Snap! Snap! Snap, snap, snappitty, snap, snap, snap! As a freshly showered Mitch entered the locker room, the wet towels struck Mitch’s flat, pimply hide. The strikes hurt, and the commentary wasn’t much better.
“Bitch Bumkiss!” Derrick shouted. “Bitch Bumkiss! I see your butt, bitch bumkiss!”
Mitch ignored the bully and worked on his combination lock.
“Hey, Bitch Bumkiss! You have a tiny weiner!”
The lock opened.
“You’re gay, Bitch Bumkiss!” Derrick said. “You hear me? I’m talking to you.”
Mitch continued to ignore it.
“I said, you’re gay, Bitch Bumkiss!”
Mitch had a desire to turn around and point out the irony in that for a guy who was calling someone else gay, he sure was preoccupied with someone else’s butt and wiener, but he knew that would fly right over Derrick’s hand and just prolong the bullying session.
Thweeet! Coach Mercer blew his whistler. “Barnes! Stop checking out Lumpkiss’ weiner and get a move-on! School’s over for crying out loud and the team’s already on the way to the field. You’ll be late for practice!”
The coach walked away. Derrick hurried up, putting on his pants, then his sock. “Thanks for making me late, Lumpkiss! Such an idiot.”
Mitch stood there, taking the abuse.
“Moron,” Derrick said as he put on his shoes. “God, you suck Lumpkiss.”
Mitch pulled out his backpack and sit it on the bench.
“I don’t know you even get up in the morning,” Derrick said as he pulled on his shirt.
Mitch mumbled his next words to himself, under his breath so the bully couldn’t hear. “Me neither.”
“Look at yourself,” Derrick said. “You’re so ugly, like a cow shit that got shit on a dog shit that got shit on a cat shit.”
Mitch wanted to cry, but held it in.
“Seriously, Lumpkiss,” Derrick said. “It’ll never get any better for you. I know everybody thinks you’re smart but that doesn’t matter for jack in the world. No one’s ever going to give you a job because no one will want to go to work and see a mutant everyday and if you think you’re ever going to get laid, you’re dreaming.”
Mitch didn’t respond. Derrick walked over and punched Mitch in the arm. It hurt. Badly. Much worse than when Whitney had done it earlier.
“I’m talking to you, loser.”
Mitch assumed this would be the part where he would say something like, “OK,” some half-hearted comment that would allow Derrick to think he agreed with his vitriol but that didn’t come. Something else came out entirely, and it was entirely different than anything Mitch had ever said to the bully before.
“Hey Derrick,” Mitch said. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry about the way your dad treats you.”
Derrick turned red faced with anger. He grabbed Mitch, who was half his size, and spun him around. “What did you say?!”
“It’s not your fault, you know,” Mitch said. “Your father’s just probably unhappy with the way his life turned out…”
“I assume he’s just deathly afraid that you’ll do better than he did and the very idea of that is too much for him to take,” Mitch said. “So he puts you down to make himself feel better.”
“I said shut up!”
“You ever want to talk about it or…UGH!”
Derrick’s fist connected with Mitch’s stomach. The dweeb hit the floor, hard.
“You don’t know anything, nerd!” Derrick cried. “Just shut your mouth!”
Mitch grabbed his stomach and seethed with pain. He closed his eyes.
“I’m better than you, Bitch Bumkiss!” Derrick said. “You’ll never amount to anything, you hear me? You’re nothing!”
Mitch’s face turned red. The bully hocked a loogie and the prostrate geek felt a big, sloppy glob of spit hit his cheek. He opened his eyes. They were yellow.
“Idiot,” Derrick said as he went back to his locker. “I can’t believe you just made me do that, Bitch Bumkiss. That was all your fault for pissing me off.”
Mitch’s breathing grew louder.
Derrick’s bag was inside his locker. He rummaged through it for a moment, chastising his victim as he did so. “I’m going places, Bumkiss. Places better than you’ll ever see, dummy. You’ll be lucky if you get to inherit your loser old man’s shit truck. You’ll pump my shit out of the ground one day, Bumkiss, and I’m going to laugh and laugh and laugh…”
The bully let go of his bag. He felt a presence behind him. It was a big one. And it had something to say. Grrrrr.
Derrick turned around to find himself staring up at the face of an angry, brooding werewolf. The beast was furious, breathing deeply as warm saliva dripped from his mouth. As he growled, his razor-sharp teeth showed.
For the first time in his life, Derrick was scared by one of his victims. “What the…but how…huh?”
The werewolf grabbed Derrick’s chest, whipped him through the air like a rag doll and slammed him into his own locker, crushing the metal on impact. The beast was about to do it again when he noticed the bully was on the floor and wasn’t moving.
Seconds later, Mitch was back. The boy hovered over his longtime oppressed, lightly slapping his bloody face. “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, my God! Derrick!”
Mitch grabbed the bully’s wrist and felt around for a pulse. He was so nervous he wasn’t able to find it. He knelt down and put his head on the bully’s chest. He could hear a heart-beat. He was relieved by a sign of hope.
“Oh, God, Derrick!” Mitch said as tears streamed down his face. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Please, wake up!”
“Ugh,” Derrick said as he opened his eyes. He pushed Mitch away. “Eww! Get off me, homo!”
Mitch smiled. He had never been so happy to have his sexuality questioned by his oppressor before. “You’re ok.”
Derrick’s head was foggy, but he remembered what had just happened. “You! Stay back!”
Mitch held his hands up. “It’s ok, man. I’m sorry. Things just got a little out of…”
“What are you?” Derrick said just before his eyes lit up. “You’re that wolf!”
“What?” Mitch asked. “No.”
“You’re that Disco Werewolf!” Derrick said.
Derrick stood up and towered over Mitch. “You banged my girlfriend and made her dump me!”
“What?” Mitch asked. “Come on, Derrick. Listen to yourself. That’s crazy talk, man. I think you’re just a little confused after you tripped and fell and I saved you, man. I totally saved you. I’m a hero.”
Derrick pulled back his fist, getting ready to throw a punch. “You’re dead!”
Thweeeeet! Coach Mercer to the rescue. “Unhand the nerd, Barnes!”
The coach caught a look at the smashed locker. “What in Sam Hill…”
“Huh?” Derrick asked as he put his arm down. “No, Coach, he did it.”
“Who?” Mercer asked.
Derrick pointed at the little, shivering naked guy next to him.
“Lumpkiss?” Coach Mercer said. “Give me a break.”
“I swear!” Derrick said. “He’s a monster!”
“Stop trying to bullshit a bullshitter, son,” Coach Mercer said. “Because I can bullshit with the best of him and I know bullshit when I see it.”
Derrick ran over to Mercer. “Coach! He’s a monster!
“Knock it off,” Mercer said. “I know you too well, Barnes. You must have been in here, horsing around and you banged up your locker. Shit happens. Just be a man and take responsibility for it. Come on.”
The coach grabbed the bully by the ear and yanked him towards a hallway. “We’re going to have a long chat with the principal about this and don’t think for one minute you’re going to get out of paying for the damage you did.”
“Coach!” Barnes cried. “You gotta believe me! He’s a monster, I tell you! A monster! A crazed, psychopathic animal!”
“Save it,” Mercer said. “That kid is barely a buck fifty soaking wet.”
“He’s a creature of the night!” Derrick shouted. “He turned into a dog monster and porked my girlfriend!”
“You goddamn kids and your goddamn reefer sticks!” Coach Mercer shouted as the exit door swung shut. “Not another word!”
Mitch was alone now, and feeling more than a little satisfied. He smirked as he got dressed, but then stood there silently, staring off into space as the words his father had repeated to him in countless lectures before reverberated though his mind:
A werewolf’s powers are intoxicating. You think you’ll be able to control them but once you let them out of the bag, there’s no stopping them. Best to never let them loose at all.