Author note: the story starts in chapter 1. The prologue introduces the MC and explains his background. Feel free to skip it if you are not interested, but as the author, I recommend reading it.
No matter if you were an optimist or a pessimist, Derek McCoy's life couldn't be judged to be either good or bad. It was just a mediocre, insignificant existence.
His father was bipolar and during his depressive episodes, he would disappear into his bedroom for days. He would emerge solely to eat, use the bathroom and for the occasional 'let's make your life miserable' fit of rage.
During his manic episodes, he would work like a madman, but not having any talent as a businessman nor as a social climber, he was unable to become successful and establish connections.
Whenever he decided to actually take his medication, he was just a couch potato that would stand up and go to work only to avoid being despised by his neighbors and peers.
Whatever his mental condition was, he was always a perfect example of an abusive father.
In his eyes, his sons were always a disgrace.
They never studied hard enough, they were never obedient enough, nor showed him the respect he demanded.
He considered it his paternal duty to remind them that such things weren't tolerated under his roof.
He would yell at them for the slightest mistake, constantly repeating to them that they were just parasites, leeching off his hard work to survive.
When words weren't enough, or when they failed to meet his expectations with school grades or chores, there was no teacher like his leather belt.
Hence, Derek and Carl had quickly learned how to fend for themselves. Their absent-minded mother had forgotten about them right after giving birth. She dedicated her life to the pursuit of peace and quiet, staying as far as possible from her spouse's tantrums.
Derek was two years older and he tried to take care of his little brother in every way that he could, but to no avail.
They grew up reading stories about heroes protecting the weak and upholding justice, yet no hero ever appeared to save them.
Every week, they would be forced to go to church to worship a nondescript benevolent god and his son, the savior of all mankind. No matter how much they prayed or how good they were, no miracle occurred.
After begging the heavens proved to be useless one time too many, they simply stopped believing in heroes and they crammed instead of wasting time with prayers.
School was their oasis, but that lasted only until sixth grade.
Once they started middle school, it didn't even take a month before the bullying started.
Their cheap clothes and gloomy dispositions made them easy targets. They were so used to being tossed around and insulted that they didn't even bother trying to fight back.
For a long time, Derek considered it the worst time in his useless life. After a month, he knew he could not take any more of that, so he tried to make things better.
He reported his father's abuse to social services with an anonymous email, but being overworked and understaffed, the social worker made a brief visit and never came back.
Then he tried to end the bullying by reporting their aggressors to a teacher, who in turn washed her hands of the problem by reporting the matter to the principal. The principal did not want to meddle in what he deemed as childish pranks.
He called Derek's parents to inform them of the problem, hoping they would let it slide. The principal's wish came true, whereas Derek took an extra beating for not being man enough to face his own problems.
"Are you really so stupid that you never learned anything from me? Never delegate! If you want something done right, do it yourself!"
Derek had never felt so helpless and desperate. That night he bawled his eyes out until he fell asleep. That had been the last straw.
The following day, he felt different, clear-headed like never before. It was not the time for despair anymore, he needed a plan.
It would take him years to realize that something inside him had died. He was no longer able to trust, hope, or develop any sense of kinship. He was surrounded by enemies and to survive he needed to be able to fight back.
So, Derek asked his father to let him join a dojo and learn martial arts. To his surprise, he did not have to beg nor even ask twice.
Derek's old man was glad that his wimpy, scrawny, and all-around poor excuse for a child was finally interested in becoming a man. His only condition was that Derek was not allowed to quit for at least one year, otherwise he would make him regret wasting his hard-earned money.
Not only did Derek start practicing Jiu-jitsu almost daily, he would also wake up two hours earlier every single day to build muscles doing push-ups, squats, sit-ups and running until he was out of breath.
In a few months, he was able to do 100 push-ups, sit-ups, squats and run for at least 10 kilometers every day before going to school.
Jiu-jitsu soon proved to be a perfect choice for his situation. At low level, it was mainly focused on self defense, but there was plenty of space for attacking and fighting dirty.
By practicing martial arts, he finally discovered something he was good at. He was not particularly nimble, nor a fast learner. His hand to eye coordination was also average at best.
His talent lied in the ability to exploit the best time to hit a sensitive spot during a block or a defensive maneuver.
Even when the sensei was teaching sword or tanto arts, Derek was always able to grasp the killer moves on his first try, sometimes even before the sensei completed the practical demonstration.
It was an exciting yet disappointing discovery, since his only talent had no practical use. Even if Jiu-jitsu was a sport with tournaments, hits to the groin, eyes, and trachea were universally forbidden.
For months Derek kept training hard while keeping a low profile at school, planning his next move.
At the end of the first semester, Derek stopped hiding from the bullies and started replying in kind to every single insult they threw at him, using the best quick-witted roast lines he had found online.
Derek was careful to never go to the bathroom or to remain alone for too long, always keeping an adult witness in line of sight. It did not even take a full day before his enemies were gunning for him.
Only when the veins almost popped out their necks, did he throw his bait.
"I have had enough of your sh*t, as*holes. Meet me in an hour behind the grocery store between Lincoln and 3rd. Or are you too scared?"
"Since you're cruising for a bruising, I will happily grant your wish you fag*ot. It will only be you and the three of us, alright?"
Derek nodded without believing him in the least. He was right.
When they entered the back alley, they had brought along two more people.
Derek was waiting for them, leaning against the wall at the end of the blind alley.
"There you are. I was starting to think you would stand me up." Derek said.
"Sorry we were late. Hope you do not mind us inviting some friends to the party." They replied with a laugh.
Derek shrugged while grinning from ear to ear.
"No problem. No matter the quantity, trash will always be worthless. I chose this alley because it has enough dumpsters to accommodate all of your friends."
The last line hit a nerve and they charged at him blindly.
"Gang up on him guys! Do not let him escape! Let's show him who the real trash is."
And so, they fell into his trap. Derek had prepared the terrain right after choosing the best spot for the fight. A blind alley only has one way out, and as they approached the end of the alley, they weren't able to see the tripwire Derek had set due to the dim light.
The first two fell down hard onto the concrete, and those behind them were so worried about not trampling on their friends that they never saw the steel pipe coming.
They came in numbers, Derek had come armed. Using the pipe as a club, he quickly hit them respectively on the head, the side of the knee, and in the groin. Only then did he start hitting the two that were trying to get back on their feet.
While they were moaning and sobbing on the ground, he used a small knife to cut the tripwire to be able to move freely. He beat them again and again with the metal pipe, giving special attention to their nether regions.
Deep inside, he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he couldn't care less. If the world was bound to be unfair, the only possible course of action was to make it unfair in his advantage.
So, he took out the taser that he had 'borrowed' from his father and tased all of them until they fell unconscious in a pool of their own urine. After that, he stripped them completely and took many photos.
After arranging their bodies so that they would seem to be spooning each other, Derek even made a short video. When he was done, he splashed them with a bucket of cold water and sealed the deal.
"Sorry to ruin your Brokeback Mountain moment girls, but I need your attention for a minute."
When the bullies woke up, they were in so much pain that they barely noticed that they were naked and embracing each other. Retorting to Derek while he still had a firm grip on the steel pipe was out of the question, so they kept quiet and listened.
"I have made quite a scrapbook out of you all and even a short movie. I uploaded everything to my computer and to the cloud. It would be terrible if someone, I don't know, me for example, uploaded them on all the biggest image hosting sites. You know what they say, the internet never forgets."
The bullies started crying and begging.
"Imagine how terrible it would be! Whenever someone would Boogle your names, be them your grandma, your girlfriend, or even the colleges you will apply to, the first thing to appear would be those photos!"
"Dude, no!" "Please, I don't even know you. I was just doing a favor for a friend!" "It was only a joke, please forgive me!"
The choir of begging gave him goosebumps. Derek wanted to puke at their hypocrisy.
"I do not care about your pathetic excuses! From this day onward, you will leave me alone. And you better pray that nothing happens to me because the cloud is set so that if I do not enter the password every day, it will upload them everywhere."
Without waiting for their reply, he turned his back to them and walked away.
"Almost forgot, I threw your clothes into random dumpsters. I can't remember which clothes went where. If you don't want to go home in your birthday suits, you better start digging. So long suckers!"
Derek returned home euphoric, almost singing. He had never felt so proud of himself and had the completely undeserved confidence that he would never have to think about those b*stards ever again.