Okay, so I said that I would try to post some more of my writing on the blog, and all I’ve really been doing lately is reading and posting/scheduling reviews. So, I’ve decided to take something that I wrote awhile ago for the Creative Writing Club and share it here. Please let me know what you think!
Be not afraid; you are strong. Norman looked around at the familiar scene. His mom had warned him not to get into fights at school, that the other kids could get in trouble, but not her little man. It was too bad, really, that Mom was wrong. For weeks now, ever since starting 3rd grade at a new school, Norman had been routinely assaulted on the playground. It worked like clockwork, really.
At 12:15 every day, the bell would ring. Everyone but Norman would rush out of the classroom, and the teacher would tsk impatiently at him as he dragged his feet to the door and down the stairs and out the door and across the parking lot to the swings. He would fail miserably at trying to not stick out like a sore thumb, the only kid outside alone, the only kid outside not screaming happily. And then, after about five minutes, somehow Norman would end up out of view of the teacher. It didn’t matter if he stayed in one spot or moved around; the teacher would always move, or someone would chase him away from the jungle gym, and then Mark and his friends would come, circling around Norman. They would push him to the ground, kick him, and call him names like “Martian” or “Caveman”. It’s not that Norman was a big kid, he was just a little taller for his age, and he was weirdly smart, despite his young age. “Precocious,” his mom called him.
Anyway, Norman had had enough. Inspired by his fortune cookie from last night’s take out Chinese food, when Mark singled him out that day at around 12:25, he decided not to quietly take the kicks and the bruises that came with them. As soon as Mark’s friend Brady touched his shoulder to push him, Norman turned, swinging his fist at Brady’s vulnerable stomach. Brady doubled over, gasping, and everyone else backed away quickly. “Leave. Me. Alone.” Norman vocalized his wish that he had chanted over and over to himself for the first time in a voice that he barely recognized as his own. And, amazingly, they did. Each of the boys that had bullied him had a slightly dazed look tinged with fear and … is that awe? Even Mark was surprised and nervous as Norman shoved past them around the twisty slide, back into the teacher’s view.
Later that day, despite the fact that he was in the principal’s office and his mom had been pulled out of work to come meet with her, Norman was happy. Mark and Brady had been leaving him alone since recess, and he suspected that the trend would continue infinitely. His mom finally exited the room she and the principal had been talking in, looking a little flustered. She held her hand out to Norman and he took it. They walked to the car in silence. Norman began to fidget as his mom twisted the key in the ignition. She turned to him before pulling out of the parking lot.
“Norman, why did you hit Brady?”
She didn’t sound too upset, so Norman decided on the truth. “Because I was tired of them hitting me.” His mom nodded.
“Okay.” She turned back around. “Just promise me that you’ll only fight to defend yourself, only when you have to. And Norman?” She locked eyes with him through the rearview mirror.
“If you ever have to fight, make sure you win.” She held up a small slip of paper. “You are strong; don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.” A small smile crept across her lips and Norman sat in shocked silence the whole way home. Later that week, his mom had him enrolled in karate lessons, and came to watch every single one.
Again, please let me know what you think in the comments! Constructive criticism is always welcome – and if you’re going to bash me, please do it nicely! Thanks!