A Toxic Soul

The story of a boy who comes back, after his curiosity compels him to die.

Chapter 1: The Endless Adventure

            As I trampled through the woods, my white sneakers had become filthy with mud and my purple jacket had done the same.  It had been raining the day before and as I ran, I had tripped several times, and was hoping it wouldn’t happen again, considering I could easily bust my head. The smartest thing to do when something like that was a possibility would probably be to slow down, and take my time going through the place, but right now I couldn’t do that because I was being chased. I was being chased, and doing the only thing I could do as a scrawny thirteen year old who had never fought before, I was running away and hoping that the blonde boy and his friends that chased after me, wouldn’t manage to catch up. It was my fault I have to admit, because I had to stand out, I had to be the one to say something, and although my lung were killing me and my face felt weird because of the drying mud, I wouldn’t go back, not when curiosity was at stake.


            It had started a little while ago when I was standing in the hallway taking my stuff out of my locker as I prepared to head home from school. The boy who chased after me, a rather nice-looking guy, with bobbed blond hair and freckles going across his nose, had set his blue eyes on one of my classmates as his hand pushed them around. I know I should have minded my business like every other kid had done when it happened to me, but I had been having a good day and was a slave to my intrigue. It was so common to read it in a book, or see it on TV. The bully who picked on weaker kids, and would receive karmic justice in the end as the underdog managed to rise up. I had never liked those characters, but not for the reason that most other disliked them, and it made me wonder how they could possibly exist.It was a rare moment,I thought as I stood there, sliding a black notebook into to my bag. The stereotypical bully was standing there, picking on someone who had done him no wrong, and I was telling myself that I had to find out why. In the end, the bully would always be taught a lesson. That one-dimensional character would get humiliated in front of everyone and feel all the stings of his bullying fly back at him one-hundred fold, but what was supposed to be a celebratory scene had always seemed cruel to me. My father had always said that a kid would only bully another when they had no security at home. When they found themselves in a helpless situation and had to find a way to be assertive to prove to themselves, that they had some power, and while I argued with him that sometimes bullies are the product of bad reinforcement, I wondered which one this was.


            “Why are you such an idiot?” I had asked him, and my words struck him like an attack as his friends made instigative moans.


            “Is he talking to me?” The bully looked to his friends and had asked something that sounded like a question, but didn’t seem like it deserves an answer. It still got one though. “If you got a problem with me, why don’t you say it to my face?” He barked at me, and I suppose for a moment that I didn’t notice all the differences between us. Not just that he was blond and I was ginger, and he had blue eyes while mine were, green, but that he had a few inches on me in height, and without his jacket on, it was clear that he was stronger too.


            “Well technically…” I spoke without really noticing what I’d say. “I did say it to your face.” My tongue was moving too fast for me, and I noticed as his brow furrowed, that he wasn’t taking this well.


            “What are you going to do about him, Neil?” One of his friends asked, and I concluded as I looked at that eager-for-violence expression on his face, that he was the production of bad reinforcement. Neil looked to him as he asked the question then looked back to me with his fist balled, and had it not been for the opening of the nearby classroom’s door, I don’t think I’d have to imagine what he would do.


            “What are you kids doing out here?” The teacher asked us, and as Neil and his friends turned to answer, I took off, running as far away from them as I could.


            I don’t know when it was that they realized I had gotten away, but I do recall being able to take a moment to deliberate. I had said something in my inquisitive slavery, that made Neil vitriolic and his friend’s instigation made it so he wouldn’t let it go. Now I had to get away from him, get away from the fight I couldn’t hope to win, and the question that was running through my mind as I breathed in huge gulps of the autumn air, was which way I should go. I wondered if I should take the crowded path, the longer path that would give me a place to hide till the crowd of children thinned, or if I should take the shorter path. The one that got rid of all the turns I’d have to make to get home, where I’d be safe and sound. I didn’t have much time to decide though, as Neil and his friends burst through the door and immediately set their eyes on me. I was half expecting a cliché “get back here” as I took off toward the fence left of the school, and slid my way under it, with the trio close behind. It was at that moment that I had tripped the first time, and quickly pulled myself to my feet as they slid under the gate as well. It was there, one trip, and two dirty shoes later that I found myself where I was in the beginning, running from them as fast as I could and knowing that my apartment was just a little further away.

All I had to do was make it, I thought, and it seemed like I would, because they were slipping too. It wasn’t till the halfway point that the thought left my mind, as they began to pick up rocks and chuck them all my way. I heard them thud against the trees, knocking a little bark away before falling amongst the dead crunching leaves, and I was sure they wouldn’t hit me, till I heard the thud I didn’t want to hear. Dazing me, and throwing me for a loop, one of the rocks crashed into the back of my head, and as my body fell forward, I saw for a moment that it was Neil himself, who threw it. My body hit the wet leaves that were before me, and finding no friction to hold me back, it rolled down the sloping woods, toward the last road I’d have to cross before I made it home. As I was going, I imagine someone would have expected me to roll into the street, but instead I slammed into a tree, and heard a deafening crack.


            “You got him Neil!” I heard his friend yell as they slid the rest of the way toward me, and began to loom over. “Oh crap!” He yelled as they stopped, and I could see a blurry figured turning toward to others. “He’s bleeding man, what are we going to do?!” He yelled and one of the other figures shook his head violently, before deciding to run up the slope, leaving only a blonde figure by my side.


            “Oh no…” He said, and I found myself wondering why he would do that. “Oh… no…” It was said again, and I think it was said again after that, but I couldn’t tell… I was already dead…

The End

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