-Waging Water Wars-

"WHAT THE HELL?!"

... Have you ever had a bucket of ice dumped down the back of your shirt? Ever had all the little hairs on your neck stand on end, as the frozen and really damn cold cubes slide down the small of your back, melting as they approach your ass? It's enough to make even me go into cardiac arrest. I think that's just what happened, because I started going into some sort of seizure. I remember shaking like a maniac for a moment, and then there's a big blackout--next thing I know, I've got my hands wrung around Stevey's bony little throat and I'm practically flailing him with this mile-long whip of obscenities.

"WHAT... DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!"

Of course, Stevey wasn't fazed. He just kept grinning through that shaggy blonde mop-head of his, laughing at all the goose bumps bristling on my arms and clutching his stomach. Between bouts of his high-pitched giggles, he blurted out, "Ray, that was... fucking... priceless..." When I released my hold on his neck, his knees wobbled and he plummeted face-first into the grass. He was still howling, in this idiotic way that could send a pack of hyenas running for their money. "Your face... so... funny..."

So this was how he wanted to play the game, huh? With sneaky, underhanded... dump-ice-down-back-of-best-friend's-shirt tactics? Alright, fine. This would no longer be any simple game of water balloon throwing, oh no. No more Mr. Nice Ray. If Stevey expected me to counter him with only a leisurely array of lukewarm balloons, then he was making one lethal mistake...

Of course, I shouldn't get too emotional about it. Emotion was the undoing of every great war hero. And I couldn't lose focus now. Not with the opportunity to retaliate against Stevey with a force unseen by man since the eruption of the atom bomb. So, in one split motion, I dove behind the patio fence and surveyed the scene.

Let's see here... Stevey was still rolling psychotically in the grass by the big maple tree. He was approximately ten yards away, and his vision of me was obscured by the patio deck. (Not like he was looking for me anyway... Clueless fool, he always lets his guard down at the worst possible moment...) Yes, I'd have to say, this is the perfect opportunity.

Stealth mode on and secret weapon in hand, I reentered the enemy territory, sliding through the weeds on fingers and toes. I couldn't help but snigger. Stevey wasn't going to notice a thing, not until his defeat was upon him, towering over him... I would dominate this game, like a predator over their prey.

Yes, I thought. Perfect. I was a panther, with gleaming green eyes, licking its lips as it crept up on its unsuspecting prey... Enveloped in the excitement of the kill, my blood pounded through my fingers, my stomach. I could see it now... Towering over a defeated Stevey, my claws tracing the curves of muscle down his back as I breathed sultry air on his neck. Exposed and all mine for the taking... He would not resist the temptations of my victory, but would relish in them just as I did, with cries of ecstasy...

Oh hell, not again... Dammit, Ray, stop it! A bead of sweat was forming on my temple; I removed it as quick as possible.

No emotion, dude. Come on, you can do this. Hands steady on the weapon. Bringing myself back to the real world of my backyard, I crept my way towards my oblivious friend until I was hovering mere inches from his back, in point-blank range. I could see the little freckles scattered around the nape of his neck, I was so close. Okay, everything's set. Get ready... Aim...

I spread my feet wide apart, dominating over the sprawled-out Stevey on the ground. He was still snickering to himself... Until his golden-brown eyes flickered up and met mine. In that moment, his already huge eyes must've bulged twice their normal size, popping right out of their sockets. I could see the thoughts as they bubbled in his brain. He knew he was in a helpless position. None of his spiky stud bracelets or metal chain belts were any defense against the unstoppable force ravaging him now.

After all, what can prepare you for having a garden hose aimed directly at your crotch?

... Nothing, that's what.


"AIYAAAAHHHHHH OH-MY-FUCKING-GOD RAY THAT'S COLD!!!"

Let me tell you right now... There is nothing, on this entire planet, that was funnier than my wild-eyed best friend, as he grabbed his soaked crotch and cursed like a drunken sailor who'd gotten his balls chewed off by a Chihuahua. Remember those little girly squeals I was telling you about, the ones coming from Stevey a little while back? Well, it was me collapsing from those giggle fits now.

"Your face, Stevey..." I clutched my stomach as though about to puke (which, from this much laughing and an onset of the hiccups, I wouldn't have been too surprised). "Your face... So priceless!"

"That was so not funny," grumbled Stevey, flipping his now-drenched hair out of his eyes and giving me a distinctly girlish pout.

"Oh yeah, it was funny. It was more than funny. It was freaking ingenious, you can't deny it."

I knew he couldn't disagree with me. I mean, come on! Sneaking up on somebody and blasting them in the nuts with a garden hose? It's damn brilliant, seriously.

"Whatever, Ray. Whatever."

Hah, I knew it. I knew he'd recognize pure genius when he sees it.

Of course, I gotta give him credit too. He's a master at the art of deviousness. In fact, if you want to know the truth, when it comes to brilliant pranks, he really kicks my sorry ass. You would not believe some of the ingenious maneuvers he's pulled over the years. I swear, the kid's an absolute god. I've been learning from him ever since the day we met, when we were in second grade--and now, ten years later, he's taught his young Padawan well.

"I see you've learned much," Jedi Stevey said, patting my shoulder with the hand that wasn't clinging to his crotch. Despite his obvious discomfort, though, he still winked mischievously at me. "However, young Master Ray, there's still a great many things you have yet to realize."

"Such as what, 'Master' Stevey?" I taunted. Honestly, what could I have possibly missed? The prank was perfect. There was no way around it. The game was over. Checkmate! Your king is dead!

"Well, one example would be, the absolute first and foremost rule of all practical jokes..." He paused his speech for a moment, under the pretense of deep thought (which was actually just him trying to be dramatic, because I know he's completely incapable of something like "deep thought")... "One must never allow the victim to gain access to your secret weapon."

Huh? I had no clue that he was talking about. What sort of secret weapon did I--Oh. Yeah. The hose. Forgot about that.

Go figure. I'd abandoned the hose a little while back, while proclaiming my victory to all the world, and had tossed it carelessly into the grass... where, of course, my nemesis had found it and confiscated it. And now, it was destined to serve again in active combat...

Only now, it was aimed directly between my legs.

Oh, fuck.