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The Pain of Living and Beauty of Dying

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“Put your fucking hands up. Now!”

 

Peter watched in horror as a man aimed a gun at both him and Uncle Ben, their arms were raised as they stood stock still, Peter’s heart stuttered when he recognized the thug instantly, it was the same guy from the boxing ring; The Criminal Peter had refused to apprehend. This time he brought a friend, a chilling dread coiled and tightened around Peter keeping him frozen in place.

The thug thrusted the gun at Uncle Ben’s face.“ Give me whatever fucking money you have!” Peter’s heartbeat skyrocketed. “Hurry the fuck up old man!”

Uncle Ben flinched away from the gun waving inches at his face but continued to keep a steady, calm expression, “Okay, why don’t we all just.. calm down?” Uncle Ben slowly leaned towards the gun.

“We’re wasting our fucking time.” His friend stepped towards Peter and at that moment Uncle Ben threw himself at the thug with the gun as they started wrestling for the weapon, Uncle Ben ripped the gun out of the thug’s hand and threw it away with haste, “Peter run and get help!” Peter stared in horror before he could even take a step the thug’s friend grabbed Peter and threw him down, the wet and filthy concrete mercilessly shredding Peter’s skin.

Peter screamed in agony as he watched the thug overpower his uncle and knock him down with a brutal fist to his throat, his uncle tumbled down as he painfully choked for air, every desperate rasp of air carving itself into Peter’s enhanced ears, the thug directed his wrath of sharp kicks and punches to his uncle’s sternum and ribcage, Peter’s ears drinking every single intricate detail of bone breaking and splitting under the assault and the sounds already swirling and rolling around in his head as if it were savoring the bitter and ugly taste of booze.

Screaming and bones breaking filled Peter’s head, swish swashing in his ears like the salty ocean waves as every sound of savage fists pounding and breaking the man before him. The man who raised him. That loved him.

The other man who kept Peter pinned down tightened his grip on his arms ignored every gargled sob and pleading shrieks that ripped out of his throat, limbs like jelly all Peter could do was watch until it was over, fat tears accumulating in his red rimmed eyes and all he could see was a blur of dark colors, violent silhouettes mashing together and all Peter could hear was Ben’s weak rasps, his heartbeat shuddering in pain.

A weight lifted from above him and before he could even feel relief Peter cried out as rough fingers pulled his hair harshly and his head was forced back and smashed against filthy concrete, loud pops mixing with the bangs made from Peter’s head being bashed against the cold, hard ground. The hit didn’t hurt so much as the rough concrete that ripped at the skin above his brow, a small gash formed across his eyebrow and Peter could feel blood trickle out, and then everything turned dark.

 

 


Peter woke up to cold hands everywhere and all he could do was scream before the distinct sounds of cops and paramedics milling about filled the area, he opened his eyes and with blurry vision the very familiar lights of red and blue lit the entire alleyway.

“...an-? -young man? Can you hear me?”

His attention was brought back to a paramedic crouching before him, he stared breathlessly at the man before he could only manage a clipped nod, he felt hands pull him up on jelly-like legs and then he was put on a stretcher as he cast a glance back down to Ben and everything slowed down, his heart felt like it's just been ripped straight out of his chest when desperation made eye contact with a cold dead stare.


He must have blacked out because one moment he was being asked questions, which he tried answering as honest as possible but then the words started strangling the air out of him and in a desperate attempt to just breath he’d end up vomiting because Uncle Ben was gonegonegone and nothing will ever be the same, and then he was in a police department waiting for May to show up whilst he held a bottle of lemonade that magically appeared in his hand, Peter tried to keep the bad thoughts out by focusing on the different possibilities of its appearance.

Peter’s head snapped up when a very familiar but comforting heartbeat came closer and closer before all he could see was May’s grief stricken face, tear tracks ran down her pale cheeks and finally making eye contact with her and no words were spoken between them and she lunged at him and held the boy tightly, cradling his head close as they both sobbed into each others clothing, Peter staining her pajamas with his tears and likewise May’s own tears and snot seeped into his borrowed sweater that the kind officers had given him.

 


Maybe everything won't ever be the same, but at least he had May.