.
Then he stepped on an army man with his bare feet.
He was mad now.
“Oh no, we're dead” I thought to myself.
“Who was this?” my dad said pulling the green army man from his foot. It had a broken arm, and I knew I was about to get a new soldier for my army now.
“It was him!” my brother and I said pointing at each other.
Then we just stood there pointing at each other.
“This mess isn’t going to clean itself,” my dad said, “so pick it up,” he added after we still stood there.
“I have to use the bathroom,” my brother said, and I knew he was going to camp out there until I finished picking up the mess.
And that settled it.