Friday, January 15, 2016

Prompt: "Why did you scream like that?"

Prompt: "Why did you scream like that?"

“Why did you scream like that?” Brandon asked, pushing Charles into the locker room shower. “Are you listening to me?” Charles was looking off in the opposite direction. “Look at me when I am talking to you.” Charles glanced into his eyes then glanced back to whatever had him captivated. Brandon followed his eyes to a section of wall across the room. There minding its own business was a spider. Mind you this wasn't a huge spider but not tiny either. It was a Daddy-Long-Legs. Its legs made it look much bigger than what it actually was. “This? This is what you are screaming about?” Charles could only nod and back away. Brandon picked it up by one leg with a grin and tossed it at Charles. Charles screamed backing further into the shower. He slipped on someone's soap that had been left behind and down he went, hitting the tiled floor hard. Charles didn't move. Brandon picked up the spider again and walked into the shower. He stopped, looking at Charles, and dropped the spider, now forgotten. He hollered out to his friends that were watching, “Go get the teacher, there's blood. And say nothing about the spider. Got it?” He looked around at his friends, each of them nodding in agreement not to say anything about him picking on poor Charles.

Word spread quickly through the school about what happened to Charles and that he had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Of course, none of Brandon's friends were talking. We pretended like it was our first time hearing about it. It was interesting to hear all the different stories as to what exactly happened to him. Someone said he'd heard that Charles picked a fight with Brandon and Brandon had obviously won. Another story was that he was the only one in the locker room at the time and was being his normal clumsy self and slipped on the soap. Brandon liked that last theory best.

By afternoon the halls were buzzing about Charles. Word was that he was in intensive care and in a coma. Brandon was hit with a brief pang of remorse. It dissipated as quickly as it came.

Dean, one of Brandon's friends, came up to him in the hall between classes. “Did you hear about Charles? What are you going to do?”

“Do about what exactly?” Brandon sneered.

“About Charles. It was because you were picking on him that he fell in the shower. So, well, it is kinda your fault he is hurt.” Dean gulped.

“I will have you know that it is NOT my fault that baby was afraid of spiders nor that he backed up onto a slippery bar of soap. Do you understand?” Each word spoken emphasized with a finger poke to Dean's chest.

“Sure Brandon. I understand.” Dean stammered and backed away, leaving for his nest class.

Brandon made his way the bathroom. He found a quiet stall in the far corner and waited for classes to begin. 'It was not my fault.' He thought. 'He was being a baby with all the screaming over a tiny Daddy-Long-Legs. It was not my fault that he backed up onto that bar of soap.' With the halls quiet and a teacher check out of the way, Brandon lit a cigarette and took a long drag. 'If only this was a joint. I could really use a toke to calm me down right now.' After every couple drags, he sprayed a bit of the air freshener that he kept in his inside coat pocket specifically for this very reason. He sat on the heater in the very back of the room propped up in the corner where no one could see him unless they walked nearly all the way there. By then he could have the cigarette disposed of without a trace. Thoughts of Charles invaded his peace. What was he going to do about Charles. After what felt like only a couple minutes had passed, the bell for the end of school blared in his ears. Brandon hopped down from the heater, getting rid of his cigarette butt and spraying a little air freshener. He confidently walked out of the bathroom and headed to his bus.

Brandon had lost his driver's license so was downgraded to riding the bus every afternoon. Dean gave him a ride in the morning but he left a little early every day because he only had a study hall last class. Brandon hated him for that. To him it felt like Dean was ditching him in the afternoon. Whether he was or wasn't was a mote point. He was stuck riding the bus regardless.

The bus was full of chatter with about ninety percent being about Charles. Someone said that he had died. Another said that no, he was just in a coma. Some expected him to live while other said they didn't expect him to make it. With so many different stories, how was Brandon to know which one was correct? He couldn't. Unless he went to the hospital himself. Brandon sighed and pushed the idea as far from his mind as he could. He slipped his earbuds into his ears and cranked up the volume on his iPod blasting music into his ears to drown out all the chatter. He slouched down in the seat, put his knees on the back of the seat in front of him, rested his head on the side of the bus watching the world speed by, and eventually fell asleep.

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