Chapter no 50 – LIKE A KID AGAIN‌


Blood pooled at the top of the slide. There was so much it had even started to run down. The long streaks of warm red had already coated the yellow plastic at Rock’s feet. He looked over the fence at the dead dog wrapped in a tee shirt on the other side.

It felt like ages ago when he’d released the hounds on the children. The sight of the broken pup disgusted him. After shaking free from Geraldine’s cocoon, the act felt alien to him. The person who had walked up to the sandy cage, the puppet of evil, had officially died.

As his gaze shifted from the animal corpse to the slide, Rock realized his frame was far too massive to squeeze through the hole.

“Rats,” he grumbled.

Still clenching at his gut with his gory hand, Rock turned away from the hole to the long, winding set of monkey bars. The deluxe version easily stretched on and on.

Rock clamped his mangled hand and good one onto the bar in front of him. As he swung forward a groan escaped him. Upon reaching the next bar, a stabbing pain surged across his entire mid-section. Still, he swung forward again, grabbing the next pipe with his blood-drenched digits.

When he tried to hold on and swing to the third bar, his gory grasp gave way. Rock was already too big for the toy so the fall was brief. But when his wounded back smacked into the sand, he still felt it plenty.

“Ahh!” he wailed.

He couldn’t help but let out another growl of anguish and annoyance. But as Rock lay on his back, looking up at the sky, his initial curses were followed by something else. Something unexpected.

A giggle.

He fell into another coughing fit, drool and blood splattered over his lips and dribbled down to his chin. The pain still reverberated inside him, but he’d never let that stop him before. Rock forced himself to sit up. The surprising crimson smirk remained on his face, glowing in the fading beams of sunlight.

He eyed the swing set and mumbled to himself, “That might make a little more sense.

Limping over toward the black, rubbery seating, Rock couldn’t help but think about Molly and what she’d offered him. As he swung back and forth, the red rained into the tiny pit of soft sand beneath him. Rock didn’t stop to think about the bleeding. Instead, he just thought about how grateful he was.

As the metal chains and steel bolts above his head creaked, Donnie entered his mind. Suddenly, an unusual comfort crept up inside him. Even though he’d just met Molly and Tom, he was certain they were going to make sure the boy was cared for. That he was given the chance at the future he deserved.

A loud snapping noise blared out from above as the bolts that attached the chains to the swing set exploded. Again, Rock tumbled a short distance, this time landing flat on his ass and pinning the limp swing to the sand.

There was more pain that accompanied his fall, but it wasn’t as severe as it was previously. Another chuckle fumbled its way out of his mouth.

“You gotta be kidding me,” he laughed.

Clearly, Rock had missed the boat on all the playground structures that might accommodate a man of his unique dimensions. But he found himself enjoying his bungles more than he would’ve enjoyed a smooth ride. It fit perfectly; nothing about his life had ever gone smoothly.

Rock willed himself to his knees, despite the blood oozing out of his abdomen. Despite his physical activity, his heart rate had begun to slow. He found himself not only feeling nauseous but also dizzy. However, he didn’t allow his illness and pain to sour his attitude. It was both the first and last time he’d ever get to enjoy the playground and he didn’t plan on squandering it.

Rock looked over to the roundabout that was just a few yards away. “Merry-go-round,” he grunted.

He’d never had anything to feel merry about in his past, but that day… that day was different.

Lacking the energy to stand, Rock crawled. He dragged himself through the warm and comforting sand, and under the rope tower. When Rock arrived in front of the merry-go-round, the moist, gummy sand had mixed into his bloody wounds.

He had nothing left in the tank, but somehow, he forced himself up to his knees again. Grabbing hold of the bar, Rock slung the circular, orange platform as hard as he could.

The counter-clockwise revolutions increased in their pacing. Each time his hand touched the next bar, he pushed it forward a little harder. Even when the roundabout had picked up a healthy amount of steam, Rock continued to push it faster. Until the blurring speed was finally enough to satisfy him.

Rock willed himself to his feet.

As each of the spaced-out bars whizzed by, he figured he was only going to get one shot at it. Usually, people spun the roundabout while the kids were already perched in their position of choice, but Rock didn’t have that luxury.




He studied the speed and plotted his pounce. Believing he saw a gap big enough to accommodate his huge body, Rock dove forward. As he crossed into the path of the merry-go-round, one of the thick, steel bars crashed into the gaping exit wound on his lower back.

“Son-of-a-bitch!” he yelled.

His curse began as a cry but transitioned to a cackle.

“If you didn’t have bad luck, you wouldn’t have any at all,” Rock griped through his runny grin.

The shot to Rock’s lower back slowed the roundabout’s momentum. But like a gift from God, when Rock landed in the center of the toy, there was still enough energy in the structure to keep it spinning round and round.

A new pool of leakage puddled around his body. The velocity of the ride spread the red around the circular platform in various directions. But the mess wouldn’t grow much larger; there wasn’t a lot left inside him anymore.

Rock opened his eyes and looked up at the cloudless blue hue that painted his entire blurry perspective. He felt the coastal breeze on his skin, and as he stared into the sky, he wondered if anything was actually up there. A strange sensation of discomfort was stretching across his face; Rock

Stanley wasn’t accustomed to grinning.

The pain wasn’t the worst he’d felt. It was a different hurt than the kind he’d come to know. A hurt that, under different circumstances, he could’ve definitely gotten used to.

The beauty of the day had about dried up. The darkness was priming itself to set in.

Rock’s pulse slowed to a crawl as if it was mirroring the pace of the creeping merry-go-round. As his oversized frame finally gave way, he had almost no feeling in his tired body any longer.

Except for the fading flicker of elusive happiness Rock had finally found a way to bottle.

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