Plains, games, and automobiles; the infamous group of three that turned me into a thug.
It was a warm summer day, and I was a child. Yet the beautiful weather belied the activities on King Edward’s Way, where pure evil was taking place. The terrible men were decimating the field that I played in. My friend, Isaiah, and I watched the destruction take place, letting the rage fill our prepubescent bodies.
Every day, we would run up to the field beyond our street. Giant mounds of dirt stretched miles into the sky. We loved those mountains, and they loved us. We climbed them, running from ninjas one day, catching Pokemon the next. They offered to us a crucial setting in forming classic childhood memories. And the men were tearing them down.
Granted, it was pretty thick of me to not realize that the piles of dirt were, in fact, not fun hills, and that they were just physical evidence of a transition from a field to houses.
But, to a child, everything is a game, and that’s how it should be.
Being the vigilantes that we were, Isaiah and I decided that it was time to dole out justice. We saw these men as monsters, whose life goal was to destroy our home. So we sent them a message.
Isaiah came over to my house on our D-Day. It was time for this war to end. I called out to my mother, telling her that we were going to play Pokemon at the top of the hill. She bought it. The perfect vice. Didn’t suspect a thing.
We marched up to the battleground and looked over the plains. A solemn wind kicked up some dirt, but otherwise, it was all quiet. Cars zoomed by on the perpendicular road. These witnesses would be our biggest problem.
In the stealthiest fashion possible, we crawled down the hill. We came to a cement cylinder and dove inside. There was no turning back.
We had no idea what to do now. Our innocence was dawning on us; could two kids really bring down an entire mob? However, the innocence was also our best asset; nobody expects the children. Towards the end of the field, a large truck was parked with no one inside. That would do.
We ran our hands over the dirty exterior of the tank. It was covered with the blood of our homeland, muddy spots acting as battle scars. Our rage increased, but we kept calm. If we blew it now, that could lead to serious trouble. Our parents might even find out.
After moments of searching, I found a chink in the armor. Two orange circles on the back of the truck covered the lightbulbs that lit up for the brakes. Without those, we realized that the truck would almost certainly be pulled over, which would be a victory on all counts.
Isaiah watched the traffic, looking for a break. I waited, rock in hand, ready to deliver that lethal blow. He gave the signal. Suddenly, I panicked. Was this really my fate? To go down in history like Al Capone, surrendering my life of potential to one of gangsterism and thuggishness? But alas, in order to defend my homeland, sacrifices had to be made. I willed myself to let go of that childish reputation and slammed the rock into the brake light cover.
The rock struck the plastic and broke it immediately. It fell to the ground, raining bits and pieces of victory. I was ready to stop there, but my mind was not my own. I struck again, smashing the light bulb. The brake light was out, but I wanted more. I did the same for the other light, smashing and smashing until Isaiah pulled me away from my victim. I was like a boxer, punching my opponent, getting my gloves on him in any way possible until I was forcibly removed. Then I saw the danger.
A car pulled into our field. I dropped the rock, but there was dirt on my hands. It drove up next to us. A man rolled down the window and asked who we were. I did the talking; I was the leader of this gang. I told him who we were, puffing out my chest, both for size and in an effort to hide the massive thumping of my nervous heart. He asked why we were here. Being the masterful improviser that I am, I told him that we were collecting rocks. His skeptical face showed how little he believed me. However, in absence of truly incriminating evidence, he let us go, sending us on our way.
We sprinted back to my house, hearts going faster than our little legs could take us. We had done it. The industrial giant was finished. Justice had prevailed once and for all.
Of course, in retrospect, our efforts were futile. They built a bunch of houses and apartments, and we lost our field. We never were caught by our parents or anyone else, but the guilt of my crime has stuck with me to this day. To put it frankly, I was stupid. But I managed to turn my life around from my career of crime, and now, here I am. Without the story of the Harrisonburg plains, the games we played there, and the automobile that turned me into a criminal, I would not be the person that I am today.
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