Mouth Breather - Prologue

Published by Jon Parker in the blog Jon Parker's blog. Views: 94


6th Grade

Blood pumping.

Fists flailing.

The boy in front of me had no idea what he was doing. He had been picking on a fifth grader - and a girl, no less. Boys shouldn’t pick on girls. Not because they are girls, but because nine times out of ten they are physically weaker than the boy doing the bullying. My uncle had taught me that preying on those weaker than you was dishonorable.

I ducked.

The boy had almost landed a punch. I saw the perfect opportunity as my legs began pushing my torso back into an upright standing position – and I took it. I let fly a hay-maker. I had seen men do it on YouTube, and it usually brought a lot of pain to whoever was hit by it.

The boy had no idea what he was doing. It wasn’t as if I was a Kung-Fu warrior or anything but I knew how to throw a punch which was apparently something lost on the red haired kid in front of me.


The boy’s pale face contorted in shock and with the force of the blow landed. His freckles seemed to dance in the twisting of his expression. Before I knew it I was looking at the boy’s back. Blood was slowly dripping from his mouth as he lay on the ground unconscious, a single tooth resting a few feet away.

Heart beating wildly, I almost couldn’t believe what I had done. I stood under the Texas sun with eyes wide open. A wind picked up just then, rustling the green leaves on the huge oaks that had been planted randomly by some kids back in the sixties. The summer air smelled of sweat and blood. I heard a thunder clap from miles away.

My mind began working rapidly trying to figure out what to do next. Should I leave? Should I call a teacher? Should I call my mom? Oh, no - Mom.

What would she think? She was probably going to be furious with me. She was always saying that I had to avoid fighting. She said that fighting and being aggressive could end up causing me more pain than it was worth. But what else could I do? I had to do something! The red-haired boy was going to hurt that girl.

The girl.

I turned around to see her standing about ten feet behind me with her back against an oak. Tears were pouring down her face and she looked frightened. When she saw me turn toward her she looked directly into my eyes. The words “thank you” were uttered, but so silently that I only knew of their existence by the movement of the girl’s lips. She turned and darted off, ponytail bouncing back and forth as she ran.

I looked back at the boy lying face first in the dirt. The boy’s red, shoulder length hair rested across the upturned side of his face, obscuring the bruise that was already forming there. The boy had been so angry. I didn’t know why he had been picking on that girl or why he had been furious at me for telling him to stop. I wondered why he had suddenly begun swinging at me madly without any sense of where he wanted to hit.

I checked once more behind me, looking for the girl. She was nowhere to be seen. Regardless of the consequences, I knew I had done the right thing. Bullying others, especially those weaker than you, was wrong and it showed how weak you were. My uncle taught me that internal weakness, weakness of character, was much worse than being physically weak.

Before the boy could come to his senses, I grabbed my now dust-covered backpack, heavy with my school books. Hoisting it over my shoulder and with one last glance at the boy on the ground, whose face was now resting in a small pool of blood, I walked away.
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