This had happened many times before: the girls circling me, the pushing, the hits, the spitting, and the skirt pulled down to my ankles. Like a cackle of hyenas, the girls would glide away to other prey when they grew tired of my non-reaction. At the first time, I was bewildered. Why would they go after me? Did I have the word prey tattooed on my forehead?
Each time afterwards I would fume. My stomach would clench, the heat would rise to my chest, and I would bite my lips from asking them why? why? I knew why. They could smell my fear. I was the prey to their predator.
After awhile they became complacent in my reactions. They could still smell the fear that had enticed them so in the beginning of the school year. What they didn’t notice was that this time, my non-reaction was overlaid with a tint of redness, the tint of madness. This time as the girls circled me, I could see glimpses of red lipstick, and red fingernails. The spit was tinted red as it hit me in the face.
This time I didn’t just stand there shaking in fear. This time a part of my brain that could see every consequence hid in the back of my brain and let my lizard brain go.
Deliberately I wiped the spit from my face. I stared my main tormentor, a large well-endowed girl, in the eyes. She shrank back just a little, shook her head and spit again.
I stretched my mouth back in a smile, showing all my teeth. The red haze filled my mind until all I could see were red objects.
Let the screaming begin.