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They crowded everyone into the gym at school this morning.   On the up-side, it meant missing chem.   On the down-side, it meant sitting wedged among rows of smelly, fidgetty, resentful fellow-students and being forced to listen to scholastic achievement awards, yawn over Mrs Keech’s principal’s report, and offer a smattering of such polite applause it was pretty much offensive, at the news an office lady was finally retiring.

Then was something at least to make me sit up.   Brix was officially welcomed back to school – and asked to say a few words.

He’s only been doing half-days, but he’s out of the wheelchair now and on crutches as of this morning.   Mrs Keech spoke warmly about his rapid recovery and hard work in physical therapy and how glad we all were to see him back where he belonged.

Yeah, right.

I for one was in distinct antipathy to this general claim on my behalf.   I am yet to see Brix where he fucking belongs.   Mind you, I might be the only person who does actually know where he belongs

Brix swung himself down to the podium with simian-strength, and balanced adroitly on his crutches as he shook hands to the uneven sound of fervid applause from Brix fans, and fervid silence from his former victims.   He supported himself on the podium and ran a hand with studied unconsciousness through his hair.

“Thanks, Mrs Keech – thanks everyone.   It’s really great to be here and be on the mend.   You just never think the really bad stuff is going to happen to you – I’m just grateful no-one else in the car was hurt too bad, and glad to be getting back into studies and all that.   Thanks for everyone who sent flowers and things to the hospital – that was really appreciated…”

(I wondered idly if he was talking about that sheaf of white funeral lilies with the single-line card – ‘It won’t be long…’)

“…and to everyone who came in to visit and see how I was going…”

(This time I was pretty sure he had in mind the devoted little Jonathon who hung about the door of the IC so regularly, and then later haunted the window of his ward every other night…)

“…but what I really want now is to get back to normal.   You know, it’s been awesome having people around all the time, but I’m back to school now, Mom has promised to take a night off, and my cousins go home this week, so…”

He looked very carefully through the crowd, and for the briefest of moments, those calm furious eyes rested on me.

“…I’ll be looking to have a quiet weekend in.”



A challenge, Brix?

I accept.





  1. oohhh…I’m officially excited!

  2. That mad bastard, challenging you? He doesn’t really think he can win, surely?!

  3. Why do I find this funny? Damn you Cliff Hanger! Brilliant!

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