The Crushing of Troy

April 30, 2008
By James Lewis, San Jose, CA

Troy sat next to his best friend, Jack, in the seventh grade math and science classroom. Troy looked up at the clock. He was glad to see the period was almost over. He couldn’t wait for lunch to start. He was so hungry When the bell finally rang, he threw all of his things into his backpack and started out the door. He was blocked by Hugo, the gargantuan class bully. Hugo was huge in every way, so much that “Huge” was his nickname, although no one called him that to his face. He was also bald.

Mr. Dons had already left, as had Jack, who would have been a big help if Hugo was going to pick on him.

“You going somewhere, fruitcake?” Hugo asked.

“To get my lunch,” Troy replied. He didn’t want to get sat on, but he couldn’t help saying the words that were about to come out of his mouth. “You look like you’re going somewhere too, the hospital, maybe? It looks like the baby is due to come out any minute ” It felt good, after being picked on by Hugo the whole year to get a nice verbal comeback on him. Troy knew he should stop before Hugo exploded, but was having too much fun. He taunted, “Where you going Hugo? There a buffet over there?”

“Do you want to get sat on, punk?” asked Hugo, with fire in his eyes.

“Well, all I know is that I feel really sorry for all the chairs you must have broken in your time.”

“Just like I’m going to break you. You’ve gone too far, Axelrod,” he said, referring to Troy’s rather embarrassing last name.

“Try me Hugo.”

“I’ll do more than try, Troy.” Hugo retorted.

“Well, it has always been my dream to die by being run over an elephant, you lack the trunk, but your size is more than sufficient.” Troy snapped back. This could get out of hand quickly. In fact, Troy was surprised Hugo hadn’t charged him yet. If he did, Troy didn’t stand a chance. He had to delay Hugo, even though he was having so much fun. Troy decided his best chance was to keep Hugo fuming with light insults, but nothing that would push over the edge.

“Hey Huge,” Troy hadn’t meant to say it. He had only meant to say “Hugo,” but it came out all wrong. He was the first person in history to have called Hugo “Huge” right to his face. Troy knew he had to keep going, in case his mistake went unnoticed. “How is it that you are on both sides of the family? I mean, I have never known anyone that big. I mean not even a whale is big enough to be so fat, they come from both sides of the family. They probably have more hair too.”

“You pay for that one, dork.” It was the combination of size and hair that pushed him almost to the breaking point. But Hugo was still only making threats.

“It’s okay man,” Troy said, feigning sympathy. “I’ll buy you some Rogaine after school.”


Hugo was cut off by the door opening. Mr. Dons was returning with his lunch. He preferred to eat in the classroom.

“What are you two still doing here?” He asked. “Get out of here you knuckleheads.”

The knucklehead comment seemed to enrage Hugo more, but he said nothing. Troy thought about it, and realized that not many people have hair on their knuckles. Troy walked quickly out the door, not thinking about how close he had been to being Hugonized. He only thanked Mr. Dons for saving him from a life where he was as flat and earth-covered as the city that was his namesake.

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