Story Submitted by Kathryn Manz

Ray Ray the retard. RAY RAY THE RETARD. Their taunts got louder as they got closer. I didn’t really understand what they meant by “retard” but I sure knew who they were directing it at – my older brother, Ray (Ray Ray) and by proxy me, as I held onto his waist while he maneuvered the bicycle over potholes, gravel and a speed bump. This group was hungry for something. Usually, they call out a few mean words or throw a rock or two but all 6 of them are following us through West Hempstead and my brother is NOT going to let us get captured. We just finished our paper route and it was collection day so our pockets were heavy with the paper distributor’s cash and our tip money. These guys screaming after us, wanted our blood and the cash. That was the last thing I thought when a flash of pain hit the back of my head. I woke up just as the ambulance was putting both of us inside. Ray lost balance when the rock hit me in the back of the head and I fell off the bike. The boys kicked the crap out of him until he had an epileptic seizure and blacked out. Then they rifled both our pockets, stole our money, and left us in the middle of Cherry Valley Road. Two more feet separated us from the hole in the chain-link fence that would have secured our freedom. Instead, defeated we quit our paper route. The press boss still demanded his fee for letting us deliver the Daily News.. mom and dad had to scrape that together on top of our ER bills. Oh, and the boys that followed us? I kept tabs on them over the years. They ALL showed up at Ray’s funeral 3 years after they nearly killed us. They got away with it. ALL of them are dead now…most from drugs. ALL got a shot of karma that I must say gives me some small measure of relief.