Running home a pudgy little boy, Darren Gilbert, fled from his bullies. He decided to risk taking his shortcut home, sure that they didn’t know about it. As he drew closer, he churned his legs faster even after he turned down the alley. As he ran past a dumpster, he risked a glance behind him. Unfortunately, Darren collided with someone falling to the ground. As Darren Gilbert tried to climb to his feet an all to familiar voice taunted him. “So you thought we didn’t know about this shortcut of yours.”
“Oh, no,” Darren muttered as he lifted his eyes to Dolmen’s.
“Oh, yes,” the bully said as a mean grin appeared.
Darren glanced over his shoulder and saw Dolmen’s cronies walking into view. “Please let me go home, Dolmen.”
“You were trying to escape without paying your taxes.” Dolmen answered as he tapped his open palm, “Mistakes like that bring punishment.”
Darren stepped away from the bully, but he could feel the presence of Dolmen’s toadies. He looked past the bully towards the exit of the alley and decided to risk it. He took a step to his right drawing Dolmen that way. Then Darren bolted towards the opening to his left. Unfortunately, the bully moved faster, grabbing Darren by the collar. The boy tried to squirm out of Dolmen’s grasp, but it was too strong. Within moments Darren started moving backward as Dolmen muttered with glee. “You’re going to regret that, Darren.”
Ignoring the taunt Darren continued to squirm, but Dolmen was too strong. Within moments, Darren saw the bully’s face out of the corner of his eye. Then the bully hurled Darren to the ground. Upon impact, Darren curled up protecting himself from the oncoming onslaught. When nothing happened Darren shifted his head, and searched for the reason. But all he saw was Dolmen’s fist an inch from his face. Before he could return to safety, Darren felt the impact and heard himself screaming out in pain.
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