In the Park

Fells Church, Virginia, 1972: 17-year old Gregory Miles, often referred to as "Poindexter," is a transfer student from Longford, Ireland. He sports two horrific gashes across the whole of his face and a distant, almost fearful expression, which repel 'normal' students and attract bullies. And yet, he never tries to fight back. Why? A victim of bullying, afraid of himself..what happened to him that caused his facial mutilation? Just what dark, juicy secret can he possibly be hiding?

Chapter 1

In the Park

"Ah come on, Nerd, spit it out!" he says again, his foot connecting with my ribcage. It knocks the breath out of me, and I choke, gasping for breath. What kind of guy beats another when he's already on the ground?

Christopher Tracy, that's who. Captain of the Fells High football team, and Student Council Vice President; in other words, he's the school saint, the prodigy, the best of both worlds: athletic and smart. He's never been called for any sort of disciplinary actions, because he would never hurt another soul.

That's what people think, anyway.

"Hey Poindexter, I'm talking to you!" he yells at me, "Answer me!" He grabs the collar of my shirt and pulls me up, cutting off what little breath managed to reach my lungs. I clasp onto his grip weakly, matching his glare, "S-Screw you.." I can hear his teeth clench, and he throws me down; my head hits the pavement hard, blurring my vision for a second or two, but I can see him walking away. I don't dare stand until his figure disappears, in case he turns to knock me down again. Once he's out of sight, I push myself up, using the gym wall as leverage, and stand, supporting my weight on my left leg since I can still feel my right ankle throbbing. Nobody even turns in concern as I limp off campus, only continue their usual gossip and chatter.

Some school, am I right?

*********************

I'm running. I'm running as fast as I can. Towards something? No, away. I'm running away; trying to run away. What am I running away from?

I fall down.

The grass beneath my body is wet, like the morning dew; it shines in the light of the full moon. I hear footsteps, but they sound wrong, like they are not human..is it an animal?

It's getting closer.

I try to stand again and look at my pursuer; whatever I'm running from has caught up, and I hear it chuckle, like it's having fun with this chase. I can't see its face, or any of it, for that matter. It's a black shadow, shaped like some creature I've never seen before, but I recognize the shape of hands, or rather, claws. A rasp, throaty chuckle disturbs the silence around us, and I swear it's smiling. I hold my breath and back away quickly, as if it won't attack me anyway. My ankle hits something solid, a log maybe, and I lose my balance, falling back into the grass. My foot had been caught in a hole, and I cringe as I feel it snap, my body starting to shake. The figure closes in on me, it looks as if it is on all fours. I hear vicious snarling; it sounds almost like a wolf.

It leaps above me.

***********************

My eyes fly open, and I jerk up from my bed, my hands trembling and my heart racing. I look at my clock: 7 December, 3:27am. I sigh and wipe the sweat off my forehead, looking up at the bright moonlight shining from my window; it's almost the full moon again, which must be why I'm having trouble sleeping. Every time it comes near, I'm terrorized by that dream.

That night everything changed, all because I had been so stupid as to run away from my home. When I'd woken in the hospital the next day, my head was spinning and my body hurt like hell. The doctors told me I should be grateful to be alive after being found in such a state. I'd asked them what had happened to me, and they said I had been attacked by some wild animal, a wolf, most likely.

They weren't wrong, I suppose.

The two scars along my face tingle, and I drag my fingers across them lightly; they serve as a constant reminder of what I am now, after being attacked by that..that thing; no, I know what it was now. I've known for the last year. That monster destroyed my life, my family.. I destroyed my family. Rather than sit down and take my punishment then, I ran. Away from the authorities, away from my home, away from everything. I never imagined how easy it would be to say goodbye to my old life and create a fake alias elsewhere in the world.

My alarm wakes me up hours later-at 7:46. Shoot, I'm going to be late. I jump out of bed and pull on the closest shirt I can reach. It's not a part of my uniform, but I don't have time to worry about that, and I grab my bag and run out the dorm, not even bothering to lock it behind me. The bell rings as I walk through the classroom door, and all eyes fall on me, but not for long; it's not the first time I've been late after all. I hope the teacher will let me by, but his glare is as cold as ever, "I see you've decided to join us after all, and with..quite an interesting outfit." A few of the students snicker and whisper to each other as the teacher's attention is turned on me. He silences them with a stern look, and continues, "Now get together with your project group. I expect you know how many hours detention you will receive by now." I don't even attempt to argue, and nod, making my way to my own seat, where I lay my head on my desk and try to drown the chatter out. What a great way to start the day..

Detention is a bore, all 5 hours of it. What could make it worse?

"Hey Inches!" Of course he would be here. I glance up at him, and he smirks, "What, you get tired after a couple hours of justice?" I roll my eyes dramatically and fold my arms across my chest.

"And here I thought I'd never see you in detention, Chris. What, you didn't behave well and keep your 'perfect student' alias under keeps?" I mutter. He only laughs and shakes his head.

"I'm only volunteering today." He leans towards me, putting his hands on the table, "I take pride in disciplining those who step out of line.." The clock sounds then, and I stand quickly, eager to leave now that he is here.

He's persistent, following me as far as the park, "Hey listen to me, You!" he yells, throwing whatever he can find to try and regain my attention. 'Don't listen to him. Just walk away. Don't get involved..' I think to myself over and over.

He grabs onto my shoulder, pulling me to face him, "When I speak, I expect you to listen!" he glares at me menacingly. Suddenly, I grab onto his arm and wrench him away; he hits the iron pole holding the swing set up-it echoes, a high, ringing thud. He groans and rubs the back of his head, staring at me in disbelief; he is not the only one shocked. Never have I raised my hand against him, or anyone who's bullied me for that matter. A sharp pain ran through the back of my head, and I look up into the night sky; the moon stares back, blindingly full.

No. God no, not already. There's still a few more days before..My hands shake violently, and a shiver runs down my spine. Christopher stands, looking at me with confusion, curiosity; I back away quickly, "G-Get back!" I yell, the burn running through my torso now. I don't want to hurt him, but I know I will if I don't get out of here now. I turn to run, but he grabs my arm.

"Hey! What the hell is going on with you!?" he demands. I grit my teeth and kick him away, sending him flying back a yard or two. My fingers are sharpening into claws, the very same that tore through my face a year before, and my vision turns red.

Then black.

******************************************************************************************************

Fells Church Bells
8 December, 1972
Fells High School Senior, Christopher James Tracy, was found in the park at 9:04pm last night. He was discovered unconscious and hardly breathing. His face and torso appeared horribly mutilated, and several bite marks cover his legs and arms. Perhaps the most distinct injury are two gashes across the left side of his face, beginning at his forehead and stopping just under his lip. Authorities are suspecting a wild animal attack, most likely a large wolf, judging by the claw and teeth marks. Tracy remains in critical care at Fells Hospital. It is unknown whether he will survive--Johnathan Elwitz

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