Marionette

The story of Vivian, who fears three bullies more than anything in the world. They make his life purely Hell, without a thought. He is their puppet, a mere rag-doll.

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1. Corner-shop

 

Breathing heavily, he walked down the street, his palms twitching. The sweat patches were forming once again underneath his arms. His fear had washed over his body. Shaking slightly, he told himself to soldier on, to make it home. Walking home from school was always a chore in itself- not only did Vivian live a mile away from his school, but the gang of people who bullied him everyday also took the same route. What a joy. If it wasn’t enough, his parents worked from eight till five- meaning that they could neither drop him off nor pick him up. Everyday he had to come face to face with his biggest fear- three people called Jeff, Robby and worst of all, Ted. Ted was an absolute monster. He was the ideal bully- he always had the perfect insult, the perfect comeback and the perfect excuse. He never got blamed for anything. The other two always took the bullet.

            Vivian trembled as he took his time down the road, hoping that if he was slow enough, they wouldn’t see him. Deep down, he knew they would. They always did. Gulping, Viv walked past the bus stop where they hung out. Ted had a cigarette. He thought that he looked so cool- his friends thought he looked cool. Viv knew that they could see him: Jeff was motioning in his direction. Desperate not to let tears sting his eyes, he kept walking. His legs were jelly; his eyes were blurred. Ted’s malicious laugh echoed down the street like the Devil himself. It seemed to carry on like a voice down a corridor- even though Viv knew that the noise he was hearing was an exaggerated one, toyed with by his terror. It got deeper and deeper till it struck Viv in the centre of his heart. He realised that he’d been holding his breath. Exhaling, Vivian tried not to let the hateful feeling cause him to do anything stupid.

            “Oi! Come here, you!” Jeff usually did the shouting. Ted couldn’t bear to waste his breath. He saved it till the time was right. Viv didn’t want to go over, but he also didn’t want to have to face the storm later on- it would be worse if he left now. He traipsed over with lead feet, until he was about a metre away.

            “Don’t get too close, you nauseating waste of a soul.” They laughed at Robby’s comment, until Ted shut them up with a stern look. Viv, terrified, almost threw up there and then.

            “Come here. Now.” It wasn’t an invite- it was an order.

            “What?”

            “Don’t speak to me in that tone of voice. You should know better.” His goons laughed in delight. Ted took pleasure in this kind of torture. He was so full of himself; it was a wonder that he actually had friends. But everybody liked the bad-boy.

            “Sorry.”

            “You will be, dirt-bag. ‘Cause we’ve got news for you- if you don’t get your act together, you’re going down, buddy! Now, get us some ciggies from the corner shop.” Viv didn’t know what to do. Surely they wouldn’t sell him, a fourteen year old boy, a packet of cigarettes.

            “What are you waiting for, Christmas? Come on, you half-faced mug, get yourself down to the shop!” Robby threw his cigarette butt at Viv’s feet.The other two copied, sneering. He had no choice. As he riffled around in his pocket for change, he headed towards the store. He could have run home. He could have run back to school and waited in the library. But he knew that he had to do what they asked. He was their puppet; a rag-doll with no power. He was a marionette that danced to their cruel words and insults.

            “His mother is unfortunate. If I ever have a kid that turns out like him, I’ll put him up for adoption.”  The tears came, at first a light sting of salty drops, then a river of sadness. It started to rain, the rain-drops mixing with his tears. The insults behind his back were the worst. It reminded him that they didn’t care whether he heard or not, they would hate him. He entered the corner shop and promptly stopped crying. He didn’t want anybody to see him this way- he would wait till later.

            

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