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The boy, about fourteen years old, walked into the school cafeteria. He had been bullied, and was tired of it. He wanted it to end. Where are they? he thought. An odd shaped object was carefully hidden in his jeans pocket. There!
He made his way through the crowd, putting his hand in his pocket. As he approached the other kids, and he started talking.
“You’ll be sorry,” he said, “for all the horrible things you did to me. You thought it harmless name calling, but it stung. It didn't stop there though. After name calling, it progressed to teasing me in other harmful ways. You had no right to do that to me. Recently, I have had people corner me places and beat me up. I have been living in death, and death is not a fun place to be.
“I became depressed at home, and my parents took me to a doctor. The doctors said it was stress, but truly, it was you and the things you did to me. People like you took my sister away from me, which started another round of torment. You have made my life unbearable and for it, you will pay!”
The boy had the full attention of the cafeteria, and as he pulled the gun out of his pocket, they knew; he would end up just as his sister had.
But no! This boy was different. He didn't aim at himself, but instead at the bullies. The crack of the gun filled the silent cafeteria. Everyone screamed and ran under the tables. The gun sounded several more times, then stopped. The boy’s voice rang out once more.
“Bullying only brings death and pain.” With those words in his mouth, he ended his own miserable life.
“Student stands up to bullies, but in the most horrible way, story at nine,” the TV broadcaster announced. News of the school shooting spread quickly, along with the message that it brought.
“I wonder what happened,” Becca said. “Standing up against bullies is an amazing thing to do. How could it be horrible?”
“I’m not sure,” her husband replied. “How about we watch it tonight?”
Becca nodded, but her mind was elsewhere. What could have happened?
“And now for our special presentation on bullying.”
“George, it’s starting!”
“Today in Mulhoney Wisconsin, Eddie Charlingon shot himself and three peers. He died, and so did Carl Whitings and Travis Harrison. Lily Bergen is still alive, but hanging on by a thread. She has been placed in the Mulhoney Hospital and is under critical care. The reason behind this shooting was made clear by Eddie. Before even revealing his gun, he told the whole school about how people had bullied him...”
“Oh my gosh! Did you hear that George? Three kids were shot and killed today!” Becca exclaimed. “And in such a remote place, too!”
“Yes, Mulhoney Wisconsin. I’ve never heard of it. Thank goodness we don’t live there! It could have been our children.”
Becca and George had twin boys, Dan and Stuart, at the age of twelve.
“. . . With the last words of ‘Bullying only brings death and pain,’ Eddie shot himself, suicide like his sister. He left no note, but none was needed; he said all he needed to in his speech to the students he left alive. Let this be a lesson to us: Bullying is everywhere, and we need to stop it.”
“How are we going to tell the twins, George? You know they will talk about it at school tomorrow.”
“I don’t know Becca, I just don’t know.”
George switched the TV off.
“This world is just messed up.”
“How about we get some sleep and try to figure this out in the morning?”
“Sounds good dear.”
A week passed since the shooting in Mulhoney. People were starting to call it the Mulhoney Murder. It was a crude, horrible name, but it was catching on.
“What is it George?”
“That Eddie Charlington, from the shooting.”
“You’re not making any sense George.”
“I know him.”
Becca said nothing, not a single word. In truth, she thought her husband was going crazy.
“Truly, I do!”
“Just drop it George.”
Becca didn’t want to hear anything so ridiculous come out of George’s mouth. They had no idea where Mulhoney was, let alone the people who lived in it.
A few days later, George started another odd conversation.
“You know those relatives of mine? You know, we lost track of them before the kids came, because they were always moving around.”
“They moved to Mulhoney.”
“How do you know?”
“Eddie Charlington is my second cousin.”