Behind Closed Doors
(a snippet of a 50 paragraph story)

Beyond the cracked sidewalk, the telephone pole with layers of flyers in a rainbow of colors, and the patch of dry brown grass, there stood a 10-foot high concrete wall caked with probably dozens of coats of paint. There was a small shrine at the foot of it, with burnt-out candles, dried flowers, and a few soggy teddy bears. One word of graffiti filled the wall, written in red letters on a gold background: “Rejoice!”

Paragraph #2
It was a summer ago when a group of bare-footed artists stood tall on ladders and painted the 10-foot high block wall.  Their long and unkempt dreadlocks glistened as their hands moved the paint brushes back and forth, in a steady, uninterrupted rhythm.  They were artists who explored their inner world through hip-hop music and hip-hop dance while smoking weed.  They painted the wall with coats of red, yellow, blue, and mixed colors. And then they wrote that blazing “Rejoice” graffiti. It was their moment of glory.  They were rejoicing because they were happy and free! 

Paragraph #3
Four months after a carefree summer, a 13-year-old boy lost his dreams, his hopes, and his family at the foot of that wall. The wall also lost its joyful symbol together with its meaning.  The red letters and the gold background turned into a symbol of revenge, blood, and agony. However, the small shrine at the foot of the wall still instilled a sense of love, peace, and freedom.  Amidst the calmness, a sense of guilt was palpable among those who laid flowers or teddy bears or lit a candle on top of the small wooden table that was painted with rainbow colors.

Paragraph #4
Tom was still in the classroom although it was past half an hour after dismissal time.  He was with his homeroom teacher, Mr. Evans, completing an unfinished homework. Sitting face to face with his teacher, he fidgeted. He moved his head sideward to the left. He thought it would cover his left ear because he did not want his teacher to see the noticeable amplifier and battery unit that was clipped to it. Mr. Evans felt Tom’s uneasiness and thought another day could be a better time to finish the homework. He kindly dismissed him.

Paragraph #5
Walking home, Tom thought of the roasted chicken his mother usually cooked on a Friday evening. He was hungry and a bit thirsty.  He walked faster so that he could reach home soon. He crossed the street. At the end of the road, he saw Hannah standing still, a chestnut tree behind her. He noticed her tight-lipped smile as he eagerly walked towards her to say how sorry he was.
As he came closer to her, a taller, older teen suddenly appeared and grabbed his arm.  He was heavily built; his shirt looked too tight for his bulky chest. He looked like the Goliath as depicted in the Old Testament. Around him were four other muscular, tough-looking guys—the Goliath’s cronies, wearing baseball caps with their shirts unbuttoned. The Goliath stood straight and looked at Tom, his eyes piercing. His finger pointed at him while glancing at Hannah. She nodded.
Tom froze and stared with wide-open eyes and raised eyebrows at the Goliath and his cronies, who were wearing ill-fitting white shirts and brown pants—their school uniforms. They stood there with flushed faces and throbbing veins in their necks. They looked at Tom with unblinking focused eyes. “Hannah, go home!”  The husky voice of the Goliath, who wore an Afro hairstyle, was loud and clear.  Hannah walked away as fast as she could.

Paragraph # 6
Tom stepped back, with one hand over his mouth. The Goliath came nearer and whispered menacingly, “I am Larry, Hannah’s brother.” After stroking his Afro hair with his fingers, he suddenly planted his arms firmly around Tom’s shoulders, his hard callous skin penetrating into Tom’s vulnerable deltoid muscles. “Tom, let’s go for a walk and talk,” Larry said as he winked at his grinning cronies.
Tom thought of running away, but the Goliath’s heavy-set hands were firmly glued to his flesh. The bulky teen boys were talking and laughing as they walked along some hidden footpaths unfamiliar to Tom. His tears rolled down his eyes as he was counting the steps to nowhere. Each trembling step made him sweat profusely, soaking his shirt. Suddenly, he thought of one last chance to regain freedom.  He bent his legs and dropped down in an effort to free himself from the Goliath’s claw-like grasp so he could run away. However, even as he slid down to the ground, Larry’s hands remained firmly planted on his frail shoulders. He lifted up Tom like a fallen piece of toy. Soon, they reached their destination: the left side of the 10-foot high concrete block wall. They stopped. The Goliath took his hands off Tom and violently shoved him against the wall. “Please let me go home, I am sorry, so sorry!” Tom cried, his lips trembling. Larry pushed him again, like throwing an orange peel. Tom’s head hit the concrete wall.
(Can you guess what happened through the 7th to the 50th paragraphs?)

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