Freak – Part Four
Serial Short Story
Attention now turned toward his wounded hand. He didn’t have any bandages and he was without the energy left to rip off another shred of shirt. The sharp taste of iron and copper consumed his mouth. With the reasoning that it was better in than out, he continued to gorge himself on his own blood until the source went dry. When he looked back at his palm, the cut now looked noticeably cleaner than before. His fingers still refused to do what they were told but as far as he knew, it wasn’t going to kill him.
At this point, the raging headache building inside outshined the blaring alarm and the sound of people crying out. He tried to wipe the sweat off of his forehead but his sweaty arms were of no help at all. The fever that started to set in caused him to feel dazed and his eyesight suffered because of it — the world rapidly became a blur. He shifted all of his weight to the right side of his body, depending on it to bear the brunt of burden once again. He had to bring his right leg in pointing his knee to the heavens. Driving his right hand into the ground, his leg took his full weight and he was finally up and standing. It was an exhilarating feeling that made him want to faint and regurgitate. The first step he made went fair enough. But as his right foot drove forward, the slightest weight on his left leg welcomed the embrace of misery. He compromised by putting as little responsibility on it as possible; he again put his right foot forward and now the left — followed by a slide across the ground, causing significantly less pain than before.
He held his left hand on his left thighs cut and the right grabbed his chest as his ribs ached more than ever before. It only took a few strides before he stood upon the cruel, nauseating mess of a window. Peering up at the girls hair his heart began to beat rapidly; excitement building. Sure he had been closer — sitting behind her for the in-class for the past few months — but now he knew that he could touch it without any consequences. Nobody to get in his way, no social etiquette to prevent him anymore. He was forced to withdraw his hand from his chest and got on his right leg as he tippy-toed upward.
Her hair dangled out from the top surrounded by all the filth yet remained pristine, not a single strand touched a speck of splattered blood. It was like the fairy tale of Rapunzel, but this time — instead of saving the fair maiden, the prince wished to scalp her. His fingers were only an inch away his body staining against the effort needed but instead of just grabbing and running — he decided to milk the moment just a little longer. It was just so beautiful. He very softly began to caress and fondle the streaks of hair flowing in between his fingers. Everything he had hoped for it was met in spades; it felt as if he was holding freshly spun gold. His pain, the alarm, and the sound of the injured, they all vanished as all of his attention was on the hair before him.
Not wanting to snap even a single strand, he gently tugged the hair toward him with the intent to place it in his pocket and start the journey toward the vault and his ever bleak future. But he felt a resistance. Maybe it was stuck on something. This second time he yanked just a little tougher but still it refused to move. He was getting anxious now, his body was exhausted. He could little breath, and he felt increasingly dizzier as time passed. He couldn’t stand in the position for any much longer. He took a small breath and exhaled, this time he would apply more force than both earlier attempts combined. So with the hair intertwined in his fist he made one sudden last pull to force it loose.
The sound of the voice was shocking. He let go of the resilient hair and let himself drop down into a slump resting on his one strong leg. He placed his back against the wall and scanned the area with his tender neck. No one was near to have uttered a sound, the noise of the alarm, the discord of people crawling away and the boy crying over a corpse. They were all still there, that was it, and nothing had changed. Fear for his life now escalated. What the Hell was that? He was in no condition to fight but he raised his small right fist anyway. He had been ready to fight and die in a battle, what difference did it make the enemy?
He let his anger soar. He had used his temper before while being bullied by his sister and others; it had always help deal and dish out punishment. Who dares kill me?, he wondered. Not after suffering so much … His blood began to boil and his eyes went red with rage. Now he took a hearty inhale ignoring the pain in his torso, leg and hand. If this was to be his death, he refused to go out like a coward.
next: Freak – Part Five
previous: Freak – Part Three
more by FRANCISCO LEYVA
photograph by Leeroy