Show me the money

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Show me the money

500 Words: Bully

https://open.abc.net.au/explore/47527

He was fat, pale and menacing. He held his grubby, pudgy hand out in front of him, taunting us. In his palm lay the few silver coins he had grabbed off my younger brother.

On either side of him stood his stupid sidekicks, two skinny boys who were much smaller than their ‘boss’, but just as cruel. Jim and his cronies lived about five streets away from us. They didn’t always walk home from school the same way my brother and I did, but they had been lately. My brother had told me they had been watching him at school and I think they must have targeted him as someone they could hassle. On this day they had finally followed through, roughing him up and stealing from him the few coins mum had given us for an ice-block after school.

Jim held the coins out, almost waving them under my nose as I shouted at him to give them back. I could hear his sidekicks sniggering at me, the ‘stupid girl’ trying to defend her brother. I remember yelling, calling him a bully and a thief.

I knew there was no way he was going to give us the money back. This was a game to him – like a cat with a mouse he was playing with us, riling me up while his buddies looked on. He was being a ‘big man’, a typical bully and this was probably the best fun he’d had all week. He sneered at us insolently, his piggy eyes cold and mean.

By now, my heart was pounding and my mind was racing. Despite my shouts and accusations, I was scared. I was worried that Jim and his friends might grab either me or my brother and start hurting us. I knew I wasn’t strong enough to keep them off us and my brother, who was only about eight years old at the time was no match for big Jim and his scummy friends.

As Jim wafted the coins under my nose once again, I grabbed my chance. With all my strength, I swung my right arm from down by my side straight upwards, hitting Jim’s open hand from underneath with a mighty whack. His hand jerked into the air and the coins flew out of his palm, scattering.

I turned to my brother and yelled “Run!”, and grabbing our school bags to our chests, we raced off down the street towards home, running faster than we’d ever run in our lives.

I kept looking back to see if Jim and his cronies were following us, but they weren’t. The last I saw of them that day was Jim clutching his hand and mouthing something while the sidekicks were scrabbling around on the grass looking for our coins.

After that, Jim and his crew never again bothered my brother and I.

We still walked home the same way every day, but I always made sure to keep an eye open for Jim and his boys, just in case.

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