Binky’s Frightening Fracas

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July 21st 2016  |  0  |  Category: Drama , Fiction , Moral  |  Author: geedda  |  391 views

Kenny Knox, playing on an old discarded sofa, was stung by a hornet who had taken up residence in the cushion on the couch. Kenny yelped for half an hour; jumping and shaking his right hand, shouting like a banshee for the whole neighborhood to hear.

“Stop acting so foolish, Kenny,” I said taking him by the shoulders and shaking him.
“I can’t; it hurts too much…owww!”
“See that mud puddle over there?”
“Go over there and put some mud on the sting, the paste will draw out the poison.” I didn’t know if that was true or not, I just wanted him to stop his yelling.
“Hey, Binky, it worked.” I was more surprised than him. I had heard someone say that mud was the cure for a bee sting, but had never had the opportunity, until now, to try these hypotheses.
“Good, Kenny, didn’t I tell you it would?”
“You sure are smart, Binky. You know about everything.” I am only thirteen so that precludes any notion, I am all-knowing.
If you ask most of my classmates, they will say, I am a quiet, easy-going person, except for Johnny Shackford; he thinks I am stupid. I am his favorite target at school; he is the school’s only bully.
I am a thirteen-year-old middle school student who lives with my parents in Bickford, Maine. Call me a nerd; I love school and enjoy studying. I have fun most days at Bickford Middle School; however, there are times when Johnny Shackford likes to show off his strength and the power he has over the student body. Johnny is a large boy for his age, five-feet-ten-inches tall and one-hundred-ninety-five pounds. He is the quintessential school bully. Believe me, I know this first hand.

“Bernard, come down to supper,” my mother hollered up to my room where I was studying for a quiz in history class tomorrow.
“Be right down, mother.” My mother and father are the only people in the whole world who call me, Bernard, my given name. Most everyone else calls me Binky except Johnny Shackford, he calls me stupid, and sissy and refers to me as Hockersworth because, he says, if I were an item in a hock shop, I’d be worth nothing. Johnny is the stereotypical bully, the one who takes the weaker kid’s lunch money. I calculated; Johnny has taken from me alone, twenty-four dollars and seventy-five cents since second grade, and I have gone without lunch for that same amount of time. The only respite I get is when he is absent from school. School lunches are not the same as five-star restaurant meals; they lack taste and decorative garnishment, but they do fill the hunger I feel when I go without lunch. I really enjoy it when Johnny is absent on pizza days; I love the school’s version of pepperoni pizza.
“Okay, Hockersworth,” Johnny said. My last name is Cookson. “Hand it over.” He held out his hand for my lunch money. I placed it in his large, ham-hock of a mitt.
“Are you holdin’ out on me, Hockersworth? Where’s the rest of it?”
“That’s it, Johnny. My mother didn’t have anymore change this morning.”

“You won’t mind if I search you, will ya?” He picked me up, turned me upside down and shook me violently until the dime I had hidden in my pocket clanged to the sidewalk.
“If you ever hold out on me again, I’ll give you this in the kisser; ya got it?” He turned me right-side up and shook that ham-hock in my face. One day, I’m going to stand up to that bully; someday when I gain thirty-pounds of muscle to add to my hundred and seventeen-pound frame.

“All right, students,” Miss Abbot, our history teacher droned in her monotonous tone, “open your books to page ninety-four and read chapter fourteen. There will be a test when you finish. You have thirty-minutes to read this small chapter.”
Thirty minutes passed and Miss Abbot said, “Okay, close your books.” She passed out yellow lined paper which always signifies it is a test and not a real quiz. Real quizzes the class gets white lined paper, and we have to use a pen not a pencil.
“Hey, Hockersworth.” It was Johnny Shackford’s whispering voice. “If you are smart, you’ll turn your paper, so I can see the answers.” I don’t believe in cheating, and I was not about to be a party to someone else cheating on this test. I pretended I didn’t hear him.
“Hockersworth, you heard me, turn that paper around.”
“Jonathan,” Miss Abbot said, “please pay attention to what you are doing and stop your talking. I won’t have it in my class.”
“Yes Miss Abbot.” He had Sheila Green tap me on the shoulder and pass me a note. YOU BETA TERN, THAT PAPER OR YOU’LL BE SORRY. I wrinkled the paper and put it in my desk.
“I’ll take that note, Bernard,” Miss Abbot stood holding out her hand. If I place the note in her hand, Johnny will get in trouble and if Johnny is in trouble, so am I. He’ll beat me senseless after school. What should I do?
“Hurry Bernard, that note please. I saw you put it in your desk.” I could not avoid giving the note to Miss Abbot. I opened my desk and passed her the crumpled note Johnny had given me. I looked over my shoulder and saw Johnny making a fist and shaking it at me.
“Jonathan, you will come up front.”
“Yes, Miss Abbot.” He rose and went up front where Miss Abbot sat him down in front of her desk.
“Is this note a warning to Bernard? Are you threatening him if he doesn’t show you the answers to the test, Jonathan?”

“No Miss Abbot. I was askin’ him to stop cheatin,’ he wanted to look at my paper. I asked him to turn around and mind his own business.”
“Is that true, Bernard?” I began to sweat, the liquid spewing from areas where there should be no sweating; the large drops sliding down my back and from under my armpits soaking my undershorts. “Er…er…yes…Miss Abbot, it is true. I wanted to cheat on the test.”
“I don’t believe you, Bernard; you are one of my best students and Jonathan…er… not so much.” Johnny stared at me, the daggers penetrating my outer garments, striking me in the heart. What should I do? If I claim he was cheating, I have sealed my fate. However, if I do claim it and stand my ground, I have as much chance of defeating this giant-sized fifteen year old as a snowball in hades.
“I did not cheat, Miss Abbot. I have never cheated on a test in my life, and I won’t start now; no matter what happens to me.”
“Nothing will happen to you, Bernard. I guarantee it. If anyone hurts you over this situation, I will give them detention for life.” Johnny’s lip curled up and fire came out from under his eye lids, and the red veins stood out in his neck like inflated footballs. I then knew, I would have to face this Goliath in battle. I recalled the story of David and Goliath and how David slew the giant with a pebble and a slingshot. The problem is, I don’t have a slingshot, and if I did, I wouldn’t know how to use it.
“Out by the swings this afternoon, Hockersworth,” Johnny said. “You and me’s got a thing to settle. Nobody squeals on Johnny Shackford and gets away with it.”
My fate was sealed. I quickly wrote out my last will and testament on school paper. Whomever reads this note, I Binky Cookson, being of reasonably sound mind under the circumstances, bequeath my goods; my marble bag filled with playing agates, my pet turtle, Myrtle, copy of Gone With The Wind, Foster Grant suns, play-along guitar and sheet music, my gem collection, including four rock-filled tourmaline stones, a large garnet stone, two pink quartz stones and one iron pirate-filled rock, and last, but not least, my forty-five recording of the Chipmunk’s Song. I signed it and placed it in my desk where Miss Abbot would find it tomorrow when I was absent from her class, due to my death.
Two-fifteen and school was out. I stood in the doorway for maybe five minutes, looking over at the swings where Johnny Shackford stood leaning on a post. He was staring straight at me; he lifted his fat finger and motioned at me to come to him. I swallowed hard, said a short prayer and started slowly over to face the one-man death squad.
“Come closer, Hockersworth and get what’s comin’ to ya.” He held up his huge fist and shook it in my face. I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I was; I was literally shaking in my shoes. My life, what there was of it so far, passed before my eyes. I saw what I was and what I could become if I had a backbone.
Suddenly and surprisingly, all apprehension drained from my being; I gained inner strength; it came from way down inside my existence.
“Well, Hockersworth, you take the first punch; better make it count cause you ain’t gettin’ no second chance.” I didn’t want to be the first one to initiate this melee. I smiled and said, “no, you go first, Johnny.” He hemmed and hawed, moved from one foot to the other. “I said, you go first.”
“I ain’t gonna let it be said, Johnny Shackford ain’t a gentleman.” Gentleman? Huh, this miscreant is a downright bully.
“I’m not going to hit you, Johnny. If you want to beat me, you must go first.” I could tell; he was nervous. No one at school ever stood up to him; he was king of Bickford Middle School.
“Well, Hockersworth, ain’t ya gonna do nothin’?”
“It’s up to you, Johnny. Are you going to do anything?”
“Let’s stop playin’ games and get down to business.” He shook his fist in my face again. I smiled, which made Johnny mad. He swung; I ducked, and he lost his balance and fell down with a thud. He got up and tried again, and again his ham-hock missed me. “Stand still you weasel,” he said as he stepped closer and brought a haymaker from the ground up; it connected with a loud thud on the side of my face. I fell to the ground; his fist left my face stinging like an ill-placed ball on an aluminium bat.
“Get up, I ain’t finished yet.”
“Oh yes, you are, Johnny Shackford,” I said rising to my feet and planting a blow to the side of his head knocking him to the ground. He laid there moaning and then; he did something I never thought I would ever see; Johnny Shackford was crying.
“You don’t fight fare, Binky.” This is the first time he ever called me by my given name and not Hockersworth. “Help me up, Binky.” I took him by his right hand and hoisted him to a standing position.
“Have you had enough, Johnny?” I asked.
“Yes… no more, Binky. I give up.”

From that day forward, Jonathan Shackford and I became best friends, and he stopped bullying kids, taking their lunch money. Every student in BMS became rich that day, and they got to eat their lunches once more.

Johnny Shackford grew up and became sheriff of Bickford County. That’s right, the school bully became the law in town. I went to law school and became Bickford’s only attorney. Johnny and I stay in touch with each other, and I often see him in court.
We try to have lunch once a month and use the time to reminisce. We also are involved in youth ministry at our churches. We teach the kids how to get along and how to handle bullies. After all, who has more experience in bullying than Johnny and I?


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