Enjoy an excerpt from Evan M. Elgin’s “Eugene” featured in our new anthology ON TIME.
You don’t know me, but you will. I’m seven going on seventy. And here are all my friends:
Mary-Lee is the pretty girl down the street. Her hair is golden like the sun. Most days, she skipped rope, hopping a two-step in a pink dress and white shoes. But Mary-Lee laughed every time I asked her to play. She called me four-eyes and told me to get lost.
Last week, I brought my friend Eugene over to meet her. She stopped hopping, laughed, and told me I had no friends. Eugene snatched the jump rope and wrapped it around her neck. The confusion never left her face as Eugene thrashed her limp body around in the backyard.
My next friend is Ralphie Costello. Ralphie is the toughest kid on the block. He told me one day that I had a small pecker, so I told him to get bent. Ralphie grew red in the face; he kicked my shin and shoved me onto the ground. He spat on me, called me worthless, and sent me home crying to Momma.
I told Eugene.
Later that night, we crept up on Ralphie lifting weights in his garage. Eugene smashed his skull in with a hammer. Ralphie put up a good fight, but eventually, all the white stuff fell from his mangled skull.
Eugene laughed, patted me on the shoulder, and told me that I did tell Ralphie to “get bent.”
Mr. Peabody is our substitute gym teacher. He always made us do wrestling drills when Mr. Bailey was away. He watched us when we undress in the locker room. Most of the boys don’t like it. Sometimes if we were stinky, Mr. Peabody took a few of us down the corridor into the dark showers and washed us himself.
Tuesday was Eugene’s turn. Eugene now hates Mr. Peabody for it.
Evan M. Elgin is a writer of both published and self-published fiction. He has been previously published in SERIAL magazine, while his debut novel Vive La Superior! is available on Amazon. He currently lives and works in a void of “suburban weirdness” that makes up Greater Chicago.