The dirt was laced with sour weeds and writhing earthlings. I wasn’t sure if it was a worm I had swallowed, or just the stems of dewy Petunia; either would leave my stomach in somersaults after lunch. If I survived until then, that is. “Get up,” a pig snorted from behind. My ears twitched. Electricity rattled my body and I rose, meeting the blaring sunlight as it cleaved my eyes. His head was colossal, sprouting gelled tufts of basalt hair with sharp, forest eyes cocked firmly at my own. Even the sun cowered behind his massy figure.
He caught sight of my trembling torso, thickening his brooding expression and setting his eyebrows into twirling dance. They looked like maggots. “Huh. Well, look here,” he chuckled. His grin was slanted with cocky privilege. “Seems like you do have a little bit of man in you. ” I heard apish barking from the perimeter. My eyes dotted around. There was an entire crowd tuned in for today’s afternoon entertainment. Fortunately, those who weren’t here weren’t out of luck; it was a serial, committed to airing to its committed audience every day. How loyal.
I perused the band of cheerleaders behind me, who were so closely huddled together with excitement it seemed as if they were about to perform. Their eyes – coated with butterscotch shadow and obsidian lining – were glossed over, captivated by the stunning manliness displayed by our hero in his battle against the repugnant abominations that spawned only from Satan’s abstract depths; all with a chiseled face and rugged charisma. I scoffed at them. They didn’t seem to notice. “What are you looking at, faggot? ” I spun my head around and locked onto him, taking note of the anxious gasp of the audience.
Well, if the crowd was so eager for a show, then it wouldn’t be right for me to disappoint. I smirked and patiently lugged my drooling tongue over my blistered lips. His boastful expression fell flat. My mouth continued to work, churning and percolating fluid until I had a massive, wet wad of fermented phlegm reserved at my command. I loosed a chuckle as his eyes widened into emerald moons. His mouth shifted in speech, but I cut him off, firing the gooey wad into the dirt. An entire second had passed before the deer-like portrait of his face melted into a steely aftershadow.
His new expression was much redder, overflowing the natural, hellish-caramel of his complexion. I stepped forward and hoisted my fist into the embrace of the cool, fall air; he did the same, although with what resembled more of a sledgehammer than of a typical human arm. As our weapons gravitated together, prepared to unleash our respective furies, my veins surged with liquid steel. I would not fail this time. I would win. My jaw blasted backwards and the sun died. I fell like a crumpled weight, blinded by the endless darkness that swiftly devoured the world.
The dirt met my skin once again, but it felt much coarser than before – like soldered sandpaper. I heard the audience cheering. Some of them were laughing. I wasn’t sure who what doing what and where, but I was fairly certain some of the jubilance was exuding from the cheerleaders. Soon, all the sounds – from the creamy hymns of the fluttering doves to the throaty barking of the adolescent spectators – seemed to merge into a single, cacophonous screech. My eyes drifted towards the sky, which was now flecked with the odd colors of freshwater abalone.
I prayed that the porcelain giants floating effortlessly in the heavens would descend to the mortal realm and crush my every fiber. All I had to do now was stay down, and then they would all get bored and leave; that would be brilliant. Perfect, even. A meaty hand grappled my collar and jerked my senseless torso forward. The blackness of my sight allowed me to see further into his eyes, and I took notice of the shady dullness his pupils held. He wasn’t enjoying this. He didn’t care. He was just bored. “Felt better, haven’t you, faggot? ” His pearly canines reared as he grinned.
A smile tugged at the corners of my broken lips, frigid as the icy wind hissed past me. I felt like laughing. He scowled. “You think this is funny? ’ His brick-like fingers locked onto my jaw and began squeezing. The pain was mild – at first. For a few moments I had even thought I was dead. Soon, however, a scorching sensation like lava tendrils slithered into my bones and through my nerves. I bellowed. His eyes expanded in response, glinting with an animalistic tint. The grin plastered onto his face began to shift, indicating speech, but his voice was drowned by my own screaming and by the pain roaring throughout my body.
The world began to fade again. The shadows of the audience – superficial cheerleaders included – began to grow and envelop their hosts. The clouds took on a dirtied, inky texture which, for some reason, reminded me of my chipped asphalt driveway. The sky pulsed and shifted like a vivid membrane, sprouting purple veins that coiled around the noxious atmosphere. I felt hot blood churn in my gut as vomit surged up my esophagus, kept at by only by my shattered mouth. And then I fell. Dropped like a sack, my back collided with the Earth.
As the rear of my skull struck the coarse soil yet again, I gave a silent thanks to the leathery bundles of Petunia for cushioning my fall. I twirled my pupils about. Against the chocolate stucco structure of the school building, I could see only two figures; one had fell and was caressing his face in pain. I quickly discerned his cold, pond-scum pupils, but blinked at the foreign light residing within them. His psychotic confidence was completely void, leaving only hallow shells in place. I turned my attention to the other figure, which stood defiantly over his fallen counterpart.
His hair was bleached-blonde, like mine, and his vanilla skin made him glow faintly in the light of the awakened Sun – almost like a ghost. He approached me. The darkness fled in his wake, allowing my eyes a clear field of vision. I immediately recognized the faint scar than cascaded from his temple past his edgy cheekbone, which he had earned from colliding with a fire hydrant during a biking accident years ago. He smiled, but the circles under his crystal eyes revealed worry. “Hey, you okay, bro? ” I reached for his outstretched hand and grappled his palm. I’m fine, Aaron,” I grunted.
My resilient demeanor was marred by the crack in my voice. He flashed his signature smirk. “Whatever you say, tough guy. Let’s get you outta’ here. ” He lifted my weight from the ground with a firm grip. I couldn’t do much to help him. The crowd was breaking up. Some of the kids were jaw-dropped in awe. Others had left, bored by their unfulfilled desire for homosexual bloodshed. Even the cheerleaders seemed to disperse, with a renewed attention for their motley-painted faces. He, on the other hand, had managed to rise onto his knees.
I curled my lips, both in anger and in disgust at his horrifically pulsing throat. His Adam’s apple bobbed a few times – like one of those buoys that were always floating in the lake – before his mouth exploded. Meaty gobs of blood showered onto the weedy soil. “Let’s go,” Aaron instructed. He tugged on my arm and led me towards an opening in the crowd. I couldn’t take my eyes off of my fallen enemy. His eyes were wide with rage, but he didn’t get up. I knew that was partly due to his injury, but I saw something else – something more raw. He was afraid. “Faggot! Pussy! He barked with a gargled voice, as if he was violently drowning in a pool of whole-milk.
“Always needing big brother to fight your own battles! You’re a weakling! ” “Keep waking, Chase. ” My feet dug up dirt as Aaron pulled me harder. I tore my eyes away from my defeated opponent and stared at my brother’s back. The sun bore down on him, giving him a soft, luminescent aura as he walked. I tried to shuffle away from his body – to allow the warmth of the light to graze my skin – but my hand refused, maintaining its ironclad grip on my brother’s callous fingers. I couldn’t move on my own. I never could.