An early fall afternoon

From an elevation in the sandpit you commanded the playground. There was a train of boys running after a train of girls. It was shapes and activity. One girl seemed to stand still in the center of it. She held her eyes tight closed. He raised a sliver of bark above his head. It was his sword of justice.

He fell upon the group shouting, holding his weapon, he flew down from the hill with air rushing past his scalp. He felt glee and power as he chased. Older boys shouted after him, he felt the sun. He was a good runner. With a sudden burst of speed he caught up with and tackled a boy. He heard cheers. The wind was rushing past and he was strong.

He pinned his shoulders to the ground. Underneath him, he rolled like a snake. He couldn’t keep hold, and lost control of the wriggling, struggling thing. He reached out and bit the neck, hard. The boy grabbed at his head and yanked, and slid out and escaped in disarray. He stood and walked proud.

He passed the older boys again, on the rise before the school. You fight dirty. Didn’t you see him bite? And here came the monitor. His smirking grimace looked severe. Who is your teacher. He was delivered to his classroom. He saw fear cross the face of the stiff girl, who kept her eyes turned away. His hands were dirty and left marks on his workbook and forehead.