A Short Story:
John pulled his car into the parking lot of the mall. He smiled as he parked next to his friend Bobby’s Camero. John revved the big block engine. The gas pedal yielded itself to the pressure of John’s foot and the engine purred. The sound of the engine made John happy, it was his passion. The sense of pride that he felt from the way people looked at his car was immense. He revved it one more time and then turned the key and the engine stopped.
He and Bobby were good friends and hung out a lot. Everybody knew that Bobby would defend John and vice versa. Neither man was small, and each could hold his own in a fight. The two of them combined had yet to find a man, or men, that could stand against them. It wasn’t that they went around picking fights; the fights had a way of finding them. Most people actually thought them to be a couple of nice guys, just so long as you didn’t fuck with them. If you pissed either one of them off, you had both of them to deal with. They had never fought a fight just for the sake of fighting; it was always in defense of a friend or themselves.
The mall wasn’t much, about thirty or forty stores lined up in two rows that crossed in the middle. Most of the stores were, according to most of the kids who roamed the mall, old person stores. There were the Hallmark’s, Fabric Hut, Wicks ‘n’ Sticks, and stores like them. As on most days, John and Bobby decided to hit the mall after school and see if there were any new cd’s out and to hit the arcade. It was a good way to waist a couple of hours before they had to go to work down at the auto shop.
John’s father owned a body shop and John and Bobby worked for five or six hours a night after school doing the simpler jobs. It wasn’t much for pay, but they both enjoyed the work and got free use of the shop for their own cars on the weekends.
After about an hour and a half, Bobby left for work. Since John had taken the night off, he stayed and wandered the mall for a while longer. He walked from one store to the next, looking at most of the same things that he looked at every other day that he was at the mall. As he left the mall, he saw Jim Fany walking across the parking lot towards the entrance.
He and Jim had a bad history but both made an effort to agree to disagree. Not long ago, Jim had “stolen” John’s girl away from him and since then they had been on bad terms.
Most days John would have just ignored Jim, but on this day something was different. As he got closer to Jim, the rage inside him built to huge proportions. Usually, John’s self control was enough to hold back anything. This time was different somehow, not just because he had seen Jim, he saw Jim once or twice a day around school. No, this was different, something inside him snapped. Whatever held his self control failed, and the rage was released. Their paths crossed and John jumped him. He threw a right hook that dropped him to the ground, if not by force than by surprise. Before Jim could regain himself, John kicked him in the midsection, effectively knocking the wind out of him. After three of so more kicks, John knelt down on Jim’s chest and began pummeling him in his face. The adrenaline running through John kept him from stopping. He threw punch after punch into Jim’s face. After a while Jims body went limp and John stood up. He looked down at Jim and then at his fists. He still wasn’t sure what had caused him to do this.
The way he felt now was spectacular. It was the ultimate rush, and an amazing release. He had never felt anything quite like it. It was a release of all the anger and rage that had built up inside him. A feeling of complete freedom. A few moments passed and then he turned and walked to his car. He pulled a cigarette out of his pack and lit it. The smoke filled his lungs, and twisted and turned as he exhaled. His hand shook as he lowered the cigarette from his mouth. He pulled his keys out of his pocket and got into the car. It took him a few seconds to stabilize his hand enough to get the key into the ignition. He turned the key and the motor roared to life. It occurred to him that something was different, not wrong, but different. The engine sounded, felt, different. It sounded deeper and had a more guttural feeling. It was more primitive, almost alive. Things had changed, everything was different. He put the car in gear and pulled out of the parking lot, and never looked back.