Drama Sad Fiction

Adam is playing with his cat and ignoring Braden. Adam is always playing with his stupid cat, but it’s even stupider today, because they’re at the park for a play date, and nobody brings a cat to the park. Nobody except Adam, who is weird.

Adam is older than Braden. Adam is ten years old, and Braden is only eight. But their moms are friends, so the older boy has to play with Braden, whether he wants to or not. And Adam really does NOT want to play with Braden. This doesn’t hurt Braden’s feelings though, because Adam doesn’t like to play with anyone. Anyone except his cat, that is.

The cat is on a leash, which is very weird. One time Braden saw someone with a rabbit on a leash, walking down the sidewalk, and that was weirder, but the cat on a leash is still weird. Adam keeps petting the cat, over and over, and humming. The cat is a big fluffy orange one, named Skipper. Adam will not let Braden touch the cat.

“Hey Adam!” Braden shouts. “Who do you think would win in a fight? A charmander or a squirtle? Not in Pokémon, but if they were here in the park, for real?”

Adam doesn’t even look at Braden.

Braden looks over to where his mom is sitting with Adam’s mom. The moms are talking, and Braden can tell it’s one of those conversations where he’s not supposed to interrupt. If he were to go over and tell his mom that he’s bored, his mom would just tell him to go play with Adam. And if Braden were to say “Adam doesn’t want to play with me,” then his mom would get mad and talk about how Adam just plays different, and then Braden would say “Adam doesn’t play at all! He doesn’t know how!” And then Braden would get in trouble for being rude.

It has happened before. Many times.

“Adam! Do you know what a charmander is?”

Adam keeps petting the cat. He hums louder.

Braden sits down closer to Adam, so it’s harder to be ignored. 

“Can we play something? Without the cat?”

“Play something,” says Adam.

“Yeah!” Braden says, getting excited. “Play something.”

Braden thinks hard of something they can play together. It can’t be something that requires a lot of talking, like trading Pokémon cards. 

“I know. Let’s race.”

Braden likes to run. Adam is much taller than Braden, but he’s also much fatter, which makes him slower, so Braden thinks it will be a pretty fair race. And if it’ s not, that’s OK, he doesn’t even really care. He just wants something to do, even if he loses. 

“Skipper,” says Adam, rocking back and forth.

“The cat’ll be fine,” says Braden. “Watch.”

Braden takes the cat’s leash and ties it to a branch on a nearby bush. The cat meows, in a cranky way.

“Shut up Skipper. It’s just for a minute.”

Braden looks at Adam, who is still sitting on the ground.

“Um. Do you know how to race?” 

Adam stands slowly, not looking at Braden. It confuses him when Adam doesn’t look at him. Braden is never totally sure if Adam hears him or not.

“OK. Here’s the starting line.”

Braden points to a stick laying across the grass. He adjusts it to make it straighter.

“And that’s the finish line. The tree with the purple flowers.”

Adam says nothing.

“We go on the count of three. Come on. Get on the starting line.”

Braden and Adam get on the starting line.

“One. Two. THREE!”

Braden takes off, and a few moments later, Adam does too. Adam might be big and fat, but he’s a lot faster than Braden thought he would be. Even though Braden had a head start, Adam manages to catch up, and they both touch the tree at the same exact time.

Adam laughs. He is happy. 

But Braden isn’t happy. Braden wants there to be a winner. If there’s no winner, then there’s no point in racing. If there’s no winner, you might as well just run around. Which would be OK, but much less like a race.

“OK, now we race back,” says Braden. “First one to get to Skipper wins.”

“Skipper!” Adam says.

“Yeah. First one to touch Skipper is the winner. OK. One. Two. THREE!”

Again, Braden shoots ahead, and again, Adam follows. But Adam is tired now, and he runs slower. Braden is not tired, at all, and he runs as fast as he did before, maybe even faster. He is very proud of how fast he’s running. He’s beating a ten year old!

As he gets close to the bush where Skipper is tied up, he turns to look over his shoulder. He wants to see if Adam is close. He sees that Adam is still a few seconds behind, and there is no way that Braden can lose this race.

Braden lets out a little victory whoop and then stumbles, his feet tangled in the cat’s leash. He falls forward and the soft, squishy cat is pinned under his elbow and the cat is screeching, and Braden pushes himself up onto his hands and knees and the cat is very very loud now. The cat is crying and Braden hurt it. He didn’t mean to hurt the cat, but he did, and he feels terrible.

“Skipper!” Adam shouts.

“I’m sorry!” Braden wails.

Adam is kneeling down next to Skipper. He tries to pet Skipper, but Skipper screeches and won’t let Adam touch her.

“I’m sorry,” Braden says again, but Adam doesn’t say anything.

The cat is breathing funny. Something is wrong with the way the cat is breathing. It’s scary and Braden wants to plug his ears and run away. 

“I didn’t mean to squish your cat,” says Braden.

Adam doesn’t say anything.


Braden pokes Adam in the shoulder, hard, to get his attention. It was maybe harder than he’d meant to poke him, but he is upset by all this cat stuff, and he hates being ignored.

Adam pokes Braden back, even harder. Then he pokes him again, this time in the knee, and the smaller boy falls down. 

Braden is mad now.

“You don’t have to push me down!”

Braden pushes Adam, hand in his face.

Adam gets to his feet and pushes Braden, hand in his face.

Braden throws himself at Adam, punching him in the side. 

Adam moans, like he’s really hurt. 

“HEY!” It’s Braden’s mom. He can tell it’s her without seeing her.

Adam punches Braden right in the side of the head.


Adam’s mom is the one yelling now.

Braden’s head is fuzzy and his vision is blurry. 

“Braden! Are you OK?”


Local Ten-Year Old Arrested for Manslaughter

By Maltese Warren

The Plain Herald, Published July 20th, 10:07am

An eight year old boy is dead, and his ten year old playmate has been arrested after a play date gone horrifically wrong this Sunday, at Twin Lake Park.

According to local police, the two boys quarrelled when Braden Gardner, age eight, accidentally injured the cat of Adam Rivers (age ten). 

“I saw the big one punch the little one, right in the face,” says Marina Hall, a local resident who was in the park at the time of the incident. “I’d seen him here at the park before, lots of times, and I always thought he seemed like a gentle giant. But you know, you never can tell with some kids.”

Sources say that after Braden took a blow to the head, he went unconscious for a short time. He came back to consciousness, and his mother assumed he was fine, and took him home. Later that night, Braden died from an internal brain hemorrhage. 

Rivers has a known history of violent behavior. He was recently expelled from his elementary school for throwing a chair at a fellow student. 

“This is not the first issue he’s had with violence,” says a former neighbor, who asked that her name not be used. “He was placed in one of those programs for children with special intellectual and emotional needs, but frankly, it didn’t seem to be helping him much. He never acted normal.”

Rivers is being held at the Meadows County Juvenile Detention Center. 

The cat, whose name is Skipper, is expected to make a full recovery. 

July 21, 2022 17:08

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