Last Day of School

by Rob BURKE
 

Jimmy saw the curtain quiver and knew that Kyle must finally be home. The back door opened and confirmed his arrival with its screeching announcement. The water stopped running in the bathroom above him and Jimmy felt the leaden steps of his father move toward the stairs. Kyle glanced briefly at his little brother as he hurried across the kitchen floor only to be met by his fuming father. Dad raged across the room tackling his son, Kyle’s greasy mullet slapping the wall.

“Where the hell have you been?” Dad snarled through gritted teeth.

Kyle mustered his tired, typical response “out,” his eyes averted.

Dad reached demoniacally into Kyle’s pocket and fished out a cell phone. Grabbing his jean jacket with one hand, Dad screamed, holding the phone just centimeters from his blemished face, “What the hell is this? Do you know what the fucking hell THIS is? It’s a goddamn CELL phone you useless shit! And I pay for this motherfucker so I don’t have to waste my time worrying about your sorry ass!”

Dad jerked the jacket downward, sending Kyle down to the ground and unfolded the phone.

“You ungrateful bastard,” he said, breathing again. He held the phone and folded it backward, breaking it in two.

+++

Jimmy saw the McKenzie twins and Daniel huddling together near the bus stop.

As he arrived, he asked Daniel, “did’ja get that with your slingshot?”

“I’d like to say I did, but I took it from Mr. Brittles.”

Jimmy nodded and said, “hmmm, that cat of yours is still a psycho.”

On the ground was a juvenile rabbit, bleeding from his mouth and breathing heavily. It tried to flee the ogling boys but all the twisting and kicking was for nothing; it was immobile, unable even to crawl away to find a place to die.

“What should we do with it?” asked Pat McKenzie, the more annoying of the twins.

Daniel replied, ”might be too late for ‘em.“

Jimmy disagreed. “Maybe if I take him home and put him in the garage, he might heal up.”

“There’s no sense in saving something that’s bound to die, it’s just wastin’ time,” explained Daniel as he poked a stick into the rabbit’s mouth, trying to pry it open. “See, Mr. Brittles is the one who decided that, not me.”

Pat repeated, “well what do you want to do with it?”

Jimmy stepped away from the gathering and walked about 30 feet along the road, stooped down, and returned carrying a black stone in both hands. He bent to his knees above the panting rabbit, and with serious effort raised the stone to his chin and let it crash down upon the soft, furry animal.

Pat shrieked in horror, “what did you go and do that for?”

There was a long pause before Jimmy stated, “He’s useless now….a real sorry bastard……B’sides, the bus is comin’”

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