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Night Games

Did you ever play night games as a child? We sure did; Kick the Can, Ghost in the Graveyard, Steal the Flag and Cops & Robbers were our favorites. We'd suit up in as much black as we could scrounge from our closets and trudge up the hill to either Andy's or Myra's houses. It made for some great memories, and some painful ones.


The strongest memory I have of night games came not long before the joy of those days were finally curbed by parents. We were at Andy's house and we were playing a rather exciting game of Ghost in the Graveyard. Now for those of you who don't know how the game is played, I'll explain; it's like Sardines in that you have one person hiding and the rest of the group seeking, when you see the person who is it you holler “Ghost in the Graveyard!”. Then you run for all your worth to the safe point; if you are caught your it. Andy was the best one at this game, and we all loved it when he was it. He hid extremely well, especially in his own yard.


So there we were, huddled together as tightly as we could get, inching along the side of his house when I was lucky enough to look up and see him behind a bush above us, smiling mischievously. If this had been the first time I'd seen him in such a pose I might not have reacted as strongly as I did, but it was probably the third time and my nerves were raw. So I screamed, I didn't even get the word out of my mouth, I just let it go at the top of my lungs and bolted around the house heading, the long way, to safety. Andy hot on my heels.


Again I must interject to tell you that Andy's yard was quite large, in one corner there was a small orchard, the other held a sizable garden, a sandbox, a shed and, most importantly, a power line pole with accompanying guide wire (the ones that run off the pole into the ground). It was very dark that night, Andy is right behind me, my adrenaline is pumping so hard I can barely think. I rush around the corner of the house and cry my relief at seeing the safety point only a few yards ahead. I didn't even see the wire.


One minute I was running as hard as my legs would take me, and the next I was flying through the air. I must have gone several yards (there was a slight hill) before I hit the ground, the air rushing out of me in one great gush. The next coherent memory I have is of all my friends staring down at me, laughing so hard they are barely breathing.


I groaned, and tried my hardest to laugh with them, but my mouth was throbbing and I could taste blood. Pretty soon they helped me up and got some ice but by then our night had been officially ended by his parents. From what I gathered from everyone around, I had run full on into the guide wire and clipped it straight across my mouth, taking a chunk of my gums out along the way (and knocking one of my braces loose). I then proceeded to prove the laws of physics by flying in a nearly horizontal direction above the slight hill, until gravity and my weight were able to bring me to the ground. Where I lay motionless until they gathered around me.


Every single one of that little group remembers that night. Whenever it is brought up we burst out laughing at the utter drama of it. But, as I said before, it wasn't long before our night games came to an abrupt end. Somewhere between my mouth and Myra being sent to the emergency room for stitches. Those nights were some of the best of my childhood, though, and I thought you'd all enjoy hearing about me being clothes lined.

Comments

Barak said…
You should try playing these games in the middle of the city. It adds a whole new dimension to the game.
cannwin said…
Yeah, I think they'd be called Police. I can see it now, getting all decked out in black then running around behind houses, hiding in shadows, slinking around. Yes, an entirely new dimension. lol

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