The Plummet

13 Mar

by Noah Reynolds

It was no secret that Jed was an outcast. Always walking around the school with strange clothes and no spine, Jed was not popular. Most people didn’t even know what Jed’s voice sounded like, rumors spread that he had a very attractive and masculine voice. But nobody knew because he never talked. Then rumors began saying that he didn’t know how to talk, even though that seemed like a childish idea for eighth graders, people believed it. All that Jed did was go to school, work, eat and sleep. His figure was smallish, a plump face with brown hair, bright blue eyes and a large nose. His teeth were perfect in every way, not one imperfection in sight. It’s not that Jed wasn’t popular, but that everyone else was. Most of the kids worried too much about the outside of them and didn’t care about the inside of their character.

Jed was not that way. Being in eighth grade was a challenge, he didn’t have many friends, people would push him over not knowing that someone was there, and he was different. The main popular boy in the school was Blake Aberthaw. Blake had no care for anyone but himself, he was the kind of kid that would kick a puppy and laugh about it. His daunting grin was what won him over. Unlike Jed, Blake’s grin had nothing in it but pure evil. Darting around the school Blake would flash his smile as a warning, “you don’t mess with me, I don’t mess with you” he would say. Though everyone knew Blake could do what he wanted.

Outside of the school was an area called The Wall. The concrete scructure was red brick with vines and branches curling up and down around it. If you were a boy, the wall was the last place you wanted to be. Some called it “the pit of wretchedness” from its terrifying history. Every lunch hour Blake would have his friends capture the kids that didn’t “play along” with Blake’s rules. To be a victim of the wall’s horrible ritual was staring into the face of the devil. The tradition was that the leader of the men in the school all grades included would be the one to decide the others’ fate. Each head male would take into charge a set of rules, created and passed by the boys’ council. The rules would be put into play at the start of the year. The men who refused or broke a rule would be punished on the wall by the leader, and be punished at the discretion of the person in charge.

Jed didn’t even go outside much, mostly staying inside to work on homework or draw pictures, silently eating his lunch with his favorite teacher, Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams was a calm language arts teacher that understood Jed for who he was.

It was a cold autumn day, the wind was blowing and the leafs were falling. Earlier that day, Blake’s wingmen informed Jed that he would be against the wall for treason and a first degree loser charge. Jed had been told to go on the wall before but always pretended to be sick and not go to school. Just so Jed wouldn’t escape, Blake stationed five men around Jed to ensure the punishment would be taken. The time was 11:45 and lunch time was at 12:15. Each minute felt like an hour. At 12:00 sharp Jed knew that there would be no turning back.

Jed was reading his notes when a loud pop came out of nowhere. Jed shifted his head to the back of the room where a labyrinth of flames shot up from a pipe. Each student ran out of the classroom with no form of organization. The smoke and flames started to form around the room. Unexpectedly Jed tripped and fell onto the floor. Looking around the room Jed noticed that the teacher had made a hasty retreat to the front of the school. As the smoke and heat began to cover Jed on the floor he saw the roof starting to crumble right above him. Each step or movement Jed was making was more painful than the last. Looking down at his leg Jed could feel his skin peeling off of his knee. A large area of blood and shredded glass was sticking out of his leg. When Jed tripped he fell on a glass test tube and immediately broke his leg with the impact of the glass. The situation was getting worse.

Crawling on the floor Jed’s leg left behind a puddle of blood. The roof was falling apart with burning wood trampling Jed’s neck. With little time left Jed slowly passed out and closed his eyes. All of a sudden Jed turned his broken neck to the side of the room to see five boys pinned between the wall and a desk. These five students were the five that Blake told to watch Jed for his punishment. But lying on the floor next to them was Blake. It was the first time ever that Jed had seen him not smile or crack a mean joke. Jed had a decision to make, he had a broken leg and neck but he could still move. So Jed took all six men by the collar and started to pull them out of the burning building. Shards of glass and metal littered the hallway floor; they tried to take little breaks to catch their breath. The heat was strong but Jed kept moving. When Jed approached the stairs he came up with an idea. Everybody knew that the railing was great to slide down but the person who did it would be suspended.

One by one Jed put the men on the railing secured by some spare rope he found. About ten minutes later all six boys and one very tired Jed were at the lobby of the school. The door in front of Jed began to fall apart; four large men came rushing in, one man put a mask on Jed then everything became dark. Two days later Jed found himself in a gurney at the local hospital. Around him were hundreds of flowers and gifts. Looking down Jed noticed a cast on his leg and a brace on his neck. A note and present that caught Jed’s eye on the table next to him. The front of the envelope was labeled “To Jed, from Blake.” Jed released the tape and the slip released from the paper. He took out the letter, “Dear Jed,” he started to read.

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