“Sorry ain’t nothin’ if it don’t bring change.” Aunt Sue’s words echoed through her head like an India rubber ball. Janey’s temples throbbed. Looking in the mirror last night, she actually gasped. She looked like a light bulb—both temples bulged out, bruised. Now, a quarter bottle of Aunt Sue’s foundation covered the bruising, not the sideshow freak shape. It almost made Janey laugh, but almost doesn’t really count.
He hit her before, but last night’s rage was different. Randy vanished from his own eyes. *poof!* Something else was in him, hitting on her. It wasn’t Randy. A beast invaded him and pummeled Janey into that crumpled sobbing mass. She felt bad for him later, when he held her, apologizing. His fingers traced her face. “I’m sorry, baby,” he whispered hot in her ear, “I promise this is the last time, I promise. I’m sorry, baby. I love you.” He nuzzled his face in Janey’s hair, and she promised herself this would be the last time, too.
Janey sat down with a pencil and wrote:
Randy’s soul is a cold hard stone
in kindergarten he stabbed Rachel Lyn with a pencil
in first grade he poured sour milk down Sammy Sanderson’s throat
in second grade he punched the janitor in the stomach
in third grade he nuked grasshoppers in Mrs. Nelson’s microwave at recess
in fourth grade he threw a table across the room
in fifth grade he gave antifreeze to the class ferret
in sixth grade he set fire to his Aunt Lou’s cat
in seventh grade he stabbed 3 peers with straight pins in the school cafeteria
in eighth grade he beat his pregnant girlfriend nearly dead
Randy’s heart is a cold hard stone
Will he ever really change?
Janey titled her poem.
The prompt for Writer's Island this morning was change.
A shout out to Stan Ski at Elephant Small who posed the questions... "Do we really need to change…? Or just find out who we really are…?" While I like the idea of there being a pond of reflection and kindness at the core of human beings, the sociopath sprung to mind. This piece is a rather dark response to Stan's questions, but it rose from my school year. (These kids are too young to be dealing with this kind of garbage, darn it.)