It was a Saturday afternoon in 1964. My friends and I were walking home from a Godzilla movie. They turned the corner, while I headed straight. A tough-looking kid sat on the stoop in front of the library as if he was waiting for me. He wore a leather jacket with black fingerless gloves. He was munching on a donut. I tried not to look at him, hoping that he wouldn’t say anything as I passed. But he stepped in front of me. He was a good foot taller and at least four years older. “Are you a punk?” he asked. “No,” I said, hoping that was the right answer. He told me to empty my pockets. Change fell to the ground. He ordered me to hand all the coins to him as if they were his. I did as I was told. I thought that if he had my money, he would let me go. “Can I leave now?” He ignore my question, and asked, “Did you see Godzilla?” “Yes.” “Were you scared?” “No,” I replied. “Well, you look scared now—you’re shaking.” The bully dropped a donut to the ground. I looked at the French cruller with vanilla icing near his boot. He gave a wicked laugh and ground the donut into the sidewalk with his heel. “If you eat this donut, I’ll let you go.” I was tired and willing to do almost anything to get out of this situation. What the hell, it’s only a dirty donut, I told myself and closed my eyes. As I ate the donut, I imagined that I was a seventy-foot dinosaur like Godzilla, holding the bully in my giant claws and munching his head off with my razor sharp teeth.
About the contributor: Mark Tulin is a former family therapist from Philadelphia who lives in Santa Barbara, California. Mark has two poetry books, Magical Yogis and Awkward Grace available on Amazon. He has an upcoming book of fiction, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories available in August of this year. Mark has been featured in Terror House Magazine, Trembling with Fear, Amethyst Review, Poppy Road Review, Visitant, Oddball Magazine, New Readers Magazine, as well as anthologies, magazines, and podcasts. You can follow Mark at Crow On The Wire.