SOME COLD WAR BLUES: A Short Story, Episode Four

“Okay, say uncle,” demanded Andy, who was bigger and tougher and had him hopelessly pinned. “And promise you won’t hit me with a snowball.”

   “Okay, I promise.”

   Andy let him up.  Jack brushed the snow from his clothes.

   “Now I’ll hafta go in an’ change,” Jack said.


   “Why!  ’Cause I’m all wet now, ya dumb cluck.”

   “No, you don’t. Let’s go up to the schoolyard.”

   “I’ll hafta ask.”

   “Never mind then. Let’s go get Peter.”

   Peter Swanson and his little sisters, five-year-old twins, all of them still in their pajamas, were watching Captain Midnight.

“Let’s go outside,” Andy said, restless as always.

   “I wanna watch Sky King” Peter said, and the twins clapped with glee.

   Jack’s heart sank, for he found only a yawning emptiness in the adventures of the crew-cut middle-aged pilot who wore the dumbest looking cowboy hat Jack had ever seen. Even Sky’s young niece Penny left him cold, a dip of a girl if there ever was one.

   “Come on,” Andy said. “It’s a snow day.”

   “Alright,” Peter said.

   The twins begged Peter to stay with them, which only sealed his resolve to go outside, for he could not be thought to want to do what the little kids wanted.       As the boys buttoned up to go outside, Jack reflected enviously upon Peter’s life—older brothers, homemade coffee cake two or three times a week (so often you just took it for granted) and little twin sisters to boss around, wrestle with and scare the daylights out of as they scurried innocent and unsuspecting around a dark corner of the house.           

   Outside, walking up the street, they debated what to do.

   “How ’bout a snowman?” Andy said.

   “No fun,” Peter said, “kid stuff.”

   “Then let’s go up ta the hospital roof an’ throw snowballs at cars.”

   Peter seemed to be silently weighing the pleasures of such a dangerous adventure against the possibility of apprehension and punishment.

   “How ’bout this,” Peter said. “Let’s find a good place an’ build a snow fort an’ have a snowball war.”

   “Who with?” Jack said.

   “I don’ know. We’ll find somebody.”


   “The MacDonalds,” Andy said. “We’ll attack the sledders when they come down the alley.”

   “Nobody’ll sled today,” Jack said. “The snow’s not right.”

   But Peter had grander visions. “Yeah, the MacDonalds,” he said. “They won’t be back until summer. Maybe we can have the same fort all winter. It’ll be like a clubhouse, with dues an’ a password.”

   “At least until it melts,” Jack said.

By Max McBride
Posted in | No Comments »

Leave a Reply

Max McBride © All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy

Site Created by KC Web Specialists, LLC