Fields of Valor by Pent Ghelsburg
Disclaimer: The characters depicted in this work are purely fictional. Any resemblance to persons alive or dead is purely coincidental. They are the original and rightful intellectual property of their creators. I use them with permission and respect. This work involves underaged characters. You have been warned.
A grand battlefield of untold stories…of forlorn heroes…of exalted legends. Scaping green grasses brush back and forth along with the wind. A chilly breeze brushes through the area making those who camp there shiver in their painted-on coats. Two shadows encompass them…the plastic men and women of the 23rd regiment. Standing armies separated by no more than a few feet at most.
Commander Remi and Commandant Sammy stand at the ready to commence battle. Their armies, though not large, are loyal. The green plastic figures at their disposal stand, and lay, strewn on the front lawn of their home. The two beagle pups were brothers having a dispute over a rather silly conflict. They had named it…the war of the Oreos. The stakes? The last cookie in the cookie jar.
At 9 years of age, Commander Ready had seen a longstanding faux military career spanning several battles. His regiment had been victorious on two occasions where he and his co-commander had taken on the fell forces of the Iron Armada. Now the Iron Armada had been replaced by his very own brother. Newly titled Commandant Sammy had taken up a commission under the auspice of His Majesty the cookie King. Sammy had conscripted the previously enlisted members of the Iron Armada to join his ranks.
Both boys stood each other down, unwavering in their determination to have victory at all costs. Neither despised the other. However, their focus on the goal at hand was unquestionable. It all began the previous day when their mother came home with the groceries. The boys were well-behaved for the most part and always willing to help either of their parents whenever there was an opportunity.
The two boys were twins, separated by only minutes. Both cubs had more or less the same spot pattern on their white fur, discernable instead by the fact that Remi wore glasses and Sammy did not. Remi held the title of the older brother, a surname that he was rather proud of and held closely to his persona. Whenever they got into an argument he usually used it as leverage, though it seldom got him anywhere.
The woman arrived through the door with some bags in her hands. The boys were in the living room watching some cartoons in their pajamas, so they quickly lept up when they heard the knob unlock. They intercepted her at the door, insistent on being the most helpful cub in hopes of getting a treat or something of the like later that day. They took the bags to the kitchen and began unpacking the groceries on the countertop.
Both of them were still small enough that they needed stepping stools to reach the counter. The woman continued to deliver the bags one by one, expecting them to be emptied by the time she brought the next set. She always made a conscious effort to keep the sweets for last as she knew the young boys often tried to snag one while she wasn't looking. They were making rather quick worth of the goods, easily keeping up with her as she went back and forth.
She soon arrived with the prospective last bag. Both boys knew full well what was in it without even looking into its contents. The cubs looked at her expectantly, both of their tails wagging rather excitedly behind them. The mother didn't even have to wait to deliver it to them. Within seconds of seeing it, the two cubs were already at her heels, trying to get her to hand it to either one of them.
Yet, she persisted in carrying the bag. The tall but lithe beagle pushed her way to the counter and emptied the contents of it onto the tabletop beneath her. The two cubs continued to watch her with fervid focus. She stood overtop of it and began taking the ice cream out and delivering it to the freezer so that it wouldn't melt. Now that she had deferred from what she was doing, the two boys could see what remained on the countertop.
Remi rushed forward taking immediate action to look at the countertop. Looking through it he made, what he believed to be, a ghastly discovery.
"Where are the cookies?" He asked with a somewhat whiny voice.
The mother turned around and looked at the two boys, now who had their tails between their legs. They were giving her the good old puppy eyes, trying to look desperate and needy.
She hummed. "Didn't we already have a box? I recall buying it earlier in the week." She rubbed her chin with the claw of one of her fingers.
Sammy stomped his paw. "Nuh-uh. That box is empty."
Remi padded back to the pantry to see if he could find it to show her. Sammy and Remi were both cookie-aholics and went through the treat faster than any other. It took him a moment to find it, the traditional blue and white packaging of their favorite Oreo cookies.
"See…?" He peeled open the packaging and revealed only a single cookie inside.
The woman peered into it. "I see…well, I'm sorry but I'm not going back to the store until tomorrow."
"But…mommmmmm" Sammy elongated her name to appeal to her.
She shook her head. "Sorry, boys. You will just have to live with ice cream tonight. I promise to get cookies tomorrow."
The woman padded her way out of the kitchen, leaving them to finish whatever was left of the groceries. Both cubs looked intently at one another. Remi was still holding the mostly empty box of cookies.
"So…uh…who gets the last cookie?" He asked as he knew both of them would want it.
Sammy stomped his foot on the floor again. "I challenge you to a duel!"
Remi's ears perked up. "You're on! The winner gets the last cookie and no being a crybaby either when you lose…"
Sammy held out his paw to shake it. The smaller cub was more than happy to oblige. Remi placed the package back on the counter with the other groceries that still lay there, forgetting all about the chore they had been tasked to do. The two ran into their room to find their toy armies. To them, a duel meant a faux battle of the ages between the plastic soldiers that they had collected over time.
Sammy got pulled out a small clear container that had enough toys for both of them. Remi looked at him expectantly but said nothing.
"Share?" He asked with a sad look on his face.
Sammy rolled his eyes. "Fine…It won't be fair if we don't both have conscripts…"
Remi's tail wagged behind him. He wasn't one much for war games but he wanted that cookie and wasn't about to let it go to enemy forces. Sammy stuck the carton under his arm and gestured for his brother to join him in the backyard. They had to tread back through the kitchen, where their father had now taken his place to clean up what they had left behind. He chuckled as they passed him by.
The two headed outside to the backyard. The grass was somewhat high as it hadn't been cut in a while. Sammy flung the plastic container in front of him, the clear box spinning until it shuttered on the floor on its side. Remi was the first one to sit down as he didn't want his brother to take all of the pieces he deemed "good". Of course, all of the figures were mostly the same, except for color.
Remi took his favorite color, red, leaving the green ones to his brother. Sammy soon joined him and crossed his legs to give each of them a little more space. Each cub began setting up their army, opposite of one another. The somewhat long grass brushed into the fur of their legs and was long enough to cause some issues in getting each piece to set up. After fighting with it a bit, the two managed to get their plastic soldiers set up in a way they were happy with.
"Shall we start then?" Remi asked as his brother was the more experienced in the ordeal.
Sammy pointed forward. "To victory!"
The bigger cub moved forward a single piece. There were no marks to indicate spacing, as they had done in the past. So instead, he just moved wherever. His first piece landed square on top of one of Remi's front-line figures. The thing crashed to the floor, as some dirt dust picked up from the impaction of the cub's placement.
"No fair…" Remi whined and watched as his brother smirked.
Sammy picked up one of his figures, taking the thing much further than his brother have, and using the same technique he landed squarely on a member of his brother's Cavalry. Remi mimicked a neighing sound before he examined his lines for his next move. The cub picked up another infantry toy, angling it back and forth as if it were marching. Then he rammed it into one of the plastic tanks at the front of Remi's army.
Remi grabbed forward, taking hold of the tank. Pistoning the thing forward so that it ran over the incoming soldier. Sammy did not deter immediately and the two continued to butt plastic heads against each other. The bigger cub gave a fake snarl and finally let the figure fall to the floor. The smaller boy smirked as he figured he had the upper hand now, taking one of his pieces across the ground.
"Boom!" Sammy made a faux explosion sound, swooping in with his hand to knock down the incoming foe.
Remi rolled his eyes, seeming annoyed with the other cub's somewhat foul play. Sammy ignored his brother's awry expression and picked up one of his remaining cavalry. Making a clomping sound he galloped the thing across the ground toward his brother's army. Bucking through a few soldiers until Sammy stopped him with one of his own. The smaller boy huffed as he was losing ground and thought of the best route for revenge.
The smaller boy picked up his tank again and rolled it forward against the dirt. Making a rolling "r" sound with his tongue to represent the sound of treading tracks. Yet, Sammy was ready for him, and the two butted heads with tanks. Each boy bucking into each other's hands, knocking back and forth. The two remained in the heat of the moment for a good minute before finally
throwing down the toy tanks in frustration.
Remi picked up another few soldiers, running them along in the closest thing he considered to be a firing line, and squared them up within a few centimeters of the other cub's soldiers.
bang!" He said, trying to imitate the sound of firearms going off.
The bigger cub reached forward and knocked down a few of Sammy's toys. Sammy sighed as he continued to lose ground. He thought to himself for a moment as he considered his options. The boy smirked as an idea came to mind.
"Be right back…recruiting emergency replacements!" Remi announced as he picked himself up and headed back inside.
The smaller cub retreated to the kitchen, noticing that his dad was munching on something in the kitchen when he came across him. He ignored it and made his way to the twin's room and retrieved a small toy plane. He took a hold of the thing before flying it with his paw down the hall as he made his way back to where his brother was. Remi returned before long, now concealing his paw behind his back to not allow the other cub onto what he was doing.
He sat back down and folded his legs in the same fashion as his brother. Finally revealing his hand he began to mimic the sound of a plane as he soared it in from above. Sammy watched in amazement as the other cub swooped in to attack his troops. Using his spare paw, Remi swatted down a few lines of his brother's troops until he felt like they were even again. His brother scowled at him, staring still with disgusted intent.
"No fair…" Sammy whined and made a frown.
Remi huffed. "Not like you're playing fair anyways…"
Sammy got up from where they were sitting and stood up, stomping the floor with his paws. Making sure that he knocked over every single plastic soldier. Some of them even broke under the weight of the force being pushed over.
"I win!" He announced proudly despite both sides' armies now lying strewn below him.
"What's going on here?" The two boys' fathers looked intently at the bigger boy who had very clearly been destroyed in front of them.
Sammy stammered as he spoke. "Nothing dad…just playing."
"That's not what it looks like. Clean up this mess and go inside when you're done." He pointed to the rear of him to show he meant business.
Remi began shuffling the bits and pieces together as he wasn't one to argue with the parents. Sammy soon joined him on the floor with their father remaining over top of them, vigilant as ever to make sure they did what he asked of them. They continued working, neither saying a word as they were still upset at one another. Once they were done, the father handed them a garbage bag to dispose of the remains.
Sammy reluctantly discarded the toys into the bag while his brother didn't seem to care much. The father pointed behind him again to remind them to go to their room. Both boys hung their heads low as they passed by him. Once in the kitchen, the two of them couldn't help but notice that the groceries had been put away and the package of cookies had disappeared. A glance around and they saw the familiar packaging in the garbage.
Sammy and Remi made a whining sound together as they noticed it. The father shut the sliding glass door.
"Go to your room…or no desert tonight." He warned again.
The two cubs picked up pace upon hearing that threat. Both of them had sweet tooths and certainly didn't want to risk the wrath of their father. When approached about it by his wife, he had to relay the situation. Of course, she was just as annoyed about it as he was. After all, it wasn't like them to destroy their toys.
Both cubs separated each other on opposite sides of the room. They remained mad at each other, not saying a word to each other for the entirety of the time that they were in. When their mother popped her head into their room to check on them, they were still sitting in the same spot. Both of them with folded arms and were abnormally silent.
"You two need to make up, or you're not going to get dessert. I already heard about what you did today." She crossed her arms and waited for them to comply.
Each boy turned in tandem with one another. They slowly approached each other until they were near the center of the room
"Sorry…" Remi spoke out first since he felt he was still in the wrong besides only just playing along with the whole ordeal.
Sammy shook his head. "Nah, it was my fault. I should have played fair…Sorry."
The two hugged and smiled again, both boys' tails wagging behind them.
"Good boys. Now come for dinner and leave this behind you. I don't want to hear you argue over…whatever the dispute was about again. Clear?"
Both cubs nodded and bolted out of the room. She chuckled and followed behind them before long. The family all joined in the kitchen where the father had been hard at work putting the last finishing touches on the meal. Tonight was lasagna, a family favorite. The two cubs sat together without much fuss, seeming to have already forgotten about the previous conflict. The two parents smiled at them, glad the issue had come to pass.
Once the meal was finished, the parents had one more surprise up their sleeve for the two cubs. The father popped up from the table where he was sitting and slid an oven mitt over his hand. Sticking his hand into the oven he pulled out a long metal sheet. As the thing arose from the heating source, the aroma of the familiar treat was instantly recognizable by the cubs.
"Cookies!" They said in unison, nearly bursting out of their seats.
The man brought the warm sheet over to the table and delivered two cookies off it, one for each pup.
"Just one?" Remi said with a frown on his face.
Sammy on the other hand wasted no time in scarfing his, then looking to Remi eying the other boys. The parents nodded at him and he took the treat. The thing was warm but not hot enough to burn his mouth. The sweet morsels of chocolate inside the soft biscuit tantalized his taste buds.
"Thanks, dad." Sammy said since he was the only one with his mouth not full.
Remi nodded. "M-hmm!"
"It was your mother's idea. So thank her. I just cooked it." He said before returning the metal sheet to the top of the oven.
The two cubs quickly got up and latched onto each side of the mother who was still sitting down. She patted the cubs on their head and ruffled their fur with each of her hands.
"No more non-sense pretend battles okay?" She said in a soft but reassuring tone.
"Yes, mom!" They said in unison again.
The three continued embracing each other before the cubs were left to help their father with the dishes. From that day forward, the cubs tried their hardest to appease their parents. Of course, there was those off times when things didn't quite work out. As for the battle of times forgotten, they seldom spoke of it again as it faded further and further in their minds. Remaining naught but remaining to be a tale told by their parents for when they were older…