Author’s note: Due to the sensitive nature of this story, the author has chosen to be anonymous and has changed the names of the people in the story to protect their privacy.


It was a normal October day. Rick was on the school bus heading home. It was the beginning of his 11th grade year and all he could think about was the day he did not have to attend anymore. The smell of manure flooded the school bus as they entered McClure, and the bus rang loud with the laughter and conversation of the kids. Terry, the bus driver, yelled at the kids to be quiet as usual. Rick sat quietly beside his disabled brother, respecting the driver, for she knew his mother and father personally. Even though she was a nasty, pear-shaped woman with long, greasy hair, he knew she was a nice Christian lady.

Time had gone by and all but three other kids remained on the bus. As the bus approached the street that Rick and his brother lived on, Rick finally felt the first bit of joy he’d felt all day. The bus was bumping up and down as they proceeded up the gravel road. Finally, the bus came to a stop and Rick stood up from his passenger side seat and looked right towards his drive way. A tan Plymouth Scamp sat still in his driveway, and Rick knew that was not good. The car that sat in his driveway was a car he recognized; it belonged to the 26-year-old bully that had harassed Rick and his brother for two years. Terry turned around and told Rick to be careful because she was a family friend and knew the situation. She said she’d sit and watch him go in the house to make sure she was there just in case anything were to happen. Rick acted calm like everything was not a big deal and told Terry that he would be okay; little did she know what would happen next.

The squeaky bus doors drew open and as Rick got off the bus, his demeanor changed, similar to an earlier time when he realized he was different. It was when he had mowed a bully’s foot off with a push mower at the age nine. Now, he had had enough once again. He approached the bully’s car, zoning out all of the bully’s threats. He had one thought in mind, and that was to end it all. To the man in the tan Plymouth Scamp, this was a joke, but to Rick it was go time.

Rick ran to the side door of the house and smashed the door open with his foot with one thought in mind, grabbing his 20-gauge single-shot shotgun. Slamming his bedroom door open, he grabbed the gun and three buck shot shells out of his dresser. Bursting out of the front door before the bully could react, Rick fired his first shot from about ten feet away. He followed with two more as fast as he could shoot them. The once bully, now victim’s, car was in reverse and as he tried to pull away he drifted into the yard and passed out. The once obnoxious yells from the children on the bus turned to shrieks of terror. To Rick the job was done.

As the bully lay there with pellets in his face, chest, and torso, the children and bus driver ran to safety to call the police at a nearby neighbor’s house. To the surrounding people the blood and glass that covered the once spotless muscle car was a scene of horror, but to Rick justice had been served.

After a short, noncompliant talk with the police, Rick was detained and transported to a juvenile facility for two weeks. At the time the county did not have an actual facility, so Rick sat in one of the courthouse’s holding cells. The uncertainty of what would soon come ate at Rick’s mental state; he was sure this was going to be the incident that put the nail in his coffin. In his mind his short journey was over.

The day came after two weeks, Rick’s adjudication hearing. While adults may wait lengthy amounts of time to be sentenced, juveniles are required to have at least two hearings within their first month of being detained to determine if they should be placed or set free regardless of their actual trial. Rick was shackled up, but he remained calm while he was transported to the court room. To his advantage the story the bus driver told sounded like clear self-defense to the judge, and he was released that day. He was a free man until the actual trial decided his long-term fate.

After nine long months, Rick was found innocent for the reason of self-defense, and everything was good. These events gave Rick a feeling of invincibility towards the law, and it would actually set a tone for other run-ins with the law later in life, but that’s another story.