Speechless – by Lucas
“HEY FAGGOT, come here”, he screams, “Come on, I brought you something to trade for your lunch today!”
Victin is puzzled, could this be the day he had been waiting for? As he reaches in his bag, his other arm swings into Victin’s stomach like the mechanical motion of an activated mousetrap, leaving poor boy Victin a few milliseconds to hear the idiot scream “SQUASH” while he proceeds to feel his insides turn into Mom’s apricot jam. As soon as the Shrek-looking fellow disappears in a maze of school hallways, Victin picks himself up in a thoroughly practiced manner; this isn’t his first time.
“Wow.. what a tool” utters a voice almost as secretive as the shadow it casts. “You okay? I don’t get what this guy thinks he accomplishes with this” . Victin doesn’t reply except for a lightly-heard whimper. Echoes in the school reverb a sound: “Insecurities” . Every hero needs a sidekick; this one goes by Couard, a similarly built scrawny boy who unlike his best friend speaks a little more often. “I just hate people like that, I don’t understand why no one chooses to go and do something about it” . Victin remains silent, offering nothing but a covertly offended expression. “Anyways, you wanna start walking home? It’s getting late” , asks Couard, now almost indifferent to the events of five minutes ago. Impervious to the world’s negativity, Victin once again brushes it off and leads the way, followed by his companion. Luckily for both, the two compatriots’ houses are like them: constantly next to each other. The road however, starts from their sub-funded public school in the slums, passing by a polluted industrial sector, which reaches into the large metropolitan area, wherein is located, just a few hundred meters further after, their home.
The bucolic scenery of what used to be farmland is a nostalgic one. Kilometers, of forests, rivers, animals, flowers, composing a rainbow of nature nowadays at war with factories. The only remaining body: a small stream of opaque water that some dare call a river. Bordering it, a conglomeration of the bad kind of plants, as grey as the fumes they release, seemingly eating away at the Earth. A man, perhaps the owner or a quartermaster, standing in front as if leading his serving factories to battle. “What the hell is that guy doing… is–is he throwing dye in the river?”, complains Couard. The river bleeds, going from it’s dull green-blue to an intense vermillion red. “Hey you can’t do that! That’s illegal”, he exclaims in an effortless attempt at justice. The man looks up in their direction; he walks a few meters forward. Victin remains silent, he’s seen this before, he knows. “That’s illegal? So what, what are you gonna do about it? Are you going to speak up?” replies the man in his staccato-condescending, almost defying tone. Couard blushes paralyzed in fear, his good intentions ruined. What about you over there” as he points to Victin, “Why do you never say anything, not as tough as your friend? You little ugly monkey-face, bet your monkey parents are real proud of you! Too bad they probably work for me”. A nagging sense of déjà vu: Couard spectating, Victin absorbing. The two boys suddenly elude from the monster, running faster than his words. “What the hell is wrong with that guy, I don’t understand why no one chooses to go and do something about it” says Couard during his evasion. Stillness omnipresent, the same look on Victin’s face. The wind mutters sounds resembling “Greed” , but carries the words away in its own little current.
Stomach groans from the two teens mark the forthcoming of a winter’s sunset and impending dinner time. In the horizon, somber clouds, charged, looming over the city and suffocating it increasingly as time flows, like an octopus that found its prey. The air is thick, harder to breathe; the boys’ eyes start to sting and water a bit. The metropolitan area, at night, does not hold its kindest men in stock. Robust, healthy, suit-wearing individuals, and frail raggedy clothed fellows: thieves, both of them though the latter stick to direct crime. “Dude how long until we get there? It’s starting to look sketchy around here” complains Couard, whose bag-burden is a fraction of Victin’s. “…”, no sound from our little shock-absorber until, “Victin WATCH OUT!”. Out of the tenebrous background emerges a man in his twenties, most likely drugged, behind Victin, a metal pipe in one hand, an evil expression on his face. Couard dashes to Victin’s side, “Well, well, well, what do we have here” , interrupts a honeyed malicious voice, “Are the little boys lost? I can take you to your mom, but before, you’ll have to pay me a big, big fee” taunts the maddened man, while hysterically laughing. The scene is a portrait, Victin petrified, Couard contemplative, the drugged up psycho waiting, all frozen in time.
How much does it take for someone to break? How much does it take for someone to act? How much, does it take, for someone to change?
Couard steps forward. A flash. The mad, immobile.
Blood, on Couard. Blood, on Victin. Blood on the junky.
Perhaps… a smile.
“Thanks” , he says.The End
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