I Think You’ll Understand

Walking into the halls of Martin Luther King High School was like coming home, and that wasn’t really a good thing. Home was full of reasons I didn’t want to be there, and school wasn’t any different. This was supposed to be better, even though I knew that was a load of shit my mom told me to get me to pack up my stuff and leave in Dad’s beat-up old Corolla. It was Dad’s house, Dad’s rules, Dad’s decisions, or it was military school. At first I thought my mom was full of shit with that threat. You see that on TV; it doesn’t really happen. But there were fucking brochures on the dining room table the last time I came home with bruised knuckles and a black eye, and if she was bluffing then she was better at it than I thought. She called Dad the same night.

Their divorce had been bad and I probably made it worse, but I didn’t care. Their bullshit had been hell to deal with for years and they had no idea how much they stuck me in the middle. How much they used me and never even listened to me. How much they didn’t even know me and worse, didn’t even try. So fine. I took my shit and left my mom’s house. It couldn’t be any worse at Dad’s.

I was wrong. He had rules, strict curfews, and a big fist. He hit me once and I hit him back, made him remember I was as big as him now and I wasn’t Mom. I could have called someone, maybe, but CPS likes to skip past our neighborhood. So we handle things our own way.


After I Win

by Critical Strike illustrated by olukemi (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/93135.html) It’s halftime. I can hear my blood pounding in my ears almost loud enough to drown out the screaming crowd and cheerleaders, before the noises dissolve into the halftime show. Coach is patting me on the back, and on some level his words sink into my head, […]



by Critical Strike (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/91388.html) Smoke curled in a lazy haze, tendrils slowly tripping over themselves and forming shapes like sleepy thoughts in the wee hours of the morning. It was actually early afternoon, and the smoker in question was feeling as lazy as the smoke itself. It might have been the lack of sleep […]


Strawberry Fields Forever

by Critical Strike illustrated by olukemi (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/78395.html) May 16th, 2006 Seamus made sure to be on time. He had a few stops to make before he met up with Siobhan, and he absolutely refused to be late. With a medium-sized disposable cooler tucked under his arm, Seamus crossed Eighth Avenue and headed into Central […]


Pink Is The Love You Discover

by Critical Strike illustrated by olukemi (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/78806.html) — February 14th, 2008 — Some people had reason to hate Valentine’s Day. Hell, it was just created by the card and chocolate companies to entice people to spend money, profess the love they should be professing all year long, and generally make single people feel like […]


Blood Drops

by Critical Strike (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/68870.html) The same instant Travis pushed his reading glasses up his nose, he caught a glimpse of a pale hand out of the corner of his eye. The hand was reaching for the plate of cookies near him, a plate of stillwarm, freshly baked home-made chocolate chip cookies. Anyone who had […]


The Tale Of The Crimson Cloak

by Critical Strike (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/65922.html) As a child I never feared the Great Forest. There were all manner of tales told of the dark woods surrounding my hometown that were meant to frighten children into good behavior, to keep them in line. Oh, I was told those tales as well as any other child of […]