The first day of school and he was already in a fight. Mark sighed as the three seventh graders approached him from three different directions. His electric blue eyes took in the boy in front of him, a lanky kid with a bulbous nose and mean eyes. Beside him, another boy stood with his arms crossed over his broad chest, a sneer on his face. And behind him, Mark knew, was the last boy, a slack-lipped teenager with dull, incurious eyes.
“Lunch money,” Skinny said, holding out his hand.
“No,” Mark replied coolly as he sat back in his black Quickie wheelchair. The boy’s eyes widened as he stared at what he thought would be an easy mark, some crippled boy. “Now, can I please go to class?” Slowly, furtively, he slid his hands along the foam cover of his curved armrests.
“Not until you hand over your lunch money,” the leader retorted, looking at his friends. A crowd suddenly began to form and someone shouted for the three to leave Mark alone. “Shut up,” Skinny shouted back. He turned back to Mark. “Give it up, crip.”
In response, Mark’s middle fingers hooked his armrests and he slid both smoothly out of their sockets, holding them loosely in his hands. Breathing deeply, he exhaled slowly. With a quick twist, he turned and smashed the business end of his right armrest into the boy’s ribs behind him. The other armrest slapped the youngster at his side, hitting him in the knee. There was a loud crunch and that one went down.
Mark turned his attention back to the boy in front of him. Skinny stared at him in shock, glanced at his friends, and quickly ran off with the crowd laughing uproariously. Mark slipped his armrests back into place and waited.