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ENTRY

Characters: The Bully
July 30, 2011

I will occasionally create a character based on a real person from my life. When I needed to write a bully into a story, I chose "Brad," the kid who tormented me in seventh and eighth grade.

Brad took great pleasure in socking me in the arm or thumping me on the back of the head. He got a good laugh calling me names, usually related to my Japanese heritage. When we were in PE class together, playing soccer or running laps, he delighted in running up behind me and kicking one of my ankles into the other, sending me sprawling.

One day he shoved me into my locker as he was strutting down the hall. I had a book in my hand and having had enough, threw the book at him, literally. He threw a punch which broke my glasses and cut my cheek. We ended up in one of those out-of-control, eyes closed, fist flailing, wrestling fights that doesn't really do any damage. A couple of teachers broke it up, and Brad and I were escorted to the vice principal's office.

Surprisingly, Brad admitted he started the fight. He also said I was a "damn good fighter." He took three swats; I got off with a warning. After that, Brad never bullied me again. No one else did either.

So I used Brad as a model for a bully who, to make a long story short, is killed in revenge. Curious about the fate of the real Brad, I Googled him and found his obituary. He passed away a few months ago, although the obit didn't say how he died. All it said was that he was an electrician and he died in hospice care.

I hope he was a damn good fighter to the end.

COMMENTS

Number of comments: 3
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Gail
Isn't a lot of writing - whether based on people we know or experiences we have had - cathartic? I only keep a journal these days, and that is certainly cathartic, but I think fiction writing must also be that way. Currently I am focusing on Yukio Mishima. I read "After the Banquet" and am now reading "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion." I have read that Mishima's tetrology "The Sea of Futility" is also a very personal work, and the suicide of his character is seen as linked to Mishima's own suicide.

Todd
Gail, I know I get a feeling of satisfaction when my writing is good and true, probably for many reasons, catharsis no doubt one of them.

Todd
I haven't read Mishima for more than twenty years, time to revisit.

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