‘You're just like your father,’ she said in exasperation.
He laughed. There was nothing else to do. Was it so bad to be just like his father? It was there in her voice. When she said it, it was always there. But, why shouldn't he be like his father? He loved his father, didn't he? He felt the tears coming. He ran into his room, slammed the door, locked it.
‘Don't you slam that door on me!’, she shouted, close up on the other side.
‘Do you hear me?’
The door handle rattled. He watched it.
After a few minutes he heard her footsteps. He wiped his eyes and pulled the cardboard carton of toy soldiers from under the bed. There were some English ones his father had bought him. Made out of lead and brightly painted they came in a long flat box. Each one was individually attached with a bit of string to the backing. He was very careful with these. Then there were the others he got himself from the toy store on Saturday with what was left of his allowance after the children's matinee. US Army soldiers moulded in hard rubber. Some with machine guns, others lying prone with rifles. He liked the one with its arm drawn back ready to throw a handgrenade. He began to set them up.[for full story click here]