Brady George: The Truth about Making Fists
I never thought that in all my years of English class, I would have the stones to take on this type of assignment. I’m not getting a grade; there is no reason why I am pushing this pencil on this paper. I’m not too good at this and if you don’t believe me, you should look at my report card. I’m a sophomore here at Felton High. And before I go any further into the story, I should fill you in on what this is all about.
    Bullies… in a sense I am one. I’m not the type to pick on the weak however (I’m aware that the word bully has that negative connotation). The only reason I am a bully is because I don’t fit in any other category. Preps, jocks, nerds, geeks, what I am doesn’t fit in any of these, and when you’re in high school, like I am, everyone wants to know your label. I tell them I’m Brady George, Ultra Punk. They call me a bully.
    I wasn’t always a bully. When I first started school I was a nerd. In elementary school I was the smartest kid in my class. Though being the smartest kid had its price, and all I remember is looking in the mirror after school and seeing that purple, cut up face looking back at me. Though the beatings were tough, life at home was tougher. As a child I wanted to please both parents and this was the only way I knew how.
    My mom, she’s a very nice, practical lady, she wanted me to do well in school and graduate, and go to college and become somebody. My dad wanted the same thing, minus the books. He wanted me to grow up tough. He saw my scars as a rite of passage into adulthood. He praised me whenever my mom wasn’t looking.
    “That’s my boy,” my dad would say, “you’re going to be strong. You’re not going to be pussy like some of those other kids. Remember don’t cry and don’t run away. Running is for pussies! You don’t want to be a pussy, do you?”
    I didn’t want to be a pussy. Before I started coming home with bruises, my dad hardly knew I was there. This was the only way for him to be proud of me. But soon my mom found out how my dad was encouraging my fighting and she wasn’t too happy with him.
    “What are you thinking?” my mom shouted, “He could be expelled for fighting!”
    “A scrawny kid like that is just begging to be picked on,” my dad shouted back, “I want him to be strong and face those bullies. Win or lose!”
    “He is getting beat up every afternoon! What good is it to come home beaten and bruised everyday?” she said.
    “It’s not just about bruises!” my dad said, “It’s something more. He’ll be able to tackle anything when he gets out of school. He’s already becoming fearless. When life is done messing with him, he’ll be the toughest kid out there.”
    “He’ll become a delinquent!”
    “No, he’ll be great!”
    And like that my mom made my dad leave. I didn’t get it at first. I thought dad would be back, but the days turned to weeks and it seemed he would never return. And I was angry. I was angry at both of my parents: my mom for bullying my dad and my dad for running away like a pussy.
    Back at school, I was still being bullied. One bully in particular never missed a chance to mess with me. His name was Matt Chatterton. He was the one who made me who I am today. Back then, his mom was our teacher. She praised me often in class for my work and Matt hated it. He beat into me a creed, a new distinct way of living. And with his fist, he baptized me into a fellowship of blood and guts.
    It happened one recess, while I was sitting at the top of the jungle gym. The jungle gym had become my haven in those days. I could get away from everyone else and just be alone. I crouched, silently hiding within my mind. Reliving all that had become of my life. My mom, my dad, my school, everything inside was twisting and wringing out emotions that wanted to overcome me and consume me. It took a lot out of me to hold it all in; it took a lot out of me not to cry. But while I sat up there on the jungle gym, a dodge ball flew out of no where and hit me in the back. I fell off the metal bars and landed in the gravel. It was cold and I began to cry. Stumbling to my feet, I saw Matt and his friends walking towards me. I wanted to stop crying.
    “Georgie, how are you doing today?” said Matt.
    It was strange as he approached, my voice just stopped. My cries were muted but my tears continued to flow down my cheeks.
    “Oh, Georgy,” Matt said, “Did I make you cry? Are you a cry baby?”
    I couldn’t speak. Even if I wanted to, I think it would have been hard to understand. My nose was running and my tears wouldn’t stop and then Matt punched me in the stomach.
    “Stop crying, you baby. You know what you have to do to make this stop. Just stop making ‘A’s.”
    I just stood there. Incoherent. Mumbling words that only I could really understand. My emotions had gone haywire. I was losing control of myself.
    “Are we clear, Georgie?” said Matt. He punched me in the stomach again. I fell to the ground. There was a large crowd of children forming. I hadn’t noticed them until now. They were all watching. Their eyes formed a cage. I could no longer run. I was stuck in an ocean of people. All of them wanted to see what I would do. All of them wanted to see what my future held. Would I die? Would I be triumphant?
    “Come on, Georgy! You’re embarrassing me in front of my friends!” said Matt, “Show me what you got!”
    The ocean chanted, “Fight, fight, fight, fight…” and I stood up.
    “Do I have to hit you again, or do you have the message?” said Matt. His smile was intoxicating. I let it fill me. It goaded and prodded and I finally gave into the call to fight.
    I said nothing… I just flippin snapped.
    I was dazed. The wind had left my lungs and my vision blurred into a kaleidoscope of reds and blues. I’m not sure how or why, but when Matt went in for a final punch to my throat, I ducked below his fist, sidestepped inside, and nailed him right in the chin. I sent him upward, sailing like a comet, into the chanting ocean. It was so beautiful. I see it over and over in my mind. His body raised with my fist, and he flew backwards. In that moment, I heard nothing. I smelled nothing. Every piece of me was focused in that punch. The sea was silent and I watched Matt’s body crash into the waves.
    When that moment ended, Matt’s friends tried to jump me. It was ecstasy. I was untouchable, invincible. I weaved among them like a ghost. The first hit, I punched one of them in the head, then moved to the next one and punched him in the nose. I moved from face to face until I ran out of faces to punch. And then, in the same fashion, I began to attack the spectators. Every face I saw got its lights punched or nasals knocked until finally I knocked over one guy and collapsed on top of him. His name was Kenny. He was the shyest kid in our class and that day he received his first knuckle sandwich from me.
    I don’t know how or when but at some point I was torn off of Kenny by Mrs. Chatterton. Kenny and I were suspended and Matt spun the story of how it was Kenny and I who were fighting and he and his friends just got caught in the middle. I went home that day changed; I had been immersed by the spirit of violence.
    The truth about making fists… I guess you are wondering the point, the why, what justification do I have for writing this? The truth about making fists is simple. For some kids like me, making fists is an addiction; it’s a way of life. From trash talking to exchanging fists in the ring. It’s not about violence, don’t you dare put a label on it! It’s not about might or fear. It’s about love. The camaraderie between opponents is unmatched. The way they move and that way they strike is like an intimate dance. You can’t get that kind of rush from drugs, girls, money, or recognition. Only through the sharing of fists.

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Dorian_Gray
Short Story
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writing Dorian_Gray
Hello authors! I go by Dorian T. Gray; it's my author name. I'm hoping that it can be a way to keep my legal self somewhat apart from my inner self so when I get to my destination I can live a somewhat normal, mundane-ish life... Well aside from the charities and other stuff that I hope to attend.

My aim is to present my work here in hopes that everyone will give me their feedback (critiques and encouragement) and polish me into a better author. I will strive to do the same. I think that we all have a chance to be great writers but we need each other to grind away the awkward and ugly parts and make our pieces shine.

Thanks for Reading,

D. T. Gray
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