As I was cleaning up some old personal files, I came across my first finished novel—never published, and written in a style that isn't exactly rated PG. I think I must have begun to seriously write back in the mid to late nineties, and I started something like fifteen or twenty different books before I actually finished one. This one, Wrecking Ball, was the first. Only a handful of people graciously read it, and I received mixed reviews on it. Some raved about it, but some of the characters are based on real people, and those real people were quick to identify themselves and didn't much care for the way their characters were written.
Anyway, the novel is about a guy who, after years of bullying in high school, decides to become a "bully" himself to all those who have seemingly wronged him, and despite becoming successful in his two rather unorthodox careers, he subsequently spins out of control seeking revenge. As I said, though, it’s rather crude in some spots, so I've censored the excerpt for my blog. My writing in the past fifteen years has matured and softened greatly, so don't judge me too much on this. Wrecking Ball seems to be filled with a lot of angst too, so please don't think I'm crazy. I know when I was writing it, I wasn't filled with the kind of hatred that the main character, Rick Drexel, seems to have, but I was bullied briefly in high school, and so I did let some of those emotions out. Still, it's a work of FICTION and should be viewed as such.
Below is an excerpt from the second chapter, which details Rick's first act of vengeance. If you really like it, let me know and I’ll consider publishing it on Amazon and Smashwords.
An Excerpt from Wrecking Ball:
So, on this Wednesday before Thanksgiving at about 2:15 PM, i.e., twenty minutes before the school day ended, I drove my bleep brown Plymouth Voyager down to the grocery store. Yes, I drove a minivan. Probably another reason kids still picked on me, but I’m sorry that my daddy didn’t buy me a brand new Mitsubishi Eclipse like everyone else’s daddies did. Anyway, I walked into the store and went straight for the meat department. Fish, to be exact. Catfish, to be exact. I bought four platters of catfish. Twenty freaking bucks, but it was money well spent.
I then drove over to the school and watched as everyone left for vacation. The parking lots cleared quickly, and I just strolled right in without anyone saying a word. Teachers and administrators didn’t actually lock the doors until , so I had plenty of time. The halls were bare, too. I passed less than a handful of people. Bleep school didn’t even have security cameras. Maybe if they did, they’d have seen all the abuse that some of the students received. Maybe the administration didn't even care.
Feeling somewhat like a mafia thug--you know, the guy who places a fish in a newspaper and leaves it somewhere to send a message--I proceeded to the locker of one of my bullies, unwrapped the first tray of catfish, and just dumped it onto his books. The bleep had one bleep of a messy locker, too, and it already smelled of body odor and pot. The next locker was a little neater, and it didn’t stink quite as much as the first, but it would soon. After hitting the last two lockers, I casually walked out of the school to my car and left.
Did you ever experience catfish after it’s been sitting out for five freaking days? Don’t. Trust me. If the sight of maggots doesn’t get you, the smell certainly will. You’ll vomit. Trust me.
So this is how I became who I am today. This is how I ended up being some crazy psycho burning things, breaking things, screwing with peoples’ minds, and destroying anything in my path. Yep, I trace it back to catfish.
Most people with mental problems can trace their disorder back to some traumatic experience. A car wreck. A lover who died. An abusive father or mother. I’m sure some people would trace my “mental problems” back to all those years of being bullied. It’s all just bleep, though. Nobody really has mental problems. I knew exactly what I was doing then, and I know exactly what I’m doing now. The word ‘sanity’ shouldn’t even be in the dictionary.
Yes, so I was just a pathetic kid who couldn’t handle the tortures inflicted on me by school bullies. Hurry, call the doctor! Call him now! I think I have mental issues!
No, I’m not running around destroying things today because I’m some psychotic idiot. I’m not a nutball. This whole catfish thing just helped me realize that I can strike back. I’m not helpless. This was the first time I really stood up for myself, and it felt pretty bleep good.
When Tuesday rolled around after the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to go to school a little early. I walked near the first victim’s locker and could already smell the nauseating odor. I was actually surprised that the janitors didn’t notice the smell over the holiday, but then I figured that they probably used pine-scented cleaning solutions to mop the floors, and so I doubted they smelled anything. They probably cleaned Wednesday evening as well, and the smell wouldn’t have been that bad by then. I smiled as I walked past this jerk’s locker. People would certainly smell something when the bleep opened their locker doors, and I guarantee it wouldn’t smell like pine trees.
I took a bleep and then proceeded to my own locker to await the calamity. My locker was about twenty-five feet down the hall from the third bleep locker. I saw him walk in with his friends and drop his bag in front of his locker. He stood there talking to his friends for a few minutes. I stood there gathering my books for my first few periods and watching him out of the corner of my eye.
The kid was such an bleep. He just looked like an bleep. When you go to a bar, and you see the guy walking around like he’s the bleep and trying to pick up every woman in the building, you know he’s an bleep. This kid was an bleep.
As I stood there watching and waiting in anticipation, Robbie or whatever his name was finally opening the door of his locker. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone shout “What the bleep?” so loud in my life. The entire hallway just shut up and stared at him. Then the bleep threw up. The sight was so bleep amusing; I probably would have bleep myself had I not gone earlier.
He just stood there gagging for a good ten or fifteen seconds before his breakfast made its return appearance. Surprise! Vomit out of thin air! How could you not laugh?
I could only imagine the sight of the rotting catfish in his locker. Maggots crawling in and out through the gray rotting matter. Other kids were crowding around at a safe distance just to see the gift I’d left him. Two of them began to gag. Both vomited. One homely girl screamed.
Then the smell hit me. Catfish sitting out for five days is bad enough. Picturing the maggots eating away at the rotting fish and the flies buzzing around just made the stench even worse. Not even the worst outhouse could smell that bad. Mix that odor with the stench of human bile, and you’ll instantly start gagging. The odor was beyond vile. I’m serious, even raw sewage didn’t smell that bad.
The whole bleep school turned into a puke fest. I didn’t throw up, but considering that most of the kids had just had breakfast, I’m not sure how I managed not to. The scene was just disgusting. It reminded me of that part in Stand by Me where the one kid is telling a story about a pie eating contest. People puking everywhere. I never imagined I’d actually see it.
They made everyone who hadn’t been sick report to the cafeteria, and then they sent everyone home. The janitors worked non-stop that day cleaning up the halls. They had to bleach everything. The school still reeked for almost a month after that. Although it smelled strongly of disinfectant industrial cleaners, you could still faintly smell the bile and fish odors.
The four bleep had to throw their books and stuff into the garbage. The one went home crying. I went home smiling.
The following day, they made a special announcement asking that anyone with any information regarding the culprits should please report to the principal’s office, and that those responsible would certainly be caught. Culprits? They didn’t believe that one person could do this? Regardless, I was never caught. I was a good kid enrolled in honor’s classes. Even if someone suspected I had done it, which they didn’t, nobody could have proved it was me, and my character alone spoke for me.
When the final total of the damage came in, I was just stunned. One thousand dollars in damage counting man-hours for the janitors, new books for the four bleep, their personal items, and cleaning supplies. I spent twenty bucks and about a half hour of my time, and I managed to cause fifty times that amount in damage. “Wow” was the only word that came to my mind.
Those kids didn’t bleep with anyone for a while after that. I wasn’t the only person they bullied, and I think they were too afraid of what would happen to them next if they picked on anyone else again. They knew they were targets because of how they treated other kids. They weren’t dumb; they were just bullies who needed to torment other kids to feel better about themselves.
After my little stunt, they wouldn’t feel better about themselves for a long time. The embarrassment alone was enough to insure that. They became known as the “Fishies”. They’d be teased about it for years. Payback is a bleep.
The one kid even got busted for having a joint in his locker. He was suspended for a month over that. He should have been expelled. Who the bleep is stupid enough to bring marijuana into school, anyway?
Regardless, I had fixed the bleep problem.
When I finally graduated high school, I was still chuckling over the incident. I never told my friends or family or anyone that I was the mastermind. During the graduation ceremony, the valedictorian even mentioned it in her speech. It was most likely the single biggest event to happen in the high school in a decade.
So that’s where this all began. Rick Drexel, the prankster. The jokester. The vigilante. Bleep with me, and I will kill you. I never thought I’d be doing bleep like that for the rest of my life. It’s amazing how the course of time leads us down so many twisty paths and through so many forks. Robert Frost, eat your heart out.