A time before light sabers


A long, long time ago on an old familiar street not so far away, a brave young group of kids banded together to fight off all adversaries — both of this world and worlds beyond.

Enemies came in all shapes, sizes, and species. Some attacked the brave band of Flamingonites by crawling, others by flying, and still others by means not seen in this world.

As mightily as the enemies fought, eventually all met the same fate because they were pitted against the one weapon greater than any other — the weapon of childhood imagination. It was indeed a time before lightsabers.

The tallest of the Flamingonites was Goofy Steve. Adorned with a red crop of hair, a freckled-painted face and supported by his slim build, his secret weapon was that of misdirection. Confounding his attackers with his erratic movements and ability to dodge any projectile, especially a dodgeball thrown by any third grader, he was a formable opponent.

He entered every battle wielding a three-foot-long stick. Powered by childhood imagination, it was a weapon that could not be bested.

The great one, Bubba Hanks, aka Hank the Tank, was by far the largest of the Flamingonites. His bulk and superhuman strength afforded him the ability to crash through any defensive line no matter how fortified and bowl over unsuspecting attackers.

Hank the Tank, with a sack of magic dirt clods tied to his waist, was also armed with the undefeatable weapon of childhood imagination. Anything hit by one of those dirt clods was rendered paralyzed for five minutes. Hit by two and the enemy was completely destroyed or at least until Mom called us in for snacks, lunch, or dinner.

Standing just shy of four feet with long curly black hair she could use as a whip, Blabber Mouth Betsy was the Flamingonites secret weapon. With her stealth, she had the ability to infiltrate behind enemy lines, learn of their secrets and return unharmed.

Once safely back in camp, Betsy did what she did best; she blabbed all of the enemy’s battle plans and secrets. With the information she had collected, she sent the Flamingonites on many successful adventures.

Neighbor Thomas, Ski, and the kid all called Booger were a trio of brave fighters know as The Expendables. Expendables were sent into the fray of battle together or alone. Their mission: To misdirect the attention of the enemy and to draw their fire.

All were expendable but none were forgotten. Their bravery and sacrifice were well documented in the history books of the famous street they defended. After the battles they fought and fell, each was honored posthumously.

When the Brothers Four stood shoulder to shoulder, they made an impenetrable united wall of defense or offense. But they didn’t always fight as a harmonious unit.

The weapon of choice for the Brothers Four was that of chaos and unpredictability. During most conflicts, they would start off united, but soon coordination and communication between the Bothers Four broke down.

At any given time, they could be wielding sticks as swords or throwing magic dirt clods, water balloons, or even frozen snowballs from winters past. Attacks were initially directed at their adversaries but often ended up towards each other – sometimes even winding up directed at both.

Hence their secret weapon of unpredictable chaos kept any adversary of the Brothers Four befuddled.

Such was the life of outside adventure a long, long time ago on an old familiar street not so far away called Flamingo. It was a time long before cellphones, video games, and television with hundreds of channels.

Here’s hoping that these new enemies, despite all of their efforts, will still remain unable to defeat that most powerful of all weapons: the childhood imagination.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog: storiesbyrick.wordpress.com.]