Original fic: Break My Bones
Okay, my last original fic to post today. I wrote these last week but haven’t had time to type them up or post them (hence why I extended the drabble challenge). This one takes place when Sarah and Tucker are kids. Tucker really was a jerk. I swear he changes later on. The prompt was sticks and stones at writerverse.
Break My Bones
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you…unless you let them. Sarah has to deal with Tucker and his idiot friends.
Sarah drowns out the words. She tells herself they hold no meaning—no power—unless she gives it to them. That’s what her Gram always says. She’s not sure she entirely believes that as she grits her teeth against the onslaught.
The taunting and teasing goes on for some time—Tucker egged on by his idiot friends. They follow her as she walks the path through town back to her house, occasionally getting in her way so she has to detour around them. But she holds her ground—chin out, nostrils flaring, hands balled so tightly the knuckles are white—and continues on her way. She feels the prickle of tears but blinks them away.
“What are you gonna do? Cry?” Tucker high-fives one of the idiots, the others whooping it up for emphasis. People are starting to stare as Sarah tries to push past them but they shove her back a few steps, keeping her from passing.
The words sting worse than the other jabs. She wills herself not to give in but knows it’s hopeless. As Tucker laughs—a chorus of “cry-baby” in the background—she feels her eyes burning again. She bites down on her lip but it still quivers. And the tears start to slide down her face.
Tucker huffs in triumph while his friends continue with the high-fives. Sarah stands absolutely still, staring past them, refusing to move, to run home and cry into her pillow. Eventually the boys lose interest and leave her alone. Either that or Old Man Webber scared them off with one of his looks. She doesn’t know, doesn’t care. She slowly moves her feet, home still several blocks away.
They have no power. They have no power. They have no power.
She repeats the mantra over and over. “Sticks and stones,” Gram will say, wiping her face clean. “Don’t let them ignorant brats get to you, sweet. They have no power over you, words mean nothing unless you want them to mean something. Remember the sticks and stones.”
Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you.
As she turns on to her block she rubs the tears from her cheeks with the backs of her trembling hands, a resolution forming in her head. She glares at Tucker’s house next door as she closes in on her own front porch. Jerk. Idiot. Jackass. She tries to remember the time when they were friends but it seems forever ago.
She pulls the door open with a silent vow… she will never let Matthew Tucker see her cry again no matter what it takes. She won’t give him that satisfaction.
Sticks and stones.
She feels another tear trying to squeeze out the corner of her eye and wipes it away. She kind of thinks Gram is wrong on this one. Names do hurt. She’d rather have the broken bones.
At least they heal.