Friday, August 10, 2007

Fiction Friday #6

Gunner Kerndus: Face First

The dew on the grass tasted sweet. That seemed odd. Shouldn't the dew taste more like water? Where would the sugar come from? Sure, grass, like all plants, make sugars while doing the whole photosynthesis thing, but why would a plant secrete its energy source as water condenses during the night? Or was the water from the air just naturally sweeter than the water that's been processed and filtered and then fed to us through drinking fountains and bottles?

I didn't know anything I realized as one of Lloyd's guys--Cory, Leon, or Carter--kicked me in the side. It hurt, but not much. The best thing about falling face first is that you can't be kicked in the stomach, that hurt more. When that second kick came, I started to roll into a ball. I couldn't help it. Instinct. And in the second my stomach wasn't covered, Lloyd got me, hard. I kept curling, but I'd lost my breath and started coughing and they started kicking.

When they ganged up on me last year and years before, they wanted to see me cry. When I learned that, I'd give it to them after a few punches or kicks. Now, I had no idea what they wanted anymore. So I just lay there and let them do it to me. I think about something, anything, to distract me from what's going on outside. Anything to keep me from crying because it didn't help anymore.

I was kicked in the back.
Photosynthesis is how plants make food.
A kick to the butt.
Plants use the air they breath and the water they drink to make sugar for energy so they can grow.
Someone kicked my shin.
I don't know exactly how they do it, but it has something to do with chlorophyll.
My arm, which was wrapped around my head, was kicked and I started breathing heavy.
Chlorophyll is why leaves are green. It helps collect sunlight.
Another kick to my arms. I wanted to get up and run. My breathing came in quick gasps. I was not going to cry.
If chlorophyll makes leave green, what makes flower petals red or purple or yellow?
Then a kick to the back of my neck. I clenched my jaw and tried to take longer breaths through my nose.
Do the petals on blossoms help the plant to grow?
There was another kick to my neck and Lloyd started to laugh his high, piercing, laugh.
No, they attract insects and bird to knock the pollen down. Petals are for reproduction, not growth.
I felt a kick to my shin and one in the center of my back at almost the same time.
Bees get pollen stuck on their furry little bodies and carry it from flower to flower.
Lloyd laughed, "Okay, that's enough guys." The others stopped kicking me. "It's time to go. See you tomorrow, shithead," he said, kicking me in the butt.

I heard them walk away, but I wasn't about to move until I was sure they were gone. I didn't want to give any of them a free shot at me.

I counted to 300 before I uncurled and rolled onto my stomach and sobbed into the grass. I don't know how long I was on my stomach for, but I had to get everything out of my system before I got up. Crying didn't help anything.

When I finished I slowly thought my way up my body, starting with my toes, to make sure nothing hurt so much that I wouldn't be able to get up. Everything seemed okay, sore, but the hurt parts would work just fine.

With a deep breath, I pushed myself up to my knees and then gritted my teeth and stood up. I limped to my backpack, scooped it up, and limped to the nearest bathroom to clean myself up. All I could think as I walked was that middle school sucked.


the mooooooo said...

I hate stories like this. Where the fuck are the parents who should be caring and doing something about the shitheads who are beating the crap out of their kid?
Are we as parents really that insensitive to what is going on in our kids lives?

ticknart said...

I think that most parents, after their kids head off to school, think that their kids aren't the business of the parent, but the business of the school until the evening.

I hope I'm wrong about that, but I'm scared I'm not.

ticknart said...

After thinking about it some more, I also think that most kids have the tendency to not talk about the problems they have at school, especially around middle school age, with their parents.

Jazz said...

What Mooo said. Middle school does indeed suck.