After Dinner Conversation

Volume 3, Issue 11, November 2022

Larry Kite
Pages 5-29

Water Under The Bridge

What is the purpose of defending yourself in a fight? To what ends should you go to stop getting bullied? In this work of ethical fiction, a pre-teen Rusty is sent to the general store on his bike to buy alcohol for Walt, the local drunk, in exchange for ice-cream. While at the store Rusty is attacked by two older boys trying to steal his bike. He holds onto his bike, but is badly beaten in the exchange. Later that day, Rusty gets a metal pipe and tells his friend Gene to meet him that night. They meet and Rusty tells Gene his plan, to toss the pipe into the bushes, distract the boys who beat him up, and get in a quick punch before running away. Gene gets scared and leaves, just as Bill, one of the boys that beat him up, sees him. In a panic, Rusty swings the pipe, hitting Bill. Rusty goes into a rage and continues hitting Bill. The next day Bill is in the hospital, and the police are at Rusty’s doorstep with questions.