Another gritty one for Flash! Friday. We were tasked with including the conflict "man v. man" and this picture.
I contemplated it quite a bit... more so than usual. Then first two sentences came, and in short order the rest of the story.
So here is "Kinderspiel," which, incidentally, is the title of the photo.
Hope comes here to die. He sure as hell didn't.
"Do I know you?" he asked when he spied me beneath the moribund tree. His words hurt, perhaps more than the cavalcade of fists delivered more than 20 years ago. How could he not remember? I wanted to melt into the fractured earth like yesterday's rain water did.
And like today's blood would.
"Maybe this will jog your memory," I said, tossing at his feet the necklace whose pendant consisted of a tooth. My tooth, which he knocked out, confiscated, then gleefully returned to me as a souvenir.
Realization graced him. Just like life always did.
"Darrel? Is that you? How long has it been? I'll bet—"
"Twenty-two years, three months, seven days. Since the last time you beat me. But who's keeping score? Apparently I am," I said, aiming my gun at him.
We reverted to fourth grade, though our roles reversed. I was the bully, and he the sniveling coward. Only... he wasn't.
"Are you insane?" he said calmly.
"I am. At least that's what the parade of doctors have told me."
"What are you going to do?"
"What needs to be done."
I put the gun to my chest. It was his turn to live with inescapable agony.
Oh, and Janet Reid has a contest as well, beginning at 10:00 today, and running for 24 hours. So I'm writing something. How about you?