Warriors and Champions14

Fun and Games

With the passing of a few days I felt like I had been pushing myself too much and too hard. I felt like I needed to relax a bit but didn’t know how. After a few minutes of thinking what to do I realized that I still had not completed my promise to Lizeth.

After finding some paper and a pen and ink I sat down to work. I was never good at drawing but in a short time I created a simple flipbook. It was a simple animation of a poorly drawn stick figure walking from one side of the book to the other. After I completed and tested my book I went outside to find Lizeth.

When I found her she was in the town square playing with some of the younger children. “Ray come and join us.” I walked toward the group and saw that they were playing some familiar board games. I saw a game of Tic Tac Toe and a game of Checkers being played. “Want to play a game with us Ray?”

“It has been awhile since I have played these games. But I have something to show you.” I took out the flipbook, “this is how animation first started in my world.” I then proceeded to flip the papers and had my stick figure walk. The children’s faces glowed with excitement as my figure walked from one end of the book to the other.

“How did you do that Ray?” Lizeth asked.

“It is simple Lizeth, all you do is take some paper like this and create a scene that you want to see. This is a simple animation that I did just to show how it all started. I made my figure and on each page made it go from one end to the other.” As I explained I went through each page to show what I drew without it moving.

By the time I finished explaining other villagers came by see my “magic book”. Laughter broke out among the villagers as they watched my figure walk. Soon Byron came by to see what made almost the entire village crowd around me. “What is going on Lizeth, Ray?”

“Oh father Ray has just shown us how in his world they could create moving pictures.”

As I flipped the book Byron made a little jump but relaxed when I explained to him what I did. “You are truly a wonder Ray,” Byron said and then he told us to have some fun. As he walked away I could sense that he was troubled by something but he was starting to become confident in me to help his people. I was shaken out of my thoughts when a small girl tapped my leg wanting me to play Tic Tac Toe.

The first game I let her win, or so I thought, and halfway into the second game I tried to up my ability but soon realized that I was beaten soundly. During the third game I realized that she was my superior at the game. While trying not to have her lose she was playing me. And she was enjoying watching me lose. Her eyes shone with excitement as she watched me sweat. The fourth game ended in a tie and I finally was able to win the fifth game, but just barely.

“I should have warned you about Kitty, she is the best Tic Tac Toe player in the village.” Lizeth stated and I knew she was right.

“That she is Lizeth and Kitty I concede to you because I can no longer take being beaten so soundly.” I said laughingly and shook Kitty’s hand.

I was then challenged by Lizeth to a game of Checkers. However, I did not let Lizeth win but soon found out that I really had to focus on my game. I realized that Lizeth was a master at Checkers. I first tried my usual play style but quickly lost the game. I then tried my other style but in the end still lost because I didn’t have enough kings to finish my style of play. Finally on the third game I was able to get my strategy to work and Lizeth was unable to get anymore of my pieces. But we called the game a tie because I couldn’t get her last piece either.

One of the kids then suggested we play games where more of them could play at once. Another kid then suggested a game called Barley Break. Lizeth then explained it to me, “We create a circle where one person stands in it and the other people try to run through the circle without being caught. And once they are caught they hold hands with the person in the circle until there is only one person left and that person is the new person to be in the circle. But only the people are on the ends of the line can catch the other players but the middle people can create a net around other players going into the circle to help capture the remaining players.”

After the first game I was able to fully understand the game. On several occasions I was almost the last person to be caught but once I was netted and another time I lost my footing on the grass and was tagged. As we ran I saw how happy the children were and knew that unless I didn’t do my job those smiles would be replaced by tears.

We then played tag and hide n seek. I didn’t do well with hide n seek since I didn’t know any good hiding places but I had fun nonetheless. I was introduced to another game called Chivy where there were two teams and each team had to give one person up as a prisoner to the other team to start. During the game play the teams try to rescue their prisoner while trying to catch other prisoners from the opposing team.

Since Lizeth and I were the oldest ones playing we were on opposite teams. And both of us were chosen as the first prisoners to start the game. Lizeth was the first to be rescued but soon Kitty came by and rescued me and I saw Lizeth coming in to rescue another prisoner that my team had caught. I ran with all I had to catch her but she was just quicker and made it safely into the prison where I could not catch her.

As I turned my attention to other people she went out of the prison with the person she rescued but I had periodically checked to when she would make her escape. I tried to catch both of them but Lizeth saw me coming and took the boy by the arm and swung him towards the safety of their side of the field and she was caught.

When the time ended and the prisoners were counted my team won by two. I then introduced them to two old favorite of my childhood games. The first was Red Rover. Again Lizeth and I were on opposing teams and after a few rounds the rest of the kids understood the game. I made some rules to make sure the little kids could play and not get hurt.

The kids really enjoyed playing Red Rover and wanted to keep playing so we played for over two hours. I then introduced them to British Bulldog. Some of the kids seemed apprehensive as I explained the rules. I saw their reactions and then made slight changes to the rules. I made it so the Bulldog only had to tag the other people instead of any of the other variations that I knew.

The kids really enjoyed this game as well and almost as much as Red Rover. We played for over an hour when the smaller kids started to get tired and went home. Lizeth and the remaining children asked me if I knew any other games that I could teach them. And most of them wanted another game that was a rough and tumble game. I then asked if there was a hill we could use.

I was led to a small hill and told them about King of the Hill. Their faces lit up as I explained the rules and since there was no official end to the game they got even more excited to play. For the next hour and half we played King of the Hill. I was certain that Lizeth would not want to play but she did up her hair and charged the hill to become King. Once or twice she might have thrown me down the hill to maintain the hill.

I once decided I would be smart and charged the hill from the backside but missed my target and sailed past and tumbled down the other side. Lizeth came running up to me, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah nothing broken but my pride.” And I charged the hill again. Finally I was the King and after ten minutes the kids got tired of my rule as I kept throwing them back down the hill.

I saw them all waiting down around the base of the hill completely surrounding it. I knew what they were up to and became caught up in the moment, “Just try it and see who is the real king of the hill.” I challenged them. At once they charged and like a swarm of ants covered me and tried to bring me down. I managed to shake off a few but they came right back and soon I felt myself falling down the hill. As they cheered that I was finally toppled I joined in the cheering and the laughter.

The sun had started to set and one by one the kids left to go back home. Soon it was just Lizeth and I left at the hill. As I sat down trying to catch my breath Lizeth sat down next to me. “You know some fun games Ray. I don’t think they will want to play anything else next time but your games.”

“They are fun games all right but can be dangerous at the same time. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. But you guys have fun games as well. Not to mention that you would now some games that I also know.”

As the sun started to sink below the horizon and the stars shining I lay down and looked up into the sky. Lizeth lay down next to me and we just watched as the stars appeared. “It has been a long time since I have looked in the night sky and relaxed. I am glad that I was able to play today and laugh and have fun. I haven’t felt like this in a long time, even back home. I had almost forgotten what it was like to forget responsibility and let go and truly be at peace with the world.

“I want to thank you Lizeth for giving me this chance to forget all that is bad and wrong and feel like a kid again. I want to thank you for all that you have taught me and have given me.” I then closed my eyes and smiled and felt the grass underneath me and the gentle wind blowing on my face. I opened my eyes and looked and stared into the sky wondering how many people stopped and took time to enjoy all the good things that life has to offer. I wondered why I had stopped taking my time with things and learn to enjoy life.

Lizeth then spoke, “Ray I should be thanking you. You have given me hope and have helped the village laugh again. Ever since the news of Astoroth reached us the village became less and less cheerful. You have helped the children learn to laugh again and even taught them new games to play and trust me they will play them a lot. You have shown us a bit of your world to us and even showed me more about your science and to make art move.

“You might not have noticed or seen but you have given us hope again and even my father is noticing that you have a potential that can change the tide of the war. And you have given me the ability to hope once more. You have shown me how I can become better and how to believe once more in the world. I know that there are dangers but there is good also. You have given me that knowledge Ray. You have given me a gift grander than anything I have received so far.”

I didn’t know what to say but then an idea came to my mind and I knew that I had one more gift I could offer Lizeth. One more thing I could give that would help you remember the good and fun times she had as a child. “Looks like we both have a lot to be thankful for Lizeth. However there is one more thing I want to do with you. It will be a day or two before I can get everything acquired for it but I know you will enjoy it. But when it is ready I will let you know and we can start it the next morning. Is that okay with you Lizeth?”

“Yes Ray it is. But you don’t have to do anything more for me.”

“I know but I want to show you one more thing that I have done in my world. And I am sure you will find it as enjoyable as I do.” We stood up and walked back home and I went into the loft and went to sleep.

The next day I went down to the blacksmith and asked him about my idea and how we could build it so it would be comfortable. As he went about getting the right people and materials to build it I told him all about how I had gone tubing down the rivers with sometimes hundreds of others at once. I told everyone involved to keep this a secret because I wanted to surprise Lizeth. After two days my project was complete and I told Lizeth to meet me down by the river in the morning.

© 2014 RichardBBenson

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1 comment

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Good story. I was lost in memories of playing those games as a child.

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