Diamond in the Rough
by Angel Zapata
Chris pushed the other boy back to the ground.
“Leave me alone.” Brandon was too weak to get up. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“Yeah, you did.” Chris circled his former classmate and smacked him in the head several times. “Go ahead and say it again.”
The boys were alone in the woods behind the church. It was Sunday afternoon and the wind was deathly still. There were no cars in the parking lot and the playground was barely visible through a thick line of trees.
Brandon looked up at Chris. The boy’s face was a swollen mask of rage.
“I’m sorry for calling you a pirate,” Brandon sobbed. “Please don’t hit me anymore.”
Chris kicked at Brandon’s legs. “Arrrrrgh!” He gritted his teeth and smiled. “There’s me treasure.”
“What are you talking about?” Brandon slowly shuffled backwards in the dirt.
“My grandma says that a little boy’s tears are like diamonds falling out of God’s treasure box,” Chris explained and watched Brandon quickly wipe them from his cheeks. “And you know what a pirate does with his treasure, right?”
Brandon had backed up against a large rock.
“Well, do you?” Chris taunted and lifted up the patch that covered his ruined eye.
Later that night, police officers used the sketch Chris provided to locate the shallow grave.
It was aptly identified with a big red X.
(Angel Zapata has fiction appearing in the Toe Tags Anthology, House of Horror: Best of 2009, Mausoleum Memoirs, Flashes in the Dark, The New Flesh, and Howl: Dark Tales of the Feral and Infernal. Visit http://arageofangel.blogspot.com.)