Standing Room Only

A World of Short Stories

Protection

I knew I was in need of protection after what I had seen from underneath the bleachers. I knew it was a mistake to sneak out the moment I climbed out of the window that night, but I was desperate. It was my favorite place to hide out because as far as I knew, no one else had found the hole in the fence. Max called my secret my party spot, but even he didn’t know where it was. He was the one who found the parties and the drinks where I only longed for peace and quiet. 

I knew there was a problem when the cameras facing the school parking lot weren’t working, but I didn’t heed my own warning bells. If I had, I wouldn’t have been privy to the violence that quickly escalated on the football field. What surprised me more than how quickly the violence escalated was the fact my neighbor, Sam, was involved. Sam had always been a bully, but I had never seen him physically hurt anyone before today. I couldn’t tell what the weapon of choice was because of how dark it was and because of all the grunting and yelling. The fight seemed to last forever and, in my adolescence, my mind went blank as I stared at what was happening in front of me.  

I didn’t know how much time had passed before the fight was over, but the field was almost empty. The few that had survived hobbled back to their cars. After I was sure they were gone and I took off toward home and away from the bloody crime. 



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