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The Clubhouse War

    WE THE PEEPLE of this humble Clubhowse solumly sware to uphold the caus of justis and peece. We vow to defend and protect this Clubhowse and eech other from all that may whish to do harm. We vow to let this Clubhowse be a Beecun of lite and truth for all whishing sancshuery and piece from the stress of life. A plais wear it is saif to be a kid, were no groan up shall ever entur and whear fun may exist fourever.

    -The Clubhowse Owth-

    When all the ballots were in they were taken to a small room to be counted. Finally the results were back the result was James Edwards, with six votes; John Edwards, with three votes; and Thomas Sanders, with seven votes. Thomas Sanders would be the new Clubhouse President. He stepped forward to be crowned.

    The old Clubhouse President was James Edwards. James and John, the twins, had always been the most popular. But surprisingly Thomas had been everybody's favorite this year. He was the new kid, having just moved into the house across from the canal three months earlier. He had started out shy and had slowly grown more confident. Everybody had become his friend. Then he had joined in on the neighborhood club. Two months after he had joined the club, the annual clubhouse elections were started. Everybody prompted him to run for president. He went for it. The first vote had turned up with Vinnie Roberts: Historian, as he had been for the past five years, Daniel Evans, Ron Davis, Steve Knots, and Adam Hill as Senate. The vote also left James, John and Thomas in line for President. The Twins, James and John, had always switched positions every year. James would be President and John would be Vice-President, the next year it would be the other way around.

    Now that Thomas was proclaimed President he was supposed to select his Vice-President. He looked at all the members of the Club. He looked through the people, Daniel, Ron, Steve, Adam, and Vinnie. They all held positions. There was James and John. No, they had served the position along time and there was no way to decide between the two. Then there were the others. There was Alex Roberts, Vinnie's hyper younger brother. No! Then there was David Lewis, the resident nerd, complete with calculator, eighteen pens, and a brain seven times that of the average kid. He didn't really have a brain that big, but the way he acted made a person think he did. He also wasn't very good at being a leader. Thomas looked around again and saw Timmy Jordan, the youngest and most over looked of all the members. Timmy always had an unkempt appearance. He was usually the one who got stuck with guarding the Clubhouse when everybody ran off to attack the girls with water balloons and water pistols. Thomas glanced around a final time and finally made his decision

    "Timmy Jordan will be the new Vice-President," He announced firmly.

    Suddenly the clubhouse was filled with noise as everybody started to argue. "This is outrageous you can't give Timmy power he gets all excited and pees his pants at the first sign of pressure," Vinnie voiced.

    David responded," Actually, it takes more than just stress to make someone have to relieve himself. It…" He was suddenly cut off by a sharp smack by Ron.

    "Can't you rethink this? Choose James or maybe John," Ron said before David could react.

    "No, it is settled we need new leadership and we aren't going to find it in people who have been in office for the past five years. I chose Timmy because he has been lowest on the food chain since he joined the club. He needs a chance."

    James suddenly stood up," I don't care I'll just start my own club, where it is O.K. for a person to be in office for five years. So who's with me for starting a better club." Slowly John stood up. Then Ron stood up, followed by Vinnie. Daniel not the one to be left out hurriedly stood up. Alex, seeing his brother, jumped up. James started walking out followed by John, Vinnie, Ron, Daniel, and Alex.

      Thus begun the Clubhouse War. The original club, referred to as the Old House, kept the old treehouse in the maple tree in the vacant lot on the corner. The new club, referred to as the Rebels, found a temporary home in a cleaned out shed across the street at James' house. James stood up to address his followers, John Edwards, Ron Davis, Vinnie Roberts, Daniel Evans, Alex Roberts, and newly joined Steven Evans. The Rebellion had taken place not two hours before. That two hours had been spent finding a new home for the club. It had been decided that the shed would serve until a new clubhouse could be arranged. They had retrieved all of their stuff from off the lawn around the maple tree. The Old House had carelessly thrown it all out. Slowly James drifted back to the present. Everyone was staring at him expectantly. He decided that he had better say something.

    "We can't just let them get away with this. They have chosen to go against the laws of the club. Never before in all the years of this club has such an outrage occurred. That is why we have chosen to meet this day. We must not let their crimes go unpunished," James said at last.

    "We can't win against them they have all the water balloons and squirt guns," Ron said in argument.

    "Yes, that they may have, but look out that window. What do you see?"

    "I see Mrs. Wilson's garden."

    "And what is there in Mrs. Wilson's garden?"

    "Tomatoes, a peach tree, some zucchini, and peas." Slowly a look of realization crawled across his face. "We aren't going to steal from her garden are we? She would kill us."

    "Of course we're not going to steal from her garden. We will just go over there and ask her. She is always willing to give tomatoes, zucchini and peas to everybody. She will just figure are parents sent us over."

    "But what if we get caught?"

    "We won't get caught. I promise you."

    "Lets go then"

    They all jumped up and walked out the door. James stopped just for a second and then headed out the door. This would be his finest hour.

    "They're moving again," Adam said as he looked through some binoculars out at the shed across the street.

    "O.K. keep an eye on them," Thomas said looking up from his review of the supplies. He had known that eventually the Rebels would decide to attack. He had decided to toss their stuff out rather than letting them back in just to avoid a fight for as long as he could. He was now carefully looking over everything that they had at their disposal, 378 water balloons, enough squirt guns for everyone to have two, and a hose. Timmy was sitting on a chair acting completely royal as if the entire world was his to command. He had at first tried to voice his objections but everybody there stood by him. Then he had finally resigned to the fact that he was Vice-President and was now acting like King. David was busy adjusting the water balloon slingshot so that the water balloons would hit the shed. You had to give it to him he was pretty smart. The rest were busy filling water balloons.

    "They can't do that," Adam shouted breaking the silence.

    "What are they doing," Thomas responded in surprise.

    "They are coming out of Mrs. Wilson's house with armloads of tomatoes, zucchini, and bags of peas."

    "They are doing what?" Thomas shouted half out of shock half out of admiration. James must have some kind of plan in order to get tomatoes and peas out of Mrs. Wilson. She hated children. "We can't let them get away with this. We need to think of something."

    "We could rush-em we have more people and more water balloons," Steve suggested.

    "We are trying to avoid a fight, "Thomas responded, "Any other Ideas."

    "I know. I know," Timmy spoke up suddenly.

    "What is your plan," Thomas said with a bright smile upon his face.

    "We could sneak over and take the tomatoes from them at night when everybody is asleep."

    "We would have to find away to sneak out of the house," Thomas said.

    "We could climb out the window," Steve suggested

    "That wouldn't work we all have rooms on the second floor and there is a ten foot drop to the ground," David countered

    "We could tie bed sheets together," Steve responded

    "Why don't we just spend the night here. We've all done it before and are parents won't mind," Timmy suggested again to everybody's surprise.

    "Great idea, lets do it," Thomas said in resolution. "Lets head home and meet back her at six O'clock."

    With these final words they all departed.

    At six O' clock everybody met back at the clubhouse. They all spread out the sleeping bags. They all settled down to wait. Thomas and Adam took the first watch, allowing everybody else to sleep. About ten O' clock Timmy and David took over. Finally at two AM they woke everybody up. They climbed down the stairs and slowly walked across the street. They silently crept around to the back of the house. They slowly opened the squeaky door making as little noise as possible. They looked in hurriedly to make sure nobody was there. It was empty. Nobody was there. The place looked deserted.

    "Where is everything," Thomas whispered.

    Nobody was prepared to answer that as they walked back to the treehouse. They were just about to the edge of the sidewalk when suddenly they heard a splat, Thomas yelled, and they heard someone shouting, "get-em." Suddenly they were in a deluge of water balloons. The members of the Old House started running back to the other side of the street.

    Back on the other side of the street they did a quick count to make sure that everybody was there. David and Timmy were missing. They looked around and saw two shadows running around underneath the treehouse. Tomatoes, mashed peas and zucchini, and water balloons were landing all around the figures. Unexpectedly two things happened at once a door opened and somebody started to shout, and the smaller of the figures went down. The neighborhood was suddenly wide-awake and screaming, "What was this madness? Who was responsible? Who was going to pay the consequences?"

    The treehouse was totally quiet. Nearly everybody was trying to find his or her kids. Everybody else was looking on in wonder at all of the excitement. All of the kids were found except two, James Edwards and Timmy Jordan. A piercing scream broke through the noise. A heavy layer of silence seemed to fall across all who could hear the scream.

    There, at the end of the street, by the canal, the struggle could be seen. James was beating Timmy senseless. Timmy jumped up to get away. James lurched after him, grabbed him by the shoulder, and tripped on a tree root. James and Timmy fell toward the canal. James tried to right himself, pushed Timmy headfirst into the water. James looked back trying to see Timmy.

    He saw a small figure fighting to swim a few yards downstream. "Oh No!," James muttered under his breath. He ran and jumped in. He swam towards the Timmy. He grabbed him around the waist and started swimming towards shore. He grabbed a branch just as the current sped up. It was heading down towards a bridge. James was reaching up to catch one of the supports for the bridge when his head collided with the pillar. He could feel himself losing consciousness.

    Timmy reached up and grabbed the support with one hand and James with the other. He was fighting a losing battle as the current tried to sweep him away. He used pure force of will and held on. He could here voices above him shouting. Then he saw a man floating there in the middle of the air. Timmy glanced longingly at the man, looked at James and looked at the support beam. He pulled James towards the floating man. The floating man grabbed James and shouted something. Then he floated back up beyond view. Timmy tried to grab the support beam with his other hand, but slipped as the icy water sucked away his remaining strength. He felt himself drift away. He was surrounded by a deep warm darkness. He floated through the darkness in quiet contentment. Without warning something ripped through the darkness and pulled him up. He felt a shock as the cold air hit his body. Everything came back to him. Was James okay? He looked around franticly trying to find James. A calm reassuring voice kept saying, "It's all right, everything is going to be okay."

    The rescue crew pulled the boy up in the arms of one of their crewmen. The boy was mumbling something as he struggled, "James, James, James."

    "It's all right, everything is going to be okay. James is in good hands."

    After that the boy slowly relaxed.

    The following afternoon Timmy was sitting up in bed looking across at James. James was still asleep. Slowly James' eyes opened and he looked around. He looked up at the ceiling and quickly sat up in bed. Then he looked across to Timmy. Tears flowed into his eyes and down his cheek, as he looked at him. He remembered how last night he had been so mad at what Timmy had done to them. The club had been strong until Timmy had been made Vice-President. James had been so filled with anger. He was without a job for the first time in five years. He was a broken man with no power. He figured starting a new club would give him that power. He took those who would follow him. He had spent some time listening to the radio transmitter he had stashed underneath the floorboards several years previous. When he had heard about the plan he was filled with even more anger. His friends were planning to steal from him. He had told everybody else what he had heard. Later they had sat waiting for the Old House to leave. Then they had climbed in with the tomatoes, mashed zucchini, and mashed peas. When he had seen Timmy go down he knew it was his chance. He had run down to see Timmy running off down the street. He had rushed after and simply lost control. He was jerked back to reality. Timmy was saying something.

    "What?" James said.

    "I said, 'I forgive you,'" Timmy said again

    James didn't know what to say. He final responded by saying, "I forgive you too."

    Tears rushed down both of their faces they climbed out of bed and hugged each other. They stayed that way for a long time. It would be a happy friendship and would last many years.

Copyright © 2005