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Dan's Daredevil Death
“Go on, you chicken! What are you afraid of? Oh did you wet your pants? You little baby, shall I get your diapers for you?”
There was a burst of laughter and more jeers and insults from the gang of older boys.
Dan was the youngest and newest member of the gang, Daredevils. They were the most notorious and infamous gang in the School of Silverberg, mostly known for their insolent acts, such as setting fires to cars and having perilous gang rows on the school’s rooftops. Dan had been reckless and joined them on impulse, attracted to them for their acts of ‘bravery’ and the popularity that the gang had offered. That day, he was forced to go through a ‘test’ that would prove his courage to the tough-headed group of boys and show them that he was truly worthy to become one of them.
A few spiders scuttled around his feet and the musky air felt almost solid as it weighed down on him, pressurizing him just as much as the older boys did. A slap on the back of his head made Dan jump out of his skin and he gave a yelp of fright.
“Look! The baby boy is so frightened, he’s about to cry!”
Jacard, the leader of the Daredevils, gave a few coos and the other burly boys followed, spitting a few more foul insults at Dan.
“Here baby Danny, you want me to call your parents for you? So they can fetch you home and tuck you into bed?” Jacard teased.
A new wave of twisted laughter and vile comments washed over Dan as his face flushed red, partly because of embarrassment, and partly because of anger. No one mentioned his parents, not even his brother. They had died in a plane crash just three months ago and the thirteen-year old Dan was devastated. His brother, just one year older than him, had taken on the role of Dan’s guardian and grew overprotective of Dan.
“Fine, I’ll do it.” Dan murmured under his quivering breath.
He was scared stiff, but he didn’t let the Daredevils see his fear. He was reluctant but dead set on proving to his brother that he was capable enough to be independent and even more determined to convince the gang that he was not what they had called him, a baby.
Taking a deep and shaky breath, Dan stepped onto the edge. His body was shivering, more from the fear than the cold autumn breeze. The leaves outside the tunnel were skittering across the concrete ground and tumbling over one another. It sounded like they were whispering to one another, betting on Dan’s cowardice. Running his clammy palms though his neat gold hair, he ignored the ominous gloom before him and crouched down, slowly making his way onto the rusty iron rails of the Silverberg subway lines. His frightened senses were screaming at him, commanding him to dash out of the exit, just a mere five meters away, and speed off to safety before the boys were upon him, forgetting about everything that had happened. However, the stinging rain of coarse remarks shoved him forwards.
The rats scuttled around Dan’s feet, curious about their new visitor. His limbs were quaking under his weight, cold sweat was soaking his T-shirt and his undergarments felt wet. Silently he prayed that the gang members did not see his fear and of course, the small pool of liquid forming around his slippers.
“You’ve got three minutes, baby Danny.” Jacard warned.
Dan could feel their eyes hot on his back and he gave a reply to assure them of his readiness.
“This sounds fun, I’m not the least bit scared.”
Though, a squeak in his voice betrayed his fear and the Daredevils erupted in nervous laughter and sarcastic encouragements. Dan could sense the gang’s unease and his stomach clenched with worry and fright. That was the first time the Daredevils were doing such a risky ‘test’ and they were strangely awkward and anxious with fear.
“Any time now, Dan. Good luck.” Jacard wished sincerely.
The screeching of metal against metal heralded the beginning. Dan was sweating buckets. Eyes wide with terror, he stifled a scream as the blazing lights of the speedily approaching train came into full view. His brain was wailing senselessly, it felt like his mind was being shelled continuously and cyclopean explosions were rocking his consciousness. His vision was blurring by the second as the blinding headlamps burned into his sockets. Dan stood motionless and defenseless. The screeches were getting louder and sharper, ringing and resounding in his ears like a volley of never-ending screams. There were frightened shrieks around him, but he could not hear them. His mind was in a state of Sub-consciousness. He reminisced the blissful times with his family, his parents, his brother, all by his side. Fear consumed him whole and expelled all traces of consciousness, almost all.
A single howl broke through the hypnosis of the speeding bullet of death. Dan awoke and responded immediately. He looked around in wild terror and painstakingly shifted his feet backwards. There were cries of pity and horror all around him. Dan caught a glance of his hysterical brother racing towards his rescue, but it was all too late. Dan knew that. He forced a weak smile at his loving brother through his tearful and fear-stricken face and a split-second later, impact and pain ensued. Dan’s ribcage was instantly crushed and his lungs collapsed. He was pinned helplessly on the rusty rails like a mere ant and pain flared from his legs and swiftly advanced upwards. Dan opened his mouth to shrill of pain-fuelled insanity but all slipped into oblivion and soon, there was peace.