This piece originally appeared on Tenth to the Fraser in Issue Zero of our print magazine, April 2016, and was originally presented as a part of the Wait for Me, Daddy celebrations.
When I was 11 years old, two blocks from my home, a stand of trees grew on a strip of land. You’d cross a few streets from our home, and it would bring you to the place that we called The Woods.
It wasn’t a forest or a nature preserve or a park. Just leftover, neglected, underdeveloped parcel of land, fringed by tall grass and old trees in the middle. I’m sure now it would appear to be a mere back lot but back then it represented a place of freedom, a wilderness.
When there was enough of us to form two sides, my friends and I would head to it with stolen broom handles, broken hockey sticks, and garbage can lids in our hands and we would play our games, wargames.
Absolute anachronology ruled. We were fantastic eternal chameleons warriors. Nazi one moment, then shining elf, knight of the Round Table next, a merry man of Sherwood Forest, or even a Nazi Elf. It was all possible in the Woods.
I don’t remember much about the reasons for our wars. We just wanted to fight it. Continue reading “The War In Me”