pretendin’…

we used to go back there when I was a kid…

back where…

in the woods…along this trail of brown pine needles coverin’ the ground…used to kick pine cones along the way…see how long it would take ‘fore they swerved off the path…playin’ games…kick ’em with our left foot only…

where were you goin’ back in the woods…

different places…it was a deep green forest that became magical in the fall…leaves turnin’ to rusts…reds…yellows…golds…brown…’ventually they’d all turn brown…die ya know…used to crunch under our feet…

see anything back there in the woods…

lots of things…some things…abandoned bikes…couple of old cars…tires…empty whisky bottles…streams…

what’d you do in there…

we played war…take our walkee talkees out there and pretend like we was in Vietnam…like our uncles…our dads…

they were in Vietnam…

yeah…they never talked ’bout it though…kinda kept it quiet…we’d pretend we were Marines…

Marines…

yeah…fighters…soldiers…we’d play for hours…he’d go one direction and I’d take off in another…communicatin’ back and forth on the radio…it was all pretend…

you and who else…

friends from the neighborhood…childhood friends…kids…we built a fort back in the woods…made of old wood we’d found…tarps…

did you camp out there…

yeah…did all the time in summer…’til it got destroyed…

who destroyed it…

don’t know…just went back there one day and it was all torn up…like a bunch of savages ripped it apart…we loved that fort…

what happened after the fort was destroyed…

we stopped pretendin’…toy guns were put away…no longer used walkee talkees…stopped goin’ into the woods…just stopped…wasn’t fun anymore…

no longer fun…

nope…all that was gone…should’ve never built that thing…

why’s that…

just ’cause…just ’cause…

you know who destroyed that fort don’t you…

I gotta good idea…gotta good idea…found wine bottles by it…empty cigarette packs…butts all ’round…

we’re you there when it happened…you were weren’t you…

it was pitch black…we had flash lights…sleep over one night…we snuck out and went to the fort…went inside…the grass was all yellow and wet…smelled in there…

what happened…

heard voices…whispered voices…we got scared…walls started comin’ down…yellin’…screamin’…hateful words…

try to fight them…

too many of ’em…didn’t have a chance…the fort was demolished…we never built it back again…

never…

never…we just left it there…we stopped goin’ in the woods…we just stopped pretendin’…

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