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Darren Madoc Was Here

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Everybody wants to leave their mark. On the great canvas of the world, each mark varies in shape, size, and color. Some collaborate with others, making new hues and unique figures, leaving only a gentle whisper of their individuality. Some, however, leave their name permanently etched into the space. Standing out from the others, names and faces are thrust out into the future onlooker's face. Many people don't really care what they leave behind, as long as they have fun doing it. Riding along this sea of names are the ones. The ones who want to, need to, must be known. This choice group refuses to simply fade away, slipping through the world's grasp like smoke though fingers. Darren Madoc was one of these people.

Darren Madoc had everything. Money, looks, girls. He practically sweated charisma. Star of the football team,senior class president, and shoo-in for homecoming king. Even his girlfriend was captain of the cheerleading team.

Yes, this seems like every cliche high school scenario. Well, it is. Most people like this peak in high school, then resent the rest of their mediocre lives. Darren knew this. He was the spitting image of a younger, high school version of his father. Now, 45-year-old Robert Madoc was depressed, an alcoholic, and a major gambler. He hated the fact that he was no longer the leader of two thousand mindless drones, and lamented his age.

Darren refused to end up like his father. His grades might not be up to par, but he could work hard to raise them, and manage to scrape his way into a good college. This was the plan until his ACT score came back.

When the envelope arrived, Darren's life took a turn for the worse. That bleached-white sheet contained the blueprint to Darren's destiny. And at the moment, his destiny didn't seem to great.

The thing that really made him snap was the slamming of a screen door and the string of swears and insults. As the rain ruthlessly fell, Darren's father screamed at both his son and the alcohol-induced demons that constantly tormented him.

Darren stormed into the storm. He sprinted into the alley that was constantly mobbed by drug dealers and gangsters, continuously littered by half-empty cans of spray paint, decorated by scribbles and screenings of the past, both near and far.

Snatching a red can from the ground, Darren began to paint. Even if educated people wouldn't remember him, even if he would become "just another popular guy... What was his name again?" at least some part of him would be immortalized into this soaking wet brick wall.

The thinderclap masked approaching footsteps, lightning silhouetting a figure. Darren wasn't aware of him until his chest was aware of the bullet. The Central High quarterback with popularity of nearly celebrity proportions toppled down like a bag of bricks. The empty spray paint can rolled into the street and was crushed by a passing car. Permanently dyed into the wall, in paint as red as Darren's last wound, were the words:

"DARREN MADOC WAS HERE"





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