Life was easy for Jason. His family wasn’t rich but they never had to worry about money so long as they spent within reason. A new PC? Okay, but don’t spend more than two-thousand dollars. New phone? Okay, keep it for the next 3 to 4 years.
Jason lived a pampered life surrounded by both friends of the same social status as well as a loving family that treated him like a king. As such, he was a naive yet decently smart boy. His family made sure to raise him well, often telling him to value things such as food, water, and money, and to never spend too much on things that were unnecessary as well as treat others with respect.
As an 18 year old senior high schooler, Jason loved partying with his friends, going out shopping, and he had no problems getting a girlfriend when he fancied a pretty face. He wasn’t hauntingly handsome, but had nice enough features. He wasn’t hulkingly muscular but had nice defined muscles from going to the gym and doing all sorts of sports growing up.
Jason was the average well-off pampered kid, raised to eventually take over the small family business. His whole life had been laid out for him at birth.
One night when he was out partying with his friends at a club, he decided to head outside and go for a smoke to cool off. Partying for the last 3 hours and dancing had left him sweaty and in need of a quiet place to settle down for a while.
He walked towards a relatively quiet alleyway 2 minutes away from the club he was partying in and stayed there leaning against one of the two walls. A single street light lit the middle of the alleyway, leaving Jason in the dark with the pulsing light of his cigarette occasionally flaring whenever he would go for another puff.
A few minutes had passed when 3 men came into the alleyway. One of them was a man with a small frame, he looked like he didn’t eat for several days. He was dressed in tattered clothing and looked dirty once the light shone above him. Behind him, a large man was holding onto his right shoulder, accompanied by another smaller, but younger looking individual. They were both dressed in suits.
Having noticed them, for lack of better judgment Jason wanted to see what would happen in his not-completely-sober state.
“We warned you, didn’t we little Mikey?”, said ‘Lardass’, a nickname Jason gave to the larger one of the two men in suits. “You were supposed to leave and never come back, people seeing you going through our shit is bad for business”.
“I-I-I’m sorry please I just wanted some food”, said Mikey with a tremble in his voice, fearing they would beat him senseless again.
“Boss, we should just break both his arms this time so he won’t be able to pick through our stuff, kukuku”, said ‘Scrawny’, another one of Jason’s fabulous nicknames given to the man since he looked skinny.
“You hear that Mikey? Our rookie here thinks we should just break your arms, hehehe, only after we beat you up like last time though…”, Lardass said with a grin that grew as wide as the distance between his two ears.
“Please no, I only did it because I needed food for my two children, they’re starving. Please have mercy!”, said Mikey pleading with them on his knees.
“Then you should have left when we gave you our warning, but since I’m reasonable we’ll only break one arm today”, the lardass said, grabbing onto Mikey’s head before striking him with an open palm that sent him flying back-first into the wall behind him.
“Pleas-”, before he could plead with them once more a kick flew towards his face causing his nose to bleed profusely as well as bust his lip.
Mikey in an attempt to protect himself from the onslaught of strikes from both men, curled into a fetal position, but the kicks came back harder causing the sound of each impact to be heard. It was gruesome, both men didn’t look like they would stop.
Jason was stunned, on one hand he wanted to do something, but he was scared they would beat him too out of fear. He was only a high schooler after all, what could he do?
Deciding to turn a blind eye to the atrocity before him, he decided to walk away with his tail between his legs, however as he was trying to make his great escape, Jason accidentally kicked a beer bottle that was on the ground causing it to make enough noise for the men to finally acknowledge his presence.
Clink!~ The bottle tumbled and rolled on the ground.
“Hey! You!” Said one of the men sprinting towards him.
‘Oh shit’, Jason thought. He couldn’t outrun them in his current state, but tried anyway before Scrawny managed to grab his shirt from the back.
“There you are, you little shit, come here!” He shouted, dragging Jason towards the center of the alleyway where the larger of the two was.
Jason, looking at the man they had beaten up, saw he was covered in his own blood with his lower area covered in piss. They had beaten him cold. Except for the occasional breathing and wheezing, he looked as though he was dead.
Under the poor man’s breath you could barely hear an audible: “Mercy…please…” He would continue repeating it not realizing they had stopped beating him.
Snapping Jason out of his thoughts, the larger man said bending down to be at eye-level with Jason: “Did you see anything?”
“No, I didn’t”, Jason said instantaneously, keeping eye contact with the man as his own eyes widened.
“Really?” He replied grinning.
“I swear! Please let me go!”
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, not so fast”, an even larger grin could be seen on the man’s face, he had just come up with something ‘fun’. “Kick him”, he said pointing at the poor man on the ground.
“What?” Jason said, shocked.
“Kick him, or that’ll be you on the ground in the next 5 minutes”, he replied once more, grinning.
“But–”, before Jason could even finish his sentence an open palm struck him, knocking his inebriated state away, waking him in the process.
It suddenly dawned on him that this was happening, in his entire life no one had ever slapped him, not even his parents. It was the first time someone had slapped him and threatened him. The situation became real to him at that exact moment. He had thought they would simply let him go on his way so long as he remained still and quiet, it was an idiotic assumption. A naive one.
“I said kick him!”, shouted the hulking man pointing once again at the man on the floor.
Turning around, Jason took three steps toward Mikey on the floor while the two men stayed behind him to watch the show. The smell of blood and piss was almost enough to make him want to vomit.
‘I have to do this’, he tried convincing himself. Just as he was winding up his right leg to kick the defenseless man on the ground, he suddenly remembered that the man said he was only rummaging through their bins looking for food to feed his children. There was nothing wrong with that, he had a right to live and so did his kids. If anyone was at fault, it would be the government for letting a man with 2 kids live in such a way. It wasn’t right. He didn’t deserve to be beaten up just because he was starving.
Clenching his fists, Jason turned around and said: “I won’t do it”. There was a hint of fury in his voice, he was angry at himself for almost considering doing it. It was against everything he was taught.
“Then so be it, get him, rookie”, said Lardass.
Lunging towards Jason, Scrawny tried throwing a punch but Jason barely dodged to the right, his now-opponent’s fist grazing his hair.
Scrawny threw another, and another, but Jason kept dodging until finally he decided to go for a counter, striking Scrawny in the face with a right hook.
‘Fuck, not enough power’, Jason inwardly thought since he was still standing.
“Come on rookie, don’t tell me you’ll lose to a nobody”, Lardass said tauntingly, not moving from his spot.
Scrawny’s strikes grew faster, but Jason kept dodging and countering with punches, while using some footwork to his advantage. Up to this point, he hadn’t used his kickboxing since he was 15, he was rusty and it showed. He had never used kickboxing outside of a spar or ring.
Having enough, Scrawny pulled out an OTF knife.
“You’re dead!” He shouted while wiping blood off his face.
‘Shit! What the hell, this is getting out of control’, Jason thought while glancing at the other who still hadn’t moved from his spot.
Scrawny slashed at Jason who barely dodged, getting a slight cut on his left forearm causing it to bleed. His adrenaline was spiking, if he was slightly buzzed a while ago, he was wide awake now.
Jason still managed to get another punch in.
He knew he needed to either get close enough to somehow take the knife away or run, but running wasn’t an option with the other one just watching.
‘Damn it, I was just trying to have a fun night, how did things get like this?’
Paying attention to the knife was his mistake, it distracted him from his opponent’s movements.
Charging towards him with the knife, now in both hands, Scrawny lunged towards Jason at lightning speed. Jason, not knowing what to do amidst his own panic, tried to grab the knife with his left hand as it was aimed at his heart.
The knife pierced the palm of his left hand, causing him to scream in agony. Even so, Scrawny wasn’t finished, retracting the knife with his right hand he quickly started stabbing Jason’s side targeting his lungs and stomach, while his left was busy pushing Jason against the wall.
He kept throwing punches, even resorting to elbows to try and get Scrawny off of him but to no avail.
Bam!~ Stab!~ Bam!~ Stab!~
Jason managed to make a cut above Scrawny’s eye with his constant elbows, but Scrawny kept stabbing sensing that his opponent was at his wit’s end.
Scrawny stabbed Jason a total of 26 times. Jason’s piercing screams didn’t even make a dent on the noise coming from the busy streets, no one would hear him, or notice him.
Finally letting him go, Scrawny retracted the knife for the last time before Jason slowly slid down against the wall into a sitting position with both his legs straightened.
He was profusely bleeding, his shirt covered in dark red, while blood was seeping out of his mouth. The knife had managed to pierce his left lung, causing him to cough up blood every now and then as the larger man made his way to him.
“You should have listened, kid, all you had to do was kick that scumbag. Let’s go, rookie”, he said, gesturing for Scrawny to follow him out the alleyway.
Before Scrawny left, he kicked Jason one last time and spat on him.
Both Jason and Mikey were left on the ground.
With his head down and his life seeping away from him, Jason tried to move his right arm to reach for his phone in his pocket, but couldn’t muster the strength due to the profuse blood loss.
‘Fuck…Is this how I’m going to die? I don’t want to die! Mom! Dad! Help! I don’t want to die!’, were his repeated thoughts.
Pushing himself to grab the phone out of his pocket, he managed to grab it through sheer will and dial ‘911’, but couldn’t say anything.
“911 what’s your emergency? Hello? Is anyone there? Are you alright? Can you not speak?”
“Hnghhhhhhh”, Jason moaned as loud as he could.
“Are you injured? Hello? I heard you. Help is on the way, stay on the line please”
Jason closed his eyes, waiting for the ambulance as his blood continued to trickle down onto the pool of red that was now under him.
He sighed one last time.
The pain had finally caught up to him, and he passed out before opening his eyes to…