Random blog-like rambling from Rachel's brain. A mixed up mess of usability posts, fiction, and travel.


flagitious - \fluh-JISH-us\

Adjective: marked by scandalous crime or vice : villainous


In a society, factions are always quick to develop. Haves and have-nots flow together to create bands or bands of bandits. Even within these bounds subgroups will form. Cliques of different flavors, drawn to each other by some random connection or shared desire. The groups rarely exist in peace but are rarely in outright war either. They'll stand opposed in their claimed territory and shoot uncertain glances at each other across the divides.



Then there are outsiders. The ones who by some trick of their nature can not fit in elsewhere. Some of these kids are merely awkward and shy. Some, more rarely perhaps, are what you might call villains.

Bobby is a villain.

He takes great pleasure in the fact of this. It is a comfort and a constant. It started relatively simply, lunch money stolen from weaker children in weaker groups. It escalated at some point to wedgies, wet willies and similar minor forms of torment. He is undiscriminating about who to target provided they are smaller than he is. Which faction or clique or subgroup someone belongs to is meaningless to an outsider and a villain. 

Petty beatings and spare change eventually become boring though, and this is when Bobby starts to orchestrate his play differently. Physical violence is fun, but limited. 

When the world is full of factions, the key to generating real, true excitement is to push the boundaries and unsettle the relative peace. All it takes is a few whispered rumors and the balance of the world comes shaking down. Wars are fought on such little information. 

The first time, Bobby convinces Mary and Grace that their dear trusted friend Beth had kissed Tommy Baker under the big oak tree. Tommy, naturally, was a member of the the have-nots to Mary, Grace and Beth's team of haves. Mixing is frowned upon. Grace's tears and denials are of a kind so unlike the tears of a kid after a wedgie has been administered. Better somehow. 

He plays these games for months. Manipulation, lies, setting one side against the other until the sides barely exist anymore. The playground becomes a chaotic battlefield, rife with uncertainty. Bobby watches his work play out perched on the top of the monkey bars. He is lord of his domain. He laughs and opens his pudding cup.