They barrel towards him.

One leads. One follows.

One is large. One is smaller.

Taken aback, he steps back.

Just one step.

Not one more.

He knows not to run.

Running only makes things worse.

They swing at him.

He reels back.

Scratch marks hang in the air.


He falls.

Dirt covers his shirt.

They grasp for him.

He parries.

But, he does not fight back.

He does not know how.

He does not even know that he is allowed.

He was invaded too early.

He was invaded too often.

Now, he has no borders.

And, without borders, he just falls back.

This far.

Now farther.

They reach for his ankles.

He scrambles back on his heels and elbows.

They seize his untied Pumas.

They draw him in.

He tosses, turns, and twists to “No, No, No.”

The small one grabs his legs and holds them tight.

The large one lifts him.

Flips him.

And, presses his chest hard against its own.

They carry him off.

He writhes.

They tighten the vice on his knobby knees, narrow shoulders, and pointy elbows.

He wriggles.

They compress his underdeveloped chest.

He can still see his Xiphoid process.

He chokes.

He gasps.

He coughs.

He loses his breath.

He is scared.

His eyes fill full of questions.

He looks to them for answers.

Neither will look down.

They know…

Eye to eye they lose their size.

They know…

Gateway to gateway they may fall in love.

And, if they do, they will not follow through.

They have a task to complete.

They squeeze him harder.

He goes silent.

His head bounces to the rhythm of their side-by-side strides.

A doorway appears.


It stands alone in the darkness.

They duck through into an empty room.

They toss him to the floor.

They turn to close the door.

But, before they do, they scan the land.

It is all clear.

No one is near.

No one will know what they do in here.

The door swings slow.


It is closed.

They crowd in on him.

They grapple.

They claw.

Their hands are so big.

His hands are so small.

No use at all.

They pen down his limbs.

They force him face down.

They position him just so.

They swing calculated blows.

No head shots.

Focused blows.

Just back, buttocks and belly.

No one else is going to know.

This is between them and him.

This is for him.

No one will intervene.

Unless he tells.

He will not.

They swing uninterrupted swings.

He curls up.

He stares off into the corner.

No more blocks.

No more winces.

He takes his blows.

They have their size.

He has his corner.


He goes inside, deep inside.

He hides.

They can beat him.

But, they cannot reach him.

Skin and bones.

They say that’s all he is.

But, he is more.

Much more.

He absorbs their blows.

He gives them nothing.

No moans.

No groans.

Nothing at all.

They intensify their swings.


Their blows slow.

They have no stamina.

They place their heavy hands full of sand behind their heads.

Gasping at the ceiling.

Pacing back and forth.

They struggle to catch their breath.

They clench their fists.

And, in a violent explosion of dust and debris.

The small one punches the wall.

He flinches after all.

They lean down low.

“Go home” they venomously whisper.

They leave the room, his room.

They slam the door behind them

It has a simple bronze knob.

There is no lock on the inside.

Anyone is free to enter at any time.

And, they do.

There is no lock on outside.

There is no need.

He will not leave.

No volition.

He will wait for permission.

He hears a rumble, a stumble and then another stumble.

His eyes stay on the corner.

But, he keeps his ears open.

The door creaks.

Footsteps fall.

Two big arms cup him up.

No looks or words are exchanged.

They turn to leave.

And, as they do, he surveys the room.

Pockmarks populate the walls.

Violent reminders of the many times he has been here before.

He reaches out his hand.

Circumnavigates the irregular edges of a pockmark with his fingertips.


He pinches off a peninsular piece with the flick his wrist.

It breaks off easily.

“Cracker-thin” he wearily whispers.

They duck under the doorway.

Exit the room.

He tucks his head deep into the arms of the wanderer.

Someone stepped in.

He no longer has to hold it in.

He cries.

My, o, my, he cries.


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