Childhood trauma can have lasting damaging effects on people well into adulthood. Last week Eric forced a thirteen year old boy to strip down to his green shabby briefs in the middle of the estate in front of everybody, the boy was shaking from the cold so bad that the string of snot that crept out of his right nostril, jumped off his upper lip and ended up in free fall hanging there like a crystalised drop light in a middle class home. Disgusting. Distraught, the fear made his right eye twitch but the left eye bulged like a deer in headlights witnessing the accident in motion. Kyan was working off a debt, the usual shit, kids these days want everything immediately it’s the instant gratification age in full effect, propelled by the speed and evolution of technology. Kyan wanted money, so he could buy new trainers, a new tracksuit, a new Samsung phone etc. The kids can now see how the other half lives and it makes them feel shitty about themselves. So he borrowed from someone he shouldn’t borrow from, spent the money, borrowed again, bought skunk, got robbed and now owes skunk and money to the person he shouldn’t have borrowed the money from in the first place.
Eric circled Kyan like a shark whose smelt blood and is searching for the weak spot to commence the attack. His deep red shirt flaps in the wind as he prepares himself to start his speech, this was the bit he liked the most because he could reinforce to the world he was a man of principle. Eric’s people are watching too, but they’ve seen this performance before, the act of showmanship in order to strike fear into the hearts of bystanders. It’s always captured on phones to maximise the level of embarrassment because Eric knows that’s the real killer. Beat a man, stab a man, take a mans shit, but if you can dissect the ego and force it what to feel, thats the real finishing move. Lets face it, there are plenty of people who feel embarrassment all the time, homeless, divorcees, bankrupt, getting locked up, the world provides a plethora of opportunities to cloak yourself in shame, but how respond to the embarrassment is testament to how deep the knife goes. At thirteen you have no chance. Social media has become a dangerous tool for self image comparison but the rewarding nature of the applications like facebook and instagram make it addictive at the same time. Broke kids, in rough neighbourhoods, with no positive role models and a propensity towards being accepted will live their lives by the terms and conditions set by social media. Kyan was fucked from day one.
Kyans heart beat is red lining now because he knows what’s about to happen but he still hopes someone will pop out from behind the rubbish bins and save him, but no one does, there’s no super heroes in the hood. There’s rap stars, sport stars, internet/tv stars and drugs man which has now evolved into road man due to the addition of fraud and robbery as hood job prospects. The past six minutes seem like infinity for Kyan as the bitter cold begins to creep into his bones. Shivering violently, he decides to speak up because he might not get another chance and for the past few minutes he’s seen the curtain spies peeking, a few kids have gathered at a safe enough distance, kids he knows from school, murmurs and sniggers bounce of the concrete, maybe he can talk his way out of it, he can get the money back, no big deal, he just needs to convince Eric he can.
Eric stops his circling, and before Kyan can get the sentence out he roars.
The silence is deafening and cuts through the crisp air like kitchen cleaver. Eric walks right up to Kyan, looks right into his saddened eyes
and roars even louder.
Doors on the block open, youths playing football in the cage turn their heads, passers by stop and stare, there are plenty of eyes now, perfect! A performer needs an audience for and exhibition to take place and the stage is now set for Eric to perfect his ritualistic humiliation to those who seemingly disobey orders. It’s important for people in power to stay in power and for years Eric has utilised Machiavellian techniques to maintain his personal success, his favourite, ensuring people fear him instead of love him. He stands about three ft away from Kyan, staring, patiently waiting, and then Kyan, head down, takes a deep breath and sighs. Eric waits for the exhalation to end, this was the moment of weakness he was waiting for, despondency. Carefully he removes his brown textured leather belt form the belt loops, one by one, and doubles it up in his cold iron hands. Kyan lifts his head and watches as Eric takes two steps towards him, there gasps and mutters from the audience, but any surrounding vocal is consumed by the terror that was filling the air. Sometimes the tension before an act of violence is just as impactful as the act itself. Anticipation is powerful and as humans our minds are fed too much input from when we’re babies to not have an expectation about nearly every situation. Kyan was expecting to be hurt, because that’s what he’d seen other kids go through. The spectators were expecting to see a beating, because that’s what they’re used to witnessing on this block. Eric liked keeping people guessing, taking a leaf from Frankie’s book always keeping the enemy on their toes, literally. Eric stood right in front of Kyan, leant in and whispered one last time. “Fuck you”, and methodically he began to make noose with the belt.