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Another amazing GUEST POST today from Amberr Meadows. How pleasing to present a piece of original new fiction from Amberr. Gives me goosebumps! Check out Amberr on Twitter: @Amberrisme or visit her marvellous and charming travel blog: http://www.amberrisme.com/ Thank you so much for sharing Amberr!
By: Amberr Meadows
Marla realized her error as soon as she saw the stream. She’d been wandering aimlessly through the forest, searching for butterflies and squirrels, and had forgotten about The Big Boys. The Big Boys were the mean kids from the neighborhood on the other side of the woods, and it seemed as if their pleasure rested solely in tormenting the smaller kids from Marla’s neighborhood.
Her mother had told her not to play in the woods alone, saying only, “Bad things happen to little girls in the woods by themselves.”
But Marla knew there was nothing worse than The Big Boys.
She’d seen her friend Randall come home with a busted lip and black eye after crossing paths with one of The Big Boys in the woods, and weeks before, Shelly had gotten her arm broken by one of them. Marla hadn’t been there when Shelly was roughed up by one of The Big Boys, but she’d heard of it afterwards.
The whole neighborhood had.
Shelly’s mother had run out of the house, screaming mad, when Shelly came home with the broken arm. The cops were called, but even Marla knew nothing would be done about the incident, and she was right.
The cops came by, pretended to be interested, and went on their way, but not before Marla heard one of them say, “Always something with the white trash in this neighborhood.” Marla didn’t understand what that meant, but she knew it wasn’t nice.
Shelly hadn’t been out to play since then, and Marla missed her badly. She’d been hoping to catch a few butterflies and bring them to Shelly to cheer her up about her busted arm, but as soon as she’d seen the horrible boy, she’d forgotten all about it.
He now eyed her menacingly, scowling darkly.
“Hey, little girl, little white trash girl!” taunted the boy, “Ready to get messed up, just like your little friend?”
Marla couldn’t speak. Her tongue was a dead thing in her cottony mouth. This was The Big Boy who had hurt Shelly, so there was no doubt he’d hurt her, too. She felt warmth running down her leg. Humiliated, she realized she had wet her pants. She knew she should run back to the safety of the forest, but she couldn’t move. The boy watched her, clutching something white in his hand.
It took Marla a minute to realize what it was. A plastic PVC pipe, about three meters long, with a wickedly sharpened point. Was he going to hurt her with it? She thought so, because she knew how bad those boys were from the other neighborhood. She had a sudden terrible vision of being pierced through by the makeshift spear, and she knew it would be worse than a busted arm. It would really hurt her–maybe even kill her. She didn’t want to die in the woods. She had to do something.
“I-I’m not scared of you!” she screamed, hoping to catch him off-guard.
His mean laughter filled the forest, but he made no move towards the water. Maybe he couldn’t swim? She realized the implications of this and realized that she’d be okay. He couldn’t hurt her—but wait, what was he doing?
The boy drew the spear back. Marla suddenly thought of a book she’d read without mama’s permission. It was called Lord of the Flies. In the book, the civilized boys had evolved into savages, in the absence of authority. That’s what The Big Boys all were—modern savages–and she feared ending up like Piggy.
“Don’t you throw that at me!” she called, “You’ll be sorry!”
He released the spear, and it went sailing. Marla threw her hands up. She hoped his aim was amiss, hoped he was off- the- mark, but he wasn’t. In a frozen moment, the spear seemed to be suspended overhead. She could even see the blue lettering on the pipe. The sharpened end was finely honed and deadly and pointed at her. The sun was in her eyes, but her hands were up as if to catch a football. This was the end. She was going to die in the middle of the woods, and become just another missing girl statistic.
The PVC pipe came down. She braced herself, waiting for the cutting impact, but nothing came. The weight of the PVC pipe felt funny in her hands. Startled, she realized what this meant. She had caught the pipe! It couldn’t hurt her. She didn’t know how she had caught the pipe. It was a miracle! The moment of tension dissipated, and she broke into sobs of relief. She then remembered The Big Boy.
“You can’t hurt me now, you bastard. I caught it!” she choked.
He looked at her in surprise. He hadn’t expected a little girl to catch the pipe and foil his plan. This she knew. She also knew he would be looking for her forever after, in the school hallways, in her neighborhood, and certainly in the woods. The struggle had just begun, but for today, she was safe.
Marla turned away from the stream. Screams of rage followed her, but she didn’t look back. Not until she was safely home, did she turn around. The sharpened PVC pipe was still in her hand. She decided to keep it.
The next time The Big Boys went looking for her, she’d be ready.
© 2011 Amberr Meadows