Stained

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Tired of being bullied? Colin is too.

Comments greatly appreciated!

Submitted: January 27, 2015

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Submitted: January 27, 2015

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Kevin Coroneos

There was a slight knock on the door, followed by an elongated creaaak, “Hey Hun, are you feeling any better now? I brought you soup!”

Colin stuffed his iPad under his blanket and rolled over to face his mother, who was now a few steps into his room carrying a bowl. He let out the most realistic cough he could, and even tried a little sniffle to gain more of his mother’s sympathies. Colin curled up in a tight ball, his white shirt blending in with the sheets and blanket so the only part of him visible was his face and its sad expressions. The watery glaze over his light green eyes forced his mother to sigh. She was so gullible—she had to be to believe such crappy, soap opera-ish acting. And the bowl of soup in her hands was her playing her part perfectly.

“Aww, babe! You sound awful!”

Colin coughed again, this time a little too dramatic. “I ju-just want to feel better, Mom. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to school tomorrow either.”

“That’ll be three days in a row, Col. Do you think I need to take you to the doc—“

“No! No, I don’t need to go to the doctor. I just need rest, Mom. That’s it. I just need to lay in here and sleep. I’ll be better soon.”

“I know you will be! But your sophomore year is one of the most important, you can’t miss all this work—all that class. Maybe I’ll give Tommy Tannen’s mother a call and see if she’ll ask him to bring your work home. He’s a nice boy, and you two have known each other forever, I’m sure he’d have no problem running your books and stuff here. He is right next door anyway.”

“Why don’t you just run to the school and grab it? Please, Mom?”

"What’s wrong with Tommy bringing it? Did you to get in a fight or something?” She slowly walked over towards the bed and placed the soup down on the nightstand. She took a seat at the side of the bed, petting Colin’s hair in silence for a minute. Then she stopped, something caught her attention. In the nightstand drawer, a corner of a piece of paper was curiously poking out. “What’s this?” Her hand reached for the handle of the drawer.

“NO…” She pulled it open. “Don’t…” She picked up the paper. “Open…”

“Colin! What is this?” She was now holding a page of one of Colin’s prized Playboy Magazines. She sighed, shaking her head, then staring at her son, whose face was now bright red. She placed the page back down in the drawer, gently among the other magazines and sporadic loose leaf sheets that were hidden among the Playboys. Colin took a sigh of relief, thankful that she did not discover any of the other contents of his nightstand.

 “You know you can talk to me about anything, I’m your mother I’m always here. If you’re fighting with your friend you can tell me. I’ve been through it all before, I know what it’s like.”

“Thanks, Mom. We’re fine.”

“Okay, I’ll give her a call tomorrow morning. I don’t like calling too late. Eat your soup, okay?” She patted him one more time on the head and stood up. “I’m going to bed. Goodnight, I love you. I’ll check on you in the morning.” She walked to the door and turned around for one more reassuring smile.

Colin lazily smiled back, “Night, Love you too, Mom.” She walked out and quietly shut the door behind her. He loved having such a caring mother, but she was just so God damn oblivious to everything. How could she not see what Tommy Tannen really was?

Colin glanced over at the clock next to the soup: 8:45. Time flies when you’re having fun, he thought as he picked up the soup from the nightstand and placed it on his bed. It was tomato, not the best choice for a “sick person”, but it would hold him over till the morning. He took a spoonful of the deep red broth and laid back down on his pillow, it was still way too hot to continue eating. He would just rest for a couple minutes, waiting for the soup to calm down so he could actually get some nourishment. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath.

Why can’t she see? She needs to see him. She wouldn’t believe me if I told her. She fucking loves him. She thinks he’s so great. She likes him more than me. “Tommy this,” “Tommy that,” “Go hang out with Tommy.” “Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.”

Colin was violently thrashing his head back and forth on his pillow, his thoughts overwhelming him, slamming his brain. The spoon in the bowl was rattling harshly against the edges, sounding like a dinner bell at an old southern plantation.

Tommy Fucking Tannen.

He opened his eyes. The ceiling became a screen, his eyes the projector for all the vivid nightmares of him. When Colin Cox and his mother moved to Maryland at age 7, he thought life would be incredible for them. His father had left before he was born, and after a domestic violence case which ended in his mother in the hospital, and her ex-boyfriend in jail, a psychiatrist decided that moving was the best option for them. It was a new start, a new chance to make friends, find lovers, new opportunities for work—to create the perfect life. But from day one, Tommy Tannen was Doctor Frankenstein, creating a monster instead of something beautiful.

That very first day was so clear to Colin. He hopped out of the car with his mother and did a three sixty of the area, examining his new surroundings. The sun seemed brighter, the air crisper, and when he took off his sandals and laid his feet on the grass it seemed softer, greener. A loud smack from his neighbor’s yard caught his attention. He saw a young boy smiling and laughing, hitting baseballs off a tee. Colin was so excited, within three seconds of getting to the new house he was already going to make a new friend. He scurried across the yard to show his new neighbor the Pokémon he caught on Gameboy. He reached the boy, overwhelmed with glee.

“Hi! I’m Colin! Look what I got!” He passed the boy his Gameboy, “I just caught a Level 47...”

Colin’s smile slowly faded as he saw his neighbor place the device on the tee in front of him. He lifted the bat high above his shoulders, “Pokémon is stupid.” He swung the bat all the way through, its metal shattering the Gameboy, sending chunks of blue plastic flying through the air. Colin dashed to the yard to try to pick up the pieces, hoping maybe he could put it together. He threw himself to the ground, sweeping his hands through the wet grass to try to find anything he could from his precious Gameboy. He noticed the largest chunk of the device was to his right, near the boy’s foot. He placed his hand down on what remained of the screen, but was met with cleats digging into the top of his hand. He winced in pain, looking up at the kid, trying to hold off tears.

“I’m Tommy. Don’t bother me again…or else.” He lifted up his foot and walked towards his garage. Colin sat on his hands and knees, motionless, staring at the indents and cuts left on his hand. He pushed himself up to his feet, picking up the shards of the Gameboy. With tears streaming down his face now, he made the now long walk back to his house. His shoulders felt like they were by his ankles, and while his hand was injured, he felt like he had been kicked in the chest. He looked up from his slump to see his mother had put down boxes she was carrying to check on her baby. He held up the Gameboy to her face, showing her the damage to it.

She seemed paralyzed, “Babe, what happened? How did this break? Are you okay?” She finally snapped out of her stone like state and got eye level with Colin.

He sniffled again, hiding the injured hand behind his back. “I fell, mommy.” His eyes met the ground—he felt so guilty lying to his mom, but he didn’t want her to know there was already an issue with their new lives.

She pulled him in close to her. He wrapped his hands around his mother, but pain shot through his hand. The tears were now raining from his eyes.

“It’s a rough start, Colin, but it can only get better from here.”

That’s what the psychiatrist said too, “It can only get better from here.” Even at a young age, Colin knew it was bullshit. After dealing with his mother’s abuse scandal, the two had to see a psychiatrist once a week, discussing all the “problems” in their lives, making sure neither had entered a state of depression. His mother didn’t have any of course, believing that since they moved, everything was perfect—that she was living on the house up on the shining hill. It was like her ex-boyfriend had knocked out all of her sense, creating a walking, talking, smiling zombie. Colin couldn’t stand it, and he couldn’t stand the psychiatrist, Dr. Brown, either. She always seemed so cheery and willing to help, but only because she had to. Every time Colin was in the office, he sat on the chair peacefully, denying that anything was wrong at all. It didn’t matter he still had images of his mother getting hit by a man running through his mind, that he had sick and nasty thoughts about Tommy Tannen filtering through his every thought, he just did not want to be at the office at all. He pretended that everything was going great in school and how his neighbor was his best friend and all the kids in school loved him. He explained to the Doctor how he was so happy living with his mother and couldn’t see how life could get any better. He was joyful, like a department store Santa Claus, only putting on a merry act to please everyone else. He just wanted to escape the prison cell of the office. He would do absolutely anything to get out of those meetings, even if it was to deal with his issues on his own. He just could not feel trapped in that room, with the psychiatrist poking at his brain. Eventually, both he and his mother were cleared by Dr. Brown, who believed them both to be extremely happy and not the slightest bit depressed. Colin knew that he had a tough road ahead of him, that nothing would ever get better in his new life. And each day it appeared the Devil sprinkled a little bit more evil onto Tommy, making him more heartless and vicious. The hundreds of memories of each hateful act were stained into Colin’s mind, and no matter how hard he tried to fight it, they would always escape and project themselves. But no matter what, the feeling of being in that office was always much more uncomfortable.

He laid still in his bed, succumbing to the overload of reemerging nightmares. Although he was 15 years old now, the childhood torture stories were still extremely vivid to Colin. At age 10, Tommy spent the mornings waiting for the bus by ripping up every sheet of homework Colin had worked hard on the previous night. From age eleven and on, Tommy created the holiday “Punching Bag Day,” where each Wednesday after school, he would hit Tommy in the arm until it was purple. He almost could not recognize himself in the mirror if he didn’t have a deep purple bruise covering his upper arm—it almost looked like a sleeve super glued to his body. He couldn’t do anything to prevent it, and no one would believe him if he told the truth—Tommy was “too sweet” to do anything like that, so Colin went with the “I’m always cold” excuse and wore long sleeves, even if it was ninety degrees outside. And insanely enough, everyone bought it. On his 12th birthday, Colin was suspended from school for 3 days for “inappropriate behavior,” when Tommy Tannen decided to change the name on his cake to “Colin CoxSucker.” The teachers thought that Colin was trying to make a joke to appear funny to his classmates. They could tell he was an outsider, and it was his attempt to fit in to the typical crowd. How could they be so stupid? He had no reason to fit in with everyone, let alone be so desperate to make friends that he’d make fun of himself and get suspended. Everyone was just flat out stupid—especially Tommy. For eight fucking years the name calling, violence, and mental torture continued, tearing him apart inside. Colin lived in constant fear, of what was to happen next. Would he be forced to deal with another wedgie? Another Chihuahua Shit sandwich? Maybe a slam up against the locker or a classic “CoxSucker” chant echoing throughout the hallway?

It wasn’t even just his mother that was so oblivious to the problem; the teachers in Colin’s school seemed to be in a soundproof bubble with a hazy covering. Tommy was a straight A student, always answering the questions correctly in class, being so polite to any adult. No one could ever expect any horror to come from the great Tommy Tannen! He even walked home from the bus stop with his arm around Colin’s shoulder whenever his mom was around, just so she’d believe their “friendship.” He played in to her own little utopia, where her life with her son was so perfect that nothing could ever go wrong. However, most of his classmates knew the true nature of the monster. It was like a circus every time Tommy even got near Colin—with a horrible audience watching the misfortune of the poor clown getting abused for comic relief. They even egged Tommy on sometimes, begging him to keep the misery going. Praying for another hilarious insult to draw tears from Colin’s eyes. Other students seemed not to care about what was going on, walking right past the ringmaster and the crowd and moving on with their lives. They were used to the typical high school bullying and thought that it was no big deal. But it wasn’t just a regular bully, it was a monster, bent on harassing and abusing a boy who had done nothing wrong.

Colin began to cry in his bed, he wished Tommy would just vanish, or fucking die or anything to just prevent him from making his life miserable. The only escape he had from him was this bed, and this fake sick routine he had been putting on for the past two days. He couldn’t go back to school, at least not this week, not after what Tommy had said.

It had started out like every other day—Tommy tripped Colin into a puddle on the way to the bus stop, poked him the entire ride to school, spit in his sandwich at lunch, and threw him into a locker once or twice in between classes. But at the end of the day, when Tommy came over to throw Colin into his locker again, he quickly shifted to the left, forcing Tommy to crash into the locker. The students around the two boys laughed as Tommy’s baffled face turned to anger. Colin stared at him, shaking, knowing he had just made a horrible mistake. Tommy came so close to him that their noses were almost touching. He was almost five inches taller than him, so the towering figure struck even more fear into Colin’s heart. He smiled, “Just wait till we get off the bus, Coxsucker.”

The whole ride home from school, he was petrified, not knowing what to expect from Tommy. It was the first time Colin had actually seen him look embarrassed and knew it was going to come back to haunt him. The bus slowly pulled up to the stop, and the rush of cold air flew through the open door sending a shiver down his spine. He stood up, slowly taking steps towards the front of the bus like a criminal walking down Death Row. As soon as he took a step off the bus, he felt a hand squeeze the handle of his backpack. As soon as the bus pulled away, he felt the grip tighten and the backpack slide closer to his neck. Tommy threw a hand on his shoulder and tossed Colin into the cold, wet grass. He put a foot on his chest, pressing down so hard he couldn’t say a word.

“I swear to fucking God if you even THINK about showing up to school one more day this week I will fucking ruin your life. Think you can embarrass me like that, Coxsucker. We’ll see about that. I’m bringing a fucking knife with me, and if I see you, it’s going to become very well acquainted with your wrists. I’m going to slice them, tell your mom you’re fucking suicidal and they’ll throw you in a fucking crazy house. Do you fucking hear me?”

Colin attempted to nod, but it looked more like a seizure. Tommy took his foot off his chest and suddenly a rush of air burst through his lungs. He looked up at Tommy, who was gazing into his eyes like Medusa. He brushed his thick hand through the swoop of his dirty blonde hair. He placed another hand on the cleft of his chin, cracking his neck left and right, then rolling his shoulders back to loosen them up a bit. He cocked his foot back and delivered a blow to Colin’s jaw.  The dirt from his boot kicked up in Colin’s face, sprinkling his eyes with pain. He winced in angst and rolled over to his stomach, fearing another foot would crush his skull. Tommy cocked his foot up again and brought it down with extreme force, but stopped at the last second to fake him out. He took a few steps back and turned around. “I wish they still did fucking lobotomies so someone could drive a fucking stake through your head.” He walked off and continued to murmur stuff to himself.

Colin pried himself off the ground and got to his feet, brushing off the grass and dirt. He knew Tommy was being serious, that he would do anything just to see his life get worse, and a mental hospital would sure as hell do the trick. He knew he had to come up with something to keep him out of school for the next couple days and out of Tommy’s wrath. As he was making the long walk of shame home, he came up with the idea of faking sick for the remainder of the week, hoping maybe by Monday Tommy would forget everything that happened and the threats he made.

As soon as Colin walked through the front door, he put on his act, moaning about horrible stomach pains and an awful migraine. He wasn’t sure how his mother could actually believe him, especially with his swollen cheek, but as usual she believed his horrible lies.

“Just go lay down, babe, okay? I’ll bring you some food and Gatorade later, don’t worry about school tomorrow. Just rest! You take off as much time as you need.”

He coughed as he made his ascent up the stairs, “Okay mom,” he coughed again and let out a moan, “I’ll try to sleep.” For the next couple of days after that, he laid in bed, playing on his iPad while his mother was out and exacerbating his conditions every time she was home, putting him in his current situation. Tommy fucking Tannen caused him to lie to his mother constantly, sit in his bed staring at the ceiling thinking of all the horrible things he’s done. He couldn’t fucking do it anymore, he couldn’t just sit here and take it. He could lie around in a fucking bed wasting his days away, scared of some fucking kid his own age with anger issues. He looked at the clock on the nightstand: 2:37AM. He couldn’t believe it. Was he asleep? Or just lying in bed for that long thinking about all the horror Tommy caused him? It didn’t fucking matter. He picked up the clock and threw it across the room. It smashed up against the closet door, all the bits and pieces shattering like his Gameboy.  

“Fuck time. Fuck everything. Fuck Tommy fucking Tannen!” He threw open the drawer of his nightstand, tossing all the Playboys he had on the floor. Underneath where the magazines formerly rested were several crumbled up sheets of paper. Colin violently reached in and put them on his bed, opening each sheet one by one. He now had around 50 pages tossed around the foot of his bed, their edges still bent, but the contents of each paper legible. They all had different pictures of a stick figure Tommy Tannen dying in different ways. Some featured his head severed off by a bear, under a guillotine, some lying helpless under the knife of Colin. Others featured odd torturous devices, tearing off his arms, legs, genitals, anything that could come off of his fucking body. These pencil drawn stick figures were covered in red marker, the blood of the poorly drawn Tommy oozing from each page. Colin was fuming, staring at each page wishing they’d come true. He couldn’t take it, he couldn’t do it anymore. He needed to die, he needed to bleed, he needed to end his life so he was sitting in a fucking grave six feet closer to Hell where he belonged. Colin swept the papers off the bed, tossing them on the floor with the contents of the drawer. The whole room seemed like it was in an earthquake with everything shaking around it. The spoon that was in the soup, which had obviously lost its heat by now, bounced out and fell on the floor, dripping the deep red tomato on his sheets and on the floor. He pictured it was Tommy’s blood, falling onto the carpet—his dream.

He needed to live it.

Colin stood up and straightened out his white t-shirt, putting on the first pair of shorts he could find. He creeped out his door and past his mother’s room, tiptoeing down the stairs and into the kitchen. Each step he took across the cold tile seemed involuntary, like his body and brain worked to predetermine his path—and it was taking him directly to the knife rack. Like a metal detector, his hand had detected the largest knife in the house, a sharp kitchen knife, about 8 inches long and around 4 thick. Colin stared into the beautiful silver blade at his reflection. His brown hair was disheveled, but other than that he looked relatively healthy. Being away from school and Tommy gave him more energy, healed his body of the cuts, scars and bruises he endured. His green eyes seemed almost catlike, glowing and focused, ready to take down prey. He barely recognized this new look—but he liked it. With a smile on his face, he turned around and let his body lead him out the front door.

Silence and darkness shrouded the entire neighborhood, only lighting the path from his front door to Tommy’s house. He followed his route with slow, steady steps, the knife held out in front of his face. When he reached Tommy’s front door, he expected a struggle to open it, but it was left unlocked—an invitation for him to cause terror. This was the first time he was actually in Tommy’s house. Over eight years of pain caused by him and none of it had actually occurred at his place. Red carpeting cloaked the steps in front of him, welcoming him to his greatest desire. He followed up each one, quietly embracing each moment closer to Tommy’s death. As he reached the top of the steps, Tommy’s room seemed brighter than the others, leading Colin in the right direction. He opened up the door and entered the final resting place of Tommy Fucking Tannen.

His room was like a barren wasteland—plain white walls and light tan carpeting. There was nothing really across the tops of the drawers, and no random artifacts thrown into the corners of the room. There was only a twin sized bed on the other side of the room, where Tom was snuggled up with a Baltimore Ravens pillow pet. He looked like a little bitch, 15 years old and still cuddling with a stuffed animal. It made Colin hate him even more—he puts on this whole badass routine with the kids in school, sweet guy routine with parents and teachers, and comes home to fucking snuggle with a stuffed animal. He crept closer to the bed, staring down at his enemy. He looked so innocent to Colin, and it killed him. He knew everything he had done in his life, but here he was, just laying here quietly while the victim of all his torture stand above him, clutching an 8 inch kitchen knife above his face.

Colin reached forward and slipped the pillow pet out from his arms, removing the Velcro from the bottom to make it solely a pillow. He stared down at Tommy again, who wiggled a bit, searching for something else to grab hold of. He pulled his blanket closer to his body and nuzzled his head in its warmth. Colin ducked down a bit, so maybe he’d be able to hide if his eyes were to open. He waited, patiently till it was clear that Tommy was still fast asleep in his own little pussy dream world. He slowly stood up from his crouched position and stared down at Tommy, all those years of torture were about to come to an end. He jumped on top of him and held him down, imprisoning all his limbs. Colin threw the pillow down onto Tommy’s neck, as a shield to prevent any of the blood from splattering. He raised his hand straight up to the ceiling and stared at his blade, his reflection peered back at him, his green eyes still looking vicious and hungry. Everything he wanted in life was about to happen. Colin swung the blade down through the pillow and stabbed Tommy Fucking Tannen right in the throat. The knife felt like it had hit a metal block in his neck, it wasn’t meant for human flesh. He pulled the knife out again and thrust it once again through the pillow and his neck. It wasn’t enough; two stabs could not heal all those years. Colin picked it up again and kept jamming the knife into the same spot till he was sure it poked a whole through the other side of his throat.  Warm blood spewed out of the hole left from the knife, spraying blood down Colin’s shirt. He took a step back off his victim, shaking, but at the same time, smiling. He looked down at his white shirt, admiring his victory stain that spread from his neckline down to the bottom stitching. Blood seeped out of the Raven, holding in most of Tommy’s blood. Colin glared into the knife again, he looked good. He looked like a professional, with blood covering the bottom part of his face. He licked his lips slowly, enjoying the taste of victory. He smiled. It was done. Tommy Fucking Tannen couldn’t haunt him anymore until Colin himself died and went to hell. He turned around and exited the room, walking down the hardwood stairs and out of the house. The wind cheered for him on his walk home, knowing he was heading back victorious.

Colin crawled back into bed and stared at the clock on the nightstand: 2:49. It had only taken him 12 minutes to solve the biggest problem in his life. He couldn’t stop smiling as he pulled his blanket back over him. He shut his eyes.

“Hey Hun,” there was a slight knock on the door.

Colin jolted up, launching the upside down bowl on his chest onto the empty floor. “Hold on, Mom, just a second!”

There was an elongated creaaak, “Are you feeling any bett…” She was in the doorway, staring at him. “Colin? How did you spill your soup?”

“I don’t know, Mom. But I’m feeling much better.”

 

 

 


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