"Can you hear me son? You need to stay with us. We're taking you to the hospital now!"
"Mommy... I'm scared mommy. It hurts."
Through his blurry eyesight, which slowly faded to black, he only saw the view above him. It changed from grey, to blue sky, then back to grey. Due to the throbbing pain in his head, the young teenager could not remember what had happened to him. All he felt in the moment was the pain. He coughed. Red splotches filled the inside of the mask he wore over his face.
"We got a 15 year old boy severely beaten by a group of older classmates. Possible severe concussion along with internal bleeding and broken ribs. He'll need imaging and surgery."
"Yes, a bypasser. She said she saw the boys run off after she called out to them. Yet, by the time she reached Colt he had already been severely injured."
"The police and his parents will need to be notified. For now, lets get him into surgery."
The boy became frightened, "Please don't hurt me."
Going unheard, the boy now found himself underneath a bright bluish white light, the mask he wore soon was replaced by a larger mask. Squinting his eyes, the boy yipped at the pinch of something sharp going into his skin. A rush of warm liquid mixed with his blood causing the boy to become drowsy. "Mommy.... I want Mommy." Before slipping into sleep, he heard a woman speaking to him in a soft caring voice. "Its alright son. Don't be afraid. You'll feel much better when you wake up." Just like his mother's voice, it sounded like a lullaby with each word she spoke. It was not long before the boy fell into a deep sleep.
The bell rang loudly waking Colt Stidolph from his flashback. How long had it been, the boy thought to himself looking around at the other students who rushed out of the room. Not aware of what was happening around him, Colt shook his head, which still hurt from the accident, and stood from his seat. It was the final bell of the school year indicating summer vacation had begun. Filling in like a herd of cattle, noise echoed hitting every crack and cranny. Some students rushed to their lockers in a mad rush to gather their belongings while some abandoned the building the moment their teachers released them. However, a small group remained behind for one last after school book club. As the book club's president, Colt, at the sound of the alarm, finished packing his backpack. As a young man with major O.C.D challenges, order was very important to him. Rechecking his notes, assignments, and pencils, Colt smiled at his own satisfaction.
Fixing his glasses, he rubbed his hands together up and down quickly before reaching behind him for his black TravelTeen backpack. He knew that the members of his book club were waiting for him out by the lockers, however he also knew his mother wanted him home by 5 even on days he had book club meetings. Pulling at the collar of his striped green button-down shirt, he maneuvered through the corridors up to the teacher's desk. "Uh... si…r," he stuttered trying to speak clearly to his English Lit teacher, "Th…e read...ing lis..t?"
The teacher, who was distracted by gathering his own stacks of paperwork, paused giving the young student a look. "You really want that list son?" his teacher asked, "That is a lot of reading. I'm pretty sure a young man like you rather be outside during summer vacation with his friends."
Colt shrugged his shoulders. Personally, he did not like talking to anyone outside of his family unless it was necessary. Since released from the hospital, after nearly 2 months of intense recovery from a tragic event caused by a group of bullies, Colt's personally changed drastically. At one time he had been very social. But both the concussion and the psychological damage possessed the young boy. How embarrassing it was too. Everyone in school, including the staff, knew of the attack. Many times before did his mom mention homeschooling yet Colt's stubbornness managed to keep him in school for he became determined to go to a top college one day for an English major. For now though, he had to survive high school.
After receiving the reading list, Colt said his goodbyes and headed to his locker to gather some last minute belongings. The halls now were filled with half the number of students there was earlier so Colt was able to breathe a little easier.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the school, two boys gathered their belongings. Both around the same age, the two boys differed in hight, looks, and personality. The first boy was tall. His outfit consisted of a brown spotted hoodie, a pair of striped purple pants, and an antique baseball cap. His hair, brown like his eyes, sat in a messy style. Freckles painted his face almost blending in with the color of his dark skin. The second boy, a little shorter than his friend, stood at the height of maybe 5'4. His eyes shimmered a green hue and his blonde hair, which was mixed with colors of purple, pinks, and a little yellow, fell in front of his face. The outfit he wore stayed simple: a winter jacket with a faux fur trim, a pink shirt underneath, a heart shaped locket, and brown pants. While getting their belongings, the two boys, Kevin Watson and Ben Oritz, wanted for their friend to show as they often walked home in a trio. "Where is he?" Kevin asked leaning up against a nearby locker, "Colt never takes this long."
"Perhaps he went home already. You know he does that often when he has headaches." Ben suggested closing his empty locker. The two boys made their way down the hall.
"Not like him," Kevin responded fixing his loose backpack string, "Besides, his mother would kill us if he walked home alone."
Ben nodded in agreement. "Then lets find him"
Meanwhile, about a mile or two away from the high school, in a small neighborhood called StallionRidge Valley, a small cal-de-sac sat quietly in peace. Nothing ever happened here and that was the way the families came to love it. No one bothered them and they bothered no one. Eight different houses sat in a circle formation around the black paved street all varying in size and color. One thing the eight houses shared in common was the formation of flowers. Many hummingbirds or butterflies gathered here during spring to fest on the nectar.
Humming to herself, a woman, perhaps around the age of 34, carefully tended to her plants. Gardening, out of her list of hobbies, took up most of her time before her son came home from school. The summer butterflies were coming in and she felt determined to prepare the flowers. Much like her own son, Danielle Stidolph would do anything to protect the things she loves. Pulling herself up to a kneeling position, she stretched her back deciding to take a break. Reaching for her glass of lemonade, she removed her dirt stained gloves. That was when she caught sight of her watch. 4:59. Where on earth was her son? Standing to her feet, she walked down her driveway glancing down the street for any sign of the boys. None of them were exactly drivers yet, but the thought concerned Danielle even more. "Danielle!"
The woman wearing glasses turned to see where the voice was coming from. Smiling, she waved at the woman with brown wavy hair who walked towards her from across the street. Danielle quickly cleaned off her dress to look presentable. "Good morning Angela," she responded with a smile, "Lovely day isn't?"
"Quite," Angela responded approaching the woman dressed in a black dress with glasses, "Flowers look lovely. I appreciate you doing ours."
"You are welcome," Danielle responded, "By the way, have you heard from the boys?"
Angela shook her head, "They just got out of school, Danielle. I'm sure they are on their way home. No worries."
Danielle nodded in agreement trying to keep her nerves under control. The truth was that ever since Colt came home from the hospital, she had not allowed him out of her eyesight. All during his recovery at home, she helped him with homework and kept him comforted during meetings with detectives and doctor appointments. Danielle worried deeply for him now for the one thing he had yet to do was testify.