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Battleground is a short story by Stephen King, first published in the September 1972 issue of Cavalier magazine, and later collected in King's 1978 collection Night Shift.


Renshaw is a professional hit-man who returns from his assassination of a toy-maker to find a package delivered to his penthouse apartment. The package contains a G.I. Joe Vietnam Footlocker, sent to him by the mother of the toy-maker he had recently killed. When he opens the package he finds that the toy soldiers are alive with working copies (albeit miniature) of weapons, jeeps, and helicopters.

To Renshaw's surprise the tiny soldiers begin to attack him. At one point, the toy soldiers even give him the chance to surrender on a small sheet of paper passed under a door, Renshaw does not and is then attacked with more force.

Renshaw plots to attack the soldiers with a Molotov cocktail constructed from a bottle of lighter fluid, but before the cocktail detonates the entire apartment explodes, and kills him. At the very end of the story, a couple finds Renshaw's bloody t-shirt, and the other contents of the footlocker are revealed, including one made-to-scale thermonuclear weapon, which was what ultimately killed Renshaw.