Word Count 500
Threat and Consequences
by G. Ackman
Dylan slouched in the hideously orange chair in that melting teenager look so common for his generation. Although his face maintained a contemptuous disengaged mien, actually his mind struggled with his situation. Disbelief warred with shock, layered with anger and more fear than he would ever admit.
A constant racket assaulted his ears. The brrrr of the phone, doors banging open so violently they bounced against the wall with a dull thud, shouts, curses, and an incessant buzzing floated around and through Dylan’s throbbing head. Somewhere, thankfully not visibly, but definitely within hearing distance, someone was violently throwing up.
Dylan’s nose itched and he longed to scratch it, but the clank and chink of metal as he involuntarily tried to lift his hand to his nose reminded him that he couldn’t. The itch only increased, maddingly so. He saw a wife, girlfriend, arrive and embrace the scruffy man sitting beside him, whose smell practically gagged Dylan. He thought for a moment, though, how lucky that guy was. Someone was there anyway. Dylan sat alone. He wondered if his parents would show up. His dad had been pretty angry yesterday – before this. Would this be the last straw? Surely not. This was big – bigger than sneaking out, smoking a joint or two, even the money he took from his mom’s purse.
Yes, this was big. But it wasn’t like major major. No one got hurt. And he wasn’t really going to do it. Surely they would see that. He just needed a chance to explain. Then they’d understand. He would be in for one hell of a lecture, most likely lose his phone and truck keys, maybe even some community service. He would nod, say all the expected things, suck it up, and then go back to normal.
The door banged open again and a familiar figure entered, looking neither right nor left. Dylan started to rise from the chair, say something, but the rigid shoulders of his father’s stance held him back. Murmured words at the desk, a signature on some papers. That was it, then. Dylan was ready to leave this place and go home to the lecture and his own bed.
Dylan looked up to see his dad standing over him, hands on his shoulders and an unfamiliar defeated look in his eyes.
“You’ve done it this time. Gone too far. Your mom and I – we – we – we can’t help you now.”
“But, dad. It was just talk. I was, you know, really pp-angry. Mr. Brown failed me. Ruined my chances at that job. I just wanted to scare him. You know…but I never…”
“Doesn’t matter, Dylan. I told you before that you needed to control your anger or it would control you. Now your threat to shoot up the school has landed you here, facing eight years in prison. I hope….well, I don’t know what I hope anymore.” He walked out the door without a look back. Two officers led a dumbstruck Dylan through the opposite door.