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Nameless This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

It was winter, and Damien Weatherby was seventeen years old. It was a Wednesday. The fact that it was a Wednesday would normally have no relevance to the events that have yet to occur, and it is no more relevant in this situation than it would in any other, but the fact remained that it was a Wednesday. In the hours following what would come to be known as the Incident, a state of shock would fall over the suburban neighborhood. It wasn’t the kind of completely silent, surprised shock, but the sort of shock that is usually followed by huddled groups of people talking in hushed tones. The point of hushing the tones was most likely purely out of respect, as there was no question as to the subject of the whispers.

The events leading up to the Incident had their start around Thanksgiving, when Damien was an average boy of twelve. An assignment in school gave children the often daunting task of stating what in life they were thankful for, as is the tradition. Damien, as is the cliché, claimed to be thankful for his family, whom has remained hitherto unmentioned. There was nothing exceptionally unique about Damien’s thankfulness, until the news came.

The news was, of course, that Damien’s mother had been hit and killed by a bus, heading towards the airport. The destination of said bus is irrelevant as well, save for the fact that Damien’s mother was crossing the street from east to west, and the bus was heading south. After the news came, Damien was silent for a week.

In the years to come, life for Damien was relatively uneventful. He didn’t have a large amount of friends, and the ones he did have were few and far between. The next major event leading up to the Incident occurred when Damien was fourteen years old. The event was set in the lunchroom, also on a Wednesday. He sat alone, as was the norm. One of the larger high school students walked over. Damien’s aloneness drew his attention, and soon the jeers and jests were shooting from all angles. Defenseless, Damien shut down. Herein, hell began.

The second event had come to pass, but not without many more to come. All of these events ended with Damien staring blankly into space, falsely seeming unnerved by his surroundings, already dead inside. Damien came home every night having acquired a new bruise, a new cut, a new burden. Some nights, his father inquired about the cause of the injuries, when his judgment was not clouded by apathy and alcohol. Other nights, he would add to the insanity, the canvas of pain, never to be cleansed by acceptance.
When Damien turned fifteen, he shed the name that identified him as an individual, and needed no replacement, for there was no one left to address him. The change subsequently set him farther apart from everything else in life. He had forgotten the reason he was bullied. His tormentors had likely forgotten, too. Reasons were unimportant, and the primary goal became destruction. Not only destruction of the flesh–that had already been accomplished, but destruction of the mind; breaking the child down to something emptier than even a name.

He knew what the people said. To the other children he was a freak, to the parents he was troubled, and to himself, he was nothing. He heard the whispers everywhere he went. At first they were concerned whispers, people who felt bad for the bullied child. By the time he was seventeen, the whispers grew into screams, taunting him, never ending, getting louder and louder, until the rumors flooded his brain, leaving no room for anything but pain, until it became too much to bear. Now it was winter, and he was seventeen years old. It was a Wednesday. He hung from the roof of the suburban house like a salami in the window of a butcher’s shop, displayed for all to see. Nameless, forevermore.





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