|The Fight (standard:action, 1402 words)|
|Author: Nitram||Added: Mar 10 2004||Views/Reads: 2122/1408||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A young boy growing up in NYC in 1940 learns a lesson about fighting.|
The Fight (Approx 1,400 wds) It was 1940. Young boys still wore knickers and knee socks and carried their books to school bound in a leather belt. The Yankees, after four straight pennants and World Series, were confident but their streak was about to end. President Roosevelt was trying to prepare the nation for the war that had started in Europe the year before. Arnold's father, a plumber, had left their home in the Bronx to work in faraway Florida. Arnold didn't know exactly what his father was doing but he knew it was “defense work.” After his father left, Arnold's mother moved the family from Simpson Street to Wilkins Avenue to be closer to her mother. This meant that Arnold had to change schools. He'd skipped a grade in his other school so now, at nine, he was the youngest kid in his fifth-grade class. He was also one of the smallest and worse, he was a good student and he wore glasses. It was inevitable that he become a target for the class bullies. He knew that sooner or later he'd have a fight. “Hey, four-eyes,” said The Moose, giving Arnold a shove on the staircase. The Moose was a big fat kid in Arnold's class. He had loose, blubbery lips and Arnold thought he was dim-witted. He'd become Arnold's chief tormenter, always calling him four-eyes and pushing him around whenever he could. “Cut it out,” said Arnold. “Oh, yeah. Wanna make me? Come on. Wanna fight?” “Fighting's stupid,” said Arnold. “Wah, wah,” said Anthony Scarpetto, known as Nasty Anthony. “Fighting's stupid. You mean you're scared to fight.. What a sissy.” Arnold knew that Nasty was the one behind his being bullied. Nasty was a truly mean kid. He went around with a perpetual sneer and tormented everyone, especially the girls, but he preferred to have someone else do the fighting for him. “What would it prove?” said Arnold, with what he thought was impeccable logic. “Moose is twice as big as me.” “Aahh,” sneered Nasty, refuting the logic by poking Arnold hard in the chest. “Quiet,” one of the teachers shouted up the stairway and Arnold was saved for another day. Although he was small, Arnold was sturdily built and had good coordination. This was lucky for him as Kissel, a sixth-grader and the toughest kid on his block, had let him into his gang after Arnold had shown he could get hits in stickball. Arnold knew he couldn't hit the ball as far as the others so he always tried to pull the ball and was usually good for a hit or two every game when he directed the ball into a cellar, a ground-rule double. The other kids on the block knew he was under Kissel's protection and nobody bothered him. But school was a different matter. Every day Arnold had to endure the jeers and pushing around of Nasty, the Moose and Nasty's other henchmen. Every day he told himself that he'd fight back but when the moment came he always did what seemed to come naturally to him. He pulled back to cries of “Sissy” and “Girlie.” Was he a coward? He knew he'd never be as tough as Kissel, who liked to fight and who wouldn't back down from anybody. Before Arnold's father had left, he'd bought a set of old boxing gloves and had tried to teach Arnold to box. Maybe he suspected that Arnold was being bullied at his new school. “You have a good left jab,” he told Arnold. “But you have to be more aggressive. Don't be afraid to throw the right.” Unfortunately, the idea of actually fighting somebody left Arnold scared. At night in his bed, just thinking about it, he could feel his heart beating faster. But sooner or later he'd have to do something. The next week their gym teacher had to leave the room for something. The Moose seized the chance to knock down Arnold from behind. Arnold pulled himself to his feet and there was Moose leering at him. “Wanna Click here to read the rest of this story (91 more lines)
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