|Everything Was Fine (Until It Was Awful Instead)
Author: Wingrove Owens PM
It's all the same monster that nobody faces. M/MRated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Supernatural - Chapters: 5 - Words: 26,839 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 04-20-13 - Published: 12-15-12 - id: 3083292
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Everything Was Fine (Until It Was Awful Instead)
There is a point at which
meridians are knotted
into nothing and a region
into which meridians fray and intertwine,
but not like mooring lines; they
fray like the leading and trailing edges
of wings, running from nothingness
to muscle and strung from the muscle back again.
Listen: the sounds are the sounds of meridians
trilling, meridians drawn to produce
the illusion of plectrum, tuning pegs and frame…
I met Sam Ellis when we were nine years old. The first time I saw him, he was sitting at the back of the classroom, peeling the metal band off the eraser end of a pencil. My parents had just moved us across the city, and it was first day at Cordova Park Elementary.
I didn't talk to him until my second week at school. Over that week I learned that his name, according to the rest of the class, was Rat Boy, and that talking to him was at best a waste of time. At worst it was a health hazard. The other kids talked about him in hushed voices. The week before I transferred in, the teacher made the mistake of calling him "cute". He had asked to go to the washroom, returned five minutes later with a mouthful of foaming soap, screamed and bitten the teacher on the arm.
I ignored the other kids' warnings. Something in my head told me that he was not as bad as they said.
At recess he played alone in the long jump pit at the far edge of the playing field. At lunch hour I crossed the field to the pit. Ellis was playing with a handful of dirt-caked toy cars. They appeared to be involved in a catastrophic pileup on the road he'd smoothed in the sand. Ellis paused when my shadow fell across the pit. He didn't look up.
"Hi," I said.
Ellis ignored me. His bottom lip stuck out.
"I'm Hugo Pang," I said. "They said your name is Rat Boy. That's not a real name."
The thing in my head was wrong. Ellis was exactly as bad as they said.
"Fuck off," he said.
I didn't. I sat on the rise of grass next to the sand pit and folded my arms over my knees.
"What is your name?" I asked.
"I said fuck off."
I shrugged. "I'm not gonna. If you tell me your name, I promise I won't call you Rat Boy."
Ellis flung aside the car he was holding. He stood and glared at me. I don't think I had ever seen a person look at me with that much rage and hatred. He marched across the sand pit, crushing his sand highway on the way, and reached out to hit me. I hit back harder. At that point he was not much taller than me, and stick-thin all over, while I had been playing sports since I could walk.
We wrestled in the sand. The pit was on the far side of a rise in the grass — the teachers couldn't see us, and no one came to break the fight up. We fought until we were worn out.
I lay at the edge of the pit, sand in my hair and shoes and up my shirt and a small metal dump truck digging into my back. Ellis appeared over me. I thought he was going to kick me in the stomach. He probably considered it. Instead he held his hand out and helped me up.
Ellis told me his name. He shared his cars with me. We played in the sand for the rest of the lunch hour, and every lunch hour that year