Page 17

We’d traded blow for blow until we were so bloodied and bruised neither of us could see past the slits of our swollen black eyes.

Preppy, some scrawny kid who came along with King, sat on top of a nearby hollowed out log and kept running his fingers along the front creases of his pants, sharpening them. He seemed totally unfazed by the mutual beating taking place just feet away.

In fact, he looked…bored.

“You cunts done yet?” Preppy called out with a sigh¸ letting his shoulders fall. “Ya’ll fight like bitches. When one of you taps out I bet it’s because you gotta go change your fucking tampon.” He shook his head and rolled his eyes.

King had weight on me, but I had speed on my side. For every time he trapped me underneath him, I was quick to maneuver out of his hold and land another blow to his rib cage.

This seemed to go on for hours.

We wailed on each other ferociously, mercilessly. Rolling around on the soft wet ground, I tried to spit the mud out as soon as it entered my mouth so I could catch my breath.

King straightened his arm and punched the heel of his hand against my face, sending my head sailing backward. A rippling pain shot down the bridge of my nose and vibrated against my cheekbones. Blood dripped from my nostrils into the seam of my lips, sending copper flavored warmth into my mouth.

It was the third time my nose had been broken.

A loud shriek tore through the air. King and I both whipped our heads around toward the direction of the sound to see Preppy, who was looking down at his crisp white shirt in absolute horror. His already pale face seemed to get even more pale. “What the fuck?” he screamed, jumping down from the log. He pulled one suspender down to his elbow, revealing the small spec of mud splattered directly above his chest pocket.

I barely registered that King and I had stopped fighting. His hands were still firmly around my neck, my knee was tightly pressed into his stomach. Preppy slowly looked up from the spot on his shirt and back to us. His cheeks reddened, his fists clenched at his sides. Before I could register what the fuck was wrong with the kid he’d launched himself into the air with a yell that could rival the fucking Braveheart call to arms, and landed himself right between King and me, knocking the wind out of my lungs, sending King falling backward into the mud. Preppy then proceeded to come at the both of us with all he had, but since the kid was built of elbows and knees…

It wasn’t much.

“You motherfuckers!” he screamed, his pubescent voice cracked over the vowels as he tried his damnedest to inflict pain on us for dirtying up his clothes.

King and I burst into laughter and after Preppy had given all the fight he had to give he collapsed onto his back and laughed with us. The three of us spent the rest of the day getting high on top of the water tower. That was the night Preppy drew the giant dick on the water tower.

I learned that day that Preppy had been responsible for all the dicks that had been spray painted on stop signs and light poles throughout the town. “I use special paint, too. Shit’s never gonna come off. When I’m long gone my beautiful big black cocks will still be everywhere in this shit town.”

“Oh you like big black cocks?” I asked, nudging him in his bony ribs with my elbow.

“Only my own,” Preppy said, grabbing his dick through his khakis.

King rolled his eyes. “You’re not fucking black, asshole.”

“I am from the waist down, motherfucker, have you seen the size of my fucking cock?” Preppy reached for his belt.

“Preppy, if you pull your fucking cock out again I’m throwing you off the water tower,” King warned.

“It’s your loss.” He shrugged, taking his hand off his belt. He sat back down between me and King and leaned over the railing looking down at the scattered lights below. “We’re gonna own this fucking town.”

Big. Thick. Black.

The Logan’s Beach water tower came into view. The outline of the spray painted dick around the letter L was still visible, even though the city had attempted to cover it up several times with cheap thin paint. The smell of the salty air mixed with sunscreen and fish permeated the air through the open window and with the smell of home came the memory…I hoped to fuck the city never invested in decent paint, because I’d climb the motherfucker in the middle of the night and recreate Preppy’s dick pics all over again.

When I pulled down the long dirt driveway that led up to King’s house, an odd feeling swept over me. It used to feel like home.

Now it was the last place I wanted to be.

A sense of dread lingered inside my chest, growing larger with each roll of the tires propelling me forward.

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