Joe: FightMature

Word Count: 1,434

I was proud of myself for hitting the bottle; there was something strangely satisfying about it. However, I couldn't repeat this action and the next few shots landed well out of range. I heard Cancer growing more and more impatient until he walked up towards me, pulling the gun out of his waistband and shooting the glass with complete ease, like a reflex. Rayn and I turned simultaneously to face Cancer.

'What?' he growled. 'Shooting is the easiest fucking thing in the world, it's pathetic.'

I tried not to take offence at his words; handling a gun was just not something that I had been doing for half of my life. 

'What the hell was that for?' I questioned.

'We need to get moving. You're just pissing about down there wasting time and ammo.' 

'Cancer don't be a cunt,' Rayn snapped. I flinched internally at his choice of words. It was a little unusual watching someone of his size getting so annoyed though with someone who towered well over six feet tall. 'He's never shot a gun before, you used to be shit at it too.'

This was a little hard to believe but I knew that he must be right. 

'You've just wasted time shooting that bottle for me,' I told him casually. 'I need to learn myself. I'll just get another one.' I walked over to the small collection that was laying in the grass. Placing another bottle upright, I ignored Cancer's groan of frustration and aimed the gun again. I heard Cancer stomping off. 

'What's his problem?' 

'Where would I start?' Rayn replied.

I aimed the gun as I had before and concentrated. The bullet hit the bottle directly and I couldn't help the grin that stretched across my face. 

'I'm gonna have to learn,' I pointed out. 'It's better that we're getting it out of the way now.'

'I know,' Rayn sighed. 'Just... try and be patient with him? He grew up learning how to handle weapons, so this is basic stuff to him.'

'I guess,' I shrugged. 'It's just different upbringings.' It was true; Cancer and I had had very different upbringings. I didn't know the guy at all but I could tell that this was true. I, for one, never had to learn how to use a gun before this. I never slept with one eye open either. Well, I never used to...

'Don't even go there,' Rayn laughed uncomfortably.

There was something in the way that he said that, like he really didn't want me to go there. All the years of torment that I went through at high school had done something to me internally I think though; there was something in my mind that was whispering to me to be brave and reckless, to push buttons and flip shit. 

'I won't, but if he says something I won't hold back. Not anymore.'

Rayn arched an eyebrow at me. I knew exactly what he was thinking. What chance did a skinny ginger teenager have against a six foot two guy with a background of violence? Absolutely none, that was the answer. I was just trying to make myself feel better though.

'Good luck with that.'

'Getting bullied throughout high school has its consequences,' I grimaced, realizing just now how true this was. 

'Kay, well just a fair warning, then - if you ask about his parents, you’re more likely to get a punch in the face than an answer.'

'Note to self: parents are a touchy subject’ I paused. ‘I guess that’s the same for both of us.' I suddenly wanted to steer away from the memory of my parents so I asked the first thing that came into my head: 'Do you mind me asking about your parents?'

Rayn's expression froze for a split second before he composed himself once again and changed the subject entirely. 'Oh look we're out of bottles, I'll go look for some more. I'll be back in a minute.'

I watched him leave before turning back round to face Cancer who had an expression of completely irritation. He looked up and noticed Rayn's departing figure.

'You asked about his parents, didn’t you?' 

'Only in conversation,' I tried to shrug my shoulders. I realized I shouldn't have said anything though, something had obviously happened to Rayn. 

'I think leaving family out of conversation is a good idea for all of us.'


Moments of silence passed until I plucked up the courage to ask what had been bothering me ever since he had said it. 'Why did you call me pathetic?' I didn't really think he had a right to say that; I had been through hell and back. 

'Because you are. It’s pathetic that you can’t shoot a fucking bottle, it’s pathetic you can’t do anything for yourself. You. Are. Pathetic. Grow up.'

My skin prickled at his words. 'I'm not pathetic. It’s only easy to shoot if you’ve done it numerous times and shooting is not exactly one of my favourite past times.' I literally had to bite my tongue to stop myself from saying something about his upbringing. Not only was it incredibly unfair and out of place to say so, I was also pretty sure it'd result in me either dead or seriously injured.

'It’s easy, you’re just being stupid.' Cancer's voice was getting angrier by the second. He was getting really riled up and I couldn't understand why.

Something inside of me snapped though and before I could help myself the words were out: 'Sorry I'm not a psychopath.'

Something suddenly came flying at my face and it sent me nearly flying to the floor. My face exploded in pain and my hand automatically flew upwards to check there was no blood. The bastard had punched me! I was too shocked to react at first, I could only stand there, but then I realized I had the gun.

The look in Cancer's raging eyes scared the shit out of me and I thought for a second I would genuinely have to use it. I didn't want to shoot anyone, but he was going to kill me if I didn't do anything. 

I brought it upwards, aimed it at his chest. I hoped it would be enough to stop him, but I was shaking like a leaf and Cancer had no trouble grabbing the gun and flinging it out of my grip. He grabbed the front of my shirt and jerked me upwards. 

'Stop being such a baby,' he growled.

'Get the fuck off me!' I was growing panicked; desperately trying to shove him backwards. Memories of high school and Harry Acker came flooding to the surface. This felt all too familiar and it made me sick to my stomach. 

'If I was one of those zombie things, you’d be dead by now. You’re not going to last long if you can’t stop being such a fucking pathetic little piece of shit.'

His words cut through me like a blade and I had to force the lump in my throat back down. 

Don't fucking cry, don't fucking cry, don't fucking cry.

Rayn seemed to notice at this point what was going on and he came running over, throwing himself onto Luca and pulling him off me. As soon as Luca's grip loosened, I wormed free. His face was on full display and his arms were being pinned to his side. I saw my opportunity and my god did I take it.

I brought my fist back and, without thinking at all, brought it forwards straight into his jaw. My hand crippled with pain and my heart must have tripled its speed. My whole body was running on electric, the adrenaline flooded my veins and my mind was going on overdrive.

What the hell had I just done?

If Rayn wasn't there, I would definitely be dead by now. 

Cancer struggled desperately against Rayn and I thought he was going to get free; Rayn was tiny compared to Cancer, but he had obviously had to do this before. He managed to avoid Cancer's fists and legs as they tried to attack me. He eventually wrestled him to the floor and I took this opportunity to swipe the gun up from the floor, taking extra care to avoid the psychopath. 

'Joe, why don’t you go practice some more or go sit in the car or something,' Rayn grunted against the effort of containing Cancer.

I didn't need to be asked twice; I turned in the opposite direction and ran like my life depended on it.

Which, I suppose, it did. 

The End

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