“Go on – we’re waiting.”
Another lit match tossed into his lap. Remy attempted to bat it away without flinching too much. He looked at the other four through unfocused eyes, trying to determine which one had spoken. Not that it mattered. If he wanted to join their group, he’d have to do it – run across the highway stark naked.
“That’s the initiation, man. We all had to do it.” Steve tilted the bottle up, missed his mouth. Jack Daniels soaked his shirt. “Look what you made me do. Get going or get out of here.”
Cruel laughter sliced Remy open as he undressed, his skinny body underscoring the reason why the jocks didn’t want him as a friend. The buzz left, leaving him more determined to show them his worth. Bullies, every last one of them, but also the most popular kids in school. Remy figured that if he passed their test, they wouldn’t harass him so much.
Watching for a break in traffic amidst the howls of his companions, Remy darted out during a clear section. Two lanes crossed and he made the dirt divider in the center. Two more to go and he was home free. A single car loomed, then a break before more headlights. He would run between them.
The driver spotted him as she passed, slamming her brakes hard in reactive fear. Remy broke free of his paralysis and ran as the car spun to a stop in the middle of the lane. He turned to pump his arm in victory to his new friends, just in time to see the gas tanker slide sideways in an attempt to avoid the stalled car.
The jack-knifed behemoth crossed over the lanes into oncoming traffic. Flames shot through the air as the tank exploded, the light illuminating the other boys. Drunken stupor riveted them to the ground, unmoving as bits of fire rained on their position.
Remy watched Steve’s soaked shirt become the catalyst for a human torch. Within moments, all four filled the night with shrieks and the stench of burning flesh. They would never again taunt and torment those less endowed. The jumbled fireball of legs and arms struck a blow for nerds everywhere, Remy decided. A slow smile touched his lips. He wondered why he’d ever wanted their approval in the first place.
"On a Dare"
Copyright: © 2009 Laura Eno
Laura Eno (http://lauraeno.blogspot.com) has written two YA fantasy novels and a paranormal romance. Her flash fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Twisted Dreams, The Monsters Next Door, Flashes in the Dark, 10Flash, House of Horror, The New Flesh, Everyday Weirdness and MicroHorror.