Authors: Kim Hunter
The Red Fox
by Kim Hunter
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. Copyright Kim Hunter 2013
Cover designed by Lightview Media.
Editor: Ivars Osis
Table of Contents
Jacksonville was a million times smaller than New York, and felt like a million miles away too. That suited Jay just fine. After three failed attempts at a quiet school life, he was ready for the small town experience. '
Last big town before you start running into swamp people.'
That's what his uncle said to him the day he arrived.
Big town. He had to laugh at that, wondering what exactly his uncle thought a
town might look like. He had arrived yesterday, and today he was thrown straight into the fire. Six more months of school. Then he would be on his way to Art College. It would be a place not only full of like-minded people, but, he was sure, free of the
that had made his high school life a nightmare.
He knew the
all too well. Large, angry eyes, proud & loud.
This time, he would find
first and stay right out of his way.
He'd quit the Big Apple. It was either that or quitting school permanently; his parents weren't impressed with his demand, but after realizing he wasn't faking his anxiety, they reluctantly let him choose to move.
in a new school. He knew the drill. First a tour, then lunch, then straight into class like all the rest.
So far, so good.
While his tour guide pointed out the amenities, Jay offered a little commentary.
I've never liked the men's locker room,” he said.
I just don't like walking into a room where there are a bunch of naked guys, that's all.”
What, are you some kind of a fag or something?”
Jay laughed. “If I
want to see a bunch of guys walking around with the fella swinging in my face, how does that make me gay?”
Rick, his tour guide, looked at the new guy and shrugged his shoulders.
Maybe you're worried you might get a hard on.” He smacked Jay's stomach with the back of his hand, saying, “Keep your hands off my ass and we'll get along just fine.”
Jay rolled his eyes.
Anyway,” Rick continued, “it's not my job to make you a fan of our school facilities. I'm just here to tell you where things are, and that,” pointing to the door once more, “is the guys' locker room.” He glanced down and noticed the new guy was carrying a sketch book. A cheeky grin surfaced on his face for a half a second before he quickly threw on his poker face and returned to the conversation.
He turned and pointed to a door on the opposite side of the hall. “And that's the Art room—you like Art?”
Yeah.” Jay ran his hand through his blond hair.
Rick's thin black hair flopped lifelessly over his face. He blew it out of his eyes and smiled. “Oh,” he said, “then go check it out. It's the best in the State.”
Really?” Jay felt his heart race. His green eyes were deep, and they beamed at the news his new school had quality Art facilities. That was the first good news he had heard all day.
Go, man! And be quick about it. I don't want this tour to last all day.”
He loved to draw. He had always been that way. In his last school he was mocked for choosing to sit in the playground with his sketch pad instead of a football. He always had his sketch book with him. It would have been easier if he had just carried a football, or whatever else would have caused him to blend in, but he refused. He wanted to do what he loved. He wanted to be who he felt he was at the core of his being. He wanted to do the very thing that stirred his heart with life. That was drawing, and so draw he did.
The thought of checking out the Art room was irresistible to him. He raced over enthusiastically and pushed the door open.
He took three full steps inside before he froze at the round of screams igniting all around him.
He stood surrounded by a room full of naked teenage girls. They all raced to cover themselves and hide their eyes from the intruder. All except one. She remained standing fully naked, fully frontal, starting at him. Her wet brown hair draped over her shoulders, her firm breasts defying gravity, and her stomach sporting a tattoo—
a Red Fox
The screams were loud, but for a split second the Red Fox drew Jay into a silent story.
Whenever he saw something inspiring, something that moved his creative thoughts, he found himself falling into tunnel vision. All else faded while his mind pulled out its pencil to create a sketch worth remembering. This was surely such a moment. The girl remained still, and it was not at all in Jay's character to stand and stare, but the Fox, sitting quietly on her stomach, lured him in; it stole his attention. There was something more than a tattoo there. There was a story
the artwork. His eyes rose straight through the middle of her chest and up to her eyes. One glance, and he knew she was someone special.
The other girls continued to scream. One of them, however, had stopped screaming and began steamrolling towards him.
Meanwhile, Jay's gaze was locked on the owner of the Red Fox. Her gaze. Her eyes. It was one of
He had had a similar moment only a few times. It was those rare moments when he had locked onto the gaze of a complete stranger for only a few seconds, but he never forgot them. Now and then they would circle back into the reaches of his mind and allow himself to be reminded of their eyes, their gaze, the moment they had shared.
One was a blue eyed girl sitting on a bench in Central Park. Another was a curly haired blonde who had been passing by him as he walked down the street. There was one more, when he had been on a ski holiday with his parents. In the hotel lobby there was a brown eyed girl standing with her family. She had turned and caught his eye just as he was leaving.
Each time a moment like that happened, he knew, and he was sure they knew. They should have stopped and talked. They should have tried to discover why they felt such a strong connection; why they'd never forget that special moment when they had looked into each other's eyes. Those moments always amazed him, and this was one of them. One look, and within it a connection that felt deeper than the sea; a memory created that he knew wouldn't fade.
Suddenly, a painful blow to his chest reminded him where he actually was. The pain also shot the screams back into his ears.
Get out of here, you pervert!”
A black haired girl with incredible strength slammed her palms against his chest again, this time sending him flying out the door and crashing onto the hallway floor.
Rick was also on the floor, in hysterics.
Oh, God, that was good! That was
. The Art Room—Ha, ha, ha!—the Art Room!”
Jay jumped to his feet.
That was the girls' locker room!”
Exactly,” Rick replied. He pulled himself off the floor and dried his eyes. “If that's not an Art room, I don't know what is!”
Jay ran his hands through his hair again. Day One in his new school and already making waves; exactly what he
want to do. Rick put his arm around Jay and pulled him down the hallway.
Come on. I'll show you where the real Art room is, but first,” he looked at him and grinned, “Tell me the truth. When you walked in there, did you get a
Quit it,” Jay replied. He didn't like talking about things like that. But, nonetheless, he really was starting to like his tour guide. He was a joker, but his humor wasn't cruel. After years of being bullied, it was a relief to be the butt of a joke that wasn't laced with hatred. In fact, he was quietly thankful for Rick's sneaky trick.
As they walked down the hall, he couldn't get the Red Fox out of his mind, nor did he want to.
The lunch bell had just rung and in the distance they could hear all the students begin to pile out of their classrooms. Jay and Rick finished their cigarettes and stood up.
And that bell concludes your tour of the Greatest School in Jacksonville. Kiss my ass, V. P. Hopkins.”
Rick had not given the tour out of the goodness of his heart. It was actually part of his duties as a School Captain. There were four of them, all seniors. Each year the staff came together and voted on who they should be. The three others, according to Rick, were chosen for their ability to squeal on their fellow students without a second thought. Rick, on the other hand, wasn't chosen by them at all, not technically, anyway. At the time, he had though it would be hilarious to rig the voting. And so he did, with very little trouble, and, lo and behold, he came in as the fourth choice.
Ms. Hopkins, the Vice Principal, remained highly suspicious of Rick's election, and so she made it her personal mission to give him all the tedious duties, such as giving new students a tour of the school. Little did she know Rick's tour often consisted of sitting behind the maintenance garage smoking. It was a small rectangle of space about two meters wide and completely hidden. There wasn't much there except a pile of old tires, half a truck engine and a patch of dirt, full of old cigarette butts.
One of the benefits of being the School Captain was sitting in on the Staff monthly meeting. There was always something interesting going on, and it helped to have some inside information. One never knew when it could come in handy. This month the staff had discussed the
recent discovery of some dangerous spiders in a few of the classrooms. They must have migrated from the woods just across from the school grounds. It had been a major discussion in the last teacher's meeting in which Rick, as one of the School Captains, happened to be part of. The teachers were keeping it all very quiet. If the problem continued they would have to get the whole place fumigated in the next school break. Apparently they were terrified of getting sued, but at the same time too tight-fisted to take immediate action.
As they squeezed out of their hiding place Rick turned to Jay and said, “The bad news is this place smells like someone crapped in an ashtray. The good news is not many of us know about it. As you can see, the gap here is just too small for most of the nasties to fit through, no football heroes and so on, so you'll normally have this spot to yourself if you ever get the craving for a smoke—just watch out for spiders.”
“Spiders? Are they dangerous.”
“Oh, yeah, killers.”
The way Rick rolled his eyes made Jay unsure if he was being serious or now. He decided to change the subject.
Was that the lunch bell?” Jay asked.