Post by synn on Apr 13, 2023 0:14:53 GMT -5
a rowdy, mischievous, or troublemaking person, especially a child.
The piggy bank sat on the shelf, staring at us with its deadpan stare, its unflinching eyes judging us in silence. It was some grotesquely rotund swine, like something you’d see in a Sci-Fi flick, or at least a PETA documentary on animal cruelty. It had clearly been overfed.
Overfed with their own insolence.
The classroom was filled with undesirables. Hellions. Freaks, losers, troublemakers, and anyone who didn’t fit the mold of what a model student was supposed to be. Juniper was a decent enough student–she was surely intelligent enough if she applied herself–her crime was that she was quiet, too quiet, with a tendency to be manipulated by the kids with more nefarious life goals. All she wanted to do was fit in, and now she had fit into a place where the only destination was a dead end. These kids weren’t going anywhere, but the school was responsible for them until the 12th grade unless they dropped out.
Alaska had a graduation rate above 60 percent since 2004. Most of these students would graduate, but what did they really learn?
The swollen hog stared at her, she swore she saw a smile creep across its porcelain face. It was laughing at her. Its guts stuffed with dead imperialists.
It was a swear jar; a mistake jar in general. It was even called the "Hellions" jar. The way to hit these kids where it hurt the most was to empty their pockets. The majority of these kids, Juniper included, lived at or below the poverty line. Almost everyone in this classroom turned detention center lived at or below the poverty line. A quarter here or there may not seem like a lot to some but they add up. It was a “swear jar”, but it turned into an every time you burp, fart, cough, sneeze, clear your throat or talk without raising your hand jar. For many of these kids, it held several dollars a week and if they didn’t have it a letter was mailed home and their parents were billed the amount. The beatings their wallets took paled in comparison to the beatings at home when those dreaded letters came. Juniper remembered racing home from school on letter days to get there before Kallick got the mail.
“One day, I’m gonna break that jar”. Her friend Akna told her that once at lunch. She could hear the Inuit girl's voice replaying in her head on loop as she sat there. Her friend was struggling next to her, with a tickle in her throat, but trying as hard as her anatomy would allow her to not cough. Akna had given over a dollar already this week, and Juniper had comforted her when she came to school crying the next day–with fresh bruising.
That’s the thing about hellions–they always say they are going to do this or do that, or they do just enough to get noticed–but when confronted with a power greater than their own, they fold like a lawn chair. Akna wasn’t a hellion, she was a genuinely good kid, but she had some communication issues. Her “outbursts” in class were out of frustration that she couldn’t communicate her struggles with the subject matter more than they were meant to be a disruption.
Akna’s face was a shade of red now and tears welled in her eyes. Her eyes told her terror of the beastly boar that was not just controlling her human right to bodily functions but was severely complicating her life at home. She was going to cough, your body eventually wins, but the sadness in her eyes proved she was at her absolute breaking point.
—Her thoughts were broken by Akna’s books hitting the floor. Her head shot over to Kova, the most rebellious hellion in the special class for the broken. He had shoved them off, for no apparent reason, on his way back from sharpening his pencil.
“KOVA!” she shouted.
“MS. Kumaglak, that’s 25 cents in the Hellion Jar, missy!” the ‘administrator’ belted out. He didn’t see it, only her ‘outburst’. It fit her ‘file’.
“But, what about Kova?! He knocked my books off my desk!"
“You want to talk back? That’s 50 cents.”
“WHAT! That’s such bullshit!”
She punched the desk, tears fully flowing now.
Kova snickered from across the room. He didn’t care about a few quarters in a jar, being a bully was more fun. That’s the problem with hellions, they're reckless.
“Matter of fact missy, make it a dollar.”
Juniper sat there, in silence, like usual. Taking it all in.
“Sir, I don’t have a dollar to give to the pig. I need to get my mothers medication after school. I have just enough!”
Unphased, the administrator looked at her, “then we will send the bill home, let mamma know how you’ve been acting lately.”
“NO! That’s worse…please, her heart, she can’t handle it…..”
Juniper felt the demon rising. She had bile in her throat, her head pounded, her stomach hurt.
Quickly ripping out a piece of notebook paper she scribbled, “May I use the bathroom?!” She raised her hand through the commotion.
He looked at the mime like girl, and excused her. Juniper bolted out of the classroom
“When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.” Kova snickered to his buddies.
“Mr. Sugusik, that’s 25 cents….”
Juniper got to the bathroom and almost collapsed onto the sink, breathing heavily. Wheezing. Her throat was tightening, her vision blurring. She had left her inhaler in the classroom! She couldn’t go back now……
Her jaw tightened, and her teeth began to click. She fought hard against it, but she was losing control more and more each time “she” decided to arrive.
Juniper dropped her head onto the sink, her hands balled into fists. Her breathing slowed. When she raised her head back up and looked in the mirror, her eyes were black orbs.
She slowly turned and walked out of the bathroom and down the hallway. When she reached the classroom door, the administrator and Akna were still arguing. Her bill had to be several dollars by now!
She knocked on the door with some force. The entire room turned to look.
She knocked again.
“Ms. Leavitt, you have exactly two seconds to get in this room and sit down–
The class laughed. The ‘administrator’ got up from his desk, and stormed towards the door. Ripping it open, the demon struck.
Grabbing him by the arm, "she" used strength "she" didn’t know she had and tossed him across the hall into the lockers. She entered the room and pulled a desk and chair to the door, propping it up and jamming the handle. He was back up now, frantically pounding to be let back in. The demon turned her head, her black eyes fixed on Kova Sugusik.
Kova Sugusik in Inuit translates to “Strong Child.” A hellion. In a flash she was across the room and grabbed him by his head, walking him across the room as he struggled. She brought him to the porcelain porker. With a sick smile, she smashed his head against it with enough force to shatter it. Blood splattered as glass shattered, and change fell everywhere. Who needs a hammer when you have the head of a hellion?
She picked up a handful of coins in her now bloody hands. A smile crossed her face, a smile she didn’t know the demon was capable of. She threw the change up in the air as the class scrambled to collect payment for their synns. She looked down at the unconscious hellion at her feet just as the door busted open and security ran inside.
Later that day, Juniper crossed her ankles with her head down as she looked at the carpet of the superintendent's office. The police were involved as well, as Kova had been seriously injured by "her" hand.
As she left in handcuffs from the school, she made eye contact with the secretary in the office.
“You know, those piggy banks have a little rubber stopper at the bottom. You could have just unplugged it, and achieved the same result. Nobody had to get hurt.”
Juniper looked down for a moment before she looked back at the desk clerk with big black eyes. She spoke her first words in months with a devilish smirk. “Whats the fun in that?”
“The hellion, how adorable. Truly. The wannabe tough girl trying to make her name at my expense….get her pedicured toes wet in the deep end of the pool. A girl who puts on a façade, who tells all of us just how tough she is and how much pain she loves to cause…what a treat! It must be my birthday! A gift wrapped present of torture in a pretty package. Since you’re back now–and clearly nobody has told you this before–let me give you some advice. If you have to tell us you're a hellion, you’re nothing but an angel with FOMO. When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you. All you have proven to this point, little one, is you’re good at sales. Selling us all this hardened image with a side of snake oil and a sad salad. You build up this immaculate menu, but deliver an underwhelming entrée. You’re about to receive the real main course, and you’ve bitten off more than you’re capable of chewing.
You're a little girl who is just trying to impress Daddy-O by continuing the family business. Honorable? Sure. Stupid? Entirely. You aren't in it for daddy's honor, princess, you're in it for yourself. Your bio says so, the way you carry yourself says so, the arrogant look in the eyes of a girl who's never truly felt pain says so. You
“Your little comeback is dwarfed by the fact that this place isn't the same as when you left. Anarchy rules now, and trust is a fallacy. Crash no longer has any relevance, Alice Knight gambled on a partner to replace you and lost, CJ O’Donnell is off to the pasture. Oh, you didn't think I’d know your history little one? Remember, I was a fan before I was anything else and I used to watch OCW religiously. It was the only company that broadcasted on basic cable in Alaska. Proud and Strong, all that. I used to fangirl over Outcast and Matt Meyhu, The Incredible One, CYPH3R, Mack O’ Conner and Dangerous Dan. I used to sit in my room and eat popcorn and drink orange soda and dream of one day being in this very ring. Your matches? Pee breaks or scrolling through Facebook, waiting for something more memorable to come on. You were irrelevant then and you’re irrelevant now. What sets Alice and Crash and CJ apart from you, Alex? You’ve never been a champion here. People remember champions. People remember people who beat champions. They don’t remember the crutch, they remember the one that kicks it out. They propped you up and gave you a leg to stand on, and all you did was fall on that pretty little face. I did what fourteen others before me couldn’t do, I gave Harmon Egan his first and only loss before he took his ball and went home. I hold the “Oh Shit” contract and by the time this month is over, I will be a champion here. You? You’ll be just another face in a sold out crowd, busting your ass to get over a hump that is jussssstttt too high. You've been dipping those manicured nails into the piggy bank, haven't ya? You know who else came in and told us how good she is? You know who else I have left laying in the ring, stuck in her thoughts, paranoid that the boogie-synn is inching ever closer behind her?
The self-entitled 'Queen', just like you are the self entitled 'hellion'. She's at least honest about only being here for the biggest piggy bank a female ever had on their shelves here.....but you.....your lies and deception bleed through like a flesh wound on white fabric. You want all the smoke, but can't even spark the lighter. You want the fire but that fire in your mouth doesn't match the smoldering embers in your heart. You suppress your true fear, and its because of that you have never and will never succeed here.
You will never succeed in this business because you don’t want to embrace your fear. You don’t want to look in the mirror and see your flaws. In my first match with Harmon, I had him beat. I had him dead to rights. Roadkill. I chose to lose. Why? I wasn’t ready. It didn’t make sense for SYNN, a newcomer in her third ever match, to knock off one of the best champions OCW has had this decade. Sometimes, a loss tells a better story than a win. Everybody saw what I did to Harmon Egan the second time, everybody knows I could have taken that title, and everybody knows I would still be holding it today. The SYNN now is far from the SYNN then. I knew I wasn’t ready then, I wasn’t cut out for the limelight. I am strong enough to admit that. You? You’re back now telling us the same tired BS you told us then. I survived, adapted, and fought my way through the jungle for months. You were airlifted in for a day trip and didn’t even touch a single blade of grass.
The SYNN now is far from the SYNN then, but I ask you wholeheartedly……is this the same Alexandra? If it is, your fate is already sealed. Casket closed. Cut lights, put the kids to bed. You will never fully change if you never fully embrace your fear. Your biggest synn has been your arrogance and at Piledriver your synn will be your downfall.
Welcome to the party sweet cheeks, I hope you like cake."