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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2. Heading Home

He walked up to the counter, trying to plan his words carefully. He was already terrified from his encounter with Ted, and this was worse. What if the cashier knew his parents and told them? What if his parents found out? They certainly wouldn't believe him.

The cashier looked at him, puzzled. His throat was dry. The words wouldn’t come out. He placed the money on the counter, gently. He decided to get it over and done with.

            “Can I have… I mean, please can I have a packet of cigarettes?” His heart nearly stopped from the adrenaline. If he hadn’t been holding his breath, he would have been panting like a dog. The cashier looked at him as if to question his age- then reluctantly put a packet on the counter.

            “Whatever. Your change is thirty-two pence.” He rolled his eyes at Vivian. Kids these days, he thought. He never smoked when he was a kid. He didn’t smoke now. He would never have gone near a packet if he had the choice.

            “Th-thanks.” Sweating, Viv walked out the door. The little bell rang, making him jump. He wiped the drops from his brow and faced the rain. Heading towards the gang, the carton tightly in his grip, he took a deep breath. He just wanted to get home.

            “There he is. What took him so long?” Jeff threw a small stone at Viv. It didn’t hurt as much as the words. It barely even touched him, but it seemed to cause scars. The adrenaline seemed to numb all feelings- and with the fear, he felt detached and everything seemed surreal.

            “Pass me them.” Ted held out his grubby hand. Handing the misshapen packet (he’d held it far too tightly) to his long fingers was a horrible moment. Touching Ted seemed like he’d become tainted. Contaminated. He couldn’t say anything, but the fear seemed to pass through his body even more with contact.

            “I’m going to leave now.” Why did he say that? A dagger of regret ripped through his gut the minute he’d spoke. It was a reason for them to continue. They fed of his fear like wild, hungry wolves.

            “I don’t think you are.” Ted was calm; Ted was cool. His voice had gone scarily soft. Soft, yet still harshly cruel.

            “I have to be home- my grandmother’s coming.” He lied- what else could he do? They looked at each other, snarling. Robby scowled. They turned in on each other, muttering quietly. Viv could still hear them.

            “We can’t-“

            “Why not, does it-“

            “They’ll know that-“

            “Forget it, he won’t-“

            “But if his-“

            “He might be lying and-“

            “What if he isn’t, then-“

            “Be quiet.” Ted shut them up with his words. Staring Vivian in the eye with a look filled with contempt and hate, he exhaled heavily. Raising his eyebrows, he tilted his head so that he was closer to Vivian.

            “Well, you’d better be home then, before the search party is called.” As Vivian’s wings grew, and he headed away, he heard a sharp voice.

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