It is a late September day when Norman Fields caught wind of the thing that broke his fear. His days of school is like any other day when he walked down the halls of New Prairie Middle School with his coloring pencils stuck into his pencil box and a smug look on his face. He's been the dumping ground for everyone else in school when it comes to almost breaking his spirit. He didn't approach for any extracurricular sport when he thought that someone will beat him up by showing for the roster board that is clipped upon the corked bulletin hung-up next to office. He didn't want to sign up for the debate team in the thought of someone pushing him around for the intent of going left instead of right on the matters of the natural, "Going in like everyone else without the interest of speaking their own minds on each topic that is on the debate flyer."
He didn't want to sign up for chess club, everyone gets their butts kicked for being in an extracurricular subject like that and he didn't want to even try up for football. People will try to hurt him permanently in anyway if he ever gets into the field of being a jock with the coach beating him physically to a pulp for being the "dumping ground" kid that will take the shit and ask for seconds.
One day comes the bite when Normal Fields walked down the halls of New Prairie Middle school with his coloring pencils stuck into his pencil box and the knapsack hung around his shoulder, waiting for someone to mess with him when it came just twenty seconds shy when he walked into the hallways with some of the beef heads to come around and ruff him up.
These guys were not jocks noir on the debate team. These guys were the public fear around the halls of New Prairie when one of them by the name of Harry Veet came across his path with that devilish smile upon her face.
"What you got for me, fuck face?" Harry spoke like a person that is on the verge of killing the little pip-squeak now.
"Did your mommy give you some lunch money today, cum smear?" Trey Ackerson spoke next to Harry when he started smiling like a person that is far from the principals of being a normal human being.
"If she gave him some money then I could give her some more if you know what I mean." Ben Carr came into the view with his arms pumping and his hips bumping back and forth in a suggestion that could make anyone displaying their mother in that manner hot under the collar.
"Why do you guys keep picking on me?" Norman spoke with no confidence in his voice when Trey grabbed his knapsack and ripped it off of his shoulder.
"Hey, that's mine!" He screamed
"More than friends to share; we are friends, are we?" Harry Veet slapped him on the other shoulder, feeling more hostile than just a friendly pat.
"What does he got in there; gay porn?" Ben laughed when he wiped the spittle on the bottom of his lip. Norman looked at his nails that are painted black, wondering who in the hell did that? Did he do that to himself? Norman didn't give a shit if he did or didn't.
"No, nothing but queer stuff; can we beat the shit out of him Harry?" Trey ripped the bag open and dropped it; spilling all the content on the floor when other people that were walking walked around it, wondering why in the hell didn't anyone step in?
Harry is an evil son of a bitch. I can see what he can do to one person.
"No, it's not worth beating up my shifting hand anymore. I'll probably get the rheumatism before I'm twenty one." Harry Veet rubbed his right hand when he dropped it while Trey stood on his left and Ben on the right, looking like the three evil stooges that would kill each other instead of harming each other.
"What you want done with him, Trey?" Ben spoke to Trey when Trey shrugged and looked at him right back.
"Throw him in one of the classrooms and lock the door behind him. He'll get in trouble for that. The locks are number combinations and I know Mrs. June's combo." Trey smiled with something slimy and dark behind his eyes.
"No, I can't get in trouble again!" Norman started to plead with the boys now. He knew that his father is on a mean streak again and he'll beat him even if he gets a bus ticket for throwing paper balls at the driver.
"Please don't do this!"
"Trey, lock the fucker in Mrs. June's classroom. That will make him think of crossing paths with us again without any money." Harry stood in his place when Trey and Ben grabbed him by both shoulders, dragging him into the open classroom of Mrs. June, the chemistry teacher of 7th grade when Norman pleaded harder for Harry to stop.
"I'll give you $20 dollars not to lock me in that room. I can't let my father know about this or he'll beat me worse!" Norman felt the threshold of the door around him buckle under him when he grabbed the frame of the door.
"Oh really, huh?" Harry felt a menacing rise of hatred in his eyes that burned with that molten fire of smiling upon his face when Norman caught wind of this, thrashing in Ben and Trey's hands when Ben knocked him against the frame of the door that rendered stars to be seen for a few seconds.
"Whoops, sorry." Trey laughed and Ben laughed along with him, sounding like one of those laughs that some stupid people do when they laugh at anything that is possible and mere mistaking for something not to be funny at all.
They threw him in the classroom when Norman's back brushed against the desks that almost tumbled by his weight when one teetered and fell back upon its legs when Norman regained his balance, wondering if the back of his head is bleeding when Trey said something that he couldn't comprehend, closing the door and making sure that it is locked before leaving Norman in that room that smells faintly of disinfectant and melted plastic from somewhere a time before. Norman looked around and saw that the blinds of the windows are pulled when he went to it and moved the blind from the window, looking at the campus front outside when he realized that the windows cannot be opened. He put the blinds back down when he wondered how he is going to get out of this pickle without his father realizing it.
He knew that he is in hot water for playing hooky but getting caught is something of venture in mind. He had to figure this out and fast before Mrs. June comes in here in less than twenty minutes in the start of her class session. He had to do something when he remembered and remembered well, thinking of something in mind that no one believes when the wheels of his intelligence are set in motion.
As the bell rung, Norman couldn't hear it on the account of the skeleton that is standing next to him. He's been stuck in the closet for three minutes now when all he could think of doing is to go to sleep and wonder how long he has to be in this cramped space to make his move. He knew when class is going to begin but he didn't know when to make his move. He is already tardy from his last class with Harry, Ben, and Trey making the word that he skipped class so they can be more of a couple of pricks that want to pick on a person that is defenseless. Norman closed his eyes and wondered how much hot water he is in with his father getting more drunk than usual, wanting to beat him within an inch of his life when he could see the strap that is in his hand coming towards him, nearer and nearer to the point that it will almost stretch across his back like a misshapen piece of rubber that will leave welts on him, again and again until they almost bleed through his nice clothes. Then he will see his father beat him more as mother tries not to do anything or she'll get beaten worse than the snot nose little shit that is cowering in front of him now.
It is a vicious cycle and Norman is on board with it every night, trying to find a way out of this hell that has become him.
The lights of the classroom are not burning when he felt the need to sleep. He hasn't gotten any since his father has been on a drunken streak when he woke his only son up four times every night just to beat on him for nothing. Sleep is all he needs. The schoolwork can wait until tonight so he needs enough sleep and that is enough. The lights are still off in the classroom when he closed his eyes and waited for sleep to come. That is when he wakes up to find that the lights are turned on and he sees Mrs. June come into the classroom with a pile full of materials clutch underneath one breast. He rubbed his eyes, wondering if she ever uses this closet when he considered that she had never used this closet in the start of the school year so this is his ticket to hide out here without making a sound. He waited for the right time when Mrs. June came to her desk, setting her things upon the table when she sighed and placed her hands upon her eyes in deep thought, wondering what is wrong with her.
Norman didn't want to get mixed up with her problems or anyone else's. They wouldn't understand. None of them do when the state gets involved and all that they do is think about money before other people's problems arrive. That is the way of natural order, to get what people came for and lie with a smile. That is the natural order of things that Norman doesn't want to grasp wholly in his heart. Norman waited for Mrs. June, a sweet looking woman of 33 to do something like walk out of the room to go to the teacher's lounge so he can make his escape and go to the principal's office and get the true spin of what happened to him before the other three assholes make their own stories up like, "Gee, I don't know. I think Norman left to go and play PG's in the park or something." or like, "Maybe he went down to the bad part of town to buy an ounce of weed so he can feel what it is like to trip balls."
Harry, Trey, and Ben; they will get what is coming to them. Oh yes, they will get what is coming to them all that try to oppose me.
Norman felt alert and pissed all the same when Mrs. June went to organize the stuff that she brought in all over her desk, filing some considerations in one spot and leveraging other considerations for later when he started to hum a song through the empty room, sounding like the song that is played on the radio by Taylor Swift when she started in the chorus.
Who couldn't love Taylor Swift? She has to be the best lyrical genius out there.
Norman waited and waited when one student walked into the room with Norman seeing that it is Courtney Short who likes to talk everyone's ear off until she gets what she wants. Norman rolled his eyes in the slit filtering light that is coming through the cracks of the door when he looked at the skeleton next to him from time to time, wondering if it is going to come off of its metal fasteners and dive its smile into his face when he waited and waited and waited and waited.
Oh god, could it be anyone else instead of her?
"Can I talk to you about the test we are going to have on Thursday? It wouldn't be any trouble if I can get some highlights from you?" Courtney came into the room with that approaching smile that Norman wants to smack off of her face. She is one two-faced whore if Norman has ever seen one.
"The test will cover chapters 9 through 13 and I suggest you study them, Ms. Short." Mrs. June stated to the student that is digging with her nails taking hold of her skin, like leech that will suck every drop of blood until it is satisfied of what it wants.
She is going to keep on talking and I am going to be stuck here until my little friend will look exactly like me that I'm standing next to. Norman thought of the thought for a little longer before snickering, trying to keep it in so it doesn't give him away.
Courtney continued talking and Mrs. June continued to keep her defenses up when Norman thought that his window is starting to leave him, getting a little shorter and shorter with each breath when he wondered how long this is going to be before the second person shows up, then the next person, then the next person until there is a full house in the classroom and he will stand there for almost seventy five minutes with his head starting to hurt him, boiling up to a migraine that will clench his teeth together with each compression that is upon his brain.
How long until then, how long? He wondered when it is just three minutes shy until the bell will ring and the next class is in session. Courtney continued to pry on the kind of question that the test will ask and Mrs. June will continue to keep that in the dark, making little circles in her hair when Norman felt the rise of anger in the back of his throat.
Twenty seconds went by as the second hand ticked over to the next increment on the dial that makes it impossible to go backwards, making him feel the biting sensation on the back of his neck when he inferred to break out of the closet, getting caught in the process and getting a two week invocation of beatings from his father for that little scene that Norman will try desperately to counteract but to deaf ears. He will feel the belt again and will feel it like feeling the rope burns that has impacted on his back when he keeps his prostration down to the floor like the little worm that he is.
Two minutes left until the bell will ring. What is for Norman to do when Courtney will keep up and he will be left staying here for another class session until he could do nothing else but to get caught in the process, looking weird and stupid in front of the class when Mrs. June will report him to the office for his bizarre behavior? Nothing is worse than being here right now, like digging your own grave and having someone shot you in the back of the head when the grave is finished so you can fall into the hole with a death smile upon your everlasting face.
There is that and there is the thought of not having father know. He will know in time, a father never slides by without knowing what his son does on each passing day. So Norman continues to wait and wait still.
He saw the outer office from the glass partition that is in the hallway. He couldn't go in there, wouldn't go in there after the piling of shit that is going to be drenched on him. He thought about doing it for a long time when he looked at the doors leading to the outside and wondered about actually doing it, just for this once. He looked inside the office, seeing Ms. Chelsea biting on the end of her pen in deep thought while looking at her phone that is on the desk, not looking up at the pair of eyes looking back at her when he looked to the outside now with particles of sweat surfacing on his brow.
Just ten steps more until true freedom. That is all I'm asking, just ten steps more.
The knapsack and pencil box that Harry took is nowhere to be found when he finally left the horrid confines of Mrs. June's Classroom with a heady breath coming out of his lungs, looking around to make sure that she is not going to see him when someone said something from the open door in the hallway, making him jolt to the nearest staircase when he treaded down those stairs like they caught fire. He made the bottom and saw the caution signs that are on the walls when he shrugged and went through the open entryway, leading himself on the base floor of the school when all he could see is the janitor doing his own thing for a man that is two years close to retirement. Norman didn't pay no mind when he is lead to this point now, looking through the windows of the doors leading to the outside and smelling the smells in his head that are not around him in this present course right now.
Ten steps, brother. Then you are home free.
Norman didn't give a shit anymore and either did the people in the office when he made his escape. He went through the doors a prisoner and came out a person with less than a chip on his shoulder now when he felt the sunshine on his face now. His father wouldn't let him go out into the world any more than a baby chick leaving the nest before it is time. The smell of the Miranda and the Dewdrops are filling up his nostrils when the door to that pondering hell shut behind him, knowing that he is already in trouble when Trey and Ben put him in that classroom and locked the door behind him. Why not kick it up a notch, why not bend the tide a little more so he can feel good about himself before his father catches wind about it.
It wasn't too scary, not too scary at all when he looked at the faculty parking and admired the view of the assortment of cars that are in their spaces. The student parking is more than faculty, ranging cars from five years old and less when he saw a Mitsubishi Eclipse at the front of the parking lot with its maroon coloring flashing its zest into Norman's eyes. He wasn't a fan of imports but the Eclipse is one of the few exceptions that he would guarantee to own if he ever got his hands on one of them. He went from the front of the school (hoping that no one would spot him), going between the many makes and model cars until meeting the end of the parking lot until he met the grassy knoll leading to the stadium on the other side of it when he looked at the school and wondered how something so majestic could be screwed up by so many people?
Some people would leave here with memories but others will leave here with nightmares. That is one of the many things that will bother Norman when he wondered and wondered to the edge of the school property, becoming truant on a school day when he decided to stroll across town with his eyes keeping peeled on the bubble lights of the cruisers that are stalking the place like it is going to rupture into a full blown riot any minute now.
He left the school drive and turned onto Jerry Street, keeping his eyes up when he passed house after house in its one-story structure. By the time Norman past the fifth house, he became out of breath.
I have to get in shape. I have to. He doubled over when he continued to keep his eyes peeled, looking for any cops that could shake him down any minute now. He stood up on the balls of his feet and started walking again, going down to the intersection and crossing it into Horner Street, leading to the run down quadrant of town where the junk trading people don't take shit of anyone trespassing and the coke heads have their eyes all in a swivel for people that poked their noses in businesses where they don't belong.
Norman didn't know why he was going down that street but he knew he had to find some way to get his confidence up and soon before Harry Veet decides to kill him some way, somehow. The trees stretch across Horner Street when Norman passed Elm, wondering why every town has an Elm Street when he looked at the sign and shrugged, passing Elm anyway when he continued be-bopping to a song that he heard on the radio that went like this:
Nothing is lost and nothing is due.
The winter's breast is wild and coming soon.
Take me for a wondering fool.
Delve my heart within you~!
Call the warning and release the hounds.
I'm lost without you in morbid ground...
He continued to hum this song when he heard a truck come from Elm Street behind him, stopping him in his tracks when he kept his composure stiff like a rusty nail. He turned his head ever so slowly when he tracked the Chevrolet and concluded that the color of it is factory red with the dark pin-stripes going down each side of it. Norman relaxed when he felt like he was going to crap in his pants. He never felt this kind of fear in his life before and it feels so...invigorating. Yeah, that is the word that he is looking for...invigorating. He started out again, skipping each beat to the song when the day started to get darker now, wondering if there is going to be rain moving in soon when Norman wondered about the forecast that he could get anywhere now but with the exception of this: his father doesn't believe in cell phones.
Of all the things that he rambles about, he doesn't believe in cell phones. What luck is this? He continued going down the street with his collar turned up now, looking over the many houses that are getting less and less in quality with patches on the roof and the awnings looking like they are going to break apart any minute now. The thunderheads slowly moved into the town when Norman left Horner Street and walked past the intersection leading onto Crenshaw Street when he started heading towards the main drag of town, thinking of diverting from that point when he thought of the cops, always the cops when he also thought that is the least of his problems when his father is going to know about him skipping multiple classes.
When he got hallway on the sidewalk block, he felt the patter of rain on the back of his neck, looking into the sky when he wondered when it is going to rain so hard that he is going to stand underneath an overhang in someone's driveway and wait for the rain to subside, wondering how long it would take in the cold before the body couldn't regulate the temperature anymore and sickness starts to settle in? Norman Fields is just one year shy of coming into the age of driving and he doesn't take the bus to school since it is less than a mile from the school of the home of where he lives.
He thought of his father. Wondering if his father is going to teach him how to drive? He thought little of that thought when the thought of beating him is more truthful of his father helping him on anything in his life. The girls: father didn't care for. The life after high school: he didn't care for either. The alcohol: That is the most important thing in the world for him.
That is all his father cares about is the alcohol.
When the rain started to ramp up, Norman took one of the drives that is in the middle of town, going down it when Norman looked at the house that is less than two inches from the drive when Norman thought of living next to a drive that close is risky and meddlesome to most people that are careless with their toys to begin with. When he passed three houses, he heard the sound of water pelting on one of the roofs of the house, noticing that the roof of the house is tin when he stopped walking and looked at the top of the house, wondering who put a tin roof on a town house in the first place.
Then he felt something bite into the back of his neck when he winced and smacked the area that hurts the most, taking his hand away from it and seeing the most unique bug that he has ever seen in his life. The phalanx of wings were not green of any color when he looked at the two-tone color of the purple that turns red when he looked at the dead bug that is four millimeters in length and two millimeters in width as the thorax is squashed under the power of his own smack. The bug looks to be an anthropoid when he wondered what kind of species the bug is when he brushed it off with his own breath. The rain got harder across town when he felt the pain on the back of his neck, wondering what the hell is on his skin that is an effect from the bug when he started walking again, feeling that his shoes are starting to fill up with water when he started to walk faster and faster, leading out of the driveway when he met the sidewalk again and saw the community park that is in the center of town. He went to the park and dropped under the overhang where there is an assortment of tables that have seen many summers and winters in the open elements. The rain came down in the diameter of quarters when he came from the moisture that is soaking into his jacket, feeling the cold to the bone when he walked around the many tables, taking the coat off when he sat at the far end table and waited for the rain to subside.
He didn't know that the rain will keep coming from the sky for another four hours or so when he wondered when it is going to stop if at all? When he went to sleep, all he could think about is the sound of the rain on the roof and the tumult of beatings that are past in his mind. The bite on the back of his neck is burning when he woke up every 20 minutes to rub it, hearing the sound of the school bus leaving the many community schools to make their rounds dropping off children from the inner area to about twenty five miles out of town.
The rain finally stopped when he looked at the puddle that is in the middle of the park when he left the overhang, seeing through the laboring dark with the colors of red and green, wondering where this color is coming from when he looked at the top of the table that is under the overhang. The color is dark teak when he looked at it for the longest time while he got this feeling of running, just running when he felt the pretenses of something different in mind.
What is in his mind is the thought of capitalization through the order of barbarism and natural order that is too complex to comprehend. Then he has another thing in the mind when he left the overhang in the middle of the dark to walk the colors that are only dazzled in his eyesight, taking thirty minutes to walk home when he felt the washing of water through his sneakers that are so run down that the soles are coming off of the skin. When he came through the door of his father's house he sees that the living room light is on and his father is sitting in his favorite recliner, passed out drunk with a bottle of whiskey sitting on the floor beside him. He looked at the back of his father's bald head in wonder as the television played out a re-run of Rosanne as the program ended and the commercials began, thinking of maneuvering the ways of ideas that he never thought before when he got closer to the back of the recliner, feeling no bite on the back of his neck anymore when he felt the newfound things that are happening to him, questioning his sanity when he continued to look at his father in thinking, thinking, thinking.
Then he drove him back to the center again. What is happening to him? Why is this happening to him? Where is this power coming from?
Then he remembered the bite on the back of his neck when he continued to stand behind his father's recliner for almost an hour in blunt blackness. The light of the lamp casted an odd shadow on his face when the television played out another program that Norman Fields didn't care for when he thought of stabbing his father with a rusty knife, cutting his throat and dispelling his blood all over the floor. He thought of his rotting guts that are stinking inside of him when he thought and thought still for the longing nights that are soon to follow.
He rarely sleeps at night anymore when weeks are soon to follow.
The school bell rung on a Monday morning when first period is going to commit in less than five minutes as Harry Veet sat in the nearest bathroom stall to the only door leading out of the bathroom on the second floor. He reads silently on his phone of a magazine app about hunting stories from all over America when he heard the sound of the door opening and a pair of shoes coming into the fold of his merely obscured vision from underneath the stall.
He didn't notice the familiar pair of shoes when he went back to his phone, reading an article about this elderly man who took down a nine-point buck in Michigan when he heard the sound of a knock on the door of his locked bathroom stall.
"It's occupied, retard." Harry says, still looking at his phone. The feet underneath the stall didn't go away when the knock happened again.
"Eagle, is that you? I don't have it until tomorrow." Harry looked at the plain door like he is trying to look through it when he looked at the shoes again and then looked back at his phone.
The knock rapped on the door again.
"If you are looking for a fight then you have one, buddy." Harry dropped his phone from sight when the bolt on the door pulled back with Harry not touching it at all, wondering how this happened when the door slowly slid opened with nothing touching it.
The door opened, showing Norman Field in an odd shade of light since the last time he has terrorized him with gold ringlet as the color of his eyes now. Norman's face is long and pale when Harry's jaw dropped opened, dropping the phone onto the floor when Norman came nearer with something long in his hand.
"Welcome to the new phase, Mr. Veet." Norman said in a long tone when the longing thing that is in his hand came into the light like the pike that is setting into the dirt, standing the structure of evil that has plagued his once lonely soul into this present moment of murder, for now and ever. Harry didn't flinch when it happened; no idiots do when their fates are sealed into those lasting seconds. Norman did smile though as he smiled happily.