Billy walked gently and carefully onto the path that would lead him home from school. It was old, surrounded by brush and trees, hardly a path at all, but it was there beneath his feet. You’d miss it from the main road.
Billy’s neighbour told him about this alternate route when one day, he saw Billy bawling his eyes out behind his house. The neighbour had gotten the entire story from Billy amidst his sobs and gulps about how a group of boys had taken to following Billy home, throwing stones at him, beating him with branches, calling him names.
He was excited that day. Surely, Jonah and his other minions would be wondering where he went to. He skipped a little down the path. Feeling almost happy. But it was a premature happiness. Jonah and the gang jumped out of the bushes and pounced on Billy. He was too surprised to evade them. “Haha! Thought you could get away, eh?” Jonah declared with glee. They wrestled him to the ground and proceeded to kick the heck out of Billy.
After what seemed to Billy like hours of enduring their beatings, they stopped. Billy lay there on the path, bleeding out slowly, moving in and out of consciousness. His hand closed over something buried in the ground as he tried to crawl away. It was a silver whistle. He gave a small laugh, he didn’t know why and he hurt all over. No more laughing, he silently reminded himself.
What the hell, he thought, and brought it towards his lips. Maybe someone will hear it and chase Jonah and the other boys away. They were standing a few feet away, smoking, catching their breaths before round 2 started.
At first, Billy didn’t have enough breath to blow the whistle. All that came out was a wheeze. He tried again and you could hear FWEEEEET…FWEEEET…FWEEEEET. The sounds only caught Jonah’s attention. Oops, thought Billy and he dropped the whistle to the ground.
The sounds along the path ceased. No birds chirping. Then, the earth started rumbling and quaking near Jonah as he approached Billy. Jonah fell to the ground, trying to get a grip but the quaking intensified. Then to Billy’s shock and horror, a hand as big as a house burst out from the ground directly under Jonah’s and the other boys’ feet. They shrieked and screamed as they were elevated above the ground on the giant hand. Some of them tried to jump down. But they were too slow, the hand closed into a fist. The shouting cut off. Bits of bone and trails of blood fell to the ground beside Billy. As suddenly as the hand emerged, it retreated back into the ground from where it came from. The ground undisturbed.
The birds came out again.