David stopped cold when he heard that voice behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know who it was. He did anyway, slowly, trying to look brave. Knuckles had always been big for his age. He was wide and solid with huge arms that seemed to hunch forward. His whole body seemed to grow out of the ground like a fat tree, a fat tree that wanted to kill David.
“What’s the matter baby boy? Don’t you want to hit me?”
Of course David didn’t want to hit him. Why would David want to hit him? Why couldn’t they be friends? They could hang out together. They could go get some pizza or play some video games. They could be best buddies and do all of the things best buddies do.
“I dare you to hit me.”
Dare. Dare. What did that word mean again? David couldn’t remember what that word meant. Had anyone ever used that word with him before? They must have. It was such a simple word. Dare.
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