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  • Karis Anne

War On The Roof

Airsoft War.


Just hearing the name makes you want to cue the epic battle music, doesn’t it? 


Bullets fly. Your teammates switch teams on you. You walk softly across the roof and then jump down onto a balcony with the grace of a cat…


Wait a second. For some reason that last one doesn’t quite seem to ring true to reality. 

At least, for me it doesn’t.


I seem to struggle with a sensitivity…you could even possibly use the word “fear” of heights.

I have tried so hard to conquer it.

I have climbed walls. I have ridden free-fall rides.


But when it comes to me and trusting myself on a roof, for some reason (sigh!) the roof always seems to emerge victorious. 


So when my teammate Wesley suggested that we climb on the roof to help our team at the beginning of the airsoft round, I had qualms. 

But, of course I wasn’t going to tell those qualms to Wesley. 


I’ll be fine, I thought to myself, this won’t be an issue. 


I imagined myself striding across the roof behind Wesley without fear, shooting down at the enemy team (and hopefully actually hitting them), and then sliding down the steep metal sides to the ground (landing on my feet of course). 


So, I stuffed my airsoft gun in my hoodie pocket, and climbed up the ladder to the roof behind Wesley. But, as I put first one foot and then the other foot down on the steep, smooth-ish incline, my second thoughts began to surface. 

This is the stupidest idea in the history of the world. 


Not the idea to climb on the roof. But the idea for me to climb on the roof. 


I took several steps behind Wesley as he nimbly climbed up to a flat section at the highest part of the roof, and then I froze as I felt my shoes start to slip…


Wesley turned to me. “Come on up,” he said, “it’s nice and flat up here if you can just get up here.”

“Wes,” I said dizzily, “I-I’m afraid of heights.”

He stared at me. “You’re afraid of heights? Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?”

I grimaced. I had been hoping that this time would be different. I had been hoping…

“Well,” said Wesley, “You can climb up to this flat spot on all fours, or you can get down.”


What did he think I was, a fraidy cat? (Yes, I am most definitely a fraidy cat.) Now that I was up, of course I had to stay up. 


Maybe somehow I could conquer my fears and then take out some enemies with my airsoft gun like a pro. 

Huh. Wishful thinking. 


How did Wesley make it look so easy? I wondered as I maneuvered up to the flat spot slowly (very slowly). At the rate I was going, the airsoft war was going to be over before I got a chance to shoot anyone. 


Wesley had an air of sympathetic impatience about him, but he said nothing. I arrived at the flat spot, and he looked at me. 

“Okay, let’s go,” he said. 

Wesley is a man of very few words.

I breathed shakily, and nodded. 

Wesley nodded too, and then promptly took off across the roof.

Frustration welled up inside of me. How does he walk so fast…so confidently?

I took a deep breath and stood up on the flat spot. Then, half walking and half crawling, I made my way over to him again. 


Wesley was standing and looking over the edge of the roof to the ground below. 

“So, it doesn’t seem like there is really anyone to shoot up here,” he said. 

I looked with him. Nothing moved over the ground below. No easy targets. No enemies…and no teammates either. 

“Where is everyone?” I asked. 

Wesley looked back at me. 

“They must be somewhere else,” he said, “we’ll be more helpful to our team if we get down.

Get down? My numb brain warned me, but I just got up! I can’t get down!

“Uh…” I said, trying to find a reason to not maneuver myself all the way back down to the ground, “Uh, can’t we just lie up here and wait for someone to come who we can shoot?”

What lame reasoning. Wesley saw through my suggestion like you might see into an airsoft gun without a cartridge. 

“Getting down will be easy,” said Wesley.

I stifled my inner groan, “How are we going to do it?”


Wesley took a few steps in a different direction, sat down on the edge of the roof, and jumped to a balcony below. He landed with a thud and a half-roll almost like the kind that you might see in action movies. 

Then, he stood and looked up at me. 


“You can do it,” he said, “it’s not far.”

I sat down on the edge of the roof and looked down: Not far? You call THAT not far? 

It had to be at least ten feet down. 

“I don’t think I can do that,” I said. 

“It’ll be fine,” said Wesley in a reassuring tone, “When I jumped, I thought that it was far too. But it is not as bad as it looks.”

At this point, I didn’t care if it was “as bad as it looks.” I cared that the drop was bad at all. 

Wesley saw my doubtful glance downwards. 

“No, seriously,” he said, “Just lower yourself like so, and then drop.” He made motions in the air that apparently I was supposed to understand and follow. 


Fear gripped me as I scooted closer to the edge, and then started to lower…nope, there was no way I could do that. Well, maybe if I just…

Wesley and I heard shots, and he rounded the corner of the balcony below and started shooting. I froze and adjusted my position. 


“Are they coming?” I asked, “because I could just lie up here and shoot.”

Same old lame excuse.

“Just get down, Karis!” I don’t know if I’ve heard a tone be quite so impatient…and patient at the same time. Wesley continued to look up at me. 

“You got this,” he said. 

I definitely did not have this. If I “had it,” I would have jumped long ago. If I lived in an action movie, I would have jumped not just long ago, but with the grace of a cat. In fact, if I were a cat…


I heard shots from the ground to the left, and turned my head in that direction. I saw nothing there, so I started to do a three-hundred-sixty degree survey of my surroundings. 

That was when I saw one of my enemy teammates walking the flat spot on the roof not too far behind me.

Apparently, he had been creeping and neither Wesley nor I had noticed. 


In fact, Wesley and I were the only two on our team still in. 

I guess I can take partial credit for that, seeing as I was so hesitant to jump, right?


To make matters worse, at that moment Wesley decided to fall and severely roll his ankle. Apparently he was standing on a bench and then fell, well, off of the bench.

One moment, he was fine, shooting off into the who-knows-where.

Next moment, he was not.

When I turned back to him, Wesley was just lying there, groaning in pain. 


“Are you good, Wesley?” I called to him. 

“Not really,” he grunted. 

Well, at least he wasn’t in danger of being shot down there under good cover. Which is why I should have jumped to the balcony in the first place. 


I turned back to the enemy (Dakota) and shouted up to him: “Can you just shoot me and get it over with?”

Dakota grinned and started towards me. At the same time, another of my enemies began to shoot at me from another side of the roof. 

This revived my fighting spirits and I got low and began to shoot back at him.

 Dakota retreated. 


Did I mention that I’m a terrible shot?  

Needless to say, between the threatening presence of Dakota behind me, the sniper gunning me down, and my own instability on a roof…I was hit. 


Almost relieved, I stood up and took a deep breath. Now that I had been killed and Wesley was out of commission, the airsoft game was practically over.


 I had only one problem left to deal with: How was I going to get off of the roof?


You probably don’t want to hear about the whimpering in my voice, the sliding of my shoes against the metal roof, the thumping of my heart, or the amount of coaching that it took for my “enemies” to help me get down off of that roof. 


I got down a different way, of course. I never took that jump to the balcony.

 Although now, looking back, I kind of wish I had. 


Maybe I should go back up there and try it again sometime.

Maybe I should climb all over the roof every day until I am good at it.

Maybe I should conquer my own fears and do The Drop. 

Maybe I should


-- Karis Anne

2 commenti


james.c.berrey
21 mag

Bravo Karis!

Entertaining. Relatably unelegant. And readable.


Would recommend to all.

Mi piace
Karis Anne
Karis Anne
21 mag
Risposta a

Thanks James :)

I especially love the "relatably unelegant" part.

That sorta rings true to me, ya know...

Mi piace
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