Roshelle Amundson

Serena Mira Asta

Terry Bebertz

James Byrne

Joshua Fischer

Gail Gates

James Henderson

Adam Hill

Peter Laine

Alice Lundy Blum

Tawny Michels

Dawn Nissen-Schachtner

Altamish Osman

Rebekah Pahr

January Rain

Sally Reynolds

Donna Ronning

Jer Rucinski

Jake Ryan

Kah Shepard

Laura Sourdif

Cat Usher

Jonah Volheim

The Water Fight

Today’s bill was stifled by unprecedented opposition from both parties.  Democrats wanted more options, which meant more taxation.  Republicans wanted more rules and restrictions, less taxation.  It came down to the decision of two senators, but no agreement could be made, so after a lengthy debate on the senate floor – hours of sweaty arguments and cheese pizza – the Speaker of the House decided there was only one way to settle this dispute. 

“There’s only one way to settle this dispute, Senators,” said the Speaker of the House, and placed a shiny case on the table.  “Each take your weapon.”  They were colored according to their perspective parties: red and blue.  Senator Williams grabbed the red water pistol; Senator Grabinski the blue.  “You have ten minutes.  The entire senate floor is yours to utilize.  As you can see, off in the corners, there are two cases of water balloons.  Please feel free to use these as well.  Remember: no punching, no kicking, no biting – we want a clean and fair fight.  No name calling, no low blows.  Understood?  Great.  Now, back to back.  Good.  After twenty paces you may begin.  Good luck, Senators.”

Safe behind closed doors, the rest of the senate mingled and drank aged cognac.  They loosened their ties and sat in leather chairs.  Many questions circled about the winner and soon thereafter lofty bets were made. 
At the nineteenth step, senator Williams tucked his chin.  Senator Grabinski clutched his pistol tightly.  “Twenty!  Turn!”
Williams spun and charged, fired away in a rapid succession, released a caterwaul of epic proportions.  His hand remained steady.  Stream after stream of water arced in the air.   

Grabinski dipped low and rolled away behind a line of benches.  Large spots of water stained the carpeted floor where his feet just were.  With his back against the lacquered wood, he caught his breath.  A light rain came down over his head and he knew he had to move fast.  He popped up and fired rapidly.  Williams, at close proximity, got hit twice, once in the arm and once in the body, then spun away and slumped behind a desk.  Perspiring and huffing in the stale air, Grabinski rushed to the corner to the box of water balloons.  Again, a light rain sprinkled his shoulders and then, as he reached out to grab hold of a jellied bomb, two direct hits wetted his back.  It didn’t stop him and he spun and chucked the bomb, but Williams was out of sight and the bomb exploded on a chair.  “Damn!” Grabinski yelled. 

Williams popped up from behind a desk and fired, but missed. 

Grabinski leapt over a desk and spun mid-air and shot, landed on his back and slid, still shooting. 

Williams took three direct hits, but not before releasing a water bomb.  It wobbled in the air, a clean toss that came down near Grabinski and got him with its blast radius.  “Ahh!” Grabinski yelled, and barrel-rolled out of the way, got up and sprinted to safety behind a desk.  His jacket weighed heavily on his body, so he peeled it off and peeked around the corner, saw nothing, and hurried for cover behind the Speaker of the Houses baroque desk.  There he felt safe and caught his breath. 

“You can’t hide all day,” said Williams, his voice echoing in the chamber.  “I’ve got two bombs now and as soon as I see that tiny head of yours, you’re as good as defeated.”

“This bill needs to pass,” Grabinski said.  “Think of all the help it’ll bring to the American people.”

Williams prowled around to the side of the Speaker’s desk and saw Grabinski’s foot.  “The American people won’t be fine if they’re paying out their asses in taxes.”  He aimed the water pistol and readied his water bomb. 

Grabinski rolled to his feet and sprinted.  The water bomb landed exactly where he had crouched.  As he made his way down an aisle of desks, lying cover fire, he saw, from the corner of his eye, Williams coming fast, shooting wildly.  He wasn’t fast enough and Williams was on top of him, squirting him, drenching him.  Grabinski was defeated, backed against the wall, face and body soaked.  For reassurance, Williams grabbed a water bomb and threw it at his feet.

“I win,” Williams said. 

“How did you get so many bombs?” Grabinski asked.

Williams shrugged.  “If it’s any consolation, I’m pretty soaked, too.”  Grabinski wiped his face with his untucked dress shirt.  It didn’t help.  “Let’s go out back and lie in the sun for awhile.  Dry off.  The rest of the senators can wait.  They’re probably drunk by now anyways.”

“Sure sure,” Grabinski said.  “This was fun.  We should do this again.”

“Absolutely!”  Williams put his arm around Grabinski’s shoulders and they walked out into the sun.       

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Peter Laine is a part-time student at Metropolitan State University studying Creative Writing, and has hopes to pursue a MFA in the future. He currently works at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as an Operations Analyst. Besides writing and reading, Peter enjoys practicing the guitar and eating wings and drinking beer, although never at the same time.