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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flickering Light [Part 10]

Cody had spent every lunch period sitting away from the rest of the kids in the school. His 8th grade class had around 100 people, and had all swarmed him when they heard about why he was in the hospital. Cody hated the attention and ignored them until they all left him alone. Classes meant nothing in his eyes, so he sat in the backs of classes and drew pictures in the notebooks his parents gave to him. When a teacher rearranged seating because of disruptive behavior, Cody ended up close to the teacher’s desk. Seeing that he was not doing any work for her class, she took up his notebook and flipped through it. After class, she pulled him aside to talk to.

A short argument and a few insults later, Cody spoke his way into another after school detention. He already had two from yelling at other kids in the middle of a class because they wouldn’t stop annoying him about what it was like getting shot. This time it was the art teacher that was on detention rotation. Cody brought his notebooks again to doodle in while he sat in the chilly room that smelled like cheap paint. The art teacher, Ms. May, was a delicate woman in her forties who seemed like she drifted on air. The few other kids who also had detention had finished their short essays and left while Cody kept doodling along. Ms. May had glided up behind him and had peered over his shoulder to get a better look. When she spoke in the otherwise quiet room, it startled him.

“What is that you’re working on?”

“Oh! This? Um, it’s nothing,” Cody tried to close the book but the teacher’s nimble hands moved faster than he could. She swept it up and flipped through while Cody began fostering a strong annoyance at her.

“These are...quite interesting, Cody,” Ms. May told him. Cody’s glare cautiously let his face. Her eyes perused the pictures with genuine curiosity on her face. There were some of who she imagined was his family, others of tanks and guns and other sorts of weapons, and of cities that had seemed to be completely wiped out, all in more detail than she would’ve expected from someone Cody’s age.

“They’re just drawings. They’re not anything special.”

“I would disagree. You certainly seem to have talent.”

Ms. May turned a page to reveal a messy picture of a frightened person. Wide eyes, pencil scribbles everywhere below the person’s face, and the words ‘PLEASE NO’ written all over the pages in all sizes.

“Who is this? Someone you know?” Ms. May asked, showing him the picture. All the color slowly left his face as he tried to answer.

“That’s...that’s my best friend.”

“What’s his name?”


“Is he okay?”

“N-no.” Cody’s eyes were locked with the picture’s. He told himself to stop talking, but he continued on. “We were sleeping in a little empty house in the middle of nowhere. I woke up and heard him talking. He was on the phone a room over, in the kitchen. After I walked in and got a glass of water, I figured out he was talking to them. He was going to turn me in. My best friend was going to hand me over.”

He could feel his heartbeat pick up. Wringing his hands together, Cody’s voice picked up pace.

“He had a gun that his dad told to keep with him that we both had left in the room where we were sleeping. He had a head start back, so I grabbed a steak knife from the counter.”

His hand were shaking. A switch somewhere in the back of his mind turned off, and Cody lost his ability to control himself. He hugged himself as he spoke faster and faster.

“He got to the gun. He shot me in the arm but I didn’t feel it. I remember dropping the knife then running right into him. We fought and punched and kicked and yelled and I remember breaking his nose and getting my head slammed into the wall.”

Cody’s eyes were locked with the picture but he saw Ty’s scared face instead. That night replayed around him after he had blocked it out of memory for weeks.

“And then I found the knife again and somehow ended up on top of him with it and was trying just to hurt him so I could ask why. And he started begging me and begging me and saying he was sorry but he had to do it.”

At this point his voice had turned into a shaky shout and his whole body was quivering. Tears ran down his face but he still couldn’t stop himself.

“He begged me not to do it. He yelled at me not to. But he was gonna turn me in, and I couldn’t let them have it. I tried pushing the knife into him but he was holding me up. He kept screaming ‘PLEASE CODY NO PLEASE DON’T I’M SORRY PLEASE DON’T DO IT’!



He was yelling as loud as he possibly could. Somewhere in the world outside of his memories, Ms. May was trying to calm him down without any luck. She had closed the notebook and threw it on a desk. Cody could feel her arm around him but couldn’t process it being there in his mind.

“And then I pushed all my weight behind the knife. And it went down. And he choked and stopped yelling. And he stopped moving.”

Cody was hyperventilating in his seat, slightly rocking back and forth. The world had come crashing down around him. His left hand frantically rubbed the spot on his shoulder that had been shot. Feeling sick to his stomach, Cody spent the next five minutes replaying the night over and over in his head. He imagined what it was like to have a knife pierce his chest. He clutched his shirt, and felt the necklace underneath. He wanted to tear it off and throw it into the largest ocean where he’d never see it again. He wished he could take a hammer and smash it into pieces. If only he could find his father and demand to know why he had to wear it and to keep it safe.

Eventually he returned to his surroundings and saw the several other teachers that had rushed in when they heard the shouting. He sat, blubbering, feeling like an idiot as they all stared at him. He wanted to go home even more strongly than before. He gradually started breathing normally, still slightly shaking. Seeing that Cody had somewhat settled down, they got him to stand, planning on moving him to the guidance counselor for help. Ms. May gave him calming words, telling him that he was safe and that everything was going to be alright.

That’s when the doors exploded in a shockwave of noise and debris.


[Part 9] [Part 11]

New in my wikipedia article history: Hyperventilation, Panic Attack, PTSD

Today features a longer post, since I feel like all of this needed to be altogether. I was really surprised that I found the time to write this week, so I'm glad I got this much done. That's about all I have to say. Yup.

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