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           Philip Fraterrigo
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  Philip Fraterrigo

  Copyright 2010 Philip Fraterrigo

  Mookie turned the corner of the hallway on his way to his locker and came face to face with Big Mark and his gang. “Hey Mookshit, where's the money you owe me?” the bully asked while his gang laughed.

  When he had told his father about Big Mark always bullying him, his father said, “You stand up to bullies and they'll back down”.

  “What money? I don't owe you any money,” he said.

  “You owe me two dollars for using my hallway and I want it now!”

  “I'm not giving you anything. Go to hell,” Mookie replied.

  Big Mark looked surprised. “Ooooo,” came the catcall from his gang.

  He pushed Mookie up against the wall but just then Mr. Hartwell came around the corner. “What's going on here?” asked the math teacher.

  “Nothing,” said Big Mark.

  “Well then let's get moving. You're not supposed to be loitering in the hallways.”

  The crowd began to grudgingly move down the hall but Big Mark looked back over his shoulder at Mookie and silently mouthed, “I'll see you outside!”

  He knew his chances of getting home without running into Big Mark were slim to none but Mookie kept a sharp eye out for him hoping against hope that he might succeed. Four blocks from the school his hopes came crashing down as once again he turned a corner and came face to face with Big Mark and his gang. Big Mark grabbed him and pushed him up against the side of the building. “What were you saying about not owing me any money?” he demanded.

  Mookie's father's words rang in his ears. He pulled himself up to his full height and said, “I don't owe you anything!” and then gave Big Mark a shove.

  Once again, the catcall, ”Ooooo,” came from Big Mark's gang.

  The bully was surprised by Mookie's show of bravery but quickly recovered and made short work of the smaller boy. After knocking him to the ground, he sat on top of him and then relieved him of the three dollars in his pocket. “The extra dollar is a collection fee. If you pay me up front every week like you're supposed to, you can save yourself a dollar, Mookface,” he said as he walked away laughing.

  Mookie picked himself up off the ground. His left trouser leg was torn and he could smell blood. He wiped his nose with a handkerchief and it came back partially red. “Damn him!” he thought, “ I hate him. I wish there was some way to get even with him.” He wiped his nose one more time and finding that the bleeding had subsided, resumed walking home, the whole while fantasizing how he would even the score with Big Mark.

  He walked in the door at home and his father looked up from reading the evening newspaper. “Jerome, what happened to you?” he asked. His father was the only one who called him by his real name.

  “I stood up to that bully like you said I should but apparently no one told him he was supposed to back down!”

  His father got up from his chair. “When I was your age..”

  “Please, no more advice,” said Mookie, “I'm going up to my room. I just want to be alone for a while.”

  Once in his room, he powered up his computer and went online to play some games. Mookie was blowing away zombies left and right and each one looked like Big Mark. He was half way to LasVegas where the head Zombie lived when a pop up appeared in the upper left corner of his screen. He immediately clicked on the red x and closed the window but two more popped up. With some irritation, he closed them but then new ones began to pop up all over the screen and when the screen was full, they continued with the newest ones overlaying the old.

  He sat there not knowing what to do. Each time he tried to rid the screen of the annoying pop ups they would multiply geometrically. Totally frustrated, he finally began to read them. “Do you have someone who is annoying you or giving you trouble? Possibly a business competitor or friend,or relative or even a total stranger who needs to be dealt with? We have the answer to this and many other problems. Click on the link below for a free twenty four hour trial.”

  “What garbage,” he thought and then tried once more to close the annoying pop ups. But, once again they refused to be eliminated from the screen. Out of pure frustration, he finally clicked on the link and the pop ups disappeared. In their place, filling the whole screen, was a home page called “”.

  At first he felt a chill as he read the name of the website but then he laughed. “This is probably someone's idea of a joke,” he thought.

  “Warning,” the banner across the page read, “This is an adult site. By clicking on the 'enter' button you certify that you are twenty one years of age or older.”

  Mookie clicked on the “enter” button just to see what would happen. Half expecting pornographic pictures to appear, he was surprised when another page opened with categories listed across the top of the page. The categories were revenge, wealth, love and success. He clicked on “love” and a new box opened containing the “terms of usage.” Skipping right to the bottom of the box, he clicked on “Accept.”

  The next page was filled with many questions regarding the person he would like to meet. Was there a particular man or woman in mind or did he want it to be a complete stranger? Did he want to steal him/her from someone else? Should he/she be single or married? Mookie was intrigued but decided he wanted to check out the “Revenge” category first.

  He jumped directly to that category and was confronted with a list of questions regarding the person and the degree of revenge he sought. He could choose to annoy, aggravate, inconvenience, temporarily handicap, maim or kill an individual. “This has got to be some kind of a joke,” he thought again, “but just in case, I'd better be careful about what I pick. I might hate Big Mark but I really wouldn't want to be responsible for getting him killed.”

  Mookie chose “temporarily handicap” and another screen appeared listing such things as “breaks to arm or leg or wrist, kneecaps or ankles.” He chose “arm” and then skipped to the next screen and typed in Big Mark's name and hit “enter”. The message, “processing request” appeared on the screen and then “Request accepted. Thank you. Please log off now.”

  He logged off as requested but sat there wondering, “What did I just do?”

  The next day he was at his desk in English class when Big Mark came walking into the room with his left arm in a cast. He stared in disbelief as Big Mark walked down the aisle to his desk. “What are you staring at, Mookpuke?” he said as he walked past.

  “Oh my god, it really works. I broke his arm,” he said under his breath. Unfortunately, one of Big Mark's gang members was walking by at the time and overheard his remark.

  “What's this I hear you're telling everybody you broke my arm?” said Big Mark later that day in the cafeteria.

  Mookie looked up to find him looming over him. It was bad enough that Big Mark loomed over him when he was standing but because he was sitting, he looked twice as big. “I never said I broke your arm,” replied Mookie.

  “That's not what I heard.” Big Mark pushed Mookie's face down into his sandwich with his good arm. “If I hear you lying about me again you'll be the one with the broken arm. You got that, Mookbreath?”

  He let go of Mookie's head and walked away laughing. Mookie came up with mustard all over his face. “I hate him,” he thought, “Wait until I get home. I'll fix him good.”

  He hurried home from school and driven by revenge, went right up to his room. He threw his books on his bed, peeled off his jacket and turned on his computer. It seemed to take forever to boot up but once it did, he quickly typed in “” and hit the “enter” key. The homepage came up and after clicking on the appropriate buttons, he was once again at the “revenge” menu. Resisting the urge to maim or kill Bi
g Mark, he once again selected “temporarily handicap” and then chose “break leg.” Jumping to the next page, he typed in Big Mark's name and hit the “enter” button. The message, “processing request” again came up followed by “Request accepted. Thank you. Please log off now.”

  Mookie logged off the computer as requested and then left the desk to look for some jeans and a shirt so he could change out of his school clothes. As he searched through his closet he began to smell a strange odor. The odor grew stronger and as he cautiously turned around, he realized it was sulfur.

  The smell continued to grow stronger as a strange smoke-like mist began to rise from his computer and he tore the blanket from his bed to smother what he thought was a fire. But, before he could get to the computer, the mist rose above it and then flowed to the floor. He watched with unbelieving eyes as it slowly transformed and took shape. First the legs and tail appeared and then the torso
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