Marc This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 11, 2012
By
I remember my sunny, carefree life in the purple storybook house on Maple Street in Brockway. I remember climbing tall, forbidding trees, huge red ants, sweet, flaky, fresh blackberry pies and wagon rides down the hills and through the cemetery. I remember my friends, my family, my pets. But more than anything, I remember Marc.

Everyone on Maple Street knew and loathed Marc. He was a holy terror. His short buzzed hair, chubby middle and burly arms were the fiercest I had encountered in all my years. The little brat spilled whitewash on my new, frilly, flowered Sunday dress on purpose! That was right before I punched him in the eye (barely getting away from him), for which I was grounded for a whole week. He shot sticks at my bike while I was riding it, wedging them in the spokes and causing me to wreck into the Deruges’ fence. He trashed our campsites, stole our toys and annoyed every kid and adult on Maple Street.

So one cheerful summer morning we decided to get revenge for everything he had ever done to my brother, sister and me. First, we rallied the neighborhood kids and huddled together to decide just what to do. We held nothing back from this plot; nothing was too bold, bad or disgusting. He deserved everything he had coming to him. We got a bucket and filled it with mud and slimy pond water from behind the bushes in cranky old man Dino’s garden. Whatever we could find, we mixed into the bucket, resting at our stronghold on the other side of Marc’s blue picket fence: squishy frog guts, moldy maple syrup, slimy pancake mix and, my contribution, lovely fresh skunk innards from up the road, just to name a few. Then, while we girls went to the Deruges’ for crab apples to throw at Marc (the wormiest, slimiest, squishiest we could find), the boys stayed behind and peed in the Rubbermaid cauldron.

Now, our last challenge was to get Marc outside. Lucky me, a rather unfair committee of my peers volunteered me. I stumbled up to his front porch, scared stiff, with whispered choruses of “Go! You’re almost to the porch!” behind me, Marc’s threatening abode in front and as many blackberries as a seven-year-old could carry in her pudgy fist.

With a sweaty, shaking hand I rang the doorbell. He answered my beckon of doom, looming over me like a terrible stone demon statue with a look of cold hate frozen on his scarred face that made my bones rattle. I hesitated, unsure of whether to risk getting beaten up or run away and put up with being labeled a coward – the kid who ran away from freedom – for the rest of my existence. I just couldn’t let the others down. I mustered all my pride and courage and pushed them into one instant when I smashed the blackberries on Mark’s ugly punk face and raced frantically toward the safe haven behind the fence of freedom with Marc in hot pursuit.

It seemed as if all hell had broken loose and was singeing my tennis shoe soles, chasing me with unspeakable horrors and motivating me to run with all my strength lest I be doomed to an eternity of Marc-ish nightmares.

I changed my course just as I had lured him close enough to the fence and dove into the street with barely enough time to look back. The others stood up, hauling the bucket that seemed to be bubbling with anxiety and splooooosh! They hit him dead on! He was covered from head to toe with the putrid, slimy water. The look of sheer surprise and humiliation on his face was way better than any reward anyone could have given us for this courageous feat. Marc stepped forward, threatening to tear us to shreds, but coming from a four-foot puke pile, that didn’t scare us much. I guess he realized he was powerless, and turned and ran crying – crying – inside to tattle to his mommy. She was not amused by our light-hearted fun, and Marc’s dad came outside and sicced their evil, ugly dog on us.

We scattered in all directions and ran down Maple Street as fast as our feet could carry us. Then the massive beast caught hold of my brother. I didn’t stick around to find out what happened after Marc’s dad got to him, but I didn’t really have to. Cory showed up later, with Marc’s dad, at our house. The biggest bit of trouble was yet to come: Mom, and all the terrors and threats that only a mother could possess. Marc’s dad told her the whole story, and she thanked him, then shut the door and watched him stagger up the street.

As she turned to us, a broad smile spread across her face. She laughed. We laughed. I guess she despised Marc as much as we did, ’cause we only got grounded for a week, which isn’t too bad considering the extent of our crime. That was my ultimate kid moment. The few seconds of impact and the confused look on Marc’s face will live in my memory forever.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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