Toy Guns and Real Fears

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As was common in Derry, Maine, no weather pattern lasted too long. The insufferable heat that had laid heavily on the town during the previous week had given way to a raging downpour. Nearly two consecutive days of pouring rain drenched the streets, flooding lawns and basements galore. Given, it was nothing like the disastrous storm that had washed the streets the fall before. Still, it was enough to bring down the temperatures to a normal summer-in-Maine climate and bring up the dying trickle of the Kenduskeag to a healthy flow. Sunlight sparkled lazily in the stream, reflected from the sky that was once again clear and blue. If you walked through the Barrens at that moment not knowing any better, you would almost think you were peacefully alone. Almost.

Steady, steady. A dark little pair of eyes stared carefully out from behind the thick brush of the stream's bank. They scanned slowly back and forth across the other side of the water until...


The movement was miniscule and quick, but enough for the hidden boy to pick up on. A tiny flash of sunlight against flaming red hair, only there for a second before disappearing behind the next tree up the bank. Beverly. The eyes now glanced down to the weapon in his lap. He raised it slowly, careful not to draw any attention to his own self. Doing so would be fatal. He squinted at where he knew she stood and aimed, ready to fire the second she poked her face out from behind her tree. A little smirk appeared on his lips as he saw the same red hair flutter back into the sunlight. He readied himself to pull the trigger, the word of victory on the tip of his tongue. In three... two... one...

"BANG!!" a voice yelled, but it wasn't his own. He barely had time to register who it belonged to before he was slammed and pinned to the ground. His toy gun flew out of his hand and twigs and rocks scratched up into his shirt.

"Oi! How dare ye try an' shoot tha' lady over they-a. Are ye mad?"

"Richie get the hell off me! What happened to staying on your side of the Kenduskeag? Those are the rules Bill said," Eddie pouted, struggling to slip his wrists out of the other boy's grip. Richie was quite literally on top of him, their faces so close that he could smell the candy and cigarettes on his breath and the dirt that was on his clothes. His mess of dark hair brushed down to tickle Eddie's nose. Eddie kept his face in a scowl even as hot color raced into his cheeks. The amount of effort he was putting into not glancing at the lips above him wasn't helping his case.

"My dear Eddie Spaghetti, there are no rules in war," Richie said, with all the dark seriousness of an assassin from a showing at the Aladdin. He then leaned even closer, making Eddie struggle again, before pushing his own gun into the trapped boy's chest and shouting out a "BANG!" He then finally released Eddie, standing up with a salute. "Thanks for making that so easy, my good chap, now off to find good ol' Big Bill." And then he was off, leaving Eddie shaking his head, not only to clear it of every thought he'd just had about his friend, but also because of how awful Richie's British accent had been.

Eddie picked himself out of the bushes in time to see Bill peek out and take a shot at Ben, who'd ventured out of cover for a better shot at his opponents. The teams had been him and Bill, Ben and Mike, and Richie, Stan and Bev, in an intense game of Guns. Stan had been out first, not willing to crouch low enough for the best cover. Too much mud from all the rain, he had tried to explain. The others were still in a raging battle.

Eddie sat next to where Stan was perched, watching the others. "Your rotten teammate just tackled me to the ground in my land," Eddie huffed out. He looked back to where Richie had darted back into the underbrush.

"I'm guessing you're not talking about Bev," Stan laughed.

Soon Ben came to join them, muttering about how much easier of a target he was to aim at. Eddie threw an arm around his friend's large shoulders, reminding him that at least he couldn't get taken taken to the ground by a shrimp like Richie.

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