I watched the whole lot of them,
the fence line sagging in protest.
Each smoking and joking,
eying up the classics on display.
I found the sight troublesome
knowing how boys will be boys,
and as the cigarettes wore down,
I could see their restless forms
swaggering my way.
Shivers ran down my spine
as the jostling jokers spotted my gaze,
and I tried to shrink into the backdrop,
but the prowling had already begun.
Darts of catcalling
were hurled my way,
each unsettling word,
a dagger to the innocence of my soul.
This act of playfulness reminded me
of how a lion toys with its prey,
and I knew once the hunt began,
anything left of my dignity
would not be spared.
I tried to act inconspicuously,
one trembling step at a time.
But then the books I held
began to slide right out of my arms,
and the movement
caused a chain reaction.
Like red-flagged raging bulls,
the whole bunch
began to barrel my way.
Caught in a panic,
I tripped and fell,
but the embedded asphalt
was the least of my worries.
I tried to stand
but realized it was too late,
the pride was already circling,
waiting to pounce.
In the end, my tormentors
were too tough to deter
and all I could do was fight
with bated breath
until my virtue
no longer remained.
© 2021 Michelle Cook
Writing prompt: Juicy jokes and buttered books