Hello fellow imaginers, and I hope the week’s been going well for you all! Today, I am looking forward to giving you a small snippet from one of the first chapters of my novel, Metamorphs: Return of the Legion! In this scene, Tristan Davids faces down a school bully only to find himself horribly overmatched. The scene is important for several reasons, as it highlights certain themes found throughout the novel:
Empathy- Tristan starts off the confrontation by trying to appeal to Austin’s emotional side. As the saying goes, “Hurt people hurt people”, and Tristan knows that there’s more going on to Austin’s aggressive attitude than the popular jock lets on.
Societal Pressure- Austin considers letting Tristan go before he is egged on by his classmates. Rather than acknowledging he was in the wrong, he decides to give in to peer pressure and the expectations that he has created for himself.
Bullying- The novel is big on this as I’m sure we all remember what it was like (and still is) in high school. Whether at school, online, or at work, bullying will always be present. One of the main themes in this novel is how do we respond to it and rise above the hate.
Tristan looked up and stared at the stunned sophomore, who for the first time was speechless. Tristan could see, for just brief moment, a look flicker across Austin’s face. Looking back, Tristan liked to believe that for once, the bully had let down his guard to reveal the hurt, confused boy inside. Unfortunately, the moment quickly passed as one of Austin’s friends screamed out, “Beat him up already!” The crowd roared in agreeance, and Austin brought his fist thundering down.
Tristan had never been in a fight before, much less punched in the face. It was not something he enjoyed in the least. Tristan flew back off his chair as Austin continued his assault, swinging down on Tristan’s head. He tried his best to curl into a ball and cover his head, but that just opened up his ribs to the bully’s size 9 Nikes. Tristan could barely make out Marco and John trying their best to intervene, but Austin’s friends had set up a blockade and were pushing them back. A sharp whistle pierced the cafeteria air, as Principal O’Malley and Coach Nibian stormed through the room, knocking kids aside to stop the fight.
“That’s enough! Get off of him, Chatman! That’s enough!” the principal yelled, pulling the boy off of Tristan. He grabbed Austin by the scruff of the neck and began dragging him out of the room. Tristan could hear the schoolmaster yelling at Austin about the years’ worth of detention he was going to face, as well as his suspension off the football team.
Mr. Nibian helped pick Tristan off the floor as he told everyone to file out. “Get moving people! Nothing to see here! Nothing to see!” He held Tristan steady and lightly brushed off the bruised, bleeding teen. “Geez, Davids! You alright there, kiddo? Looks like you got yourself a few knocks,” his coach said, a look of genuine concern on his face. Ignoring the coach, Tristan looked around at the students leaving the scene. He saw the kids snickering behind the soccer coaches back, the looks of disappointment on his friend’s faces. He had never felt so embarrassed.
Tristan tried his best not to let the tears fall past his quickly swelling eyes, but they came down anyways. “Listen, kid…I’m sorry. I know high school can be tough for kids like you,” Nibian began, putting his arm on Tristan’s shoulder, but Tristan pushed it aside and ran past him. Tristan didn’t know where he was headed, but he knew he wanted to get far away from this place as fast as possible. Tristan grabbed his bike and quickly pedaled away from the school, his sobs drowning out the shouts behind him.
I hope you all enjoyed the read! If you did, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter for more information on the book’s release, and please leave your comments below! Until next time, keep imagining!