By Tenzin McGrupp © 2003
Halibut nervously crouched over a nasty pile of dog shit. Socky Green threatened to tear up his history report on British colonialism unless he took a bite. A small crowd gathered around tiny Halibut, as he slowly made the decision to eat the canine feces. His taunting classmates let out squeals of “ooooohs!’ and “ahhhhhhhhs!” when he sniffed the pile before he did the nasty deed.
“For a smart kid, you’re really a dumb turnip,” Socky Green laughed as he tore up Halibut’s homework.
Little pieces of his report fluttered down like a small snowstorm. Halibut had worked on his paper for two weeks. He spent everyday at the library after school. He even interviewed Freddie Casey Jones, the former BBC news weatherman and one of the most famous residents in his seaside town.
The rambunctious crowd dispersed and continued onto school. Halibut ran home to clean the stale taste of German Shepard dung out of his mouth. When he got there, Cici was in the living room entertaining a client. Reverend Smith sat on the couch with his pants around his ankles. Halibut caught his mother having sex with the locals on several occasions. But this time, mother and son stood awkwardly in sheer embarrassment. He never caught her blowing any of the local religious authorities. Halibut was on the verge of puking with the lingering taste of dog shit in his mouth, while Cici’s breath reeked like a mixture of Labats beer, stale cigarettes, and semen. She led Halibut into the bathroom and gave him a cup of Listerine to gargle with as he sobbed uncontrolably.
“This nonsense has got to end,” Cici insisted as she kissed her son on the forehead, “Unless you stand up to that bully, he’s going to push you around the rest of your life. And if you are not moving anywhere soon and think you’re going to stay here in Nova Scotia until you die, then you might as well accept two possible outcomes. Stand up to the bully. Or get used to eating shit.”
Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.