A New Life


1. Why my life really stinks

The trouble all started right before the first day of sixth grade, the last time Franklin and I played Knights.

Knights works like this: we get our swords, we head out to the woods, and we go on chivalrous missions to battle ghost knights.

Uncle Hugh made our wooden swords when we were six, which is when we came up with the game. Franklin's mom wasn't happy about him making us weapons, but Uncle Hugh assured her that the worst that could happen was we could get splinters - and that's only happened a couple of times.

We never really battle each other.

Or at least, we never had before.

Franklin met me in the woods with is purple bicycle helmet on. Some days he wears his helmet when we play. It's weird, but I don't say anything about it. It's not like it matters, anyway.

Franklin almost always begins the game. He did that day, too.

"Kneel before me," he announced in his deepest voice. I knelt and bowed my head. "Your quest shall be to find the missing cast of King Alberto," he continued.

"I think it's a cask.," I interrupted in a regular voice, looking up. "With a k."

"I'm not sure," Franklin admitted, also in his regular voice. Then he whispered, as if it were a secret from the game, "What is that, anyway?"

"I don't know."

Franklin shrugged, put his serious face back on, and continued in his deep voice, "You are to find the missing cask-t of King Alberto. Rise, Sir Knight, and go forth upon your quest."

He tapped my shoulders lightly with his sword. I stood and knocked his sword with mine, which was a signal to go forth upon the same quest.

We took off, slowly at first, until Franklin yelled, "Ghost knight, behind you!" I stopped to battle the phantom who aimed to ruin our quest. Franklin let out another scream and ran past me to battle a few more ghosts.

My ghost killed by decapitation, I paused for a minute to watch Franklin . He looked funny, swinging his sword and yelling at things that weren't really there. I had never thought about what we looked like playing. Was it a silly thing to do, really?

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