He could feel his temper rising. Growing, and breeding deep down in the depths within him. Rising to the surface. His ears began to burn, glowing red. His jaw clenched tightly, the muscles visibly tensing. His fists followed suit as he tried in vain not to lash out. His eyes glowered and he inhaled slowly as he tried to keep a lid on his anger. Determinedly defiant, he stared back.
“Let. Him. Go.” he spat, one word at a time as he forced himself to keep his voice level, and at a moderate volume.
“Haha, oh yeah?” came the mocking reply, “Or what? Huh? What are you going to do about it Mikey?”
“I said,” he breathed, although the bait of using this hated nick-name caused his anger to rise further, “let him go Lucas.”
“Well then,” smirked his opponent, taking a step closer to him so that his height could be used as an intimidating weapon as he towered above him, “why don’t you just come and make me, Mikey?” Lucas’ eyes shone with the entertainment he was clearly reaping from this situation.
Mike’s resolve finally broke, and the temper he had tried to tame broke free. With a roar he flung himself forward, fists flying in a shower of punches. His antagonist did little more than laugh at what to him appeared to be a pitiful attempt at retribution. The torrent was continued for some seconds before Lucas’ amusement waned and the attacker was pushed to the side.
“Is that really the best you can do?” Lucas gloated.
This pushed Mike’s anger over the edge, as the teasing turned anger into frustration. As his emotions got the better of him, they sought any outlet they could to release the build up he was trying to control. His eyes welled up, betraying him, causing his anger to peak further, adding to the medley of uncontrollable emotions already coursing through his body. He struggled to regain control, unwilling for his opponent to see this demonstration of weakness. He blinked rapidly, while staring as ferociously as he could to the face that still towered above him. But it was in vain. Being only inches from his face, his adversary was not going to miss this laughable display.
“Oh, is little ba-ba going to cry?” came the gleeful observation.
Mike had had enough. He could not control himself any further. He was at a loss of what to do next, as his strength was no match for that of the tower in front of him. His emotions were running rampant, reinforcing the belief in his own mind that he had already lost. However, considering what was at stake, he was not willing to give up. Not yet.
Lucas was a few years older than Mike, was about a head taller, and thought he knew the world inside out. Mike, being younger, still had a lot to learn. Mike’s temper frequently got the better of him and was constantly getting him into trouble. But the most frustrating thing was that more often than not, the real culprit behind the eruption of Mike’s temper, was Lucas.
“Lucas, just..” Mike’s voice strained hard not to break, “just LET HIM GO!” he finally shouted. His face blazed and his teeth ground together as he fought harder than ever before to stop the tears from running down his inflamed cheeks. Lucas grinned wider than before, and a tear trickled down Mike’s cheek, leaving behind it a shimmering trail, similar to a path left behind by a snail.
“Aww, the poor little baby,” sneered Lucas with an accompanying shove. Mike fell backwards, hard and clumsily.
“You really are pathetic,” the older of the pair looked down his nose at his counterpart with scorn. Taking a final look at what he held in his hand, he decided he had had his fun for now. With a final snort of derision directed at what he considered, at best, a pitiful plaything, he snapped the head from the action-man in his hand and tossed the body to his 5 year old brother as he remained fixed in his position on the floor where he had fallen. He toyed with the boy just a few more moments, dangling the decapitated head just out of reach before tossing it to be reunited with its body. With the swagger only pulled off by the dominant older sibling who knows they will have the upper hand in any exchange with their younger sibling, Lucas left the room in search of his mother, and a plate of cookies.
Mike wept quietly but with relief. He had his toy back. Carefully he rebuilt the toy, not for the first time, struggling less than he had the first time his brother had played this so-called prank. Once again he made a vow to himself that he would do his best not to let his older brother torment his most prized possession any further. One day, he told himself, one day he would get even. Repeating this over and over in his head, he looked up to find the opportunity of a lifetime. Lucas’ birthday present, still barely a week old, was now unattended due to Lucas’ pride-ridden departure from the room. Lucas’ present which he had begged, and begged for. His new guitar. Mike smiled, an idea of retribution forming.