The Great Pretender- Short Story

Still continuing on with NaNoWriMo but still feel that I should post this short story. I hope other writers are going okay with there novels as I’m feeling the stress, seriously my eyes are burning. So hopefully you will enjoy my short story and give me your thoughts. 🙂

WARNING: This story contains gore and violence that is aimed at a mature audience go forth at your own risk:

The Great Pretender

Evan was the best pretender. He could have convinced anyone in his primary school class of anything. From pretending to be rich to pretending to be a secret agent, his class would be in awe and look at him with respect. They would applaud his heroic attempts as the world’s gymnastic protégé and be amazed at the songs he had written, though they were actually from some niche music band on the internet. Even adults, with whom he was extremely careful what he said, would even sometimes be fooled and envy his parents. So, from a very young age Evan knew what he was best at: pretending. He was happy with that, being a pretender. However, now everything had changed.

No longer was Evan in primary school. He was in high school… ugh. What a boring place this was – where the real world matters the most. In a flourish, he was pounded with questions – what subjects does he want to take? What job did he want in the future? All stuff that never really mattered to him and it made him afraid. He wasn’t really that good at anything but pretending. He didn’t have good grades or talents like playing an instrument or being amazing at a sport. This was a strange predicament for him. He was so confused and angry that he was being forced to comply with a world that was too real and disappointing. So, in his first period in Biology, Evan had an epiphany. He didn’t have to stop pretending, he just had to get better at it. He started small; pretending he was faint, telling his classmates he had ridiculous allergies. These gave him a small high but he knew this was just practice for the real pretending. In high school, words were not going to be enough.

The character: an unfortunate soul; somebody who had no reason to lie about the unfortunate events that happened to them – but he would. He walked into the boy’s bathroom and made sure there were no witnesses in the cubicles. This was the beginning of a whole new kind of high. He opened the entrance door of the bathroom wide, making sure he was out of view of the hallway cameras. Shaking violently with adrenaline, he gripped the doorframe with his other hand. With one breath, he readied himself and then slammed the door. His scream was loud and shrill; it was perfect and drew nearby teachers and students to his aid. His fingers were broken, their form crushed and distorted as they turned a dark, almost black purple. He whimpered, saying how it was all a blur and he didn’t know what happened. They ate it all up; it was all his class could talk about for the rest of the morning before he was sent home. In his parents car he was shaking, with excitement.

Before even his fingers had healed up, he managed to find a blind spot from the cameras on the school staircase and successfully fell down them. He landed even better than he planned; he did his best not to cry out too loud when his leg snapped. The bone in his shin tore through his flesh in an instant, the white peeking out from a bloody wound. He lay there, pretending to be unconscious until the bell rang for break wherein crowds of students would file out and instantly see his unfortunate accident.

He carried on having a series of accidents at an erratic pace. His fellow classmates pitied him and teachers took him to the side thinking he was being bullied – which was an amazing bonus. Though he felt amazing, he stopped his antics for a few months to let himself heal. He needed to be ready for the next thing to pretend.

The character: an abused child. It’s not that he disliked or hated his parents but it was too tempting to resist. Having monsters for parents is something he could pretend to have for the rest of his life. So in the morning, when his parents were fast asleep, he walked into the family bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. For a few minutes he repeatedly punched himself in the face until he deemed it swollen enough for comment, trying not to be too loud and wake his parents.  So, for a month he walked around with bruising and he hardly saw his parents because of their addiction to work which suited his plans well enough. However, he knew that he needed to take it further. Although there were questions raised, there are plenty of kids in school who get beaten around – it wasn’t that special. So, he had to make sure his parents were the most psychotic, sick bastards that they had ever seen; not only in their teaching careers but ever in their life. Slowly, he let himself get thinner, paler still suffering bruising that made almost everyone do a double-take.

The next morning in the family bathroom was the finale; he had gagged himself appropriately with a towel as he took the tweezers to the first nail. He tried to do it slowly, the skin screaming in protest as it ripped a little. He paused, it was too painful and he had to be quick. He used all his strength at once and it came off: cuticle and bits of skin hung from the now bloody nail, the raw skin from his nail pulsated and spat blood. He threw up bile from the pain, tears streaming down his face. When he felt he was less shaky, he moved on to the next one.

So, when a quivering twelve year old boy with poorly bandaged bloody hands came cowering into school, all hell broke loose round the school. It took a few months for his parents to get their guilty verdict; he felt the euphoric when the gavel went down. He was the Great Pretender; he had made everyone believe him. After all, who would have believed a pair of abusers, right? He was just a poor, poor twelve year old child who was tortured by a pair of psychopaths. He was infamous all over the country and everyone believed him – well, except his parents of course. He had been put into the care system, which meant a new school. There were heartfelt goodbyes from classmates but he was excited; it meant fresh meat.

His new school wasn’t much different from the old and, of course, people knew who he was from word of mouth up and down the country. However, he hated it. He wasn’t getting anywhere near the attention that he craved. They sympathised but his past did not matter. Over the few weeks he had been here, they didn’t really care and what was a pretender without an audience? Instead, they all fawned over a popular boy in class who was talented and pretty. Evan’s blood burned in his veins as he stormed to a bathroom. He went into the concealed part of his backpack and pulled out his penknife. He brought it to his wrist violently before pausing. No, this wasn’t right. This isn’t what a pretender does; it is attention-seeking behaviour that most people judged more than sympathised with. Then it hit Evan. Oh, he was a genius. He returned to the classroom to bide his time. The bell rang for the next period and he overheard Mr Popular needing to go to the bathroom alone. Finally, his chance had come.

He stalked Mr Popular to the bathroom and he waited till he went into the cubicle to take out his penknife. The character: a victim of attack. Evan covered his mouth before stabbing himself in the chest. He whimpered but Mr Popular in the cubicle next door did not question or even stir. Quickly, Evan left the bathroom and hurried to class as the halls were now empty. He had stabbed deeper than he predicted but it didn’t matter he would get help soon. His plan was perfect; Mr Popular wore leather gloves for the winter cold so he had an excuse for only Evan’s fingerprints being on the knife. His clothes had quickly become soaked with blood and it had started to trail across the floor. They would all rush to his aid; what a fantastic debut for his new school life. He finally made it up the stairs to his next class, however, he found it empty. Evan was confused at first but then it hit him – ah! That was the room number at his old school for his Art class. No matter, he thought, his breath ragged; it would make it all the more dramatic. He tried to go back down the stairs but stumbled. He fell forward, the knife plunging in deeper and he cried out. No, he wasn’t going to give up yet. He crawled forward, his blood dragged across the floor in a vivid red line. However, eventually he could move forward no more, his body lay twitching for a few minutes more, until it stopped.

Evan was the best pretender.

The Great Pretender- Short Story

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