Outstanding Story (Junior) - A Different Person
“A Different Person” is one of the outstanding stories (junior) of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2019 written by Abhimanyu Sukhdial, Westwood Elementary, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA.
A Different Person
“Oh no! Alan’s back! Please have mercy!” That’s how all the kids pleaded at lunchtime. Alan was ready for action. “Ready to get punched, weakling?” he asked Timmy, a skinny third grader sitting alone at a table along the right wall of the cafeteria. Everyone scrammed in a flash, trying to get out of the place as fast as they could. Madness spread throughout the Jordan Middle School Cafeteria. “Go, get out of here, you amateurs! Yes! Everyone!” Teachers were so terrified they didn’t make a move. Alarms starting blaring -- did someone pull a fire alarm? No one could see or hear anything amidst all the confusion, until the principal approached and cried in a booming voice, “Detention, Alan Graham. That’s the 100th time you’ve had a fight in the cafeteria.”
When Alan got home, it was exactly 3:15pm. He had a bruise on his cheek and blood on his leg. “Sign me up for another school; this one has me going crazy all over the walls.” His mom matter-of-factly replied, “Don’t be such a scaredy cat. Give them a good smack in the face.” But his mom was wrong. He knew his mom was wrong. He recalled how in afternoon math class, something in his brain just clicked -- “bullying isn’t good,” he thought for the first time in a very very long time. He didn’t know why it happened, or how it happened, but something had changed in him after that class. He sat down thinking of a plan, but everything seemed hopeless, considering he had quite the reputation at school as being the worst bully ever. He had shown no mercy at all to anyone. He was stumped.
It was 2:58pm, a few minutes before school would be over for the day. Alan Graham was getting ready for his daily walk back home. His mom wouldn’t be back home for a few more hours; she had a night shift at the hospital. He was lost in his thoughts, when suddenly he turned and saw Shelly, a “bully” in 5th grade. She had someone pinned to the bench and was on top of him. It was Timmy, the boy from the cafeteria. Smacks, jabs, punches. Like a series of martial arts moves. Alan ran like the wind towards the scene, screaming “Stop, Shelly!” He grabbed her hand and pinned her down. Shelly quickly turned and punched Alan in the eye. Alan counter punched, hitting Shelly’s jaw. Timmy screamed the whole time, but after another big punch on the face, Shelly passed out. Alan and Timmy looked at each other. No words were spoken. It was done. He walked Timmy home and that was that.
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