Freak – Part Five
Serial Short Story
Any of the gallantry he had only moments ago was whisked away in an instant. Freak felt as his bowels clenched and then loosened. A smidgen of urine now streamed down his legs. He lived as a coward and now he would die as one. He let his right arm now drop down to the side accompanying the other. He wouldn’t put up a fight. The less resistance, the quicker he could rest.
“What are you doing?”
His eyes closed, and his ears hearing became heightened trying to locate the direction of the beast approach, but he couldn’t hear any. He opened his eyes and turned his sight violently from side to side, yet everything still remained as it had been before. The only area that he didn’t cover was above him. His chin lifted and his eyes rolled backward; he wanted only a quick peek at the beast about to murder him.
The roof of the school came into sight, then part of the brick wall, then a girl’s face so misplaced it was frightening. She seemed angry, with puffy red eyes and tear-scarred streaks rolling down her face she scrutinized Freak desperately. It was an odd sight to take in because it was the exact opposite to what he was expecting. He envisioned a lion/goat mix with a slew of poisonous snakes making up its tail, reared up on its back legs while preparing to pounce. This girl — the girl with the splendid hair looking at him, eyebrows furrowed — was baffling, to say the least.
“Uh…” was all Freak managed to spout out of his mouth. He had difficulty speaking to others during the best of times, so in this situation, his fluency with the English language abandoned him entirely. He was powerless; all he could do was stare up at the girl stupidly as she glowered back at him. Freak was still eying the girl, perplexed when her mouth began to open and close. He didn’t notice that at all, though; his thoughts were too focused on her hair and the way it perfectly reflected the sun. A glob of saliva landed between his eyes, disrupting his immersion.
“As I was saying,” the girl continued, “why did you just pull my hair? It’s the end of the world and you spend it by yanking my hair?”
Words were still lost to him. Freak looked now toward his shoes and noticed his makeshift bandage seemed to have stopped most of the bleeding. Unfortunately, the area surrounding his crotch was now soaked with urine. He wiped the glop of spit from his forehead, humiliated. He couldn’t bear to look at the girl. If she was still alive he couldn’t have her hair. If she was still alive it meant that she wouldn’t want anything to do with him.
He turned his back to the grotesque window and began his lone journey toward the road and onto the vault he — more than likely — never would make it to. His pace was slow but determined as he kept to the process — right foot forward, left foot slide. He must have looked foolish but none of that mattered anymore; he had embarrassed himself already, so he had nothing more to lose limping away in a preposterous manner.
With all the other noise he could barely hear the girl calling out to him. What she said didn’t matter as he didn’t want to hear what she had to say. All she would want to do is call him a freak and ridicule him for living in a poor household. Even at the end of the world, that’s how loathful they must have thought of him. Freak could not stand the contempt. His pace quickened, his body now running on empty. An alien now began to crack out of his chest and a rat clawed and bit at his left leg. His sight got more and more dazed until all he had was a narrow aperture of vision left. But he was so close — not to the vault, but the sidewalk that had become his new goal. Make it to the sidewalk and there was no reason that he couldn’t make it all the way to the vault. His right leg failed underneath him and was followed by the weaker left. There was going to be no stopping it — his arms were too feeble and slow to be lifted up in time; there would be no cushion for his harsh decent downward. If there was a god watching him, it would hardly succeed in stifling its booming laughter. The irony the situation bathed in was not lost on Freak as his head came crashing down against the cement. His mouth tasted of iron, and again, his vision stuttered until he laid there looking at the clouds as he closed his eyes.
previous: Freak – Part Four
more by FRANCISCO LEYVA
photograph by mayatnik