Defending My Brother

This is my latest entry in the #WOW555 challenge. The concept was something to do with fighting. I thought about Black Friday as a background, but decided instead to focus on a concern. In so doing, I use a word that I find highly offensive. It comes out of the mouth of the antagonist. I guess there are times when you have use words that you are uncomfortable with to make a point as a writer. That doesn’t make writing them easier. That being said, here’s the story.

“Hey you!”

I turned and looked. This was the guy they warned me about. If I could keep my cool around him, I’d be ok.

“Yeah, you. I hear your brother’s a retard.” He laughed. “I think you’re retarded too.”

Before my therapy, before the change in schools, my reaction would have won me a free trip to the office. The therapy had helped. I didn’t get angry right away. “Well,” I said, “my brother is always happy and tries to make other people happy; he works hard at his job; and he’s dependable.” I paused for effect. “I guess being called retarded by you is a compliment.”

Just as I thought, he didn’t get it at first. Then, when those who had gathered to see the confrontation started laughing out loud, he got belligerent. He got into my face. He coulda used some gum. “What are you trying to say, re-taaarrrrd?” He drew the last syllable out to sound mean, I guess.

We were nose to nose, and it wasn’t my fault this time. “I’m saying that if my choices are to be like you or be retarded like Blaise, I’d prefer to be retarded.” His eyes narrowed and his teeth clenched in response. “But you are trash and you aren’t worth my time,” I said spitting out every word.

My Tae-Kwon-do training and therapy had taught me how to defuse situations; I wasn’t trying to now. I saw the punch coming and moved so it would glance off my head. “That was your last free hit,” I said. “You try it again and you’d better hope your friends know the number for 9-1-1.”

“Do you think you can last ten seconds against me, retard?” He snorted. “You’ll be down and we ain’t calling 9-1-1 for you.” He swung again.

This time I decided to duck the punch. As I ducked, I did a sweeper kick, taking out his legs. The look on his face as he slammed to the ground was quite enjoyable. I stood up and walked over to him while he was writhing on the ground. I turned him on his back and took out his wind with a punch to the solar plexus. He was gone. There was no more fight left in him; he gasped for breath. His friends stopped videoing since their champion wasn’t victorious. I looked at them and laughed. “About eight seconds. Your idiot friend was right. I didn’t last ten seconds against him.”

That’s when the school’s rent-a-cop came. I shrugged. I was used to this. It gave me a chance to get used to the office. I had hoped not to spend too much time there, but….

The Assistant Principal told me to sit down. “Jimmy, eh? I heard what happened. Isn’t Blaise your brother?”

That was strange. I nodded. “Blaise and my son Cam swim together,” he said. “Now, is it really your story that Brock slipped on the grass when he took a punch at you?” he asked with a knowing smile.

Head on over to Write on Wendy’s site to read all the stories and vote on your favorite!


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