The Hedgehog

The world was dark, and cold. It had always been that way, as long as he could remember, but he had never understood why.
He had to stop running through the forest after only a minute or two. His eyes stung as he remembered how he had been humiliated at recess. Again. So what if he was short. So what if he was kind of...well, there wasn't a nice way to describe his weight, now was there. But he didn't really eat that much, did he? Maybe he was just unlucky...yeah, that was it, he was unlucky!
Oh goody, he thought unhappily, now I'm lost. I'm lost in a forest in the middle of nowhere and I don't know where I am.
He sat down because he was out of breath and he may as well sit down to catch it. Though he didn't understand that expression, since you had to stop to catch your breath when to catch things you kind of had to chase them. He didn't like chasing things anyways, though, so he didn't care. He just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up for a while, like until he was maybe 25 and he could boss everyone else around. It was pretty dark outside...he didn't remember it being this dark. His mom was gonna be pretty mad if he didn't get home soon. She was always mad at him, for some reason, but that was the first thing he thought.
He walked very slowly, unconsciously dragging his feet. When he tripped he remembered that his shoes already had holes in them and he'd better stop dragging them or else. Or else what, he didn't know, but that was what his brother had said, and his brother knew everything.
By the time he got home the moon was very high in the sky and he was kind of shivery, but he still didn't want to go in his house. It was kind of shivery in there too.
"I had suspected it before, but this confirms it. You don't respect me at all, do you?" asked his mother as soon as he closed the front door (he dropped it and slammed it by accident).
He didn't understand when his mom talked like that, so he didn't say anything. That made her madder and when she started yelling at him for ignoring her he had to try real hard not to cry.
"You come home when I tell you to come home! Got it?" she demanded, grabbing his shoulders hard and turning him around to face her. Boy, she was real mad.
"Uh-huh," he sniffed, not looking at her. "Yes, mommy, I promise, I'm sorry."
"Now go to your room," said his mother. "I don't want to see you for the rest of the night."
That was what she always said.
"'kay," he said, and went upstairs. He dropped the door again and his mom yelled at him to stop slamming doors. He mumbled "Sorry" but it didn't really matter 'cause no one was listening anyways.
He laid down on his tummy on his bed and put his face in his pillow for a minute so it would get rid of the water on his face. That was the bestest way to pretend to yourself that you didn't cry. But then his tummy made a noise so he had to get off of it. He patted it a little and told it to be quiet. It made a few more noises and then it did. He sighed. He was very hungry -someone had stoled his lunch again- but he knew that if he went downstairs he would get yelled at, and wouldn't get to eat besides, so he just stayed in his bed. Maybe no one would steal his lunch tomorrow. Sometimes he was lucky. Sometimes he wasn't. He wasn't today, his tummy was so hungry it was starting to hurt. He wanted to cry (not again, though, 'cause he hadn't cried the first time), so he reached in his pillowcase and in the pillow and took out his picture. It was a picture of him and his brother and sister, and they were at a place with a giant bouncy thing. He tried not to 'member what happened after, he tried to just 'member the other parts, but he couldn't.

"Hey, c'mon, silly!" said his sister, grabbing for his arm. "We've gotta get in line before they close it!"
"'kay!" he said, and stuck his arm out so his sister could grab it. She held his hand tight and yelled for their brother to hurry up so they could all go together. He pretended he wasn't going to, but then he followed them anyways. He was always up for something fun to do.
They were the last ones on the bouncy thing. There was a grumpy looking teenager who was telling everyone in line to just get on, hurry it up already, so they took off their shoes and jumped on with everyone else. It was real bouncy with all the kids on it, and he was a little scared 'cause he was smaller than everyone else and he was a bit scared of being landed on. After a minute he was unscared though and he just had fun. Then all of a sudden his sister and his brother disappeared and there were lots of peoples he didn't know and someone hit him in the head and then everything went all blackish for a minute. He heard a thuddy noise and someone screaming and his mommmy saying "Oh my God!" and then the blackishness came back and he disappeared.
A little while later he was in the doctor office and the doctor was talking but he wasn't paying attention 'cause there was redness coming out of his nose and he was wondering about it.
"No, ma'am, there is no brain damage," the doctor said. "However, he seems to be a bit behind in his development. Would you mind if I ran a few tests?"
"No, not at all," said his mommy. "Please, go right ahead."
The doctor left and came back. There was something in his hand, but he had no interest in it. He was more interested in where his shoes were. His feet were getting cold.
"Hey, son, do you mind looking at this for me?" asked the doctor. He looked at the thing in the doctor's hand and took it for a minute. It opened up, so he opened it. There was a lot of pictures and a lot of wiggly things. He wrinkled his nose and tried to give it back.
"Can you look at it for me?" said the doctor again.
"I did," he said. "I did look at it."
"Can you look at it again?"
"It's boring though," he said. "I don' wanna."
"Do you read to him?" the doctor asked his mommy.
"No, he won't let me," said his mommy. "He has no interest in it."
"None at all?"
"None, " his mommy said.
"Hm," said the doctor.
The doctor left the room and came back again, this time with a pile of toys. Now that looked interesting.
"Hey, can you sort these into piles for me?" asked the doctor. He got down from his chair and went and looked at them. There was a pile of squares and circles and triangles. He sat down and pushed them into piles.
"Cool, " the doctor said. "Can you count them all up for me?"
He counted them as well as he could, but he ran out of fingers before he finished.
"10," he said proudly.
"Um...that's not quite all of them, son," said the doctor. "Do you think you could count the other ones too?"
"'kay," he said, and he counted to 10 again.
"10," he said.
"Hm," the doctor said.
Next the doctor gave him a card and a pencil.
"Can you write your name on there for me?" asked the doctor.
"No," he said.
"Why not?" asked the doctor.
"'cause I don' know how to spell it," he said.
"He doesn't know how to spell his name?"
"Well...he never really cared..."
"Hm," said the doctor. "Can you write the alphabet for me?"
"'kay, " he said, though he didn't remember all of the letters. He wrote as many of them as he could and then stopped.
"He's gripping that pencil rather oddly," said the doctor.
"I thought so too," said his mommy.
"Why were you holding your pencil like that?" asked the doctor.
"'cause I have to," he said.
"Hm," said the doctor. "Ma'am, I've got bad news for you.
"Your son is retarded."