Tag Archives: The Basement
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Bullied

24 May
Joshua Rush as Robbie- The Basement

Actor Joshua Rush

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Suspense and Thrillers. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance, horror or humor (among other genres) into my stories.
I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, artists and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.
So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.
In today’s post I will feature the poet and writer Adrianna Joleigh. She wrote the poem “Bullied” specifically for my novel The Basement. I am honored and grateful for it.

Bullied

Raped from prosperities
Bleeding tears rain
Hopelessness infuriates
Self-loathing remains

No reason to wake up
No reason to smile
No reason to feel
I am worthwhile.

Surrounded by hate,
And I don’t know why.
Wanting only to be loved.
Vulnerable to their lies.

Why am I not perfect?
Why am I not pretty?
Why am I too fat?
I Wallow in self-pity.

Repeated struggles
to end my misery.
Hating the image I see.
Who here would miss me?
—A. Joleigh

How A Bully Is Made

Bullying is a serious issue that is faced by many people. Bullies have existed since the beginning of time, as have the victims who have suffered from bullying. The age-old question is, What makes a bully act like a bully?

Do bullies really enjoy making another person miserable or causing them pain? What do they get out of striking fear in the heart of another? Are they inherently evil? You may be surprised by the answers to these questions.

Bullies do not fit into a neat little box. There’s no doubt that evil people live among us. There are those who relish the pain of others and take pleasure in causing distress or harm. However, most bullies are not monsters. So why do they act like monsters?

Bullies are often people who have been bullied or abused themselves, and they cast blame upon others for the bad things in their lives.

People who feel their home life is out of control and they’re not listened to or valued by their family may feel the need to hold positions of power. Such a person may become a boss and gain power by dominating his or her employees, operating on the principle that being feared is the way to gain respect.

A teenager who is constantly berated by a parent or older sibling may feel the need to do the same to others, just so he or she won’t feel like the only victim.

A child who is physically abused at home comes to view violence as normal.

Sometimes, there is no obvious explanation, except perhaps that the bully is a mean and cruel person who only feels good when causing others harm.

~Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Joshua Rush as Robbie

Joshua Rush as Robbie

The Basement is available in amazon and Barnes & Nobles (iBooks, Kindle, Nook)

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Descent Into The Basement

15 May

The Basement- Twitter- Card

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I’m Vashti (for those of you that don’t know me). Today I will share a chapter from my first novel The Basement suspense/thriller (MG/YA). I would love to read your opinions. What do you think happened to Natasha, as she heroically tries to save her friend Robbie?

Natasha ventured out of her home in the middle of the night to rescue her friend Robbie from the basement.

Natasha’s Descent

Natasha ran out of her building and down the street toward Robbie’s basement to aid her friend. It was dark and creepy outside. The streetlights were dim and cast weird shadows on the pavement. The block seemed isolated—as if the end of the world had come and she was the only survivor. Had she entered another dimension, a parallel world where she was the only person alive? She had a great imagination, but, under the circumstances, she did not feel it was helping.


When she reached the entrance to the basement, it seemed like the entrance to a great cave. She was afraid to enter, but determined not to waste any more time, so she stepped into the unknown. It was dark, and the light from the street did not illuminate past the first couple of steps.


Then a realization struck her. “I didn’t bring a flashlight! How could I have been so stupid? How will I get to the bottom without falling on my face and breaking my neck?”


Unlike Robbie’s mom before her, Natasha saw the big, yellow flashlight sitting in its dark little corner. She gasped and opened her eyes wide. “That’s Robbie’s flashlight!”
She grabbed the flashlight, searched for the switch, and flipped it. No radiance shone from its reflector. She turned it in her hand and heard a rattling sound. She tried to open the battery housing, but it was stuck. She unscrewed the top of the flashlight, figuring she could get straight to the battery compartment this way. She lost her grip on the flashlight; she fumbled, and it flew out of her hand. She squeaked and leaped toward it, managing to grab the flashlight, but not before a couple of the batteries rolled down the cement steps.

“Oh no.”  She pressed her rosy, full lips together tightly. “Now what am I going to do?”
Natasha pondered the descent into the basement. She decided the only way she would be able to do it would be to sit on the top step, and, in a seated position, slide off one step and then onto the one below it, feeling her way down with her hands, feet, and legs. In this fashion she went down, one scratchy concrete step at a time.
She knew her method would ruin her pajamas, but she figured it was a small price to pay. She never imagined she would be so scared. She was not normally afraid of the dark; then again, she never had reason to fear what was in it before.
At first she was able to see shadowy figures scuttling about. Ick! Bugs! She narrowed her eyes and wrinkled the bridge of her nose. After a while, she could not see a thing. She thought her eyes would eventually adjust and she would be able to see a little but that did not happen. She realized she was going to be blind down there and would have to fine-tune her other senses to get through it.
She proceeded to scoot down the steps on her bottom. A sluggish, heavy, ugly stench began to intrude upon her awareness as it filled her nasal cavities. She grimaced with revulsion. She pinched her nose and continued to move down, using only one hand to balance herself, since the other was trying to prevent the unpleasant odors from bombarding her nostrils, and she lurched. She slid to the next cement step hard, and in order to prevent hurting herself, she brought her other hand down on the step for support. When she slammed her hand hastily beside her there was a pop and a crunch, and then a squishy sensation on her palm.
“Eeeeww!” She imagined the gooey crack of a cockroach’s backbone under the weight of her hand. “Ick!” Immediately she began to rub her palm on the sidewall nearest her. She retched and vomited a little in her mouth.
As she moved farther down, she began to hear peeping and chirping sounds. She stopped. Her heart thumped in her chest. She listened carefully, her big almond-shaped eyes scanning to the left and to the right. She thought she heard a chorus of trills, peeps, and whistling echoing out of the basement. Birds? Mutant rats! Creatures that are part rat and part bird? What is making those sounds? Her muddled mind gave way to her efflorescent imagination. Her jaw dropped. I’m sure they can’t fly. Otherwise they would have flown out of this stinky basement by now. Poor Robbie, I must hurry! Panting, she continued to descend the steps one by one, until her feet could no longer find the edge of the next step, which meant she had reached the bottom and was in the basement.
Natasha got up off the last basement step, and, at the same time, she heard something cry out. Her hand flew to cover her mouth. She felt a swift breeze pass in front of her face driven by something heavy. She recoiled and heard a thump, something large hit the ground. What was that? The odd chirping and tweeting sounds became huffs and a low-pitch vibrating noise resembling a hum and trill combined. It was a soft, mysterious sound but spine-chilling just the same.
Then the sounds became—terrible noises, ferocious noises—all around her. She was terrorized, no longer thinking clearly. She was nauseated and numb throughout her body, wanting nothing else but to escape.

Terrified by what she heard, and felt and unable to see, Natasha panicked.

She became ashen. Her eyes darted in every direction, her pulse raced, and she gasped openmouthed. She turned and bolted, but not up the steps to safety. Panic disoriented her and she did not know where she was going, plus, she could not see.
Natasha jostled through what seemed like large, warm bodies, which brushed her legs and bumped into her. She made noisy, hoarse breathing sounds as she moved. Her fingers were spread so wide by tension they hurt. She opened her mouth to scream but could not produce a sound. As she scrambled to find her way, she slipped on one of the batteries she had dropped earlier, and something massive and horrible crashed into her face, smashing her delicate bones. There was a loud explosion in her head, and then there was no more panic, no more fear––there was nothing.

Click to purchase The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

amazon.com-The Basement-Robbies Rite of Passage

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Kindle)

 

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Robbie

9 May

Robbie

Illustrated by Jessica-Art

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to read my post. Today I am sharing a short excerpt from my novel “The Basement”. This snippet will give you a little insight on the main character Robbie and his father Robert. I hope you enjoy it. There is also a short poem written by Adrianna Joleigh written specifically for The Basement.

 

Robbie’s Problem Parent

Excerpt from The Basement

 

Robbie’s dad, Robert, was a quiet, serious man with a rough exterior, which intimidated most of the neighborhood kids. Many had seen him lose his temper with his wife, his son, and even his neighbors on more than one occasion. It was never a pretty sight.
His eyes resembled two large, shiny, black pearls suspended in yellowing ice, bordered by bushy, black eyebrows. When he glared at you with those eyes, it was hard not to tremble.
Robbie was nothing like his father. He was an intelligent, sweet boy with delicate features. He was quiet and bashful except around his friends. He was a bit clumsy and awkward at times, which always made the kids laugh. Robbie was a self-conscious, timid and insecure boy perhaps because of the constant berating he suffered at the hands of his father. However, he was also good-natured, considerate, clever and courageous when he mostly needed to be. Although most of the kids in the neighborhood pitied Robbie, some poked fun at him.
His dad was very strict with him—sometimes downright ornery. At least it’s what most people in the neighborhood believed. Robbie was a small, fragile kid who had more in common with his wife’s genes than his own, and Robert didn’t like it. He didn’t appreciate that his kid was more brain than brawn and often belittled him. It seemed no matter what Robbie did to please his father, it was never enough. All of Robbie’s achievements in school—his straight As, awards, and honor roll certificates—weren’t appreciated by his barbarous father. Robert often got drunk on beers, and when he did he was obnoxious. He loved to pick on his son when he drank, which embarrassed and saddened Robbie and his friends.

Excerpt from THE BASEMENT

 

 

Unaccepted

Blood tears rain down his face.
His chest bloated with poisonous words.
His eyes pitch black and hollow,
Beaten by the mouths of cowards.

Sitting alone in dark shadows
Of the bullies who murdered his wit.
Stabbing his life one day at a time
‘til nothing’s left but an abysmal pit.

Fearing the presence of strangers.
Fearing the judgment they pass.
Fearing the abuse and lies that are fed
Into a child’s life that shall not last.

Desperate to make sense of the pain
Injected daily into his veins.
Killing any expectation he’s ever had
Without fervor, his aches remain.

Foolishly coming to you for acceptance
Into this world of yours.
Desperately clinging onto the niceties in life
Prospects vanish behind barred doors.
What is there in life worth living?
What is left but pain and degradation?
What does he have that’s worth giving?
What’s the point of surviving abomination?

–A. Joleigh

Actor Joshua Rush

The Basement is available in paperback and ebook
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks)

“Within this entertaining and frightening tale is a good lesson to be learned.”

 Get The Basement on amazon.com

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The Fog

3 May
The Fog

Alone in the Fog

The Fog

There has always been something truly eerie about a fog—the way a dense, gloomy fog rolls in and covers everything in a shroud of mystery.
The way it creeps in, spreading its misty tentacles over all.
Why does the image of an ephemeral wall of mist chill us to the bone? Perhaps because a fog is mystifying, dim and wet. Or maybe because everything we see inside the cold, thick fog resembles dark and ominous shadows.
A fog blurs our vision, it blinds us to what’s coming and makes us unsure of the destiny that awaits us on the other side. It conjures feelings of vulnerability, despair and fear.
Don’t get caught in the fog!

I beg your pardon…that was just the rambling of an over-stimulated writer’s mind. Welcome to my blog! Actually, a fog is defined as “a collection of liquid water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface.” – Wikipedia
…but what if a fog has infiltrated your brain?

trauma_re_visited_by_phantomphreaq-d4ppsq9

The Fog

Illustration by phantomphreaq (deviantArt)

Excerpt from THE BASEMENT


Cleo pounded repeatedly on the door. She knocked as hard as she could to no avail. She rubbed her knuckles, which had begun to ache. Just as she decided to give up and turned to leave, someone finally opened the door. It was Robert. He looked a mess! His hair resembled a bird’s nest. Apparently, she had woken him.

Amidst all the drama the night before, as he tried to teach his son a lesson in manhood while his wife interfered, Robert had become very upset. After his wife left the apartment to look for Robbie, he drank heavily. He gulped down one beer after another and passed out on his easy chair in the living room. The banging on the door shook him from a deep slumber.

Cleo wore a concerned grimace. “Something’s happened to your son!”

Robert, who was a bit disoriented, gawked at the girl, his forehead crinkled in confusion. He wore a bewildered expression, and his eyes darted to and fro. He winced and rubbed his head. He had a terrible headache—one of the disagreeable aftereffects of drunkenness.

“What are you talking about?” he asked in a gruff voice. “My son’s sleeping in his room.”

Cleo watched as he staggered forward like a drunk, expending huge amounts of energy just staying in one place.

“Your son’s downstairs sitting on the sidewalk in front of this building!” Her voice was shrill, and her eyes were opened wide. “He could be hurt! He’s covered in blood! You need to come downstairs right away!”

Roberts’s hands flew to cover his ears, and he grimaced as his head throbbed from her screams.

“You sent him down to the basement last night!” she added with reproach. Then Cleo rolled her eyes at him, spun, and zipped down the stairs.

“That doesn’t make sense. His mother went down to the basement last night to get him!”

Robert was ranting, unable to focus, until a light bulb went on in his head and burned the infiltrating fog. Panic surged through his body and seemed to sober him up.

“My poor son!” he gasped.

He shambled to Robbie’s room. He needed to check for himself whether or not his son was there. He pushed open the door to Robbie’s room and saw he was indeed gone. He proceeded to his bedroom to wake his wife, but when he looked inside, he was shocked to see the bed had not been slept in. Dread overcame him again.

“What happened last night in that basement?” he asked under his breath.

His pulse began to race, and he breathed heavily. He did not bother to brush his teeth or fix his messy hair. As he bolted out the door, he was still wearing the same unkempt clothes he wore the day before—the very clothes he had soaked with foul perspiration, and which now stuck to his salty flesh. He had the appearance and startling, offensive stench of a vagrant. At the moment, he did not care about such things. All he could think about, as he rushed down the stairs, was getting to his wife and son.

What happened in the basement? 

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase  The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

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She was your daughter too.

26 Apr

She was your daughter too.

I had an entirely different post for today, however, I ran across this article on Tumblr, and I was compelled to share it with you.

“My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death. Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police. She was my daughter, but she was your daughter too. For the love of God do something.”
— Glen Canning, father of Rehtaeh Parsons

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Rehtaeh-Parsons-suicidio-stupro-8

 

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

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He thought of days he had handed over to a bottle.

13 Apr

Drunk

The Drunk

by an unknown drunk writer

Starkle, starkle, little twink,
Who the hell are you I think.
I’m not under what you call
The alcofluence of incohol.
I’m just a little slort of sleep,
I’m not drunk like thinkle peep.
I don’t know who is me yet,
But the drunker I stand here the longer I get.
So just give me one more fink to drill my cup,
‘Cause I got all day sober to Sunday up.

funny-drunk-guide-footsteps

Hello! A warm welcome to my blog. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Today I will share a short excerpt from my novel The Basement: Robbie’s Rite Of Passage. I hope you enjoy it!

“Within this entertaining and frightening tale is a good lesson to be learned.”~ Goodreads

Robbie’s Rite of Passage

Promptly at eight o’clock, Robert staggered toward Robbie, who still sat by the window as if he put himself in a time-out. Weighed down by his thoughts, Robbie stared at the night sky as his dinner sat cold on the dining room table.

Robert grabbed the window frame for support and clung there. He looked at his son sternly for a long time before taking him by the arm and moving him away from the window toward the front door.

“It’s time you left and became a man! Prove to your friends, neighbors, and me that you’re not a pathetic loser.” Robert shook his head in an exaggerated manner.

“But, Dad, I’m only eleven! Don’t I have plenty of time to become a man?” His father tilted his head to the side and looked as if he had eaten something rotten. Seeing no change in his demeanor, Robbie continued, “There are rats down there. Lots of them, and they’re humungous!” Robert waved his hand dismissively and ignored Robbie’s pleas. “Dad, remember the Black Death? We just studied that in school and people got black spots and all swelled up and died! The rats caused this! Dad please!” He face was red and his nose runny.

His pleas offended his father. “Ack!” Robert pounded on the wall. “I’ve been down to the basement a hundred times. The most I’ve seen were a few mice!”

Robbie’s mom stepped forward and help him. “Please don’t make him—” Her words were strangled by a single gesture. Robert glared at her with his finger over his lips. She puffed and lowered her eyes.

He had made up his mind. No matter how much his boy or his wife begged him to reconsider; Robbie would be venturing to the basement come nightfall.

He gawked at his son and his wife through blood-shot eyes. Both of them were sobbing. He stumbled forward and bumped his leg on the sofa. He gawped at the piece of furniture, slack-jawed, for a long time. Then he looked at Robbie.

“There are tribes that send their boys out to the jungle on their own to become men. These boys have to sleep in the wild.” Robert slurred. “There’s some tribe in papa, papua”—Robert sucked through his teeth—“whatever, in Australia somewhere where boys go through six stages of initiation tests, and they begin as early as age six!”

Robbie’s mom stared at him with imploring eyes covering her mouth in disbelief.

“I believe boys need to fear their face to mature into men and the sooner they do the better.” Robert leaned over to talk in Robbie’s ear but did not bother to lower his voice. The boy winced. He could smell the beer on his breath and twisted his face. “These tribesmen rip the boys from their homes and their momma’s arms. They send ’em on dangerous adventures, often resulting in injuries, pain, and even death!” Robbie jolted and gulped.

Robbie’s mom inhaled sharply. “Robert that’s enough.”

Robert punctuated this last statement by jumping to his feet, almost toppling over, and grabbing Robbie by the arm once more. He continued to harangue. “I’m sending ya down to a dirty basement with a few mice running around. You’re getting off easy.”

Robbie looked at his mother. She stood motionless with her hand over her mouth.

Robert explained to Robbie his task was to go to the basement and kill as many rodents as he came across. He handed his son a heavy, wooden bat to use as a weapon. He told him he would be doing the entire neighborhood a great service by getting rid of the pesky critters. He also told him if he did this right, he would be a hero.

“You’re gonna have to be brave, feel the fear, and do it anyway. That’s the courage of meaning!” Robert garbled to his son.

Robbie’s dad indicated it was going to be quite dark in the basement and handed him a big, yellow flashlight. Robbie gulped. He also told him there were fresh batteries in it, so it should last the whole night if needed. Robbie stared at his father with vision blurred with tears.

The reality of the situation suddenly hit the boy; he became pale and fidgety. He began to fiddle with his clothes. He retched, but only stomach acid came up because his stomach was empty.

His mother saw his reaction and let out a mournful cry. “Please! He’s only eleven years old! He’s a boy afraid of the dark! How do you expect him to go to that creepy basement by himself? Have you lost your mind?” It was like talking to a wall.

“Lose my mind? I haven’t lost my mind. It’s right here for safe keeping.” Robert poked his head with his pointer finger. Then he turned the finger at his wife.

“You’re the reason he’s growing up weak—the reason he acts more like a girl than a boy.” He rolled his red eyes at her. “Because of you, he’s neva gonna be a real man! You mollycoddle him. It’s time the boy became a man, so cut the cord! He’s gonna do this even if it kills him!”

Robbie’s mom gasped and wept into both hands.

Robert then grabbed his son by the back of his T-shirt, opened the front door, and shoved him out so violently poor Robbie crashed to the floor on his injured knees. He winced as pain shot through his entire body. It took everything in him not to scream. He got up slowly and faced his dad, all color gone from his face.

Robert threw the bat and the flashlight at him. Robbie flinched, and both his arms flew instinctively to guard his face. “Kill as many mice as possible, and then ya can come home! I don’t care if it takes ya all night!”

Suddenly, his face softened and his voice gentled by a degree or two. “You’ll return a different person, my son. A man and a hero you will be.” With conviction, he closed the door in the boy’s face.

Robbie stood facing the door for a moment brow scrunched, wondering why he had to have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for a dad. If only he could be in his comfy, warm bed. If only this was a nightmare and he could wake up from it. Except it wasn’t, and he couldn’t. Robbie did an about-face and began his dreary journey to the basement, thinking, this must be what a guy on death row feels like as he takes that long, last hike toward the electric chair.

~ Excerpt from THE BASEMENT by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Now available in paperback and ebook (Nook, iBooks and more) Get it on amazon

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

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Wedlock

9 Apr

Wedlock

Hi everyone! My name is Vashti and I’m an author. My first novel The Basement is a suspense/thriller aimed at pre-teens and teens, although, many adults have read and enjoyed the book. I’ve provided a short excerpt from the book today for your enjoyment (at least I hope you enjoy it). Please let me know what you think in the comment area. Thank you!

 

 

(Short excerpt from my novel The Basement)

Beaming, she stood over the bed, gesturing for him to get up. Her smile competed with the sun shining through their fifth floor apartment window, bathing her curves with resplendent golden light.

She is so beautiful, he thought. He craved to pull her back down onto the bed and simply devour her. Instead, he watched as she giggled and disappeared into the bathroom to get ready for the day. He followed her lead and got out of bed. Wearing a big grin, he began to dress.

They were acting like honeymooners. All marriages had their good years and bad years, and they were in a good year.

 
~Excerpt from The Basement

Illustration – Queen’s Kiss by Lancerey (Click on image for more info..

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

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Words!

5 Apr

Verbal Abuse

 

Hello! If you’re like me you can’t tolerate any kind of abuse. Verbal abuse is a serious type of abuse. Yet, I feel it is the most tolerated and less reported. Why? Maybe because verbal abuse does not leave marks on your body like physical or sexual abuse. But don’t be fooled by the lack of physical evidence. Verbal abuse is just as damaging and could lead to death––even if it is by the victim’s own hand. Choose your words carefully. Especially when talking to a child. 

 

 

WORDS

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Words! What power they hold. Once they have rooted in your psyche, it is difficult to escape them. Words can shape the future of a child and destroy the existence of an adult.
Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them because once you have pronounced them, you cannot remove the scar they leave behind.

 

Child-abuse-pie-graph_6-4-2012

 

 

What would you do if you witnessed a child being verbally abused? What would you do if you saw a child being physically abused? Would you intervene? Call the police?

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SUPERHERO

1 Apr
SUPERHERO

Portrait of my family as superheroes

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog. Today I’m going to share a little slice of my childhood. Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinions and thoughts on the subject matter. I really enjoy reading what you think. I hope you enjoy it.

 

SUPERHERO

As a child I wanted so badly to be a superhero. I loved Superman, Batman, and especially Wonder Woman. In elementary school I tied towels, throws, blankets—whatever I could find—around my neck to wear as a cape. I ran around the house, leaped from my sister’s top bunk bed to my bed, jumped from one sofa to the next, and basically drove my parents insane. Needless to say, I was a hyperactive tomboy.

In sixth grade I had a friend who was half the size of everyone in the class, very frail and petite and also wore glasses. A bully, whom I will call Godzilla, a tall, big-boned girl twice the size of the rest of us, picked on my small friend relentlessly.

Whenever Godzilla hurt my friend, I sensed a piece of me withered and I grew weaker. I was terrified of the bully, as was most of the student body.

One day, the fire alarm in my school rang. We did the usual: filed in straight lines down the stairs to exit the edifice, crossed the street and stared at the flameless, smokeless windows of the school building, while listening to our teacher talk about the dangers of not following instructions during a fire drill.

As we clambered up the steps on our way back to class, Godzilla stood behind my petite friend. The bully shoved her into the kid in front of her, yanked on the baby hairs on the lower hairline on her neck and slapped her on the back of the head, while my poor friend moaned and sobbed.

Something came over me that day as I watched my little friend suffer in silence while everyone stood idly by. I could no longer laze while Godzilla tortured my friend. When we reached the top of the stairwell I grabbed Godzilla’s arm, turned her around to face me and yelled at her to stop hurting my friend. The tormenter snickered at me and shoved me with all her might. I tumbled down the stairs. When I reached the bottom, I leapt to my feet and dashed up the stairs. With a Bruce Lee-like move I kicked her square in the abdomen, knocking her against the wall, taking her breath away!

At first, I didn’t understand what had come over me. I felt no pain after falling down the flight of stairs. I had never moved so fast, and what I felt was a tap of my foot turned out to be a karate front snap kick. I was charged on adrenaline.

Godzilla stood motionless against the wall, wide-eyed and panting while I gave the ninja death glare, and the other kids cheered me on. From that day forward, I believed I was a superhero in the making. Whenever I saw a kid bullying another, I was compelled to interfere. I would call out any teachers who I thought ignored bullying or did nothing to stop it. I was the anti-bullying superhero.

After a few black eyes, busted lips and detention hours I learned that fighting, yelling and accusing were not going to solve the issue of bullying.

In high school I made it my business to go to the principal whenever I saw a schoolmate bully another. I was quickly labeled a tattler and became very unpopular for a while. Not much changed as far as the bullying.

I was frustrated. What kind of superhero is unpopular?

As an adult, I finally realized that the best weapon against bullying is awareness. Spreading awareness about all kinds of bullying will help decrease the abuse. At least my inner superhero very much hopes so.

Original story by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Illustration by Vashti Quiroz-Vega
(Superhero Family Portrait)

Superhero_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog