Alone Together; A Tuneful Tale Chapter 3: The Sound of Silence

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Alone Together; a Tuneful tale.

Chapter 3: The Sound of Silence

The summer had been horrible for Rick. He was even more depressed and frustrated than ever. His mother was a nurse, and earned decent money but his father’s falling off the wagon had put a massive strain on the mother-son relationship. Karen was totally pissed off at Frank and that disgust overflowed to Rick. She shut down every and any habits and actions that would be considered masculine. When she discovered evidence of his male puberty maturation she went nuts. The next day, a month before the end of the school year, she gave him an injection, followed by another every week.

Rick felt as if he were walking on eggshells all the time and made sure not to do anything to antagonize her burgeoning misandry but never succeeded. Finally he worked up the nerve to ask, “Mom, what are these injections?”

Karen glared at him clearly deliberating about what to say. “It’s a drug called Androcur. It shuts down testosterone production and stops male puberty. By the end of July your precious manhood will be only be useable as a tube to urinate. I’m making sure you don’t grow up to be a redneck bastard like your useless father! And if you don’t straighten out, I’ll start giving you injections of estrogen so you’ll start a girl’s puberty!”

Rick was horrified! His mom was clearly crazy! Yet he had no choice but to try to appease her. While he most certainly didn’t want to grow up to be like his dad, he did want to be a man. But now? His world and sanity crumbled even further. Disturbed’s video of "Inside the Fire” became his mantra as he began seriously thinking of taking his life.

Rick knew his dad would be no help. His father now lived in a rundown mobile home, in a cheap trailer park, steadily descending into being a prime example of trailer park trash. Even worse was that every other weekend, Rick had to visit. That Rick wanted nothing to do with sports ate at the man. Instead he took Rick to the gun range. Rick enjoyed the target shooting and became quite proficient with a 9mm Ruger and an AR15. Yet each night the man in his life drank himself to sleep, constantly bitching about his soon to be ex and his disappointing worthless son.

In mid-July Karen added a second injection, estrogen, to the weekly Androcur injection. Rick broke down in tears. “Why Mom, why? You know I don’t want to grow up to be anything like dad! I’ve been doing my best to behave the way you want me to.”

“I know you’re doing your best to not be like your father,” Karen answered gently to sooth her child. “Unfortunately your best is not enough. That’s why I began giving you the Androcur. You do have to admit your masculine actions and crude behavior has decreased since I’ve been giving you the Androcur. The improvement you’ve made in curbing your boyish behavior thanks to the androcur is impressive, but it’s not enough. I think you’ve gone as far as you can under that regimen. The estrogen will enable you to shed the last of your horrid toxic masculinity.”

Rick realized if he protested that, unlike his dad, he wanted to be a good man, his mom would point to that as an example of his still lingering toxic masculinity. “But won’t that start turning me into a girl?”

“Not right away,” Karen responded. “It’ll effect the way you think before it starts seriously changing your body. I promise I’ll stop the estrogen injections when your toxic masculinity has been vanquished.”

Rick knew he was lost. She would continue giving him the estrogen until it turned him into a girl. Even worse was that if he told his dad what his mom was doing, it would send him over the edge and he’d probably kill him and his mom. If he went to the police, they’d arrest his mom and he’d be forced to live with his dad. He barely managed to survive his twice monthly weekends. The best he could hope for was going into foster care which was something he wanted to avoid. It was truly tragic that his best option was to put up with the injections and hope for the best.

<*> <*> <*>

Devon always did her chores without being told and pitched in on other tasks if asked. The always intense dour ‘lad’ voluntarily took over more of ‘his’ personal upkeep over the summer. He asked his mother to show him how to do his own laundry. Linda was quite surprised by his solemn request but eagerly taught him. Then she inadvertently added to his family disassociation by pointing out Earl’s willingness to take over the task which upset his brothers as they were then expected to do their laundry. Devon also asked if she could learn to prepare meals. By summer’s end she could prepare modest but tasty and nourishing meals, again to the dismay of her brothers. Twice a week she prepared a meal for the family. Frank didn’t like the fact Earl was asking to learn these tasks as he thought they were women’s work. Linda very quickly disabused him of that notion.

When indoors Devon spent the vast majority of her time in her bedroom eyrie only emerging to go outside to run or to perform a specific household task. During meals Earl sat down to eat with the family but it was extremely rare when he interacted with the family. The normal family conversations at the supper table were accomplished with his glum presence but not his participation. If someone spoke to him he would respond but seldom added to the conversation. When the older brothers had friends over, Devon always avoided them. It was quite a rarity if he joined in their play and even then they had to practically beg him. Earl was with the family but no longer an integrated part of the family. However since Earl’s persona was an utter falsehood such a weak relationship seemed appropriate. Earl would never be a real part of the family, only Devon could accomplish that.

The middle school was not thrilled to have Earl. They knew having a six year old in the fifth grade would be a major headache. After much discussion between the head teacher of each grade, the librarian, guidance councilor, assistant principal and principal agreed that Earl could work at his own pace in the middle school library covering the syllabi for each grade at his own speed much as he had done the previous year. A single desk was set up for him in the reference section of the library. By this time Earl's hair was six inches long and he wore it pulled back into a low ponytail.

<*> <*> <*>

By the time school started the estrogen was effecting Rick's body. His nipples enlarged and were super sensitive. He had to wear an oversize shirt to disguise the all to girlish development. If anyone discovered his chest nubbins, he’d be teased and harassed to no end. There was no doubt in his mind that he'd be hassled for being two years behind as well as being ostracized for being injured by Earl. As he walked into school that first day he feared he was heading into hell.

Any lingering hopes Rick had for avoiding being ostracized in middle school crashed on the first day. The incoming fifth graders from the elementary school he’d left informed their classmates that Rick was a pariah. His age-mates, those he started with in kindergarten, were in the seventh grade. The sixth and seventh graders from his elementary school also spread the word about the kid who’d flunked two years. The whispering and finger pointing was followed by pointed insults and snarky comments. Rick knew if he in any way reacted to the verbal onslaught, he’d most likely get in trouble with the school. If that happened his mom would go nuts about his toxic masculinity. She’d probably pull him from the school and enroll him in a private girl’s school. However much he attempted to form a thick skin it was not impervious and the bullying steadily ate it’s way into his battered soul.

The first day during lunch the middle school students wondered what the scrawny little kid was doing in cafeteria. Earl could barely see the selections available as he went through the cafeteria line. Word quickly spread from the fifth grade class that the weird kid was a genius who skipped kindergarten then completed the courses for grades one through four with straight ‘A’s in one year. With Jeff identified as his brother, the news Earl was doing self study in the library spread.

When Earl exited the cafeteria line with his tray he looked about for a safe place to sit. He spotted Rick sitting by himself over in the loser’s corner. That’s where he headed, sliding his tray on the table across from Rick. “Looks like no one likes you,” Devon stated as she sat.

“No one likes you either,” Rick replied. “I guess we can be alone together.”

Devon just nodded.

The first phys-ed class for the fifth grade was a get acquainted and lockerroom rules session. Rick and Earl and both stuck out from the rest of the class. Rick towered over them while they towered over Earl. The coach was wondering how he could handle the duo when during the Q&A Earl raised his hand. “Yes, Earl?”

“I don’t do sports,” Earl stated firmly while glaring at the coach.

While the coach would normally chew up and spit out any student who said something like that, he realized Earl meant exactly what he said. He also realized the other students were intently watching. “Earl, if you don’t play sports, what would you do?”

“Parkour, I’ll run and do parkour,” Earl answered with such conviction the coach was taken back. “I’ll do parkour for the entire class period, non-stop and at speed.”

The fifth graders from the elementary school began chuckling.

“What’s so funny,” the coach asked them.

The boys looked sheepish and all turned to Jeff.

Jeff sighed. “Earl is my little brother, sir. You don’t want him playing sports. I know he doesn’t look it, but he gets like the Tasmanian Devil when he’s forced to play sports. He goes all out, doesn’t care if he gets hurt and doesn’t care if he hurts someone else. The more he gets hurt, the tougher he becomes. If he gets a bloody nose he laps up the blood and goes berserk. Last year during every recess he just ran nonstop and at top speed around the playground doing parkour.”

The coach was more than a little skeptical but saw the head bobbing of the boys who’d chuckled. “Sports is designed to teach you how to control yourself.”

“Earl is far from normal, sir,” Jeff replied. “He’s angry all the time. It’s been almost three years since he’s smiled or laughed. Believe me, you don’t want to set him off. Just ask Rick.”

The boys who chuckled earlier chuckled again and looked toward Rick.

The coach realized something big had to have happened. “Rick, would care to enlighten me?”

“No sir,” Rick sadly declared. “But I’ll tell you anyway. Each recess Earl would do his parkour. Since I had to repeat second and third grades I was older and bigger than the rest of the fourth graders. I stupidly used my size and strength to bully others. Everyone did what I wanted so I didn’t bully them, but Earl avoided me. I figured I had to teach him his place so I got a bunch of other boys to form a line to funnel Earl past me. Just before he reached me I stepped in front him and braced myself. The next thing I knew the principal and nurse were kneeling beside me.”

The coach frowned. “Earl, what did you do to him?”

“I ran over him,” Earl answered. “He stepped in front of me so quick I couldn’t stop or avoid him so I did a parkour run right up him and did a back flip to my feet and kept running.”

“All I know is I ended up in the hospital overnight with a concussion, two black eyes, a broken nose and a very sore groin,” Rick stated as several boys chuckled and all looked at Earl.

The coach looked at Earl with new eyes. “So you’re good at parkour?”

“I’m okay,” Earl shrugged. “I guess you need to see to believe.” Earl took off like a scalded cat, straight across the gym to the block wall where he ran ten feet up the wall doing a back flip with 180° twist to land on his feet facing away from the wall, sprinted across the gym to the opposite block wall where he ran ten feet up doing another back flip and 180° twist then ran back to where he started.

The kids who didn’t know Earl stood there with mouths agape as did the coach. “Okay”, the coach said. “Do you take lessons?”

“No sir,” Earl said. “I saw parkour videos on YouTube and tried it.”

“Well I must admit that was impressive,” the coach said then looked to Jeff. “Can you do that?”

“No sir,” Jeff declared. “But Rick can.”

All eyes turned to Rick who blushed. Looking to Earl he saw the small boy give a quick nod. Rick took off and repeated Earl’s moves. They weren’t quite as smooth but were very functional. The class looked at Rick with wonder. “Like Earl, I don’t do sports either,” Rick vehemently declared.

The coach just sighed. It was going to be a long year.

The class time was ending so the coach reminded the class to get their gym kits together for the next class. He told Earl and Rick he’d need to do some research as far as excusing him from sports.

The coach checked Earl and Rick’s school records. Earl was a genius and Rick had indeed failed two years, but earned ‘A’s the second time through and last year had been straight ‘A's. His family life was horrendous. Then he spoke with the guidance councilor and assistant principal. They all agreed Earl and Rick were special needs children and that having either boy play sports with the other kids was a bad idea. They decided that for non-sports phys-ed activities the duo would join their classmates, but during sports they could run parkour.

Over the next few weeks things settled into a routine. Earl did his studying in the Library, only coming out for lunch and phys-ed. Rick moved from class to class with his classmates. In every class the kids shunned him. During phys-ed they were shunned, teaming up Mutt and Jeff style. Almost every day Rick had his books knocked from his hands and kicked down the halls during class changes. Both were subject to a lot of hateful verbal sniping. The worst comments were that Earl, with his long hair, was Rick's ‘girlfriend'. While both boys took strength from the other, the abuse was steadily grinding them down.

Despite the duo being alone together, they seldom spoke, at most three to four words in a week. At lunch they sat opposite each other at the same table, isolated outcasts. Earl brought his notebook and Rick his smart phone. They brought a splitter so they could each plug their headphones into the same device. They shared YouTube videos they found that spoke to them and fit their moods. One video in particular brought them to silent tears. It spoke of their frustration and anguish about becoming the person they felt themselves to be in their heart and soul, no one listened to them.

{The Sound of Silence <*> written by Paul Simon, performed by Disturbed <*> of Silenceg-g7t2l4 (479,445,029 views at time of story) }

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain,
Still remains, Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night, And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared, disturb the sound of silence
"Fools," said I, "You do not know
Silence, like a cancer, grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells, of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls"
And whispered in the sound of silence

Each day they silently communed watching and re-watching the video. They sensed that although their circumstances differed, they were both having gender identity issues. They silently commiserated in their joint wretchedness.

The school staff kept a close eye on the two boys. They noted they rarely spoke yet seemed drawn together in their morose agony. Neither even bothered to attempt to make friends, even with each other. They remained silent unless someone spoke to them first. They did their assignments and both were earning straight ‘A’s. At the same time it was plain to see both were profoundly sad. The guidance councilor had them in for weekly sessions but she made no headway in discovering the source of their gloominess.

As soon as she arrived home from school Devon put her things in her attic bedroom then headed into the back yard, rain or shine, spending an hour doing parkour. When she came inside she showered then, unless she had a task to perform, went to her attic bedroom to read or ply the internet. Jeff and Zach would come to him for help if they became stuck on an assignment and he'd help them but they otherwise ignored Earl just as he did them.

<*> <*> <*>

Rick’s home life continued to deteriorate. At the end of September Karen replaced his underwear with the female versions as well as his pajamas. Rick broke down in tears as he donned the silky panties and camisoles when his normal jockey and T-shirts disappeared from his drawers. Much to his chagrin and confusion he had to admit the sleek nylon undies were comfortable and felt nice. It was even more disheartening to realize the camisoles helped relieve the itching from his gently budding breasts. It was even more disheartening when Karen gave him a tube of estrogen creme to massage into his budding breasts to relieve the itch and tenderness.

The forlorn lad knew better than to protest about the changes. He made sure the clothes he wore hid the delicate lace trim on the panties and camisoles ans well as the gentle swelling on his chest. His main concern was in phys-ed. Fortunately he and Earl were the only one’s assigned to the locker block to change into and out of their gym gear. Both lads studiously avoided looking at the other so Rick felt at least a little safe from discovery.

By the end of October Rick’s pert budding breasts were tenting the front of his despised camisoles. He started wearing two camisoles to help compress and conceal his unwanted and detested feminine charms. He also wore a sweater to add another layer of concealment. When he appealed to his mother she insisted she see what he wished to hide.

“Well, you are coming along nicely,” Karen happily complimented him. “I’ll have to take you to be fitted for training bras!”

“But mom, I can’t wear bras,” Rick declared as he fought back tears. Seeing her face cloud he quickly added, “At least to school. They’ll ask questions and I’ll be harassed to no end!”

“Well, you do have a point,” Karen sighed. “Well, for now you will just wear your bras when you’re not at school.”

Then she eyed him up and down for a few moments. Rick felt his skin crawl.

“Since your hair is down to your shoulders it’s long enough to take a short feminine cut,” Karen finally said. Next weekend we’ll go to a salon to trim your hair into a feminine unisex style, thin your eyebrows and pierce your ears. We’ll shop for skirts, dresses and shoes you can wear about the house to get you accustomed to wearing them. I’ll start looking into enrolling you at Saint Margaret’s Parochial School after the Christmas break. You’ll look so cute in their pleated skirts!”

Rick shivered and tears rolled down his cheeks. “But we can’t do that,” Rick exclaimed in horror. I’ll look stupid in a girl’s uniform... everyone will know I’m a boy! Besides, what about dad? He’ll flip out if he sees me like that!”

“Let me worry about your dad,” Karen declared with malicious intent. “The estrogen has already softened you and is replacing those hard boyish edges with feminine curves. Once I get you into dresses after school, you’ll learn how to handle skirts. By Christmas you should be able to easily make the transition into girlhood. And don’t you DARE say you don’t want to be a pretty girl! Once you start living as a girl you’ll quickly learn to love being sweet and girlish.”

Karen softly muttered to herself as she turned away. “I’d better make arrangements to have him castrated. If we do it right after school on the day before Thanksgiving he’ll be healed enough to return to school after the holiday. I’d better get an excuse for phys-ed too.”

Rick was horrified upon hearing her whispered words that were most certainly not intended for his ears. Quickly he fled to his room where he simply broke down in tears. His worst nightmares were about to come true and he was helpless to prevent her from doing to him what she wanted. Needless to say Rick was down in the utter depths of depression and hopelessness. The forlorn soon to be girl took what solace he could watching and re-watching Disturb’s version of ‘The Sound of Silence’ video.

That weekend Rick spent with his father. The forlorn lad didn’t think his life could get worse, but he was wrong. Frank had been fired from his job for being drunk on the job. When he picked Rick up Friday after school he was already three sheets to the wind. The cursing and insults began even before he was seated in the truck. They stopped to pick up several cases of beer on the way to the trailer. Once they were inside the trailer Frank really tore into Rick for turning out to be such a freaking wuss. Slurred words quickly escalated into blows.

Rick managed to flee to his room but by then he was bloodied and bruised. Frank was too drunk to pursue but continued his profane diatribe until he passed out. The hopelessness and frustration of what his mother was doing to him combined with the physical and verbal abuse from his dad crushed his soul. Rick cleaned himself, then cried himself to sleep.

Awakening in the morning, stiff from the bruises, Rick used the filthy urine splattered bathroom. As he exited into the narrow hall he saw his dad stagger to the kitchen, pull a can of beer out of the refrigerator, snap the top and take a long guzzle. Instantly he knew it was going to be a rough day.

“What the hell are you looking at you worthless piece of shit,” Frank roared.

“Nothing,” Rick answered as he ducked into his room.

Seconds later the door was kicked in as Frank angrily grabbed Rick by the throat and dragged him from the room, then lifted him off the floor by the shirt before slamming him from wall to wall while cursing up a storm. Rick’s head was ringing and his vision blurred when he felt himself being flung down the hall to slam through the closed door of his father’s bedroom splintering the door jamb in the process. Rick landed on his ass just inside the master bedroom as he tried to clear his much rattled head.

Frank cursed even more. “You are the most worthless excuse for manhood I’ve ever seen,” Frank bellowed. “The best part of you had to have trickled down your witchy mother’s legs! I’m ashamed to even accept that you came from my loins! Yeah, that’s probably it! Your worthless ass isn’t from my loins! No son of mine could be so damn unworthy.” With that he began stalking towards Rick with malicious intent in his bloodshot eyes.

Rick scrambled to his feet and scurried around the bed. As he looked about in near panic for an escape, he saw the 9mm Ruger on the night stand. A spark of hope flared. Without hesitation he grabbed the gun and flipped the safety off then pointed it at his dad.

“You slimy son-of-a-bitch,” Frank bellowed as he saw the shaking pistol in Rick’s hands pointed at him. “You don’t have the fucking guts to use that thing! Now I’m really going to fix your pansy ass!” With that he stalked around the bed towards the clearly terrified Rick.

The utter hatred in Frank’s eyes chilled Rick to his very core. He wasn’t even aware of pulling the trigger. The first shot slammed into Franks shoulder. A large red spot began to grow from the hole in his dirty T-shirt but it barely slowed the big man down. The pounding of Rick’s blood in his ears muffled the loud retort. Rick continued pulling the trigger as fast as he could. A few missed but most slammed home in Frank’s torso, growing red circles appearing almost as if by magic. It was only when the pistol was empty that Rick’s blinding terror began to ebb.

Frank didn’t even realize he was dead as his body staggered under the multiple impacts. As he slowly crumbled to the floor his look of murderous anger morphed to one of surprise as he realized he was dead and that the damn sissy had killed him! Once on the floor his body twitched a few times then lay still. Blood flowed freely through the newly installed drain holes in Frank’s body, staining the already filth carpet.

Rick stood there staring in utter shock at the spreading blood, peripherally noting the smoking barrel of the empty pistol. After a few moments he returned to reality. His body shivered as he realized what he’d done. Killing his dad was utterly horrific, yet at the same time bizarrely liberating. Sitting on the bed he numbly released the empty magazine and inserted the spare still on the night stand. Taking the empty magazine he rolled across the bed to the opposite side. Going to the closet he pulled out the ammo box and reloaded the magazine. Then he headed into the kitchen to get something to eat.

Eating stale Wheaties with water was not satisfying but that was all to be had. The refrigerator was stuffed full of beer. Looking from the table down the hall he could see his dad’s feet. For nearly an hour he just sat there as his thoughts and emotions ran roughshod. Disturb’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ kept playing through his nearly shattered mind. Then a bizarre calm settled on him. Killing his dad made him a murderer but rid him of one of the banes of his life. Why couldn’t he do the same with his horrid mother? Then he’d kill himself! Of course he’d have to write out a confession listing all his reasons for the heinous acts. Then a wicked smile came to his face. Once he killed his mom, he could go to school and kill those who were tormenting him! Instead of killing himself he would let the cops do it! Rick didn’t realize he’d stepped across the boundary of sanity. The plan sounde quite logical to his befuddled mind.

Going back to the master bedroom he pulled the weapons and ammo his dad had stored in the closet. There was a second 9mm Ruger pistol with five extra magazines and five boxes of ammo; a pump shotgun with three boxes of ammo; and the AR15 with four magazines and five boxes of ammo. The shotgun was too big to carry and conceal. The AR15 had a collapsible stock which would fit into his gym bag.

Dumping the contents of his weekend carry bag he laid the AR15 in the bottom. He slipped the magazines inside a T-shirt, folded it up and placed that on top. Then he did the same with the 9mm Rugers and magazines. He added a box of 9mm ammo to reload the magazine after he killed his mother. Then he packed what clothes he could fit inside to camouflage and muffle the weapons.

Then he turned on lights and the TV like his dad often did. The neighbors weren’t nosey and were used to the oft drunk man passing out in the living room with the lights and TV on all night. Next he sat and wrote out a full confession of his actions and the details of his unbearable situation. As he wrote he decided to not kill his mom but to let her horrible devious actions to transform him into a girl be known so she would be blamed for his actions and go to jail. The note explained how she was abusing him intending to turn him into a girl would result in an autopsy and she'd be arrested for child abuse! Then she'd have to live the rest of her life knowing that SHE had killed him. After taking what little cash he could find he called an Uber to take him home, walking down to the main road to wait for the ride by the mailboxes

Rick shivered as he rode home cradling the bag on his lap. Once home he paid the driver then headed into the empty house. Karen worked on the Saturdays he was at his dad’s so she wouldn’t know he was home. The emotions that roiled his psyche exhausted him so he laid down for a nap.

By the time he awoke his mother was home. He thought about going down and just shooting her but the edge of his insanity had eroded. After a bit of quiet thinking he hid his overnight bag. He’d still go to school and shoot the place up but that meant cooperating with his witchy mother for the rest of the weekend.

When Earl appeared downstairs he surprised her, quickly apologizing. Then he explained his dad had been drunk and beat him up for being a wuss. The bruising was plain to see and Karen wanted to call the cops on Frank. Karen wasn’t even aware her timid changeling was playing her

“Mom, please just let it go”, Rick asked her. “If you press charges that would mean I’d need a physical to prove Dad abused me. The doctors would see the changes to my body. You know he’ll plead not guilty to the charges which would mean a trial, which would take months. By then I’ll be too girly to show up as Rick which would expose what you’ve done to me.”

Karen realized Rick was right but she wondered what kind of game he was playing. Or maybe Frank was playing the games trying to set her up. “You make valid points. I’d like to know why are you suddenly so in favor of becoming a girl?”

“I’m not in favor of becoming a girl,” Rick answered guiltily. “It's just my best option. If the authorities find out what you're doing to me you'd go to jail. That means I’d default to dad’s care. There is no way I want to live with him. He’s just a self centered redneck jerk. If the courts decide he’s unfit to care for me, I’ll wind up in foster care. I don’t like any of the options, but becoming a girl and staying with you is the lessor of evils.”

Karen was not happy that Rick thought his becoming a girl was the lessor of three evils but realized he was simply being honest with his feelings. The best part was that he saw being feminized as the best option which meant she was winning the battle. She decided not to report Frank’s abuse of Rick because as Rick pointed out, it could reveal what she was doing to him. She also decided not to call Frank in case this was a set up. Besides, with Rick home she could take him shopping for his girl clothes tomorrow!

Sunday Rick reluctantly accompanied his mother as they headed out of town to shop. She had brushed his hair creating a center part and pulling each side into a short perky ponytail which left him looking decidedly feminine. His insides quivered as she sat in the SUV while they drove 30 miles to a shopping center outside their area. He forced himself to calm down.

The first stop was a hair salon where his hair was trimmed in a unisex style with bangs across his forehead with the sides and back evenly trimmed to gently brush his shoulders. It took everything he had to keep from crying at how girlish the bangs and the bit of trimming made his appearance. While he was trying to assimilate that change he found himself in a chair having his ears pierced with gold studs. Then came being fitted for his training bra. The clerk was quite efficient and accustomed to dealing with tomboys. Rikki, as his mom used his new name, sank into a mind numbing fugue as he tried on skirts, blouses, dresses and shoes. Thankfully the only thing she made him wear out of the stores was one of his new training bras. Much to his embarrassment, he realized the training bra did intend eliminate much of the discomfort of his budding breasts.

Karen knew Rick was not a happy camper but he meekly allowed himself to be feminized. She knew she’d have to be firm over the next few weeks to insure his cooperation in his feminine transformation.

Rick cried himself to sleep wearing his new lacy babydoll nightie.

Monday, Rick brought his weapons cache to school in his gym bag, stuffing it in his locker. His unisex hairstyle drew a lot of nasty comments and accusations of being a faggot. While going from class to class the eighth grade boys went out of their way to body check him into the locker lined walls or to knock his books from his hands laughing and insulting him as he scurried to gather the books. As usual the teachers and hall monitors ignored the bullying.

By lunch Rick was ready to annihilate the entire school. Instead of getting into the lunch line he returned to his locker placing his books inside while taking out the gym bag. Then he dialed the local TV station.

“I’d like to report a shooting at Wilson Woodrow Middle School,” he declared as he walked down the empty halls. “I’m streaming video so you can put it on the news. Enjoy the show.”

With the camera panning the lunchroom he headed inside.

As Devon went through the lunch line, she looked for Rick. Several guys tried to trip her or give her a flat tire** but thanks to her parkour she was able to remain on her feet without spilling anything. Sitting at the table by herself she began to eat while wondering if Rick was ill. The duo seldom spoke. Most of their interaction consisted of doing parkour in phys-ed and sharing YouTube videos during lunch. They were bullied every day which the staff totally ignored. Each was a loner, but they were alone together.

Devon felt a bit better when she saw Rick enter the lunchroom carrying his gym bag. She had no idea why he’d be bringing the gym bag unless it contained his lunch.

Rick sat at the table placing his bag on the table between himself and Earl. Then he opened the bag and pulled his confession out and handed the 8.5x11 pages folded into thirds to Earl. “Hang onto this, you’ll need it later.”

Earl didn’t question Rick, he just took the papers, folded them in half, and placed them in his pants pocket.

“I’m doing a live stream,” Rick stated as he passed his cell phone to Earl. “Please video what’s happening.”

Devon did as Rick indicated despite being a bit confused until she saw Rick pull two 9mm pistols from the bag and slip them in his waistband, however she remained silent. Sliding to the end of the table Devon did a sweep of the crowded lunchroom, then focused on Rick as he pulled out the extra magazines for the 9mmm and the AR15 placing them on the table so the bag would hide them. Then he folded the top of the bag open to reveal the AR15. Devon just watched the action in the cell screen understanding Rick had been bullied beyond his breaking point and there was nothing she could do but film the horror that was about to be released.

Rick drew in a deep breath and looked at Earl who responded with a nod. Rick picked up the rifle and stood up on the table’s attached bench, racking a round into the chamber as he did so with an ominous audible CLICK.

Rick’s action drew the attention of many in the lunchroom. Earl almost smiled as he watched their faces blanch. Flipping off the safety Rick fired a round high into the wall on the other side of the large room. Instantly every eye was on Rick as several people started to scream.


The students and teachers monitoring the room looked on in horror. Most were stunned, quite a few were crying, a few hysterically. All were stunned.

“Rick, don’t do this,” Vice-Principal Reynolds said as he tried to gain control.


Just then Rick caught sight of the school’s resource officer peering through the glass window of one of the entrance doors. With a swift move he fired a shot through the window about a foot above the officer’s head. The glass splintered but stayed together since it was safety glass. The man ducked away.

The boys who had been bullying Rick and Earl reluctantly formed a line in the main aisle as the alarm bell activated announcing an intruder alert locking down the school. Several students wanted to flee but Rick had the exits covered.


Those who tried to hide amongst the mass of students were quickly shoved forward by those around them. Many students had pulled out their cell phones and sent messages for help as well as to film the incident. Most of the bullies were trembling as they formed a line. A few were crying and three had wet themselves.


The terrified bullies did as ordered. The students looked at the sad state of the bullies.


The terrified boys and vice principal promptly kicked off the their shoes and began shucking their clothes. They were all naked before the time limit expired. They were red faced with fear and embarrassment, none more so than the arrogant Mr. Reynolds.


Reluctantly the thirty boys and vice principal began their march of shame between the tables while their fellow students watched in horror and awe. Nearly all were glad the bullies were getting their just deserts.

The reporter at the TV station had presumed the phone call was a prank and waved over the news director. The director arrived just as the Earl took over the cell camera to show the two 9mm pistols being shoved into Rick’s waistband. The horrified reporter quickly told the news director what was going on. Withing a minute they cut into the station’s programming for a live emergency news special report with the video going out on the air waves. The station made calls to the police and school as they scrambled all available reporters and news vans to the school.

As soon as the school went on lock down the police scrambled their swat team and all available officer to the school. The fire trucks and ambulances did likewise. The phone lines and cell phone towers lit up with activity as news of a live shooter at the school spread.

When the parade of shame completed their trek Rick had them sit naked on the floor in the main aisle. He also had the other students sit down. The hysterical crying and screaming had subsided but there were still plenty of tears. “IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, I HAVE NOT SHOT ANYONE... YET! HOWEVER, I AM PREPARED TO WIPE OUT EVERYONE. NOW I’M GOING TO TELL YOU WHY I’M DOING THIS...”

**(someone stepping on the back of your footwear pulling the back of the shoe off your foot.)

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I was very close to doing this

only a lack of weapons saved my school from being the site of mass murder



Sammi's picture

I don't agree with Rick's method, He'll be sure to get his side heard, and more importantly Karen will be getting hers

"REMEMBER, No matter where you go, There you are."

Sammi xxx


Mantori's picture

Not what I expected, shades of the movie 'We need to talk about Kevin'.

Very well written.

"Life in general is a fuck up,
but it is the rare moments of beauty and peace
in between the chaos,
That makes it worth living."
- Tertia Hill

I hope somebody can help them!

You have my attention for sure!! I missed when you started this story so I have read these 3 chapters back-to-back. The depth of the frustration and anguish these two youth kids have had to endure is so thick I can taste it! Even though the causes are different the loneliness of being different is a more common trigger than we realize. I weep in frustration, compassion, and comradery with these kids.

Jeri Elaine

Homonyms, synonyms, heterographs, contractions, slang, colloquialisms, clichés, spoonerisms, and plain old misspellings are the bane of writers, but the art and magic of the story is in the telling not in the spelling.

Been there

Alice-s's picture

The only reason I can't say "done that" is uk gun laws. I really get the characters n the story. You even have mentioned self harm. Keep writing this is really good.

Well written

but my lord it paints a dark and bleak situation for those children.

I was accused of plotting

Shortly after being kicked out of school my senior year someone called in a threat saying I was going to shoot up the school on senior appreciation day. I could have easily done this as I had a Russian SKS assault rifle and somewhere around 1000 armor piercing rounds of Soviet surplus ammunition plus a full compliment of pistols and shotguns. I won't deny thinking about it but I'm not a killer even though being extremely proficient with firearms. I was bullied from the first week of school to the last day I walked away from there. Then joined the navy only to be kicked out of there too. My experience and observation of the human condition has left me jaded and dissatisfied. Another veteran with PTSD that nobody cares about but in my case it is not military related at all instead it comes from my school experience and being constantly bullied by students and teachers and even my own family. This story speaks to me and its scary just how close to my reality it is for me. I was that scared little boy that was a little too smart, a little too awkward and way too sissy.

EllieJo Jayne

This might... actually work out

Beoca's picture

As much as Rick seems to be having a rough time, I don't think I would have handled it much better given the same situation at the same age. I was nowhere near as athletically focused as him, but I would have wanted it about as little as he does.

As for the bullying issue, it is one that is hardly exclusive. There's a reason that depression and suicide among teens is as much an issue as it is, and bullying is a contributing factor (though far from the only one). All the more so when modern cyber bullying is included. While we generally don't think of the teachers or staff as people who "pal around with" the bullies, the victims who suffer directly may well see it otherwise.

Took me about 3 read throughs to put this together; it's a very dense and eventful chapter.

What a mess

Jamie Lee's picture

Frank sure caused one hell of a mess with his macho attitude and his never having accepted he failed attempt at making the pros.

Insane parents have driven their son over the edge that has now escalated. Rick killed his dad in self defense, and hopes he can die by police suicide, implicating his mom for the drugs she's been giving him.

And speaking of mom, how did she get her hands on drugs which can only be given by a doctor? Her stealing prescription drugs has ended her nursing career and will get her put into prison or a psychological facility.

Earl isn't interfering because those same people bullied him as well. But if he doesn't intervene he'll be complicit in whatever happens. Hopefully someone can talk Rick down, get him help and place him in a caring home.

Others have feelings too.