Derek kicked a stone and watched it bounce and roll down the street. He made small adjustments to his direction so he could kick it again as he made his way to school. It was a game to see how long could he keep the stone from taking a random bounce into the grass. Silly, he knew, but it passed the time and kept his mind from thinking ahead to another day of trying to dodge his nemesis, Brian.

Though they were the same age, Brian was bigger than everyone in their class. Derek wasn’t the only kid Brian picked on, but he was the only one that seemed to trigger a hatred beyond the usual.

When he got to the school grounds, Derek immediately began scanning for Brian. If he played his cards right, he could get through many days without running into Brian without a teacher around. Then he’d only have to endure verbal abuse. Other days, though…

“Looking for me?” came the familiar voice from right behind him. Derek felt himself spun around to face Brian, tall with red-hair and a small smile that meant nothing but cruel intentions. Derek’s heart sank.

Brian…

Story Start 17: Bully
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