"Fat Roger"

© 1999
J. Mitch Hopper

With Columbine still echoing on the news channels, this work of fiction has a chilling ring to it. The story's main character is more common than we wish to admit. Here is just a taste!

Roger picked himself up from of the dirt and began to run away from the building - any direction away from the light. Running as best he could, he made it more than four blocks before falling from exhaustion. He collapsed behind the high shrubbery at a nearby church and wept long and hard. It was the last step the final humiliation. She saw him piss his pants. She saw him cower in front of the other boys. She saw him not fight back. She saw it all. He could no longer go anywhere or see anybody. He had to stay out of sight for the rest of his life.

They finally notified the police around midnight. There were no friends to call, no parents to check with, but Roger's parents made a few phone calls anyway.

"No. Didn't see him." "I don't hang around with him." "Roger who?" The responses were all very similar - very unuseful. No one called her parents - there was no reason to suspect she even knew him anyway. The police would find him wandering sooner or later. He was always a loner. It even occurred to his parents that Roger might be hiding in his own house somewhere. They'd sort it out in the morning.

Roger watched the crescent moon come up. His piss-soaked pants chilled him in the night air and he curled in a fetal position and whimpered and cried until dawn. Throughout the day, he wept and dozed but the shrubbery held his secret. By evening, his parents were sure something was very wrong. He had not shown up at school and he wasn't in the house or in any of his usual hiding places. Although they were concerned, there was little to do but wait for Roger to come home or for the police to call.

The pissed-pants story had made it nearly around the whole school by late morning. The boys were irritated that they couldn't find Roger. The rumor was that he ran away and jumped from a bridge and drowned in the Mauvaistare just north of the city. His parent's phone rang throughout the day with prank calls made from the school pay phone near the cafeteria. The teachers barely noticed his absence. They usually barely noticed his presence.

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