“Fuck!” Blake squealed. The mud from a nearby puddle had drenched him head to toe as an unknowing cyclist pedalled past. He wasn’t in the mood for this, it was too early. Looking down at his watch, Blake panicked as it read 7:30 AM; only half an hour before School started. He needed to get a move on. Despite only living 500 yards from the school, Blake always made to set out at least half an hour before school started in case of the usual troubles in his journey. See, Blake was a plain looking boy with long, unkempt ash-blond hair. He wore a thick pair of black folk glasses for his bright blue eyes and was quite scrawny for his stretched out, lanky body. Nothing particularly stood out about him… aside from the fact, at age 15, Blake stood a little over 3 and a 1/2 inches tall.
How? Well, Blake was born at a weight of 0.4 pounds and a height of a little over an inch, much to his parent’s surprise. Of course, the mother and father suspected something was wrong as she hadn’t shown any physical signs of being pregnant, even though they had a positive pregnancy test and were showing all the other symptoms (feeling nauseous, becoming sick, throwing up etcetera) and they found it even stranger when out came this cute, innocent, miniscule looking boy when she’d barely just gone into labour. It wasn’t unheard of for someone so small to be born at this size, just very uncommon. News stations were reporting on it, nothing gargantuanly huge though. His parents named him Blake. Not for any particular reason. Well actually, they were thinking of calling him ‘Hope’ or something or other. But they decided they were going to try and give him a normal life. And naming him ‘Hope’ wouldn’t exactly accentuate normality. So, Blake it was.
He grew up in a small house in the middle of nowhere, his parents moving there for the peaceful little town and quiet, open scenery. Blake’s earliest memories were of him exploring the back garden like a safari adventure, with his mom or dad behind him. Leaving enough room so he felt like he was discovering things on his own. When he learned to talk, he didn’t questioned his size or why his parents were so much bigger than him. It was just the norm. But as the years went on, it dawned upon him and Blake realised he wasn’t normal. As his early suspicions were perpetuated by his ‘little’ sister, Phoebe, being born a couple of years later and 10 times the size of him. When he asked his parents about it, they responded, and would respond to the same question for then on, with something encouraging/positive with a smile on their faces. Despite his obvious differences, he enjoyed his childhood. As his sister got to be a toddler, first understanding he wasn’t a toy, his parents introduced him to her as someone to care for and be gentle. She instantly took a liking to her little brother as she learned to hold and keep him comfortable as they played together before she could even say her Cs or Gs properly. By the time she was three, Phoebe could handle her brother more caringly than anyone else, even their parents, and they were inseparable.
Blake’s parents were always trying to keep him away from the spotlight. Although, he had always attended public school since he was old enough to join and despite his limitations he enjoyed every minute of it. He made friends with pretty much everyone at his elementary, as they enquired about him with their childlike curiosity and quickly accepted him as a friend. With them also learning how to be careful and play without endangering him like his younger sister had mastered. Those years of Kindergarten onwards were fun and Blake regularly catches himself fondly reminiscing on those times.
Middle School is where most of those fond memories stopped.
As he transitioned, Blake found himself with none of his former classmates as the only school that accepted him was a few miles away. So making new friends wasn’t that easy. He didn’t realise it, but he was somewhat famous in the media. He’d never really seen any of it, probably because his parents didn’t want him to, but his early years were an open book to the public. Baby photos, stories of him as a toddler and stuff of the sort had leaked out to the press who fed the people’s inquisitiveness. He guessed his classmates from Elementary School didn’t think of him that way as he lived in the middle of nowhere, which is a something he shared with pretty much everyone else in his class. Of course these stories had almost completely stopped by then, and he was old news by Kindergarten.
However, this all meant that, he didn’t know any of his classmates, but they knew him. Growing up listening to stories about him and how special he was. They would either be too afraid to talk, out of lack of understanding, or they would tease him about his size by relaying embarrassing stories of his childhood back to him. The teasing never seemed to stop, and there were a few times where he would come home to his parents and tell them what had happened whilst his now quite protective little sister sobbed in the corner – hugging him tightly against her face. Not wanting to let go, thinking that if she did, he would get hurt by the world around him.
During all this, his parents split up. Putting a downer on Blake’s already depressing situation. They assured Blake it was nothing to do with him and that they had just grew apart due to a lot of stress. He was slightly comforted, but still felt somewhat to blame. Now his dad moved into an apartment near the house, taking his little sister with him. From then on he still saw her occasionally, maybe once a week at best. So, now Blake was settling into the routine of trudging through school and coming home, saying a few words to his mum, then disappearing up to his room.
As the bullying increased, his parents both complained to the school and the teachers would have a school assembly about it. Where they would try and give a broad talk about how bullying is a serious issue – trying not to mention Blake but inadvertently making it painfully obvious that they were talking specifically about him. This didn’t help much as he found himself getting teased even more – them mimicking his complaints and assembly talks about the bullying from the school as if it was a big joke. Even though it was bad, he learned to live through it. It never went as far as anything physical and that’s all he could ask for.
The only redeeming thing about his middle school was that, when he was 8th grade, his sister went into the 6th and she started attending the same school as him. Keeping him company by, every break and lunch, scooping him up at the end of class and wondering around the back field. Usually catching up by talking and sharing each other’s company that they relished from not seeing each other as often as they’d like. Normally then going to the cafeteria where he would hang out with her and her group of girlfriends. He loved these times. Being whisked away from his hellish classroom by his ever-loving sister and spending time in her warm and gentle hands as she asked how he was and if he was alright. They were extremely comforting to him. What he didn’t enjoy so much was her friends. They were eager, to say the least. He’d known some of them most his life and they had already learned how to hold him properly, to ask for permission before doing so and trying to be steady to not make him nauseous. But the others, they obviously didn’t mean any harm but they’d play with him a bit rougher than he would’ve preferred. Passing him round, playing catch or even hiding him from his sister so she couldn’t help him out. When this happened, or whenever he’d tell her if anyone else was making fun of him, his sister would lash out at her friends for not being careful and the bullies for picking on him. Usually resulting in her decking one of his bullies in the face which, although extremely satisfying to Blake, it wasn’t something he wanted for her to become an outcast and end up having no friends like he did. So he decided to not voice his discomfort as much. In fear she would also be teased for having a tiny ‘Big’ brother and/or would lose the friends she’d already obtained. But, nonetheless. He enjoyed what was his final and best year of middle school that was mostly in his sister Phoebe’s loving hands. Things were looking up.
Then High School time came around…
Going into it with an open mind, Blake set out to make friends and create great memories and experiences with a fresh start. Unfortunately, most of the problems of middle school were present and this time… they were much worse.
The school he decided to go to was as far away from his middle school as possible which put him back to outside his house in the middle of nowhere. There had always been a High School down the road and he’d always intended to go there. In addition to his, they surprisingly jumped at the opportunity to take him in. Even going so far as to be as accommodating as possible during his school days. Building entrances, walkways and stairs/ladders into the walls to provide him with a reliable way of manoeuvring the school. It sounded great. That was until the first day came round. Somehow, a few of his middle school classmates were in his grade. That didn’t bother him that much. He’d heard it all from them and he didn’t think they’d have any new material. Plus, as he was nearer to his Elementary School, a few semi-recognisable faces were there but none tried to initiate a conversation.
But as the first few days went on, he didn’t seem to be making connections with anybody as packs of friends were being formed around him. He was back where he was; an outcast. I didn’t take long until the teasing started again and from there it took no time at all until they started getting physical with him, with those boundaries of just sticking to verbal torment, being broken by the student’s ‘maturing nature’ and need to show off. It started with kicking the walkways he used around the school; blocking his path and laughing at their advantage over him. But then this simple obstructing of paths lead to flicking him over, burping in his face, jostling whatever surface he was on to try and make him either fall over or fall of it entirely and even snatching him from in-between walkways and putting him on the open floor for him to fend for himself as he tried not getting trampled. This bullying got worse and worse as the weeks went on. He couldn’t say anything to his parents or teachers, not wanting a repeat of the Middle school assemblies that only encouraged them. He couldn’t tell his sister Phoebe as, although he laughed when he thought about a little 12 year old girl coming up to a high school to beat up a bunch of nearly 15 year olds, it didn’t seem like the best course of action. Plus the school had been so accommodating and he knew leaving would be a slap in the face to the principle and others who were eager for him to go there.
So as the days, weeks and eventual months passed, where Blake turned 15 and learned to contain most of his emotions, he couldn’t have felt any worse. Especially back on the first day of the new semester where, when walking to school, he was drenched by a passing bike over a puddle. So there he was. Dripping wet with mud and late for his first day back.
Blake made his way to school and was late to homeroom for stalling after he got covered. He reached his tiny entrance and opened it to find a classroom full of the usual people and the teacher in the standard sleeping position. He made his way to his usual spot at the back of the class along his wall mounted walkway. A couple of people noticed and he was hurled with a few insults for good measure.
“Ewwww! Look he’s covered in shit!” A male voice yelled. The class’ attention drew upon Blake. There was a moments silence until they all burst out laughing.
“Go back to the sewer you little shit!” A female voice yelled, laughing hysterically at her own joke along with the rest of the class. He tried to ignore them and make his way to his seat, but they all started throwing miscellaneous trash at him: Scrunched up chip bags, candy wrappers and a lone piece of gum that stuck directly to his head. He whimpered slightly as he sat down in his miniature desk upon his much larger one with no one around him, the teacher still sound asleep and unaware of what had just occurred. Blake buried his face in his bag as he felt sorry for himself and tried not to show the tears forming around his eyes.
The class went back to its normal mumblings, some still tormenting Blake whilst most had drawn their attention to something else. He cleared his thoughts as he tried to get the gum out of his hair.
“Only six hours left” Blake said to himself…
They bell struck at 2:30 as Blake packed up his things, made was way along his desk and was helped onto the walkway by his maths teacher. The school was compromised of a few hallways connecting together to form a quad, with different floors belonging to different departments. So getting along was easy enough with his walkways attached to the floor at the side like a hamster tube. Only he could walk down it, so normal people reach in there even if they wanted to, which meant they tended to get quite dirty in there. The tube-like paths were cleaned once a month with a vacuum cleaner but that didn’t stop all the mud collected from people’s shoes to find their way accumulating in there, like a slipstream on a river. Due to this, Blake didn’t really enjoy his walks outside lesson but, seeing as he really didn’t have a choice, he sucked it up instead of looking for an alternative.
Making his way to the back exit of the school, Blake waited awhile, partially so it wasn’t as busy, but more so that his classmates wouldn’t be there when he left. At 3:00 he set out on the 500 yard quest to the front door. Taking various pass-throughs in fences and what-not to try and not repeat what had happened earlier this morning. He always needed to look out for rain. Whether it lay on the ground in puddles or was thundering down, he didn’t really enjoy the results of either. His walk back wasn’t that eventful. Blake was barked at by a few dogs, stared at by the odd few people, he didn’t mind that as much. He’d lived here all his life and everyone knew him or at least knew of him.
Finally, getting to his door at the prime time of 4:00, Blake came in through his tiny entranceway in the door which he still needed a key for.
“Hi!” He heard his mother shout from the kitchen “How was school?”
“FINE!” He shouted as loud as he could so she could hear him.
Blake realised he was still covered in a large amount of dried mud so he quickly ran up to his room (Well… as quick as he could) not wanting his mum seeing him like this, getting worried and not letting him walk to school on his own anymore. Something Blake had pleaded she let him do as being picked up and dropped off by your mom whilst in high school didn’t really earn you any respect points.
He shut his tiny door to his room and looked around. It was a small room, the smallest one in the house, but to him it was still massive. All his stuff was near the entrance so he wouldn’t have to strain himself walking very far just to get out of bed in the mornings and what he owned was nothing special. The rest was taken up by a spare bed and girly things for Phoebe whenever she slept round, which unfortunately, wasn’t very often. His small patch of space consisted of a few miniature pieces of doll house furniture, a few stickers covering the walls acting as posters, and his 2nd generation iPod touch he used to watch everything on, as to him, it was like a huge touchscreen TV.
Blake casually started to get changed into clean clothes as he thought about probably watching some YouTube or Netflix on his iPod. Just something to distract him. But midway through taking off his mud-covered shoes, he didn’t notice the door open and close as a menacing shadow enveloped his tiny figure from behind. He was snatched up by the giant hands as his capturer gave him a devious grin.