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Sticks and Stones
Rumors spread through this school like wildfire, whispered from lip-gloss smeared mouths into ears eager for some juicy tidbit. For the blonde hair, blue eyes, Barbie Doll crowd, gossip was like meals-on-wheels, for they never seemed to eat anything more substantial other than the stories that ferreted out God knows how. And crazy enough, most of their stories turned out true in the end.
The student population saw this elite clique as watchful gods, ready to damn them to hell for their sins. Of course, there were a select few that could care less; the potheads, the geeks, the goths…and me; ironically enough, these were the people that the Ultra-preps told their stories about. Where did I fit in? Nowhere exactly. I preferred not to be labeled. Of course, that didn’t stop the mad rumor-mill of Lakeside High. Freckle Face, Four Eyes, those were some of the names they called me. The nice ones. But that’s all they had, and that’s why they hated me. My story was impossible to ferret out by their usual methods. I didn’t mind the names though, they were true enough. And you know what they say. . . ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones’…
I had seen them. In the hallways, after school, eavesdropping on my conversation and then interrogating the people I made contact with. But I was careful, oh yes I was. I never told any secrets to anyone, not even to my self in a diary or something like that, easily read by prying blue eyes.
Why, if I cared so little, did I guard my secrets so? Perhaps it is the nature of the secret, but that is for another story, if there is one. I said I could handle names, but if that one secret got out…I don’t know what I would do. So don’t ask me about it.
“Hey Dork-Fish!” That’s a new one. “Hey Dork-Fish, I’m talking to you!” An unfamiliar Barbie clone (They all look the same.) shouted.
“Really? I couldn’t hear you over that obnoxiously loud make-up,” I replied. Fight fire with fire.
“You good for nothing b****!” she shouted indignantly.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” I said calmly, trying to be Gandhi.
“You really want to know what sticks and stones can do?” she asked. Several Barbie clones and beefy jocks stepped out from behind a row of lockers and grabbed my arms.
“Why don’t we settle this rationally like mature adults,” I said, my voice still even despite the cold pit of fear that sat in my stomach like a rock. They just laughed and started dragging me out the door. I practiced passive resistance, dragging my feet and not making any effort to go forward. I was limp as a rag doll as they carried me across the field.
A small stump awaited me in the middle of the field. I knew where this place was, everyone did. But for some reason I felt no urge to resist, I kept my dignity. The “gods” had passed their judgment.
~ ~ ~
They pelted me with rocks and beat me with their sticks, but I just sat there, hoping that if I didn’t move they would just leave me alone. But it continued, and continued.
I’m going to die. I giggled. I’m going to die, and my secret is going to die with me. Hee hee, I’m coming Mom. No more Daddy. Hee hee, what fun!