Tag Archives: School Bully

Refrigerated Dreams (Act 10)

A Conundrum on a Bridge

Adam Longo stood on the edge of a high railroad bridge that cut through the thick woods on the outer edge of Grainer Falls. He looked over the side and down into the deep cut of the rocky gorge, dense with gray trunks and limbs and the tethered leaflets sprouting bright colors. Water crawled along the bottom, briskly rushed over smooth stones on its journey to the horizon and beyond. Some of the stones had been spit out by the river and formed uneven, stumble-prone clusters along the shoreline on each side.

The boy wanted to end it all right then and there, he thought to himself. He wanted to fall away into the misty ether and be gone forever. The thoughts hurt his mind, his still pulse, his limbo soul. But then he thought, what good would it even do if he jumped? He would just float down like a blossomed parachute and slip into the cold, rushing water as if he were simply lying down to sleep. And even if he floated downstream and over the falls, the ones Grainer Falls is named for, he wouldn’t drown. He would still be alive because he was already dead. He could breathe through anything.

Adam Longo realized he was trapped in a life he didn’t want, and he didn’t think it was possible to go back to the life he once had. But why would he want that? What a conundrum. Conundrum. A new word he had just learned in his English class. It meant a confusing and difficult problem. That’s what his life was all the time now, so he believed.

He didn’t know what to do, and that made him angry. The anger grew and he wanted to be cruel to Rude Rudy like he had been cruel to him. He hated Rudy for pitting the entire school against him like he did in the lunchroom, for turning him into nothing but a target for everyone to pierce with their hate-minded arrows. He wanted to be cruel to all of them. He wanted to bring that school down and make them hurt for hurting him. And as his visions grew harder and deeper in scope, something soft came upon the air and touched him like maybe the tip of a wayward branch would during a walk in some far away forest. Like some tree gently reaching out and tapping you on the shoulder.

Then the sound came again, stronger along the span of the bridge, the air grabbing it and carrying it to him. A voice. “Adam!?”

He turned to look and there at the far end of the bridge stood the girl, his girl, at least the girl he hoped would be his. Veronica Genesis was there, his beacon in a glossy blue jacket over her clean school clothes, and she was waving an arm in the air and pulling the wind-tossed hair away from her face with the other hand. “Adam!” she called out again, and then she came running toward him.

She came upon him breathless and wet with the leafy autumn air full of tender chills and fire smoke spewing from leaning red brick chimneys poking out from the old homesteads nearby. Those rickety shacks in the hills were still clutching to life somehow, still sheltering another branch of a generational tree with deep roots knotted in the damp, wormy ground below. Self-appointed saviors preached away from the frames of crooked windows and the women cooked in fire-stained dented pots and the people who often had cold bellies were warmed for mere moments under the mystified gray light of day. And those people there sit upon faded and bowed porches rocking and talking and crying and deeply dreaming and even damning the whole of the world that swirled around them at times.

The girl reached out and gripped his arm from the veranda of it all. With his senses so heightened now, Veronica smelled like candied school to him. She smelled like the hallways, the wax on the floors, and the books and the paper and the glue and the paint they used in art class. She smelled like the chalk, the pencils, the erasers, the plastic lunch pails. She smelled like the bananas in the wicker basket on the cafeteria line, the cold rolls, the orange gelatin, the chocolate pudding, the green beans, the buttered corn, the mystery meat. She smelled like the whole of life and he wanted to wrap his damaged sooty wings around her and drop off the side of that bridge and together they would fall to wherever she wanted to go, and they wouldn’t crash, and they wouldn’t burn, and they wouldn’t break. Not ever.

She shook him out of the daze. “What are you doing here? What were you planning to do? Were you going to jump?”

His eyes fluttered open, and they were a different color now, a crisp golden hue, like an apple that wasn’t fully red. He looked at her with those newly baptized eyes. “How did you find me?” he asked in nearly a whisper that could have been so easily lost in the place where they were, snatched up by a screaming cloud on its way to Heaven or space. “Why did you find me?” he asked with more punch.

Veronica looked around at the vapor, the yawning blue sky, those clouds slipping through the atmosphere, the trees with their leaves crayoned golden, green, orange, and red, on the precipice of shedding the season completely. “I followed you the whole way. I wanted to see if you were okay.”

He roughly pulled away from her and he didn’t know why. Everything in him, around him, was turning inside out. “You should just go back to school. I’m nothing but a freak. Why would you want to be around a freak?”

“You’re not a freak.”

“Yes, I am. The whole school thinks so. I’m never going back there ever again. No one can make me.”

“Then what are you going to do? You can’t just hide out in the woods for the rest of your life. Someone will notice. Someone will come find you, I’m afraid. Because of the boy in the old factory.”

“They’ll never know it was me. I leave no trace of myself… Anywhere, anymore. And nobody cares enough to find me.”

“That’s not true.”

He suddenly turned to her, his simmering anger starting to rattle the lid off the pot. “Why do you do that?”

Sensing his rage notching skyward, Veronica stepped back away from him. “Do what?” she struggled to say.

“You always have an answer for everything. I’m not this, I’m not that, that’s not going to happen… Why are you so damn sure about everything! You don’t get it at all. Not me, not my life. Why don’t you do both of us a favor and just leave me alone!”

Veronica wasn’t sure what to say. She just looked at him and he was changing before her very eyes somehow, not in any distinct way, but subtly, like a slow evolution. She bit into and swallowed that moment, like taking a photo, that burning look on his face, and she felt it crawl down her insides and into her warm guts and it scared her far too much. All she could do was turn and run away from him, even as hard as that was.


Refrigerated Dreams (Act 9)

elderly man sitting om an office chair
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Author’s Note: You can read the previous part of this story HERE.

In Need of Serious Correcting

Rude Rudy squirmed in the chair in the office that smelled like sterile, dusty discipline. Across from him seated at the big important desk sat the stodgy principal, Mr. Simon Falcone, and he was staring at Rudy through round rimmed glasses lightly tinted green and he was rhythmically tapping the tip of a pencil against a pad of yellow paper as he considered his next words.

Beside the principal, standing and with thin arms crossed against her narrow frame, was the school counselor, Miss Clementine Grady. She was blonde like Marilyn Monroe and dressed tight like a mummy in its bleached white bandages. She appeared stern, but at the very same time she appeared light and airy as a feather loopily falling through the wind. She was nervously tapping her right toe clad in a glossy red shoe.

Mr. Falcone glanced at her rigid stature and then tossed his pencil aside like he was sick of life, and he got up and sat on the far edge of the desk nearest the boy. He took a deep breath and began to speak in that intellectual professor-type kind of tone he had. “Inciting a riot on school property is a very serious offense, Rudy. Are you aware of that?”

Rudy scoffed and shook his bushy orange head at them both. “I can’t help it if my people get excited. They have a right to be upset.”

Miss Grady leaned forward and blew the hair out of her face. She was always blowing the hair out of her made up with makeup face and people always wondered why she just didn’t pull it back and clamp it down to her head. “Your people?” she replied as a cluster of hair fell back down across the tip of her nose like a tail.

“That’s right. My people. They’re great people and they look up to me. Everybody knows this. These kids need a leader who doesn’t mess around.” Rudy grinned like an orange devil. “They need someone to direct their frantic youthful energy.”

“And that includes bullying poor Adam Longo?” Counselor Clementine Grady replied. “Why? Why would you taunt and tease him like that? You should be offering a friendly welcome, not sadistic rebel rousing.”

Rudy leaned forward in the chair and his lizard-like eyes bloomed wide and clicked. “It’s not my fault the new kid can’t take it. He needs to toughen up and quit being such a baby.”

Mr. Falcone broke in. “What do you mean when you say your people have a reason to be upset?”

“What?” Rudy said. “I can’t understand you. You talk like you have shit in your mouth.”

Mr. Falcone shot up off the desk. “Young man!” he scolded, visibly distraught by the words. “You will not speak to me in that manner.”

“A thousand pardons, master,” Rudy said in a salty, mocking tone. “Continue.”

Mr. Falcone eased back down onto the edge of the desk and wiped the nervousness from his face with a slowed, carving hand. “As I was asking, why are they upset?”

“Because school sucks. It’s boring,” Rudy said. “There’s not enough proper stimulation of our young minds. We have energy to burn and there’s no kindling.”

Mr. Falcone scratched at his face and spoke in line with his manufactured authoritative status. “What I’m hearing is that you want more options, more activities, a bigger sky in which to spread your wings… Have you ever considered getting involved with student council? It would be a wonderful opportunity to plant the seeds for positive changes that deliver results.”

Rudy laughed out loud at him like Bart Simpson. “I’m not hanging out with those nerds. They don’t ever do anything that matters. They’re limp wristed and idle. They’re horribly ineffective in their roles as so-called leaders of this school. Who gives a crap about some stupid school dance or what’s on the lunch menu or pep rallies for the so-called popular crowd. People want real-life action… And I give them real-life action.”

Miss Grady laughed back at him. “Well, young man. I’m afraid your real-life action has earned you a week of detention.”

“And you’ll be expected to help clean up the mess,” Mr. Falcone added.

“And another thing,” Miss Grady said in turn. “You’ll be required to attend anger management sessions with me once a week for two months.”

“What!?” Rudy yelled. “You can’t make me do that. I have rights. This is America! I have way better things to do after school.”

Mr. Falcone rolled his eyes at the foolish boy. “What things could you possibly have to do after school? Let me guess… Masturbate to underwear pictures in the JC Penney catalog and play video games?”

Miss Grady tossed a queer look of interested disgust in his direction.

“And it might be America out there in the silly world,” Principal Falcone continued. “But in here you follow my rules. That’s non-negotiable. You will do what we expect of you. Understood?”

The boy chuckled. “You’re so damn weird… And gross.” Then Rude Rudy rudely got up out of the chair and pointed at them. “Guess what,” he said. “This is happening,” and he turned around, yanked down his pants and wriggled his pale, freckled backside in their direction. “You can both bite my orange ass!”

Mr. Falcone took grave offense to the disgusting display and growled like an angry man-animal and leapt from his spot on the edge of his desk and put the whole of himself smack down on top of Rudy’s bent over body, roughly flattening the boy to the floor. “Oh yeah! How do you like that young man!? How does it feel to be pinned to the ground, to be helpless and with nowhere to go!?” he seethed into his ear. “I bet you feel like a prisoner, huh… Sort of like how you must make Adam Longo feel when you fill his world with nasty bullying. Not too fun, is it.”

“Get off of me you pervert!” Rudy yelled out; his breathing compromised.

Miss Clementine Grady was stunned, shocked, bewildered. She clamped her feminine hands to her powdery face and screamed out. “Mr. Falcone!” She rushed to where they were pressed together on the shiny school tile and grasped the man by the shoulders. “You’re hurting him! Stop it!” She tried to pull him off, but he was too large and strong, and she was too small and weak.  

Young Rude Rudy was trying to buck him off like how a horse does to a cowboy, but it only tired him more and he relented. “Help! Help me!” Rudy screamed out to the counselor.

Miss Grady quickly scanned the room for something, anything she could use to dislodge the brute of a principal from the boy. She spotted a spinnable globe sitting on a table near the window. She snatched it up and then crashed it down on the principal’s head as hard as she could, leaving a cavernous dent in the continent of Africa.

Mr. Falcone made a grunting uummph noise and fell to the side allowing the boy to scramble up to his knees, his pants still down around his ankles. Rudy was panting like a thirsty camel and his face was flush and his wide lizard eyes nearly filled with tears. He looked up at Miss Grady in ultimate dismay as she stood over the moaning Mr. Simon Falcone. She was till holding the globe. “You stay right down there on that floor, Mr. Falcone,” she said in an uncharacteristic threatening tone. “Don’t even twitch, or I’ll put your lights out for good with the Earth’s core!”

She looked over at Rudy. “Go on now. Get your pants up and get out of here! Go to my office and wait there. Stay there. Don’t go anywhere else.”

A humbled and frightened Rudy nodded his head, embarrassingly fumbled around to get his pants back up and fastened, and hurried out of the principal’s office.


Refrigerated Dreams (Act 8)

There were two reasons why Adam Longo still went to school. The first and foremost being that he knew that’s where Veronica Genesis would be. Secondly, is because he still got hungry and needed food to fuel his ever-evolving young body as he made his way through whatever phantom dreamland had swallowed him up.

It was high noon and the cafeteria at Grainer Falls Junior High School smelled like a gruesome menagerie of what some would call food. He walked among the fray of jabbering, obnoxious, and constantly twitching fools — those animals in human skin and clothes, his schoolmates. He carried a blue plastic tray with two hands. It had divided compartments. One had a hamburger. Another had a small pile of crinkle-cut fries. Another had a red apple with a bruise. Another still had a small carton of chocolate milk. He moved slowly, his eyes darting from side to side as the crowd watched and taunted him. Why all this? he wondered to himself. Why is this place such an inhumane zoo? He just wanted to eat his lunch like everyone else. But then again, he could never be just like everyone else. That had been his ultimate struggle for what seems to be going on… Forever.

“Hey dipshit!” someone yelled, and then Adam was hit in the side of the face with a warm, buttered dinner roll. It bounced off him like a ball and the entire place roared with laughter. He wiped away the oily butter that stained his face and just kept on moving, his eyes now focused on what was in front of him. Veronica was sitting at a long table near the back with a bunch of other girls and they were chittering away like maniacal young birds on a wire.

When she looked up to see what all the commotion was about, she saw him coming toward her like some artificially sweetened, tortured monster, and when she saw what all the others were doing to him, how they were teasing him, abusing him in that horrible socially acceptable school way, her young heart ached. She stood up and yelled out to him. “Hey Adam! Come sit over here!”

He tasted her voice as it bulldozed its way through everything else and came across the air to him. He started moving faster toward his place of acceptance. But he didn’t notice that Rude Rudy had purposely stuck his big foot out into the walkway and Adam tripped and fell forward and his lunch tray spilled all over the floor along with himself. It was typical school bully hijinks and again the lunchroom filled with taunting laughter.

“Woops!” Rude Rusty said to him as Adam got to his knees. “Looks like the poor baby hasn’t learned how to walk yet,” he teased. Adam turned to look up at him and he felt as if he could have spat a plume of scorching fire right then and there to burn his stupid freckled face off.

But that’s when Veronica came over and she stood up for him while he was down. “Leave him alone!” she snapped at Rudy. She went to help Adam back up to his feet. When he was standing again, their eyes locked but just a moment and then Adam looked around the room and he saw that nearly everyone was pointing and laughing and calling him names and more food was being hurled in his direction and that’s when the sounds suddenly became muffled, and time seemed to slow. He felt the thud of a bruised heart against the walls of his chest and in his now clogged up head. He caught a glimpse of some teachers pouring in and trying to calm the madness. Then he ran. He ran as fast as he could, and he burst through the opened doorways of the lunchroom and out into a glossy hallway where he almost slipped and fell. He regained his traction and made his escape to the sunlight.

“You asshole!” Veronica screamed at Rude Rudy, and then she took off after Adam.

“That’s right,” Rudy yelled back as she went. “Go be with your pussy new boyfriend!” He looked around at all his grinning admirers now gently slapping on him with opened palms and congratulating him for being such an amazing jerk, and Rudy soaked it in, and he smiled and laughed with them and then encouraged them to be even more vicious than he was. “If you ever see that damn kid again… Make sure to let him know he’s not welcome here!”

“We will!” the crowd of lambs yelled out in unison as small fists shot up in the air.

That’s when Rudy climbed on top of one of the long cafeteria tables and they all cheered when he raised his fat arms dotted with orange speckles and rallied them. “New kid sucks!” he yelled out as he pumped his fists. “New kid sucks! New kid sucks!”

And that’s when they picked it up and they followed along with his chant and the entire place was taken over by a melodic roar of “New kid sucks! New kid sucks! New kid sucks!”   

They started pounding on the tables in rhythm with their chant — Boom, boom, boom… “New kid sucks!” Boom, boom, boom… “New kid sucks!”

Rude Rudy looked down upon his faithful throng and he reveled in the admiration, and he reveled in the power he had, and he reveled in the fact that he could somehow control the masses if he was just ugly and hateful enough.

Then there came the annoying shrill of numerous gym class whistles and a couple of large hands reached up through the frenzied mist and pulled Rudy down from his lunchroom pedestal and dragged him off to somewhere else to have his behavior formally corrected.


You can read the previous part of this story HERE.