Helped with Bully
Sean moped as he kicked a rock down the sidewalk. With his mother working that evening, that left him alone with her nasty boyfriend. He kicked another rock and watched as it landed at the entrance of the cemetery he was walking past. He hated how tense things were at home. Taking the long way from school seemed to help.
The rock skipped down the sidewalk back towards him, stopping at his foot. Sean furrowed his brows as he looked at it, then looked up and gaped. A large, furry monster was standing at the entrance of the cemetery. Sean took a step back, then turned around, only to bump into a large chest. Strong hands grabbed his arms and Sean looked up into a mean face. “Anthony. Can we not do this today?”
“Oh, it has to be done, Limpy. There’s a tax you need to pay to walk this way.”
Anthony grinned and dragged Sean towards the entrance of the cemetery. “Let’s just step into my office while we settle things.”
“C’mon, man. I’ve got two bucks.” Sean struggled as Anthony dragged him through the entrance.
“Are you afraid?” Anthony laughed. He made chicken sounds as they walked past headstones. “It’s creepy here. All these dead people.”
Sean looked around, but couldn’t see the monster. “Anthony, just let me go. I won’t say anything. I promise.”
“Of course you won’t, dork.” Anthony pushed Sean down onto the soil of a freshly buried grave. “That would be disrespectful.”
Sean looked around, growing more terrified by the moment.
“Running won’t help, Limpy. I can walk faster than you run.”
“I just want to go home. That’s all.”
“Then let’s talk about the tax.” Anthony grabbed Sean’s backpack and looked in it. “What a nerd.” He tossed it on the ground. “Where’s your wallet?”
Sean shifted in the dirt as he reached for his back pocket. He flinched and jumped back as a large stone marker tipped over, nearly hitting him. He heard a scream and saw Anthony pinned under the granite block. Behind the block stood the monster.
Screaming in terror, Sean kicked dirt as he tried to get his feet underneath him. He sprinted across the cemetery to the first large tree he could find and hid behind it, trying to control his racing heart. After a moment, he glanced back around the tree at Anthony who still struggled in vain under the heavy stone. The monster wasn’t there anymore.
He brushed at something that tickled his neck, then froze, feeling a puff of breath. Spinning around, Sean cried out when he came face-to-face with the monster. He backed up against the tree then closed his eyes tight when he realized there was nowhere to run to.
A finger touched his chest.
Sean opened an eye.
The monster pointed at a large, metal bar laying in the grass.
Gulping, Sean returned his attention to the monster. The creature leaned to the side to look around the tree and pointed at Anthony. “Help him.”
Sean gaped. “You…you speak?”
“Help him, and he will no longer bother you.”
“Um…he hates me.”
The monster smiled. “He hates himself.”
Sean shifted a little and looked over his shoulder, around the tree. Anthony was frantically pushing on the granite while trying to catch his breath. He looked back at the creature. “You were hiding in my closet last night. You’re not going to hurt me?”
“He will be your friend.” The monster pointed to the metal bar. “You get to keep your lunch money.”
Sean licked his lips as he squinted at the creature. “What are you?”
“Nistar.” The creature nodded. “Now, help him.”
Sean scooted nervously towards the bar and hefted it. “The granite is too heavy for me.”
“You know about leverage, Sean.” The Nistar smiled. “Quickly now.”
Sean nodded and walked back over to Anthony, glancing over his shoulder. The creature had vanished again. Sighing, he looked at the block.
Anthony noticed him and reached out. “Dude. Don’t leave me!”
“I’m not going anywhere, Anthony,” Sean said as he circled the block. “Okay, I’m going to put this bar under there. Move your foot.”
Anthony shifted a little. Sean scooted the bar into the little gap as far as it would go. Then he walked to the far end of the bar. “When this lifts, you need to crawl out fast. Okay?”
“Dude, this block is too heavy.”
“I’m a nerd. Remember?” Sean said, scowling. He rubbed his hands on his pants then squatted. “Okay, here goes.” He lifted with all his might. But the block barely budged.
Sean was about to give up when the bar abruptly lifted a lot more. He glanced over his shoulder and saw the creature adding his strength to the lift.
Anthony squirmed and rolled until he was free and Sean let the bar drop, taking a step back. He looked back, but the Nistar had vanished again. Shaking his head, he knelt down beside Anthony. “Are you hurt?”
“I don’t think so.” Anthony patted himself. “No.” He sighed and looked up as he wiped his eyes. “If you tell anyone, you’re drinking toilet water. Got it?”
“Dude…” Sean started, pointing at the block.
Anthony looked at the block and deflated a little. “Thanks.” He got to his feet and brushed his pants off. After looking at Sean for a long moment, he walked out of the cemetery without another word.
“He will no longer bother you.”
Sean jumped and looked around. The Nistar was standing beside him, smiling widely.
The Nistar looked at his hands. “That appears to be a fair assessment.”
“You’re not going to hurt me?”
“But…in my bedroom. You scared me.”
“I did not mean to.”
“Why? Why are you…why me?”
“You can see me. I am most curious about that.” The Nistar grinned.
“No one else can see you?”
The Nistar shook his head.
Sighing, Sean wiped his face and looked at the entrance of the cemetery. “I’m going crazy. That has to be it.”
“Would you like to be tested?”
“Tested for what?” Sean looked back at the Nistar.
“If you are crazy or not?”
“Really?” Sean gave the creature a look.
The Nistar chortled and Sean grinned. “I would ace it. Like all the other tests.”