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“So how was school?” Jake’s mom robotically inquired as her son stepped in and threw his backpack down.


“Rough.” Jake replied only a little less automatically, and immediately went back outside to begin his traditional “bad day at school” walk around the block. It involved a sort of sullen march, hands pocketed, head alternating straight up and down, straight down the two yellow lines at the center of the road to ensure that honks from passing cars would keep Jake angry. One specific old man on his porch would always stare at the teen as he underwent this minor madness, with a slightly confused, slightly bemused face. Jake was somewhat infamous for these walks, which only served to get him made fun of more at school whenever a student would witness them. Despite all the negatives, this walk gave Jake a somewhat invigorating feeling of stability and purpose that helped him subconsciously, giving the walk an addictive quality. The walk would also give Jake a significant, though technically useless gift of perspective.


This gift came in the form of a large, slightly threatening military aircraft flying over Jake’s suburb. One of the times on that walk that Jake decided his position of agony would be better pointing his head straight up towards the sky, the aircraft appeared to him at a great height, though low enough to be clearly recognizable as a bomber aircraft. The sight of it was interesting enough to stop Jake right where he was, an unheard of occurrence in the three years of Jake’s walks. As another car honked and insulted its way around him, Jake kept staring at the aircraft, and slowly gained a higher point of view of his life.


As he saw it at first, the bomber represented a hope for the future, as a great job opportunity. How great it would be to fly that over people, things, empty space, dropping thousands of kilos of destruction, and flying away immediately triumphant and totally unthreatened! What could we earth-dwellers do against such a great machine, should its controller decide to dispose with us? None of the torments of school would matter, because Jake would one day get to casually destroy, for money and commendation. How wondrous! The skies would be Jake’s escape, and just the thought of that plane could help Jake feel good again.


Jake blinked after a great stare, and the plane’s image had changed. It was still destroyer of worlds, but now Jake had become conscious of his position on one of those said worlds, beneath the bomber. An immense change of scale almost knocked Jake down, or perhaps it was the wind from another passing car. Jake had forgotten his dream of destroying, but now was having a nightmare that he was to be destroyed. At least school hardships wouldn’t matter, because bombs would destroy that entire institution. Actually, that might be okay. If they would bomb the school, why would he care? His problem would be solved, and he would be fine, that is unless the bombs where the bomber was heading right now, being his small suburb. Why would the bomber care about here? Actually, that would be perfect, he reasoned, putting every community in petrifying fear that now they could be destroyed, a privilege no longer reserved for the very privileged city-dwellers. Now the next target could be anywhere. Even if there were no next target, the world would be reasonably scared for their lives. That would be truly effective terrorism, wouldn’t it?


Jake continued to stand there in the middle of the road, now slightly crouched in fear, a rather animalistic pose. The oblivious cars whizzed by, still concerning themselves with the small-minded matter of maneuvering around a teenage boy dumbly positioned in the path to their small-minded objectives. None of that mattered anymore, because the bomber would give them their perspective back. You must live on, nothing else was of any real importance. The aircraft was exactly above now, it even seemed slightly lower than before, the bomb bay doors much more noticeable. Jake was turned to stone, unable to move even as a compact truck nearly hit him in his now prone position on the road. The danger throbbed in his throat, wrists, ears, eyes, and voice.


Slowly, very slowly, the horrible bomber passed over. Jake calmed and his senses came back one by one. He saw only wispy clouds and a dot that was the bomber. He smelled the odious pavement below his face. He tasted sweat and mucus that had built up in his mouth from his adrenaline rush and heavy breathing. He felt rough gravel sticking to his limbs as he stood back up, still in the center of the road. And then he began to hear to laughing and derision of his school nemesis, Rob, with a couple of schoolmates around him.


“He’s finally getting up! The plane’s all gone now Jakey, no need to be afraid! Ha!” Rob commanded the respect of his peers by making fun of a truly troubled fellow student. The others responded well to Rob’s ambitions, confirming him as role model for the popular, dumb, “student”. Jake realized his predicament, but would not look over to see who was in Rob’s group, knowing that his crush must be standing among them as well. Left with no choice but to endure the torment later and hope for a more typical walk that day. Jake got back into his traditional walking stance and slowly resumed what he had started, in order to prepare for the horrendous day that is known to some very depressed people as “tomorrow”.





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