“Why the hell is there blood on the sofa?”
That had been the question yelled and roared that ruined Christopher’s day. His father yelled at the top of his lungs for the better part of five minutes at the red smear on the sofa. The new sofa wasn’t exactly “new”, just new in their home. That is to say, it had been the mostly clean and definitely blood stain-free new sofa.
The trouble was; Christopher had seen his cat fly over the fence across the ally-way from the kitchen window earlier this morning. He had mixed feelings about it. Served the cat right, going where it should not, but on the other hand, he did not at all like the idea of that kid across the alley throwing his cat around. He did not like the idea of the kid across the alley way in any way.
He had figured he would corner Dwayne about it at school tomorrow. This would have been a legitimate reason to push him around a bit, start a fight and knock him to the ground. After seeing the matted blood on the cat though, he did not have the patience to wait.
Dwayne heard a loud bang on the back door and sat upright on the couch. He had only lay down for a second after coming back inside and now the wall clock told him he had been lying there over an hour. He felt like he slept all the time these days.
He walked across the house to the back door and opened it to find a large ugly face glaring down at him.
“Get lost?” he asked in an annoyed tone. Though he had a frighteningly good idea of why Christopher was here.
“Next time, I’ll take a real gun to that jeep your mom owns; if ever see or hear anything from this backyard I don’t like.” Almost as an afterthought he added, “And you’ll find your cat with a bigger hole in it than I found in mine.”
Dwayne flushed, not only for having shot a cat but at Christopher’s threat of killing his own cat. “Get out of my backyard.”
Christopher sneered and only replied, “Keep in mind,” he said with a very sudden very sharp one handed push that knocked dwayne a step back into the wall. Before he could even retort Christopher had turned around and was heading back to his house. Dwayne took a deep breath and slowly let it out. 'Nearly got smeared on my own door step' he thought as he shut the door.
He and Christopher had not been in an all out fight for almost half of a year now. The last time had been at school in a hall way when Christopher had spit a bit of tobacco chew at Dwayne, who then made a nasty comment that resulted in both of them pushing and swinging at each other.
Christopher always won, usually with a blow to the face that about tore Dwayne’s head off. Overall it he lost because the neighbor was considerably larger and stronger all around. The picking, teasing and eventual physical fights were a relationship the two boys had spent two years developing when Dwayne and Kelsey had first moved to Ellensburg.
There was no defining moment Dwayne could ever think of that made Christopher choose to hate him. Because he was a theatre kid? Because he was from out of town? Or was it just simple bullying because he was able. The kid was pugnacious and enjoyed violence on a wide spectrum, from hunting to watching cage fights on TV.
Dwayne shut the door and wondered if word of the black cat would come around to his mother. There was a good reason he had done it when she wasn’t around. He walked into the kitchen and opened a cupboard, pulling down a box of dry cereal to snack on. Then he wondered why he was hungry all the time.