Marvin Dellcomp wasn't the toughest kid. In fact, he wasn’t tough at all. In fourth grade the other kids called him wussy. By fifth grade they called him pussy. Now in sixth grade he’d been promoted to puss cakes. At this rate, his status and social position was doomed by the time he reached high school.
Although Marvin wasn’t the toughest kid, or the fastest or the strongest, he could very well have been the brightest. He had an ongoing struggle with coercion of homework in trade for being spared ass whoopings, or even worse, snuggies. No-one ever wants their underwear bared in public, especially three feet up their backside. Older, tougher, stupider kids would force Marvin to do their schoolwork, and in turn they would spare him the public indignity.
Yet one day in late May, near the end of the regular school year, a new student transferred from another school. The rumors quickly spread of his toughness, and worse yet, his disdain for nerds. Tragically, Marvin’s intelligence and membership in the Science Club, as well as the Math Club and Band certainly put the nerd target squarely on him. It didn’t take long for the new kid, Brandon, to pick out Marvin and the game was afoot.
Marvin wasn’t an amateur at taking abuse, he was in fact, quite adept and skilled in the arts of wussery. He knew how to hang out in the library after school, where bullies and toughs rarely frequent. He spent large amounts of time near teachers and other adults. And sometimes feigned sickness to take refuge in the Nurses’ Office.
But there were times when there was little room to wiggle out of the underwear as it was being pulled up his butt crack from behind in the lunch line. He might get hit in the back of the head by the kickball on the playground even though the play was clearly over. The difference now, was not only was Marvin doing homework for several bullies, the new kid Brandon had apparently already completed his school year, his grades were irrelevant for this year. This essentially removed any bargaining chip Marvin possessed.
Inevitably it came. Marvin was eating his sack lunch in the cafeteria. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a pear, a bag of barbecue potato chips and a twinkie. His favorite. Marvin secretly loved slightly squeezing the plastic twinkie wrapper, watching it bulge before he finally opened it and enjoyed its spongy cake and whipped filling. But not today. Just as he sat down to eat, Brandon sat directly across from him, sans lunch. Marvin had certainly been in this situation before, Having a bully take his lunch, leaving him twinkieless. But Brandon was no run of the mill bully. He was cut from a different mold. A twisted mold. A mold hell bent on squeezing the resolve and will from his victims. It wasn’t enough to make them feel bad, he wanted them to remember how they felt, for every day forward.
He didn’t just take Marvins’ lunch. He took his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and threw each half, sticky side facing, on the ceiling on the cafeteria. He grabbed Marvin’s pear and shoved it into the front of his jeans, creating a large, obvious bulge in his dirty jeans. He snorted and snuffed his nose from deep in the recesses of his sinus to produce a huge, dripping snot, which he spit in to the opening of the barbecue potato chips. He then rolled the top of the bag and shook it. As bad as this was, the twinkie, took the worst brunt of the abuse. Brandon carefully opened one end of the plastic bag and removed the Twinkie, he shoved the entire twinkie in his mouth, gave it a few lusty chews, and proceeded to spit it back into the plastic bag. Marvin sat shaking and meal less.
This type of constant abuse continued almost daily till the end of the school year. And it seemed each day, Brandon’s taunts and antics got more abusive and malicious. On several occasions Brandon tried to provoke Marvin into an actual fight. But knowing he would take an immediate and possibly serious beating prompted Marvin to continue his ritual dodging and sidestepping. It seemed miraculous, but somehow Marvin had avoided Brandon till the last day of the year. As Marvin was leaving school fro the last time as a sixth grader, we was walking with his arms full of jackets he’d worn when it was too cold in the mornings, but left in his desk when it warmed up in the afternoon. Old schoolbooks, papers, everything he’d accumulated over the school year. It would be a long, arduous walk home, but at least, he’d be free of Brandon till next year.
Just when Marvin began to imagine a school without Brandon, “Thwack” he was struck in the side of the head with a large, overripe grapefruit. Marvin wanted to cry, his jackets, books and belongings were spread all over the sidewalk. He knew without looking who threw the grapefruit. Before he even began to pick up his things, he just started to run. Flight was his best defense and he knew it. Brandon gave chase for a moment, but Marvin was very fast and very motivated. As he approached the fence he could jump to get away, he heard Brandon stop and yell out, “We’re gonna fight for real, on the first day next year! Run you wuss bags.”
Marvin spent the first week of summer imagining the first day of school next year. At least a back eye and his underwear firmly cinched in his butt crack, not to mention the state of his lunch. He knew he had to think of something. Now we know marvin wasn’t tough but he was bright. One day in late June he was stung in the hand by a bee as he was looking at a flower. A light flicked on in his head. Marvins’ idea was as simple as it was brilliant. Now it was just a matter of time for it to come to fruition.
On the first day of school, Marvin was waiting a few blocks from school on a corner he knew Brandon would catch the school bus. He waited with serious apprehension and on edge, if his plan failed, the results could be, well, badder than bad. Within a few minutes Brandon appeared, looking even bigger and meaner than three months before. Marvin knew he needed to act now or he’d never go through with his plan. Brandon saw Marvin and couldn’t believe the luck, he could fight him here and not get in trouble, since it didn’t happen on school grounds. Before Brandon could muster an insult, he was hit square in the chest by an orange thrown fairly weakly by Marvin. Weakly, but still from Marvin. With no hesitation Brandon charged. Marvin quickly wheeled and ran around the corner and with all his strength kicked over a large wooden box in the side yard of the house next to the bus stop. In a second brandon had caught him, Brandon was screaming obscenities and swinging wildly. But in moments, he was screaming from pain.
The box Marvin had kicked was a beehive. The bees immediately began to swarm and sting with no regard or abandon. As Brandon quickly forgot about Marvin and tried to free himself from the dark stinging swarm, Marvin stood slowly and pulled his hooded sweatshirt closed. Nobody had noticed his nearly entirely covered body. He had been stung several times, but Brandon was still taking the brunt of the hive. The other kids from the bus stop stood and laughed in a strange, sinister way as the bees attended to their nature.
After that day, Brandon spent 4 weeks in a coma from over 700 bee stings, and nobody ever messed with Marvin again.