I was made in Japan. My name is Red Warrior, and I live in the middle of Japan. The store is a very big store called Toys in Japan. I am the only Red Warrior left in stock because no one wanted to buy me. It is mostly yellow everywhere in the store. My life is boring because nobody likes me because my head was supposed to light up, but instead, my toy maker made a very big mistake when he connected the wires to the batteries. He connected them in the wrong place and lost all his right-hand fingers, and caused parts of me to look droopy (some plastic, of course, melted.) And of course, I can’t light up now. I am tall for a toy, about a foot tall. My armor is red, and I have plastic samurai armor on my shoulders. I am wearing an oversized samurai helmet, and I have two long plastic swords in each hand. My swords are bent and twisted, and my horns on my helmet look like dripping wax on a candle.
My name I have forgotten a long, long time ago. I forgot it around the time I lost my left hand fingers due to a fire because of a bomb explosion down my street. The thing is, I can’t remember when I lost my left hand fingers either. I’m only sixty years old, so it’s strange. I have a bad memory already, especially for things a simple as my name. It might have been connected to working for all those hours in the sweatshop that I began to lose my memory. I only make a dollar an hour, and my mom and dad died when I was a baby because of working in unsanitary conditions which led to them getting diseases. Ever since then, I’ve lived with my grandparents. But my grandma and grandpa died two years ago because of a violent gunfight at store during a bombing raid.
I sat in the speeding, blue, old, dented car my uncle owns. I turned around and looked out the back of the car.
“Ahh!” I screamed.
“What!?” My uncle yelled back, then turned around.
“Oh my god!” he said, then asked me if I had recently been to KFC.
I was like, what is wrong with you (of course, I didn’t say that out loud. If I had, he’d have tried to throw me out the car). I replied that yes, I had been to KFC.
“Did you get the new Diet Diet .3701547382425 fifteen Letter Coke Bottle?” he asked me again.
Did his beer finally get to his head? I thought to myself.
“Of course uncle, that’s what everyone drinks.”
“Then, did you, by any chance, graffiti M. Feeny’s dog again?”
“C’mon uncle, I stopped doing that last Halloween.”
“Uhh, last Halloween was last night?!” he replied.
“Oh right, forgot. Really, I swear I didn’t do it,” I said back.
“Boy, one thing. After you go to KFC and get the new Diet Diet .3701547382425 fifteen Letter Coke Bottle, note that you are not yourself. So I would not blame you for painting Ms. Feeney’s dog bright orange.”
“Hey, the dog sunbathes in the middle of the road, I was just trying to help the dog survive by making him visible to the drivers. I swear, once that dog fell asleep on the top of Ms. Feeney’s speeding car, she didn’t even notice until the animal abuse truck pulled up next to her. Really, I swear I didn’t paint her dog.”
“Then, why is she playing ‘Thriller’ in her car and chasing us two hundred miles per hour — I really hope that’s not a machine gun she’s aiming at us right now,” my uncle replied.
“Hey! It might just be a really long, black can with small, golden chicken nuggets shooting out.”
“Son! You think way too much about chicken. By the way, don’t interrupt me. I’m in the middle of dialing the asylum so that they can pick her up.”
This is going to be a long drive to that toy store, I thought to myself.
I decided not to go with my parents to Egypt because right now I was in my toy Warrior obsession phase. I had all the Warrior colors except for red.
The Boy and the Toy:
It was a bright, cold morning, but it wasn’t just any morning. It was the first morning a customer had come in three weeks! An old looking, blue car screeched into the paved drive, and a man and a small kid wearing a baseball hat that covered his eyes walked into the store, the adult hanging behind as the kid rushed to the aisle where all the plastic warriors were.
His eyes scanned the plastic, dimly-lit shelves for a Red Warrior. When he found it, he didn’t know what to say. His eyes opened wide, and a thin smile spread across his face.
I wonder why nobody wanted this? he thought to himself. He may be a little melted and scratched up, he doesn’t light up, but it doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s good; it shows this warrior has been through a lot. He has. It shows this guy has actually been through battle. Unlike any of the other guys I have, this one is a real, brave warrior.
He picked up the warrior from the aisle and showed it to his uncle to see if he could buy it. His uncle looked at him as if it was some sort of hilarious joke.
“Why, would you want a broken piece of junk like that?” he asked.
The boy scowled and responded, “It’s not a piece of junk.”
“Fine,” his uncle replied and handed him five dollars.
The boy went to the counter, beaming, gave the tired looking man at the counter $5.00, and walked out the store to his uncle’s car in the parking lot, his uncle trailing behind him. This was one of the happiest moments for both of them, the boy and the toy. The toy would be loved, and the boy would be happy. The hour long drive back to the boys house went by in a flash because the boy was having so much fun with the toy, flying it, making it battle imaginary dragons, and finally bringing it home. The car scraped into the drive, little stones grating under its wheels. The uncle rang the doorbell, and an elderly lady with a white apron opened the door into the two-story wooden house.
As soon as they got home, the boy picked the toy up and rushed with it up to his room so the toy would be able to meet all its brethren and have its first battle against the Blue Dragon, the boy’s favorite toy monster.
The Boy And The Battle:
I set up all of the seven Warriors. There were two rows of three, and in the front, there was the leader: The Red Warrior. And facing them all, was a clear blue, snarling dragon (their enemy.) This dragon had the power to freeze people.
Five years ago,the nuclear bomb fell on Hiroshima, killing most of my friends and family. Even if you survived the explosion, there was a good chance you would die of radiation poison before the doctor could make it through the glowing rubble to your house. The only reason I didn’t die was because I was living in Hawaii, where I grew up.
I remember my Japanese mother and father came out of a P.O.W. (Prisoner of War camp) after the bombing of Pearl Harbor which happened when I was two years old. As soon as he came out, he said, “Our Warriors will always fight strong, but this time the Dragon won.”
We spent a month living frightened in Hawaii. After that, my parents booked themselves, me, and my baby sister, who is now in Egypt with my parents, a plane trip to Tokyo so that we could check on our relatives who had survived the bomb on Hiroshima in the hospital. I still remember the sound of young and old people crying, and faded, acrid smoke. I remember the sad, corrupt faces of my grandparents and uncle lying, shaking in blood-stained, white hospital cots within a plain, grey, brick building in the middle of a confused, screaming city which was more like an asylum for people gone shell-shocked and crazy than a physical hospital. The chipped, grey walls reminded of a prison.
Since then, I had been living in Tokyo. I always thought the Dragon was America, but Japan also killed many people at Pearl Harbor. What America did to Japan was one of the worst things they could do.
So there was no Dragon. Each side thought they were the Warriors.