I did not want to get out of bed. It was just impossible to do it. My willpower is on empty and my sleep...inexhaustible. Or maybe I have sleep paralysis. Yeah...that should be a good enough excuse...who I am kidding it probably won’t be. I’m just lazy and about 10,000 years of parenting know how to handle laziness. And I know my skin will not like it. Hold on a sec...wow...10,000 years of children getting beaten...and it didn’t change a single thing...well...probably...not 10,000...but I have nothing to base that on....I’m tired anyway...so facts ...do... not……………..
Wait. What is that? That was definitely the door opening. Oh no. wait now my covers are coming off...oh…here we go...
I gotta turn before...no...its too late ...wait, why am I still thinking?
I opened my eyes as my right shoulder was turned, bringing my whole front to face the mattress. My rear flank completely exposed.
“She has no mercy….at least give me a fair fight,” I said under my breath before the belt came flying down to grace me with adrenaline.
“GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!” And pain.
I tried to flee towards the right end of my bed but it only left my rear exposed to another devastating hit to my glutes.
I can’t run like this, I gotta pull the card even if it doesn’t work. “Wait! I...l had sleep paralysis! Couldn’t move to get up even if I wanted to!,” I yelled out desperately, trying to turn the tide.
“How convenient that it happens when you're about to be late for school,” my mother responded calmly, all ready to grab my trash argument and throw it into the dumpster, “And even more convenient that I hear no alarm sounding at all...No, no, I am fairly sure this is only one thing. DECEPTION! ” She then threw back the belt again and then tore across my back.
“For god’s sake,” I cried as I tried to make a retreat, slipping the shoulder grip of my mother. However, she responded to my defiance with more ferocity. All I could feel was many pricks hitting me simultaneously like I was being shotgunned by the belt. Eventually, I had to give in. I collapsed on my knees, only getting about an inch away from my bed. Every sense was just pain: hearing, sight, smell, touch...and somehow taste.
My mother then stepped in front of me, her belt hanging but firm in her hand. “Go on...DO IT...finish what was started,” I said, pulling all my energy to straighten my spine to at least go out right.
My mother just shook her head and slipped the belt through the holes of her pants. “No…you must show mercy to your opponent in retreat.”
“Yeah...and no mercy when in battle.”
“As a parent, I have to. You children are getting too grown and me too frail,” my mother retorted as she finished putting on her belt and then stepped out of view.”So, I must strike before the opportunity is gone. Now, get along.”
A pair of clothes suddenly dropped upon my back while I still felt hollow inside. At-least end the shame..god, what is the purpose of life? Just to be beaten again and again? To just be mercilessly assaulted by those you trust, physically...
“Only a couple minutes until school...and looking at the time there will be no showering for you buddy. But that is ok. You are only there for school, not girls right?...Or maybe boys?”
“Look, if you’re gonna just take my stories out of context all the time then from here on out, I am mute.”
“Awww, honey. I kid. But no more talking. Time for dressing!” My mother said as she stepped out of the room. “15 minutes!”
Alright…gotta aim for the noticeable stuff. I picked up whatever shred of honor and feeling I had and moved over to my desk. Since I got no time to shower, the deodorant has to be caked on. Good, now time to moisten the skin up! I splurged enough lotion to take a dry river to a flowing stream and clapped it on my skin. Done with that so now to handle the hair... with care. I grabbed the products that I needed, looked at my small mirror, and romanced my hair until it was glowing with satisfaction. Then, I cast the products on to my desk, grabbed my clothes, and slipped them on as quickly as I could. I was preparing to go to the bathroom but:
Well, as long as I don’t face someone while talking I should get through the day. I grabbed my backpack and slide all my books, pencils, and papers from my desk into it. Then I sealed it and ran downstairs into the kitchen.
Ok. Ok. Only got time for cereal. I threw open one of the cabinet doors, grabbed a bowl, and then looked at the top of the refrigerator. Alright, what cereal, what cereal?
Frisk em franks...Popo Cuffs...Honey’s not Legalios...we really need to stop buying this police brand cereal. I could then hear the ignition of the car. Screw it, Popo Cuffs has never failed me. I grabbed it and then ripped open the refrigerator and got the milk. With it in hand, I did God’s work by pouring the milk first then the cereal in like a proper, sustainable, human being. I then sanctified that cereal with a sign of the cross, and a dab of holy water from the kitchen table, and I rushed outside with the bowl and spoon in hand.
My mother was already backing up as I opened the door. I noticed it and began to jog but she rolled the car out as fast as she could, conducting a perfect 60 degree turn onto the road and gradually sped out of sight.
“OH NO YOU DON'T,” I screamed, sprinting as my Popo Cuffs were flying and latching onto anything it could get into contact with. Why is she going faster this time! I put all the energy in from my nap and caught up to the car, grabbing the door and jumping inside.
“You’re getting better son. Getting better…,” Mom said as I vacuumed the air in the car, my body contemplating a full shutdown “Next I will increase it to 15 mph. Then, it will be impossible for you to say you can’t do track!”
“I...HUFF...WILL….HEEF...NOT…forgetit,” I spat out deciding it was not worth getting into. I picked up my spoon and dug into the remainder of my Popo Cuffs. It was about as good as a police sponsored cereal brand could be, which was good on the first bite but it had a real bad aftertaste. It did not take me long to finish the small amount that was left so I pulled out the Iron Bars that were still in my backpack from yesterday and filled myself. Once I was done, I whipped my phone out and scrolled through anything that I could possibly find to look at.
As we pulled up, I could already see the exhausted expressions on those who stepped out of the vehicle, their heads drooping and their legs stumbling across the place as they collided with each other, the entrance, and in other cases the floor which they forever remained. Good thing I am already wide awake from this morning…
“I guess I can thank you for keeping my mornings crazy everyday...otherwise I probably wouldn’t make the door,” I said, seeing a hole that seemed to outline a whole student in the ground.
“Well, that was not really the point…,” my mother sighed, “I just hope one day you decide to join the track team and wake up on time consistently.”
“Yeah, I wish for miracles too...” I replied. Eventually, we approached the entrance and Mom stopped the vehicle.
“Either way, have a good day honey and stay out of trouble,” Mom said as I slipped my backpack on and was opening the passenger door.
“Yeah,” I said as I stepped out and closed the door. It was still a little dark out but it was still easy to see the holes and bodies on the floor. I wonder how many times they’ve repaved this...and if they even pulled out the students. Slightly horrified by the potential concrete mummies before my feet, I stepped into the building and saw traffic was already starting to get congested. Some students were on the sides, trying their hardest to be a road blockade while students were colliding with each other either by accident or intentionally by pushing them into an accident that they would have suffered. The teachers and assistant principals were gripping brooms, pointing at students to hurry up while waiting to sweep once the bell rang. I thrusted into the line of traffic after signaling and rode the wave of people right to my locker.
Once I arrived, I saw a student in front of my locker, completely knocked out with notebooks, binders, and things all scattered across him except for one binder that was perfectly opened up like a pyramid and laid on top of their body. It’s pitiful...but oddly beautiful. I looked around and saw some students already taking photos...and someone familiar too. Well, might as well right? I pulled out my phone and quickly snapped one photo, trying to hold it as low and closest to my hip as possible so as to make it seem like I just checked the time. Then, I opened up my backpack, pulled out a bag of Duffs and shook it as close to his ear as possible. It didn't take long for him to lift his head and ask:
“Can I...have some.” Still sounds like he wants to fall asleep again.
“If you can clear your items out, I’ll give you some once I put my things in. Alright?”
He then looked around and his eyes were wide open at that moment, “Sure! Sure! Uhh...yeah, let me just…” As soon as he moved, the work of art fell and all those groaned and decided to rejoin the flow of traffic. Finally, the path was clear. I went up to my second home, rolled the lock and snapped it off. Then, I opened the door and took a quick look in the mirror. I guess I look ok...let me just grab this and just fix up my hair a little. Also, let me just rub a little deodorant since I ran pretty hard. After I cleaned myself up, I then opened up my backpack and realized the horror of what I did.
Pencils, binders, and notebooks all crammed into one space.
“Oh….oh,” I groaned while fishing out some broken pencils, unnecessary binders, and folded notebooks. Once that chore was done, I looked up and saw the guy with his hand out.
“Alright, here,” I said, popping open the bag of Duffs. The pop sound was so loud that many in the vicinity turned their head towards the sound and some began to move towards me. Luckily, those who were greedy just collided with another student and caused a pile-up. I dropped 3 pieces into the boy’s hand. He lit up and dropped all of it into his mouth, nodding at me and walking into the line.
Now then, let's get going. I turned and stared into the line again with all my books. An opening showed and with that moment I rushed into it, narrowly getting hit by someone balancing 12 books.
Luckily, it didn't take me long to get to Biology, getting in and seeing a few students with heads already phasing through their desks. In the back, Leon had his headphones in, hoodie over his head, staring off into the windows.
I swear, if he is listening to some rock band right now, he'll complete the full look.
“Hey,” I said as I walked up to him.
Leon nodded and then slipped his headphones onto his neck. Once he took them off, all I could hear was the strongest coughing fit that I possibly heard in my life before he tapped his phone and it stopped.
“What are you listening to,” I asked grabbing a seat and sitting down, “It sounds like someone is having an asthma attack.”
“Actually, I think this is him when he got tuberculosis in Belarus,” Leon said looking in different directions as if there were more possibilities than that.
“Oh...yeah, yeah...so I know this will sound crazy but you remember Lil Biggie Mern?” And oh I wish I could forget.
“Yeah, and I told you to stop listening to him before you get excommunicated,” I responded, my forehead already cracking under the mention of his name.
“Yeah...well he put out another single and people were talking about it, saying it was the most experimental shit they had ever heard. I was not shocked since Lil Biggie Mern always been experimental, addressing topics like illiteracy, alcoholism, and sexual harassment.”
“Yeah...with him doing those things and bragging about it,” I said. “Just...tell me how he’s brought further shame to humanity.”
“More like honor. So like I said he put out an album that was real experimental. And if I were to say something...it’s just..I can’t. No words can get down what it is and what it makes you feel. It’s as though he has gotten down to a new way of making you FEEL music. Like I can FEEL my ears. Like this song I’m listening to right now , and you’ll...uh...you’ll probably not like it.” Oh god...my head. I just threw my hand out to get him to continue.
“But it’s good. It’s...um...literally a beat off his coughing and snorting and...he raps over it.” Leon had paused before emphasizing the last portion, probably to make it sound better but it was hopeless. How could it have come to this? Years of advancements in technology, overcoming social boundaries, physical boundaries, mental boundaries to go back this far? Was humanity doomed from the beginning? Are the old people right this time?
I grasped my forehead as the tension in my started to really take a toll. A blood vessel was ready to give. “I just…”
“Right!? I thought the same but then I listened to it more…,” I could feel Leon grasp my hoodie but slowly all my mind was focused on was the skin on my forehead being strangled,”... and it actually touched me man. And I don't know what to do! Should I ask him on a date? Should I dedicate my life to him? Alright, alright, I see your face and just know I'm joking. But, I'm serious when I say it’s almost like your experiencing his life in his world view,” Leon finished as I could feel him push his headphones into my hand. “Just listen...you’ll see.”
Sadly, my hands were already stuck to my face so Leon decided to be a bro and stick the headphones right over my ears as I still tried to prevent my forehead from collapsing into my head.
First, there was silence. Then, you could hear someone hitting a lighter and a crackling emanating in my ears.
Ok...sound is oddly good. Almost like I’m the one trying to smoke. But..that is also not what I really want when I'm about to hear someone cough out their lung.
Then, someone took a deep intake of air...or smoke. Wow. Really can hear it enter the lungs.
“HUGH CLEUGH HUGH HUGH….HUGH...HUGH….dang man...eeufff…,” Oh god. Is this his first time? And why is it so clear, like it feels as though he is coughing straight into my ears. I feel extremely tense now.
Suddenly, someone started speaking to my right ear. “Nah man, nah, you definitely ain’t ready yet and I don’t need you wasting this.” Then, there was a bit of a rustle of clothes like there was a scuffle. “Back off man...I ain't done with it, ... I SAID I AIN’T DONE WITH IT!.”
“*BOOM*” Wait what? My hand suddenly clasped the headphones as I jumped in my seat. Did he just really...
Then, the beat...dropped?,”HUGH CLEUGH,HUGH CLEUGH,HEUGH CLEUGH.Yo I know wasn’t ready for the Jane but my brother had to go insane..HUGH CLEUGH...so I popped...HUGH CLEUGH...while I coughed...HEUGHH CLEUGH...On that motherfucker and he dropped…”
At first I was in utter shock by what I was hearing. Not only was the coughing very disorienting since that was the only thing making the beat in the background, but the fact that he was trying to rap to it started pushing me to the brink. However. Slowly my brain was following along and found what he was trying to do with it. And I hated how it did. The crispness of the phlegm exiting his mouth and power emanating from each cough really helped give a clear beat that was just different from what I had ever heard...and it was good. Eventually, against all of my wishes, I started nodding my head and just couldn’t deny that the beat was heat.
Suddenly, it stopped and I turned to Leon whose eyes were closed, nodding his head.
“You see? I mean...you need to ask yourself what rapper you listen to right now who can make a beat off of coughing. And I know its nada, zilch, zippo....”
He was right...I couldn’t name one rapper that could make a beat work with...coughing.”...rix..” This cannot be.”...nien...” He cannot be right about Lil Biggie Mern.”... ummm..nihil?…." I grasped the sides of my head, feeling like my sanity was slipping from me. Slowly, I could feel the darkness weighing upon me, dragging me in a shroud that began fusing to my skin...almost as though it would not…
What?!!?? Suddenly, I lifted my eyes up to see where that voice came from and I could see I was...in a warehouse? How did I even get….
Then, my eyes caught a computer, table, and chair which had some dark figure behind it. All I could hear was rapid clacking, probably from the keyboard before...
Character #1, YOU HAVE GONE WAAAAYYYY OF COURSE!