The Fight

The Fight

A Story by karmapoilce
"

A man's life is plagued by a childhood mistake.

"

The way Will looked at him was an image that would never leave Thomas’s mind. His brown eyes seemed to change from green to red to copper, highlighted by his eyebrows that were furrowed down in fear and confusion. The fog on the windows of the bus was smudged with notes written by the other seven-year old kids, the same kids that were now cheering Thomas on.

            “Thomas! Thomas! Thomas!” They chanted in unison, creating a high energy inside the cramped bus. No one could hear the old and crippled driver threatening to stop the vehicle over the high pitched screams of students yelling in hopes of violence.

            As the many voices pounded in his ears, Thomas gulped down the un-ignorable fear that was shaking his bones. His red winter jacket was so thick he could barely feel his group of tight-knit friends as they slapped his back encouragingly, as he stared down at Will’s terrified face.       

            Poor, defenseless Will. Not very well-liked by the rest of the kids, but not hated either. He was one of those people that just blended into the background, minded their own business, and was just there, like a prop on a stage of moving, lively actors. He tried to remember what his mother had told him, to breathe steadily and keep calm, but now this advice just sounded ridiculous in his head as he was face to face with huge, burly Thomas.

            Thomas looked away from Will’s face for just a second, trying to see how close they were to the school so they could just all forget about this simple problem. He saw the emerald coloured trees covered in fresh white snow and learned there was still a fair way to go. He pulled his eyes away from the window and back to Will, but they strayed back to the glassy moving picture outside. Thomas thought it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. The peacefulness of the snow and innocence of the trees comforted him, and temporarily took him away from the inescapable moment he was in now. He didn’t want to hit Will. He wanted to just be at school where teachers could intervene and save him from this moment, and disregard it as a petty problem.

 The loud voices of the children were echoing in Thomas’s ears, all blurring into one muffled voice, drowning his mind. He looked back at Will and hastily decided to do it, feeling the pressure of the forty children around him. He drew back his hand as far as he could into an arced fist and let it connect with Will’s face, letting all the power from every ounce of his body pour into this single movement. His knuckles burned and he knew that it was happening now. He felt the bus jerk as the driver pulled over to the side of the road, and the screams of the kids were mixed now, with gasps and even louder screams and cheers.

            Thomas knew the bus driver was coming over to them now, and the thrill of immense power from the first time gave him a new-found energy to do it again. He pushed Will back aggressively so the back of his head was against the window, tears streaming down his face, and blood streaming out his nose. Thomas couldn’t hear what he was yelling but he knew he couldn’t stop. He hit him again, laughing now, thinking it was the funniest thing that would ever happen. He did it again, and again, and again, until Thomas felt the bus driver’s cold hands on his meaty shoulders, pulling him back into the narrow aisle and throwing him to the side.

            He didn’t realize it until he was far away; just watching the excitement of the moment instead of being in it, but the bus was now silent, except for the fading laughs coming from deep inside of his own chest. Everyone had stopped and was staring at Will, faces embedded with shock and disgust and confusion. The bus driver was yelling in a panicked tone now, telling everyone to get out of the way and get off the bus.          

            The next few moments appeared in Thomas’s mind as snapshots, as if the whole event was too much to take in all at once. Some kids started crying, one even threw up, as they all slowly walked off the bus, stopping every few moments to turn around to look at the scene. The bus driver was talking urgently into his phone, asking for help, help, help. When he got up to run to the front of the bus to get something for Will, Thomas finally saw what everyone was so astounded by.

            There was a thick metal screw that was on the window, connecting the two side by side. Will’s head was resting against it, his eyes blank, with a stream of red growing on the frosted window. Against the pure white snowy background out the window, the red stuck itself into Thomas’s head as a shade that would never leave his mind.

            The whole scene slowly sunk in, and all Thomas could think of to himself was, “you did this, this was you, it was all your fault, look at what you’ve done,” and he moved back in his chilly seat, as if trying to move himself back into the past and take it all back. Unfortunately, he hit the window instead and it served as a cold reminder of what had just happened.

            Thomas’s mind went completely blank after that, all the memories from the moment after that went away, as if his own brain was helping him to erase the unbearable moment that had just happened.

            He woke up from his unconscious passed out state in the wet snow a few yards from the school bus, one of his bright-red cheeks covered in ice, as his own tears add to the water that’s already there. He sat up, feeling his stomach move uncomfortably in knots.

From that day, Thomas had learned that the worst feeling in the world was waking up to a clear mind, only to remember what you were going to sleep to forget about.  

He breathed in the dry scent of his mother’s cigarette smoke, finding a strange comfort in it, knowing his mom was holding him and everything would be alright. He even felt a small hope inside of himself that maybe it was all a dream, nothing but a figment of his imagination. But as he opened his eyes, the bright flashing lights of the police cars and ambulances assured him otherwise.

            His mother spoke to him in a soothing voice as smooth as silk, telling him it’d all be okay and they’d go back home and sort everything out. She knew that this was in itself a lie, because of course it wouldn’t all be okay. Her son had just killed somebody.

           

            As Thomas sat in his chemically scented hospital bed, over half a century later, he found it funny that a fight over something so unimportant that he couldn’t even remember could lead to an entire life of guilt and misery. After two failed marriages, four angry children, and a life stuck in a bottle, he had nothing. His life had dragged on, each day plagued by the memory of what he’d done.

            Sure, there were some happy moments in his life, ones where he had laughed until he cried, and smiled out of pure joy with no worry for the future or past. But it wasn’t the full happiness that he longed for; it was an empty happiness that he trapped himself in, punishing himself with each cold laugh.

            But, unexpectedly, the last image that went through his mind at the end of his life that day was not Will’s mother sobbing into her husband’s chest. It was the emerald coloured trees flashing past his eyelids, covered in a fresh white coat of snow.


© 2014 karmapoilce



My Review

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Featured Review

This was a gripping story. I was trapped somewhere between wanting to sympathize with Thomas and wanting to feel disgusted over his actions. Man vs. Self conflicts are written often, but few as eloquently and haunting as this one. Good work.
The only real critique I have for you is that some of the more blatant lines such as "Her son had just killed somebody." could be toned down. It is always better to show than to tell. Since you've already shown, it seems unnecessary to also tell, especially in such explicit terms.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

It was an awesome piece of work. Sometimes the mistakes are small but they leave their scars in our heart for forever. one small mistake can cost a life.

Impressed by your writing :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Just seventeen. This is a remarkably insightful and well observed write for one so young. Stick with it, you have a talent.


Beccy.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wow! I thought this was extremely well done and I totally applaud you for writing this! I will probably think about this a lot. I do think that maybe some of the ways that you decided to let us on to information were a bit bland. I think that some ways you worded things got a bit repetitive. Other than that, this was awesome! You're a great writer :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This was a gripping story. I was trapped somewhere between wanting to sympathize with Thomas and wanting to feel disgusted over his actions. Man vs. Self conflicts are written often, but few as eloquently and haunting as this one. Good work.
The only real critique I have for you is that some of the more blatant lines such as "Her son had just killed somebody." could be toned down. It is always better to show than to tell. Since you've already shown, it seems unnecessary to also tell, especially in such explicit terms.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 30, 2014
Last Updated on June 15, 2014
Tags: fiction

Author

karmapoilce
karmapoilce

BC, Canada



About
I'm just a 20 year old girl from a little town in Canada who likes to make up stories and put words together to make them sound nice. more..

Writing