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The Hangman (standard:horror, 501 words)
Author: CyranoAdded: May 02 2009Views/Reads: 7463/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
What makes a bully? I know, I was one.

I ran away as a kid, my mother never noticed. I'd come home late morning
to find her hanging the washing, embroidered peg bag hung around her 
neck. There's a cookie on the table, she'd say, oblivious to that fact 
I'd run away.  When we sat down to our evening meal I never spoke of my 
adventure. Dad would tell of his day fishing. He didn't talk about 
anything else. Mum, still wearing her gingham apron, would ask about 
school, and if clothing repairs were necessary. 

I learned that some children hated other children, bullied them, called
them names, and bullies came in different shapes and forms in my 
hometown of Tobermoray. 

George Bryant, a smaller boy, Billy Harrison, a not so small boy, and
me, somewhere in the middle, played a game called ‘The Electric Chair.' 
To play our game we needed one outside toilet, one small boy, one 
shaving brush, one shaving cup and soap, and one hangman. 

George took a bit of catching, being small and agile, but with two of us
we could cut him off before he got back home. We secured his wrist with 
my dressing gown cord. With dad's shaving brush and his stick of 
shaving soap I beat up a good lather. When it was creamy foamy I 
smeared it round George's mouth. Then he had to sit there, perfectly 
still, while Billy tied a piece of black cloth round his head, covering 
his eyes. When everything was ready we sat George on the toilet basin 
and tied his feet. I asked him for a few last words. He said ‘Why does 
it always have to be me?' We told him because he was the smallest. 

On the count of three I pulled the chain. The surge of water signified
the electric current running through him. George, we insisted, had to 
writhe and wriggle and blow the shaving foam all over the place, so 
that it looked like he was really foaming at the mouth. He had to shake 
and tremble. Sometimes George didn't tremble enough, so we had to begin 
the whole process over. 

One day my dad caught us. He asked what we were doing. I told him we
were executing George. He told us to stop immediately. ‘This is not the 
kind of game children should play,' he said, sternly. Billy Harrison 
sniggered, turning his head away, but his shoulders gave him away. 

We had to stop that game for a while because dad kept his shaving brush
and his stick of soap hidden. 

It was great growing up with no bullies around. 

Growing up hasn't changed. I saw a small boy on the television - perhaps
he was ten - carrying an AK47 loaded with real bullets. The man on the 
newscast told that many young Palestinian children carried weapons and 
were trained to use them. I guess his father had hidden the shaving 

How do we recognize a bully if we failed to see it in ourselves? 


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