Ernest Roberson Sr.
ERNEST ROBERSON SR.
Johnny Trickle was a young 14year old boy. He lived in Franklin County since he was two years old. A quite, everyone knows everyone kind of town, about fifty miles south of St. Petersburg, Ohio. He was your everyday teenager, so people thought.
Johnny was in the ninth grade, made good grades, and played B-team sports. One day after school he went home. His parents had been fussing. Johnny had been abused and beat by his father, in the last seven years, going on eight. Johnny was tired of it and no adult seemed to listen. Even with all of the friends he had, he was too afraid to even tell them. Johnny would be going camping with his father and three of his father’s friends this Friday and Saturday. And it was only Monday as he dreaded the thought.
Johnny was stout for his age. Standing 5 foot, 8 inches.
“Dan yall carrying Johnny camping with yall?”
“Yes, Ann. How many damn times do I have to tell you a day?”
Dan and Ann Trickle were his parents. Ann was a homemaker wife, and Dan was retired from the Navy; a long 15 years it was. Johnny felt he was daddy’s little boy some and daddy’s little punching bag most of the other time. Soon, though they’d know differently about their Johnny boy. Dan had at times beat Johnny until he laid on the ground hours afterwards.
“Shut it up boy or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
Johnny’s mother learned to never get in the way, or she too got it or beat up herself. Many times Ann said it’s over for us Dan, but it never was.
Tuesday came around, slowly but surely. Johnny was sore from the beating he’d taken last night. He’d got dressed and walked off towards school in pain on the sidewalk. Johnny arrived at school at exactly 8:00. He walked down the hallway and up a staircase. Johnny said in a mumble,
Johnny had made it upstairs now. Then he detoured to the boys’ restroom as the bell for homeroom rung.
“Shit, I’m late again.”
Johnny had to piss, so he took his time at everything he did now. Uncaring, he walked out of the restroom and walked to his homeroom which was straight across the hall from the restrooms. As he entered his classmates were standing pledging to the flag of the United States of America. Johnny’s eyes met Mrs. Sandra Smith’s eyes and went to sit down, knowing she was going to say something. The class sat down when they finished up the pledge.
“Johnny,” Mrs. Smith called out.
He pretended not to hear her.
“Johnny get up here right now.”
The classroom had their eyes on him. Johnny got up and said the only thing that popped into his mind.
“Fuck you bitch.”
The classroom was in silence as he stood by his desk.
“Wait a minute here. Let me send you to somewhere else, to Mr. Bill White’s office.” Mrs. Smith said.
“Alright, send me to hell as far as I care,” Johnny said.
He snatched the pink slip from her right hand and left his homeroom, slamming the door behind him. Johnny went to his locker, opened it, and located a .45 which belonged to his dad. He then pulled a cigarette lighter from his left denim pants front pocket and struck it, catching the pink slip on fire. He put it in his locker which was trashed with loose papers and books. Johnny then closed his locker as he walked down the staircase then towards Mr. White’s office. Behind Johnny, smoke rolled out of the locker holes of his locker. The smoke set the fire alarms and water sprinkles off. People came out of the doors of the classrooms to see what was happening. Johnny hid the gun in a little bag in which he always carried around. As he walked into the office, he calmly said,
“I need to speak with Mr. White.”
“Be a minute.” The secretary replied.
“I’m in no hurry.” He said as he sat down.
Johnny had noticed his dad’s friend John Faulk sitting three seats beside him on his left.
“Johnny, you in trouble?”
“No, John I’m not.”
And that ended their talk. John had sold books to the school for over ten years and was Dan’s first friend he made since leaving Florida, here in Ohio. Johnny thought of camping trips John, Larry Faulk and Ben Bates had been on before with his dad. They’d drank, cursed, talked about other women, fishing, and hunting. And Johnny remembered the one time when they all thought that he was asleep. And the four was talking about having sex with their wives and comparing sex methods with who done it wilder, and stuff as that. But Johnny had to pee and got out of the tent, already hearing everything.
“Shush Johnny’s up,” Larry said.
“How long you been there boy?” His dad asked.
“I got to pee.”
“Go piss and get your ass to bed. You hear what we talked about?”
Knowing if he’d answer yes sir it would’ve been different. Because Johnny knew that his dad drank bad, and the temper it brought with it.
“Yes,” Johnny said, waking up from the daydream looking around.
He noticed that John had left. Mr. White stood in front of him which had awakened him.
“Come on here.”
“I’m sorry Johnny,” Mr. White said, looking at his records flipping through the papers.
“I’ve got to send you home.”
“For how long?”
“Three days at least,” Mr. White answered looking up from the file on his desktop.
“But, but Mr. Wh…..“
“No, buts,” Mr. White said, angered at Johnny and his actions.
“Alright then.” Johnny agreed getting up from the chair.
“I’m also calling your parents,” Mr. White said as Johnny shut the door.
“Mrs. Smith ready or not here I come.”
Johnny got to Mrs. Smith’s which was room numbered 18. He knocked twice on the door and let himself in.
“Mr. White said to give you this.”
She handed her right hand out. Johnny opened his baby blue bag, pulled out the .45 automatic and shot Mrs. Smith between the eyes. Blood splattered on the blackboard behind her, and her body fell limp to the carpeted floor. The startled class started getting up out of their desks heading for the door. The next door teacher Mr. Ron Phillips made his way into the room and seen Mrs. Smith lying dead on the floor.
“Johnny what have you done?”
Johnny turned towards the door and shot Mr. Phillips in the chest.
“Stop or I’ll shoot another,” Johnny yelled out.
So the remaining students stopped.
“Frank shut and lock the door.”
“Frank, now damn it!”
So as Frank Mitchell went towards the door, he ran out into the hallway never looking back towards room 18, fearing Johnny had him in his sights. Frank had made it safely to the office and told Mr. White everything that had happened.
“Sue shut the door.”
“Alright, but please…..”
“I want unless you do something stupid.”
So Sue had done her part.
“Now, we’re here together, and…….”
“You have a gun so what?” Jack Peters said; which was a bully that always beat up Johnny, just like his dad and took his money.
“Shut the fuck up,” Johnny said.
“Jack, shut those blinds, except for those two so that I can see out of.”
“It’s 10:30.” Johnny thought as he was looking at the clock over the blackboard.
“You’re crazy man,” Don Rentz said.
“Yes and I’ll show you just how crazy too.”
“You can hide behind that gun, but you’ll put it down eventually.”
Jack said standing up to look out of the window.
“All kinds of police are here local, state, and they’re blocking the road off.”
Johnny got up from Mrs. Smith’s desk to see for himself.
“Yelp.” He replied then sat back down.
Most had put their heads down; some was doing their homework and reading. Billy Montford sat etching in his desktop.
“That’s enough Billy.”
So he quit. Johnny then saw Kim Hughson; blonde, petite, and only 17, the captain of the varsity football team’s cheerleading squad.
“What would she look like in 5 or 10 years from now?” Johnny thought.
She wore a knee length skirt that was black, with her legs crossed.
“It’s hot,” Jake Griffin said.
“Turn on the A/C then, and don’t try anything”
Johnny’s attention went back towards Kim. Her legs were uncrossed now, spreaded enough for him to see that her thong panties that she wore were also black.
“I bet Brett Collins has banged that numerous of times. Sure wish I could just one time.” Johnny thought.
Kim noticed him looking and then crossed her legs again, as she smiled at him.
“Johnny” A bullhorn called out.
Johnny went to the window at a closed blind. He looked out from behind the blind and saw that it was Mr. White.
“That son of a bitch, he’s the one that called all of these police here.”
“Most of the parents are here,” Jack said.
On the ground, the police in charge were Don Roddenberry.
“There’s Johnny at the window.”
Don fired a shot.
“Jack, Jack you alright?” Johnny asked.
“If it wasn’t for you that wouldn’t have happened,” Jack said getting up from the carpet floor.
It was five till three as Johnny sat back down knowing that at three school was out and it was only Tuesday. He looked around the room to see every face. Some smoked cigarettes, others talked, but not a head was down after Don had shot at Jack. Johnny then looked at Mrs. Smith and Mr. Phillips, “dead as hell.”
“What have I done? Is this what I’m becoming? People schools out.” Johnny said looking up from the bodies on the floor.
“You’re letting us go, Johnny?”
“Don’t believe him,” Jack yelled out.
“Yes. Come here, and take this gun, take it with you. Tell ’em I surrender and for them to send Mr. White by himself. I’ll walk out with only him.”
So Sue got up, went to the desk and got the gun.
As the first person went out of the door the bell rang to go home.
“What a day,” Johnny thought to himself, “What a day.”
Johnny looked out the window to see everyone had made it out, as Mr. White, and Sue talked. Mr. White gave the gun to the police and then looked up at the window to see Johnny.
Mr. White and Don went into the room handcuffed and escorted Johnny out. I’m sorry was all that he could say. Don put him in the patrol car and drove him to St. Petersburg’s Youth Detention Center which was fifty miles away.
“I’m eating the cake you all baked for me, and I’m looking at the yearbook too. Thanks for signing it, and thanks for understanding why I done wrong. I’m sorry for it all. Now I must go it’s time for the lights to be out.