Bully: A Very Short Fiction
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Bobby was a smiling boy whose hands were quick to hurt. Those quick hands, they came out and slapped Roy Díaz as he came out from social studies class one evening. The backhand slap was casual, thoughtless and meant to humiliate. It was 3 O’clock and kids were heading to the busses. Later it was found out that Roy had stepped on Bobby’s foot. A very big no-no. Most people did not see the actual offense – the stepping on the foot. However they did hear the smart, fast SMACK that occurred after Bobby’s hand came straight out from his pump side, where it had been tugging on a backpack strap – and forcefully slapped Roy across the face, leaving a wide red mark. That got the attention of the crowd.
“Nobody steps on me.” Bobby rumbled. “That’s a lesson.” There was a moment of consideration, Roy looked at him in terror. Bobby had red hair, 20 extra pounds and a known lack of scruples about inflicting harm. His arms were white and huge, somehow larger than he – and already doing much of Bobby’s communication for him. The crowd was silent, thinking: Did you really just step on Bobby Giardello’s foot? Really?
Bobby saw Roy’s cowed face, and scowled. The lesson wasn’t done. Children were done streaming out of the classroom, being informed by watchers, and becoming watchers. He got close to Roy – in his face, and said something kids aren’t supposed to say. Then there was a smack. His fist had come right up and hit him in the chest. Roy doubled but made no sound.
Point made, Bobby strolled away.