You Never Know

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“What’s for lunch today, Tommy?” Eugene sneered. The sound of his brown paper lunch sack being torn open crept up Thomas’ spine.

“My name is Thomas.” He whined.

Eugene slowly placed each potato chip on his salivating tongue, eying Thomas as he trembled.

I’m going to be late to class,” Thomas begged, “please hurry. “

Eugene’s nostrils flared. “Mmm, grape jelly today?” he teased. “Hah, get outta here, loser.”

Thomas felt his stomach tighten as he turned and walked to classroom number twenty-six. He felt the squeaking of the door handle in his bones. He exhaled as the morning bell rang and he walked to his desk, promptly.

“Good day, great day, class!” said Miss Swiss.

The class opened their desks and retrieved lined paper as Miss Swiss wrote ‘100+3’ on the chalk board. Thomas caught his eyes flickering between the chalk board and the clock. He removed his glasses from his face and breathed heavily onto a lens. He began rubbing the glass with his shirt. He heard a squeak coming from the classroom door. Thomas shut his eyes.

Eugene pulled the door shut behind him and walked to his desk.

“Nice of you to join us, Mr. Hastings,” Miss Swiss smiled, “please get a sheet of paper.”

Eugene opened his desk and stuck his tongue out toward Miss Swiss for the class to see. Thomas shifted in his seat.

Recess arrived at 9:35 and the class charged out the door and into the warm August air. Thomas followed the other children a few steps behind. He looked back into the room as he approached the playground and saw Miss Swiss greet a man, and continued dragging his feet toward the empty swings.

Thomas swung back and forth for fifteen minutes, observing the other children laugh and run carelessly, and watching Eugene yell jokes to his friends and scowl. He watched the kids throw ball and swing on bars.

Suddenly, he felt hands grip the middle of his back. He snapped his head around as he was launched into the air from his swing and hit the playground rocks. Pain enveloped his body as he rose to his knees and swallowed his tears.

“Ah ha! You gonna cry, Tommy?” Eugene chanted with his group of friends

The recess bell rang as Thomas helped himself onto his feet. Moisture filled his eyes as he watched Eugene run ahead to the classroom, looking back at him to smile sarcastically. His pants were ripped and his knees were bleeding. His palm revealed a drop of bright red blood. He walked back to the classroom soaked in humiliation and pulsing ache.

Thomas opened the door. A man with a gun had the class backed into a corner.

Short breathes of fear attacked his chest. Miss Swiss’ eyes locked into Thomas’ as the gun revolved towards him. He stepped frantically backwards to the wall. The students stared with blank eyes. Thomas was numb with disbelief.

His eyes danced from the gun to the class, the gun to the class. He watched the man step towards him, hate in his cold face. Thomas felt a hard smack on his forehead and fell to the floor.

Time passed and Thomas later woke up in a hospital.

“Eugene?” Thomas said.

“I’m here for you, Thomas.” Eugene whispered.





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LastChapter said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 5:47 am
this was very well written, and i think you captured the simplistic yet cruel ways of the average elementary bully system. the gun man was a good twist, especially the way you only introduced him in a small piece before hand--greeting the teacher just as anyone else--because it makes it flow more naturally. but having a gun pointed straight at you while the whole class watches is a great opportunity to express a lot of emotions and regrets and whatnot, something i think you could've taken better... (more »)
 
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