PAIN


He looks through the scope of his rifle, concentrating, looking. He feels pain, sorrow. A tear streams down his face and thinks to himself that this has to happen. He feels rage rush through him, that feeling that he gets when he forgets to take his medication. Josh is only fifteen. His father bought him this hunting rifle when he was twelve. He would remember those times when his father was drunk and would beat him mercilessly for hours on end. Such rage streams through in a steady flow. He doesn’t know why he is doing this, he can’t think, all he knows is the feeling in his head. The pain is so intense.


He needs to relieve it, to allow his mind to feel the normal serenity again. He aims at the school yard, such small kids so innocent. They play together; the smiles and laughter are filling the air. One of them won’t go home tonight; the parents will feel the pain that once existed in him. Anger. He feels the tears start to come in a torrent. He holds the trigger tight. At this climax of pain, as the feeling comes to the point where he can’t live anymore, he squeezes the trigger. He feels the pain go through his finger into the rifle. The bullet soars with the pain. The relief is instant. The young child of only seven years old falls to the ground. Screams, pain, suffering, enters the lives of the people in the school yard. People duck and cry. As his anger subsides, he slowly lowers the rifle. The calm serenity enters his mind. He is his normal self again.


In his room he places his rifle in his closet. He feels that he can eat and sleep now, and he slowly drifts into sleep. He dreams heavily. He knows they are around him, and that he will soon be caught. The police are having their suspicions. He wakes up, sweat engulfs his body, and the wave of fear slowly subsides. His father falls into the small room in their trailer. Drunk again and looking to hit someone. He knows what’s coming and feels that new wave of frustration. So many feelings, so many feelings. His father asks where he was that day, and he refuses to respond, which is followed by the usual beatings. No one is there to protect him, or to alleviate his pain. As his father leans over, breathing a strong stench of whisky, aimlessly hitting him again and again with the recently emptied bottle. With one final blow to the head, he feels himself fall into a deep sleep of unconsciousness.


It was three o’clock in the morning when his father woke up. He felt his inner fluids starting to seep up into his throat. He doesn’t remember anything from that night, and he doesn’t think for a second that his son is standing there with a rifle to his head looking for revenge. He sees the tears streaking his sons face and never for a second thinks why. He says, in a low tone, to put the rifle down or he will be punished. His brain starts to feel the intensity of the pain. He lets the gun drift a little to the right to allow his father to get a full view of his face. Through his tears and pain he says what his father has done, and that he cannot live with this anymore. His father jumps to show his son who is the boss in the family, and that is the last thought of his life.


He runs, runs with all his might, rifle in hand with a full magazine in his pocket. It was nine in the morning on that last bright June day, as Josh assumes his normal position by the school yard. This pain is like none other, this pain cannot die. He knows this is the end. He can’t think for himself anymore, the pain becomes him; the tranquil part of him ceases to exist. The aim is perfect, the targets there. They are his relief, but this is the end. The yard is being watched by more than him through the scope of their guns. They