Murder most foul: The duality of crime and punishment on school grounds

The new boy’s name was Tom. I observed him nonchalantly as he introduced himself.

Coarse, bleached hair. A faded and perforated shirt. Half-chewed pencil stub and a leaky ink pen.

These details dominated the rest as he sank back into his seat.
Once the lecturer disembarked her teaching boat, a robust, gangly group of boys shoved over to scan Tom. Their Neanderthal mouths opened to give way to a flood of insults and medieval threats.

The meek mouse shuddered but didn’t dare object. While the scrumptious broth was flooding my insides during break, he dragged himself
into the class.

It was apparent that he had been beaten. His twisted ankle trailed behind as his bruised eyes fluttered in vain.

His torn shirt was stretched beyond repair, and underneath, I could spot blood stains and ripped skin.

Everyone’s eyes burnt into the back of his head. He didn’t speak a word as his spoon fed him plain rice.

This continued for a number of days. Each dawn’s nightmare worsened in intensity.

Wounds ranged from muscle annihilation to shattered bones. Crimson liquid always seemed to drop, litre by litre, from him.

Yet, he seemed unable to muster the inner strength to complain to the professor. The other docile students gazed at him sympathetically, knowing that any morning could be his last.

The last hour finally arrived. Fear was palpable in the atmosphere.

I shut my eyes and tried to erase the sight of the impaled, mangled corpse on the craggy rocks for all of eternity.

Police sirens belched into my sensitive ears as teachers stood agape in horror. The bullies grinned discreetly at each other; glad their mission had been accomplished.
I had to do something. My fingers hovered hesitantly over the ‘Submit’ button. I was moments away from submitting the police report for suspected murder. My subconscious knew the guilty felons who had committed this atrocity.

No.

What would the police do? Would they even believe me? I had no proof.

My thumb danced on the backspace key and navigated to my mouse to cancel the request. My eyes narrowed down and flashed red with fury.

I would deal with the situation on my own. Preach the bullies with a sickly version of their own medicine.

The next morning, the FBI sirens belched into my ears again, but this time, the cacophony jumbled to produce a classical piece.

This time, three other bodies had been excavated. They had been blindfolded, roped together with thick nylon – robbed of their humanity – and shoved off the canopy of the academy building.

There seemed to be a strong link between the two horrendous crimes. As the investigators buzzed around, feverishly questioning the spectators with their prerequisite set of queries, I pondered on who could have committed this offence.

I hoped my dual personality hadn’t gone out of control.

Or had it?

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