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Pen Your Pride

Chapter Eight

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School blurred around me for the next week. I couldn't focus, but somehow, I got my homework done and stayed caught up. Each night, I went home to that knife. I stared at it, waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever did. I wasn't sure what I was waiting for exactly, but whatever it was, it didn't come. Maybe I was waiting for him to come back. Maybe I was waiting for the knife to float into the air and hover or something. But I refused to cut with it again. And I didn't feel any need to.

I avoided the homeless people like the plague.

I avoided Joey and his gang like the plague.

I avoided Ryan and his girlfriend, along with his little gang, like the plague.

I made sure to lock my bedroom door every night, just to be safe. Maybe it was to help keep Lucifer out. I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure of much anymore. I was growing more and more irritable by the day. Seeing Joey and his gang in the hall pissed me off. Seeing Ryan pissed me off. Everything just burned anger into my bones, and I wasn't sure why.

Just don't think about it, was all I told myself. What more could I do, anyway?

So life dragged on in that odd, blurring way. I didn't really get it.

But then I forced myself to snap out of it, and I confronted that kid that had handed me the knife. I brought a special something with me, and tucked it into my jacket.

He was sitting with his head back against the brick wall of a building that helped shape the alley. His eyes were closed, but when I kicked his foot, they snapped open wide.

"You," I hissed softly. "What have you done?"

His eyes, which I noticed were an icy blue, blinked at me, and he slowly curled his legs in, as if he were trying to get away from me.

"Well?" I challenged. He didn't reply. with a bitter growl, I knelt down and grabbed his shirt collar. We were close in size when it came to muscle, so this probably wasn't very intimidating, but I had to try and get his lips to open. "You knew exactly what you were doing when you handed me that fucking knife. Why? Why did you do that to me?"

His pale, icy stare averted to the side.

"No!" I shouted, and he winced. "Look at me! Tell me, dammit!"

He pulled the zipper of his jacket down, and pointed angrily at the scar over his throat. He opened his mouth, and the words came slowly. "Can't... talk..." His voice was raspy, rough, and it sounded like it hurt to talk. "Can't.. you see?"

I drew the thing that I had brought with me out, and slapped it against his chest. "But you can write," I hissed. He reached up and held the notepad and pencil to his chest in shocked horror, meeting my gaze.

"Write," I snarled. "For starts, your name."

Shaking, he set the notepad down on the ground and bent over it. In slow, careful handwriting, he scratched out the name Stree Hatchet.

"Okay, Stree. You know what that knife does, right?"

Of cuorse. Gave it to you for a raeson.

I frowed a little at the spelling mistakes, but moreso at the meggage itself. "Why me?" I asked through clenched teeth.

You were there. Yuor life sucks, rihgt?

"What do you know about my life?" I snarled.

Cuase you're liek me.

I growled, leaning closer, and he fanned his hand for me to be patient while he hurriedly scribbled more.

Let me explian. I picked up the knife oen day, don't know where it came form. But that thing made my life okay for a while.

"A while," I echoed the word, pointing to it. He brushed my hand away, underlined the words, and kept writing. I noticed each spelling mistake, but Stree never seemed to.

Then I wanted to kill poepel. And I did some relaly bad stuff. I ended up here, and that knief still wanted me to do stuff. Had to get rid of it. Then yuo caem around. You were in teh wrong plaec at the wong time. I'm sorry. Can't take it back now. I'm sorry. He set the pencil down and folded his hands together, avoiding my stare. His hood had slipped farther back on his head, exposing his bright blond hair that was ruffled like he touched it often.

"So you just threw this onto me," I whispered. "I just happened to be the first person you saw."

He nodded sadly, picking up the pencil again. He underlined I'm sorry three times.

I refused to do what he wanted once, he wrote slowly, taking his time, correcting all spelling mistakes as he went. He didn't like that at all.

His next words made my blood go cold.

Do what he says. I disobeyed, and now I can't talk.

Can't defy anyone anymore.

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