Rain poured down from the skies, its waters washing away all too weak to stand against it. Two teenage boys about sixteen stood in the rain facing each other with their bamboo practice swords in hand. One young man had blonde hair with blue eyes. He stood about five foot ten, and seemed to have more muscle on him than the other one. The other young man had black hair with green eyes. He stood only two inches shorter than his rival and had a slimmer build. Both were wearing only a pair of black cloth pants. Both stood strong against the rain, defying every drop its power to wash away. They stood ready to fight on an open field. There were only four spectators, each holding umbrella's to repel the rain. Neither of the combatants were flinching in the slightest; both stood ready, each with an equal resolve to be the winner.
A five-year-old boy with blonde hair and blue eyes was playing with some chalk in the playground next to a daycare. He drew a puppy and wrote his name under it.
“So your name is Phil?” asked a boy's voice. Phil turned around to see a boy his age with black hair and green eyes.
“Yeah, why?” Phil asked in response.
“Your drawing is bad,” the boy replied. A smug smile was on his face.
“Why do you say that?” Phil asked. Confusion was all over him.
“Is that a dog or a pig?” The boy couldn't let his smug smile go.
“I've done better drawings of dogs.”
“Let's see you do it, then.” Phil handed the boy the piece of chalk and he took it. He then started drawing a dog slowly. It took the rest of recess for him to do, but it was done. Just like Phil did, he put his name down.
“Your name is Henry?” Phil asked.
“Your drawing is worse.” Phil started laughing at Henry's drawing as Henry glared at him as a child would.
“No it's not.”
“Yes it is.”
“No it's not!”
“Yes it is!”
“NO IT'S NOT!”
“YES IT IS!” They went back and forth, shouting at the top of their lungs, each determined to be louder than the other.
A clash of lighting lit up the darkness. Phil and Henry charged at each other with intense speed and when they met in the middle, their weapons clashed. The sound of wood colliding echoed throughout the area. Deadlocked, trying to push each other back, each gave everything to make the other fall. Realizing that wasn’t working, they jumped back a little and swung at each other again. Their weapons collided again, nullifying the attacks completely. Phil was starting to gain some ground, but Henry was able to feel this and jumped back and quickly swung again. Phil pulled his head back and was nearly hit by the tip of the weapon. He then raised his weapon overhead and swung down at his opponent. Henry quickly dodged the attack and the force was absorbed into the soil beneath them.
Phil quickly readied his weapon for a counter attack against Henry. However, Henry didn't move. He was in a position ready for another attack. They stared at each other. Another clash of lightning shot a second of light throughout the area. They rushed at each other again, weapons cleaving through the rain towards their opponent. This time, the weapons hit their mark. Phil received a blow to his face while Henry was hit at his side. Both stumbled back from the sheer pain they were feeling. Each had a hand on their source of pain yet neither of them cried out. They were smiling. Was it from the hits they made or was each pleasantly surprised that the other managed to hit him? No one watching knew the answer.
A twelve-year-old Phil was sitting on the practice field with Leon and Daisy, his two best friends, made after his rivalry started with Henry. Daisy had fiery red hair with soft blue eyes. Leon had short dyed green hair with green eyes. They all were pre-teens in middle school.
“I can't believe the coach picked Henry as a starter,” Phil complained. “As much as it PAINS me to say this, he is as good as me in soccer.”
“Well, it could be that you might have accidentally tripped him during practice,” Daisy pointed out.
“First off, that shouldn't decide who starts and who doesn't,” Phil replied. “Second, I only did it to him because he did it to me first.”
“I'm sure the coach knows that,” Leon tried to side with Phil. “But the fact that you wanted to get even might have shown. . .bad character.”
“Hate to say it but Leon does have a point Phil,” Daisy agreed. Phil sighed.
“And knowing that jerk, he planned this.”
Meanwhile, Henry was at A&W with his two best friends, Violet and Chris, celebrating that he was on the starting team. Much like Phil and his friends, Henry met these two soon after sparking his rivalry with Phil. Violet had neck-long black hair with violet highlights, and she had bluish green eyes that sparkled like gems. Chris had brown hair tied in a thin and long ponytail that went halfway down his back. His eyes were brown as well.
“Man did you see the look on Phil's face when I was announced as a starter?” Henry asked, full of glee. His smile stretched out a mile long and his laugh echoed throughout the restaurant.
“Henry, please behave yourself,” Violet politely demanded.
“I agree,” Chris chimed in. “You’re going to get us thrown out.” Henry exhaled happily to calm down.
“I'm sorry but I'm just so full of energy,” he continued on but more quietly. “Phil's face was priceless. It was SO a Kodack moment. And I didn't have a camera.”
“I’ll agree with you on that one,” Violet said as a smirk grew on her face. “It was so filled with shock.”
“Don't forget disbelief,” Chris added. “I would like to point out though he could have been put on the starting team over you, Henry.”
“But he wasn't,” Henry argued. “I was. Thus, I win this round.” He took a drink of his root beer with a joyful smile.
“All I'm saying is that you are both good at soccer,” Chris continued. “He most likely would have been put on the team starter if he hadn't tripped you.”
“Maybe,” Henry said as he put down his drink. “Just goes to show that you shouldn't trip people in soccer.”
“Didn't you trip him first?” Violet asked while in her thoughts.
“Not on purpose,” Henry replied. “It was an accident.”
They swung at each other again, weapons collided. Again and the same result. Again and again with speed, power, and ferocity behind every swing. They were attacking each other with no end and neither of them were slowing down either. Leon, Chris, Daisy, and Violet only watched through the rain and saw that neither of them were backing down. Seconds passed into minutes, both of them started to feel that the rain was now carrying exhaustion with it. Every drop seemed to make them heavier, and they have only managed to hit each other once. Soon they jumped back and each fell to one knee, taking deep and tired breaths. They were each at the end of their ropes. Exhaustion trying to win over them. After a few seconds of this, they both forced themselves to stand up.
Soon all six of them were in their sophomore year in high school. To everyone else around them, they were known as The Rivals. Phil was enjoying lunch with his friends.
“So how are your classes going?” he asked.
“Going good,” Leon responded. “Math is going fine with all those numbers. I’m not really into history that much, though.”
“Why?” Daisy asked curiously. “History is amazing.”
“Not to me,” Leon replied.
“To each their own,” Phil added. “So long as they are going good, that is all that matters.”
“That is true,” Leon agreed. From the corner of her eye, Daisy could see Violet, Chris, and Henry walking over to them.
“Guess who is making their way here?” she asked them.
“The Three Stooges?” Phil asked with a smug smile.
“Yeah.” Henry and his friends soon arrived at their table and put his hand down with force on the table.
“It’s time,” he said seriously.
“Time for what shorty?” Phil asked holding that smile.
“You’re only two inches taller than me,” he argued. “Nothing to be proud of. Especially when you’re too slow to catch me.”
“That speed only comes in handy when running away from a challenge that you are losing to me.”
“Oh har har har. Aren’t you just full of laughs today?” Chris asked sarcastically.
“I don’t remember Phil talking to you,” Daisy said with a huff.
“The same can be said of you,” Violet chimed in.
“And I want to know what Henry is talking about,” Leon spoke out, trying to be the voice of reason. The other five look at him and nod their heads in agreement.
“So Henry, what do you mean?” Phil asked.
“It’s time to end this rivalry between us.” That got Phil’s attention immediately. Leon and Daisy were drawn into this as well.
“What brought this on?” Phil asked curiously.
“We have been rivals since that daycare eleven years ago,” Henry explained. “We have rivaled in art, sports, games, height, power, speed, and so many other things that I think we can agree that both of us have lost count.”
“Yes. We can agree on that.”
“So, it’s time to decide who is better once and for all. We are going to fight each other. Tonight. On the open field next to the football field.”
“But isn’t there going to be a storm tonight?” Daisy asked in a concerned tone.
“Exactly,” Henry said with an excited smile. “It’s the perfect setting for the end of this rivalry.”
“I’m in,” Phil agreed. Leon and Daisy were shocked, and even Violet and Chris looked surprised to see that he agreed so quickly. “Is it just a fist fight?”
“No,” Henry replied. “We are going to be using bamboo swords.”
“Wait, what?” Leon asked. “Do you know how to use those, because I know Phil doesn’t.”
“Are you trying to give yourself an unfair advantage?” Daisy asked with a glare.
“I honestly don’t know how to use them either,” Henry replied sincerely.
“He’s telling the truth,” Violet chimed in.
“Okay,” Phil spoke while nodding his head. “Where are we going to get these bamboo swords, though?”
“I already have them,” Henry replied. “Well I have one, and Chris has the other.”
“We thought it would be cool to have them,” Chris added. “And we never really did anything with them.”
“Really?” Daisy asked sounding not too convinced.
“It’s alright Daisy,” Phil said. A smug smile he held firmly as he looked at his rival. “A climatic setting, tools that we don’t know how to use, and all this to decide who is better once and for all? As I said before, I’m in.” He extended his hand for a handshake from Henry. He firmly grabbed the hand and both of them squeezed.
“First one to fall is the loser,” Henry said.
“Any other rules?” Phil asked.
“No hitting anything below the belt line.”
They both knew that the end was near. They could tell by looking at each other. Both were exhausted from this fight. This fight to determine who was better. This fight to prove to the other that they were strong. True rivals through and through. Both of them smiled as they rushed at each other again. To their friends, the charged seemed to be in slow motion. Some parts they seem to be running between rain drops, charging for their target in front of them. Soon they forced their weapons into the momentum of their charged. They came within inches of each other. Their weapons swinging towards their rival. Forcing the rain to move as they drew closer and closer to their marks. Suddenly, the weapons made contact with the rivals. Both hitting each other in the face, one across the left cheek and the other the right one.
Neither of them moved. Time seem to stand still and only the falling of the rain seem to make anything come to life. They stood stiff, staring like statues towards each other. Neither wanting to give in; not from the pain of the blows, or the weight of exhaustion. It was then that both of them smiled and fell to the ground at the same time. Their friends, worried, rushed over to them to see if they were okay. Both of them still smiling as their friends covered them with the umbrellas. They actually started to chuckle at each other. The heavy rain seemed to die down to a soft fall, marking the battle’s end. They fought with all they had; neither of them gave in. Their friends helped them sit up and face each other, and seemed confused at why there were smiling. Phil slowly yet gently put his fist towards Henry. Henry chuckled as he returned the favor and they gave each other a fist bump.
“It's a draw,” the rivals said in unison.
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