Third Grade

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: Don't own...anything.

"Shelly…Shelly…Shelly…Why you got a girl's name Shelly Welly? Huh?" Randy taunted him in a singsong voice.

"It's not a girl's name Randy, It's a dork's name…Sheldon…." The two boys laughed in unison, sneering at his discomfort.

He had been walking with his back to them and he stopped. They were nearly twice his size. He was one of the smallest in his class and subject to being picked on relentlessly.

"Not this time," he thought.

He turned his slight body to face the two boys, something he had not done before, having ignored their insults in the past. He braced himself for the impact he knew would come, and he stood there. His long stringy dark hair obscured his eyes, but his mouth was set in grim determination and his fists were balled up tight. Randy screwed up his pudgy face and leaned in close to him.

"What you doin' Sheldon? Huh? You think you can take us on?" Randy spat into his face, and he pushed him hard in the chest, but he didn't move. He just braced his sneakers more firmly in the dirt. "C'mon…stupid!"

Another shove and that was it. He barely remembered what happened next, only that he somehow tackled Randy, taking the boy down to the ground and started beating his face relentlessly. Randy's friends scattered, one of them went and got the teacher. Randy was a bloody mess on the ground crying and screaming for help by the time she arrived. He stood up and sneered down at the bloodied boy, then stomped on his hand breaking several fingers and causing the boy to scream out in agony. He laughed gleefully when the teacher pulled him away from Randy and brought him to the Principal's office.

"I highly recommend that Sheldon see the school counselor, Mrs. Sands. What he did to that boy was, well, it wasn't…normal."

Randy had been rushed to the emergency room with a broken nose and three fingers on his right hand.

"We'll consider that," his mother replied curtly to the principal. "Thank you for calling me in."

As they walked to her car, she carefully placed her hand on the back of his neck and squeezed until it hurt. "You know what your father is going to do when we get home?"

Yeah, he knew, but he wouldn't end up in the emergency room like Randy. His parents would just keep him home for a few days until the bruises went away like they always did. But it was worth it.

The other kids left him alone after that, preferring to whisper about him behind his back rather than confront him, which was just fine with him.