Friday, 22 February 2013

298: The Elephant Man

Kevin was under no illusions about his looks.  He knew he was an average teenager with bad hair, bad skin and a body that wasn’t quite under his control.  But he thought he was OK looking, that maybe he would grow into his looks as his mother often told him.  He certainly didn’t think of himself as Elephant Man.

Not until the day they ambushed him outside the toilets and stuck a brown paper bag over his head.

There were rough eye holes poked out for him to see through, but he could only see through one hole or the other at a time.  The paper was rough and scratched at his face, making the spots on his forehead sore.  Inside the bag he could hear his own breathing echoing back at himself.

The other kids were laughing at him, just like in the film.  He felt fingers jab at his ribs from all sides.  Hands pushed him back and forth until he stumbled onto the floor.  They just laughed more and nobody helped him up.

Kevin scrambled to his feet and ran along the corridors, heading for the front door.  His single-eye view gave the familiar walls and lockers and doors a faraway look.  He slammed into the wall each time he turned a corner and he reached out for the door well before he actually reached it.

Outside, the yard was quiet but still enough kids noticed the dork with a bag on his head rush out of the school.  Then he realized he could take the bag off, could have taken it off straight away.  He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t just done that, just ball it up and chuck it in the rubbish and go back to class.

“Am I really an animal?” he yelled to the yard.

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