The commotion came to a silence as the squirrels all hushed with their latest V.I.P. arrival. They made way for Red who rubbed his head as he approached Johnny.
“Ya got quite the arm there, lad, I’ll give ya that much,” Red remarked.
Johnny smirked a bit at the comment.
“Now don’t be thinkin’ ya beat ol’ Red just yet.” Red paced around Johnny. “Truth be told, ya are an interestin’ one. Never have I met a human that’s been able to talk to us. Especially, all willy nilly.”
“I don’t mean any trouble,” Johnny replied.
Red spat on the ground. “Too late for that now, boy.”
“It’s never too late to make amends,” Johnny added.
Red’s tail twitched violently. “Ya may have gotten the best of me in front of me lads, but you’re about to lose yer nuts, boy!”
Johnny thought back to the dream. He decided then that he would do his best to defend himself.
“Get ’em, boys!” Red yelled.
Squirrels by the dozens went for Johnny. He began swinging the curtain rod around and made contact with several squirrels. However, it was no use. No matter how well he swung the curtain rod, no matter how well he blocked with the trash can lid. He was being overwhelmed and he knew it.
He figured he could just let them kill him. That at least then he’d be free and not have to worry about what the other kids and people would say. That he was tired of running…of hiding. He was tired of the name-calling, shaming, bullying. Everything. To him, death would be a warm welcoming.
I guess this is the end, he thought.
As he dropped the curtain rod and trash can lid, he was knocked down to the ground. A light clink of the curtain rod and rattle of the trash can, echoed in the alley. He never once bothered to cover his face or shield himself from all their attacks.
Red took note of this gesture and yelled out. “Wait! Wait ya little shits!”
All the squirrels all stopped their assault and looked to Red. Red approached Johnny who still laid down. “Get up.”
Johnny didn’t move. Red scurried on top of Johnny’s now bloodied t-shirt.
“I said, get up.” Red slapped Johnny’s cheek.
“Why? It’s pointless. Just kill me and get it over with already.” Johnny mumbled.
Red laughed. “I wasn’t gonna kill ya, lad.”
“Then what were you going to do besides brutally beat my ass?” JOhnny asked.
Red hemmed and hawed, “Brutally beat yer ass—to teach ya a lesson.”
“So pointless,” Johnny replied, slowly getting to his feet.
“I also don’t like havin’ me adversaries quit on me. Pick up your weapon and fight.” Red pointed at Johnny’s makeshift weapons.
“No. I’m done. I don’t care anymore.” Johnny mumbled.
Red spat on the ground. “Ya give up so easily on everthin’? Yer friends, family? Just one big quitter now ain’tcha?”
Johnny started to head for the exit of the alley.
Red growled, stomping his foot in the dirt.”Da ya at least remember him, don’t ya? Ya think Jerry would be proud of what ya are now? He’d probably kill himself all over again.”
Johnny stopped walking and turned around. “What do you know about Jerry?”
Red drew a smile on his face. “Only that one day, he’d be blowin’ his pretty little head off because he couldn’t stand bein’ around sad saps like you.”
In a rush of anger, Johnny grabbed the curtain rod and trash can and went straight for Red. Red danced elegantly as he dodged Johnny’s attacks and scratched him here and there.
“Yer so easy, like yer mum, sad sap!” Red taunted.
After a moment of swinging at something he couldn’t hit, Johnny snapped. He let out a shrill cry in the alleyway. An unseen force emanated from him, and sent all the squirrels down to the ground and Red flying, making him hit a fence post.
The alleyway laid in ruins, more than it did before the alleyway rumble between a boy and a mob of squirrels. Johnny’s wounds healed and he felt rejuvenated. Panic had set in because he realized he just leveled an alleyway and sent squirrels flying all about.
Red grunted as he got back up and wandered over to Johnny. “Now there’s the kicker. It’s about time ye awakened.”
Johnny stared down at Red. “Wh—what just happened?”
Red laughed. “Again with the stutterin’, boy?”
Johnny gave Red an angry glare.
“I kid, I kid. Calm yer tits, small fry,” Red motioned with his paws. “It’s a long story…but I suppose it’s time ya learned of who ye really are, Johnny.”