You still have time to submit an entry. While we are working hard at the towers, here’s a submission for our current contest.
By N. Jin
I was going home from Marcus’ bus stop after school. It was the long way, but I walked near the field and his house to spend those extra moments flirting. His butt underneath the backpack was worth the trip.
I was fantasizing about our wedding when I walked through the roundabout of garages. Kissing Marcus with a backdrop of lights and music was such a nice daydream, I didn’t realize I wasn’t alone until a nose popped in front of my own.
His face was a devil of tattoos and pockmarks, and his smile was bored but hungry. I yelped quizzically. I kinda knew him from school. He was a Blood as his bright red shirt would proudly attest. Someone grabbed my backpack, whipping me around to see three more. Not from the school. More tattoos and red, stark as lightning in the gray day. The devil grabbed my arms, trying to pin my elbows to his body.
In my mind I went through the safety list, solar plexus, instep, nose, groin, scream, struggle.
Be aware of your surroundings.
I stomped on his foot, and began kicking out while he held me fast. I whipped my head back and heard a small, satisfying crunch. He laughed, tightening his grip until my muscles and bones groaned under his fingers.
“Got us a feisty one yo.”
His voice was keening and hyper like a hyena. This devil was high on something. I tried to go limp, but his grip on my arms shot pain into my shoulder joints while I continued screaming, “no, stop, help”, all the while afraid to say the one word that would unlock my imagination and wrap it around the reality of the situation.
I wasn’t surprised.
I’d been warned about my route.
The red pawns grabbed my kicking legs and helped drag me behind the house nearest the field. Devil man bled and spit as he dropped me on my backpack, stabbing book corners unto the flesh over my ribs.
If only Marcus would come outside and look, he would see. Maybe.
I fought. The Bloods fought. The devil ripped my leggings and made someone pull my hair. A knife. I didn’t feel it enter me, but I felt the pain. “That was for my nose”, he grunted.
I couldn’t breathe. They were heavy and I couldn’t breathe. First the devil, then the red pawns.
Like a squealing, laughing, turning wheel.
One to hold my arms and hair.
One on each leg.
One to ride.
I swear I fought.
The Devil rode again, and stabbed me again. I felt that one enter my gut. Blood in my throat made it harder to inhale. I was getting tired.
Above, the leaves blew, and the sun appeared through the fence. I lay there looking to the light, no longer hiding in the gray.
No one came.
They kept on.
That’s what I got for walking that way.