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The Troublemaker

A fictional story based on true events

By Christian BassPublished 5 months ago Updated 4 months ago 12 min read
Top Story - January 2024
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(Image by andreeg2 / pixabay.com)

Shortly after half-past six in the late Monday afternoon, while playing billiard in the barn, Sascha Bajramovic believed he would lose control when the boy continued to kick soccer with his nerves and he should be right.

Small straw particles swirled through the musty, smelling air, and landed on the wine-red fabric of the pool-table. Sascha grabbed for it, tried to remove it, but this was more difficult than it looked like. The anger inside of him grew and once again he cursed the camouflage net, which hung as protection over the niche with the battered table, since it could not stop the dusty rain; it simply was too fine-grained and trickled cheerfully through the gaps.

Something hard hit him on his extended upper arm.

Vincenza D’Amico, Ducky as her friends called her, stood behind him and slapped the narrow tip of the queue slightly against his shoulder. Sascha winced, audibly exhaled and turned around jerkily; just to look at the smiling face of the girl, who held the wooden object towards him.

“You don’t dare to dream of your victory?” She teased him.

“No, why should I dream of a fact?” Sascha replied.

The boy laughed.

Sascha did not pay attention, took the queue, circled the pool-table in search of the white ball; however, he could not spot it anywhere. That was no surprise to him, since it happened pretty often when the boy observed their match.

“Be honest, Ducky, did you hole the white one?” He asked, although he already knew her answer. The absence of a rumble from the inside of the table told him that no ball rolled over the iron tracks, as he expected.

“Of course not. I already fulfilled my target with that.”

“Well, I would not be so sure about it in your place.” Sascha grinned. He blindly groped into the compartment where it should have come out and the white ball actually was not there.

“You see!” Ducky shouted.

“See what?” Sascha replied.

“You!”

“How can I see me when there’s no mirror here?”

Ducky twisted her eyes, grimaced her face, but otherwise ignored it. Such answers were simply normal for him and even though it annoyed her once in a while, she secretly liked it, especially when she was not the target of such remarks.

Sascha Bajramovic approached the boy, threatened him with the angry look in his eyes. The boy immediately recognized the danger he was in. However, this knowledge did not prevent him from smiling over both ears. The hazelnut-brown eyes cheekily sparkled towards him and his dark-blonde hair disheveled by the Baltic Sea wind also reinforced this impression.

He took out the white ball from under his red, short-sleeved Bavaria Munich jersey and handed it over to the corner hole in front of him. While the ball rumbled across the tracks inside the table, Sascha reduced his distance to the boy.

“Now the white one is laying better for you.” The boy said. He pretended to have done him a favor.

“Oh yeah? D’you really think so?” Inside, he burned with anger.

“Sure, now you can easily hole in the Black Eight.” The boy smiled.

“You want me to lose the match?”

“Yes!”

Sascha approached the boy, crossed his arms, and waited. The boy’s smile grew wider. Without thinking about it, Sascha grabbed his arms, pulled him away from the table, and lifted him up. Like a sleeping child, he carried him out of the niche, ignored that the boy tried to fight him.

“Leave me alone!” But this request did not help him, anyway.

Sascha carried him across the wide central aisle, past the table tennis table towards the redesigned pig box, diagonally opposite the battered pool-table. He hesitantly looked down at the straw masses lying in this box: not far away from the massive fence, which prevented the straw from flooding the aisle, the outlines of an old sailboat towered up, just the mast was missing.

Just a few rays of sun entered through the small and dirty window and bathed this part of the barn in a dim glow.

“I said: leave me alone!”

Sascha turned his head and gave Ducky a questioning look. She had left the niche, too, and now smiled at him from the edge of the broken table tennis table. Part inside of him would prefer to put the boy down again, but he did not want to show any sign of weakness in front of a girl, especially not when the girl was Vincenza D’Amico.

“Leave me alone!”

“As you wish, boy!”

Sascha heaved him a little higher and then threw him over the board. The boy ended up laughing in the straw. A cloud of dust rose up, covered both boys for a brief moment, before the tiny particles lay down again.

The boy immediately got up and started to leave the redesigned pig box. When he tried to climb over the barrier, Sascha gave him another strong push, so that the boy landed in the dry mass again. This time, his head missed the railing of the disused boat by just a few millimeters. His bright smile died immediately, but returned as soon as the shock subsided. Anyway, Sascha did not notice it because he had already turned around and returned to the pool-table to make his push.

Ducky watched the two boys from her corner. She laughed, her green eyes radiated a magical shine that no boy could resist. When she realized that the show was over and her partner was returning, she also turned around and went back to the niche from where she awaited him.

Sascha Bajramovic could not look at her eyes for a long time. As always, when she looked at him like this, a queasy feeling appeared in his bowels. On one hand, of course, it flattered him; on the other hand, it somehow scared him. He was afraid that she expected something from him that he was not ready to give her. One day, he had to stand up to this inner fight of him, but neither now nor in this barn.

He silently walked around the rectangular table, took the queue, which he had deposited on the longer side of the table a few minutes earlier, grabbed for the white ball and placed it on a black plaster that covered a hole in the wine-red fabric.

Before he could carry out his push, something moved at the opposite end and distracted him so that he interrupted his movement to look up. The boy observed him smiling while he freed his clothes from the straw, soiling the pool-table.

Sascha immediately preferred to beat the shit out of the boy, but he hardly could do it in front of Ducky. Because of this boy, he did not want to mess up with a girl. No, for nothing in the world, he would give her a sign of weakness. Nevertheless, he firmly believed that this boy deserved a good beating.

The midday sun shone through the window. They were in the light-flooded kitchen, the boy and his furious mother.

What has he done?

He no longer knew it; the fear banished it from his mind.

A wooden spoon flashed in his mother’s right hand. She shouted, asked him to lower his pants. But the boy refused to do it, whereupon she lend a helping hand and tore his brown cord pants down, as well as his white underwear with the yellow stain at the front of the crotch.

He tried to prevent it; however, he stood no chance against his furious mother. The boy cried with charm; yet this did not help him either.

A short time later, with his upper body leaned on the kitchen table, he felt the wooden object on his bare butt.

The boy screamed in pain.

Another followed each hit until the wooden spoon splintered. She first let her son pull up his pants, and then she allowed him to stay alone in his room for the rest of the week.

Sascha stripped off the painful memory, gave the boy a bitter look and decided that he no longer allowed him to be annoyed by him - after all, he had to win a billiard match.

He bent forward, aimed at the white ball, and pushed: the ball chased over the wine-red fabric, met her colored peers, which were tempted to move, yet none of them disappeared into the holes. However, the Black Eight moved closer to the left corner hole uncomfortably.

“Bad luck to you. I’ve told you I’ll defeat you!” Ducky teased him in her malicious voice, speculating that the black ball would vibrate itself into the hole.

“Whoever laughs last, laughs best!” Sascha grinned and reached the queue over to her and stepped back from the table to have a better view of her next push.

“Well, that’ll be me. Patrice showed me a few tricks that will make me the winner.”

Sascha flinched when she mentioned the other teenager. He did not like him at all, especially not his closeness to Vincenza D’Amico. Sascha was well aware that he was jealous of him, but this had less to do with the competition towards the girl and more with the fact that his billiard skills were much better than his ones. During the last days, he had played many matches against Patrice and lost all of them in a very short time. He never stood a chance against him. He hated it.

Ducky targeted the White, aimed and pushed elegantly. The ball sharply passed the Black Eight and hit one of her full-colored balls, which slowly crept towards the middle hole and a short time later, they heard it rumbling inside the table.

“Well, what do you say now?” She challenged him, laughing.

“Pure luck. No more, no less, just simple and pure beginner’s luck, I’d say.” Sascha replied, without missing the dangerous flashing in her eyes - if looks were able to kill…

“To me, it looked like mastery!” A child’s voice clarified.

“There’s also a barn-ban for unqualified comments.” Sascha said, without looking at the boy.

Ducky broke into a laughter. As soon as she could speak again, she assured: “Don’t believe him. Sometimes he has his five minutes full of shit.”

This time it was up to Sascha to give her the murderous look; his anger evaporated immediately. In her presence, he somehow felt alive, not as lifeless and dead as normal, when he had to spend time alone with himself. Sometimes he used his lonely periods to invent short stories; some he wrote down; however, at the same time he hated it because of the necessary loneliness inside of him.

Ducky leaned forward again to do her next push. She aimed and hit the white ball, but this time it whizzed from one gang to the next and then disappeared into a corner hole without touching another ball.

“See! This is mastery at its best!” Sascha teased her.

Before Vincenza could agree, what she certainly was about to do, the small barn door, embedded in the huge black gate, opened and another boy entered the barn. At the first glance, Sascha recognized the newcomer as the big brother of the annoying boy. Both had the same hair color and even their facial features were very similar, but in addition to the younger one, his well-trained body was clearly visible under his shirt.

Sascha had a hard time not to stare at him with his mouth wide open.

“Philip, we wanna go now.” The newcomer told his younger brother while taking an interested look at what was going on in the niche. He first looked at the table, then his eyes watched Ducky shortly before he let his gaze glide over to Sascha. A light, shy smile played around his lips when he watched him up and down.

Philip briefly looked up. “I’ll come right away as soon as the game’s over, Tim!” Then he returned his attention back to the pool-table.

“No! You’ve to come right now! Mom said, we wanna go now and not in ten minutes. And I shall tell ya that!” Most of the time, Tim did not care whether his little brother obeyed him or not. After all, he got in trouble. However, this afternoon everything was different. He had worked out all day at the beach and was hungry as hell, but this was not the only reason. He also had a strange feeling in his crotch and clearly wanted to be alone as soon as possible.

As soon as his little brother had washed himself and changed his clothes to something more appreciated, they wanted to have dinner in a small village restaurant. They basically went there once a week and right after dinner, he could get away from them. He jogged the two miles between the two villages every time.

“If I have to…” Philip said disappointed, looked at the two players and then strolled towards the door, closely followed by his big brother. At the gate, Tim turned around, wanted to say something but could not find the right words, so he only nodded a short goodbye.

Sascha watched them leaving until a female voice tore him out of his thoughts.

“Now, since he’s gone, you actually could try to make me winning the game a little more difficult.” Ducky said, holding the queue towards him.

The door crashingly closed, what made Sascha to flinch at the bang briefly.

“No problem! I’ll stick to the plan and make you become a loser.” He stated with confidence and took the queue, circled the table to get the white ball out of its compartment and put it on the black plaster again.

As soon as this was done, he aimed at his last remaining half-colored ball, corrected his stand again, and then prepared for the impact. But before he actually executed his push, he looked up again, watched at Ducky’s indifferent face in the hope of seeing some reaction that clearly told him he had overseen something. In fact, he had overseen one of the full-colored balls that would doom his move, but since his playmate had put her poker face - she had recognized it - he realized it too late.

Sascha leaned forward again, aimed at his half-colored ball and pushed the white one with absolute certainty of victory. The ball immediately rolled over the wine-red fabric, chased towards one of Ducky’s balls, which easily distracted it from its course, and set it on a coalition with the Black Eight. Even before the balls hit each other, Vincenza cheered up. Sascha stared at the white ball, tried to change its course simply by his thoughts. Nevertheless, the ball did not obey his wish.

Both balls hit each other and disappeared into the corner hole.

“Haven’t I told you to make victory more difficult for me?” Ducky said. She laughed.

“Withy should I? Just wanted to protect you from another defeat and this seemed to be the best way to do it.” Sascha replied and tried to sound convincing, but failed. As usual, disappointment overwhelmed him; however, this time a slightly different feeling joined: happiness, that the two boys did not stay long enough to see him losing.

“Well, I’d have defeated you, anyway. But never mind, victory’s victory.”

“Well, yet you didn’t win at all. True, I’ve lost, but without being defeated by you.” He only knew too well that this argument did not count much. He himself would not have accepted it.

With hearty laughter, Ducky declared: "As you wish, but... won is won!"

“Revenge?”

“Of course, but this has to wait until after dinner.” She said. “Will you return the queue and balls, or shall I take it with me?”

“Take it with you.” Sascha replied. “And after dinner, I’ll take my revenge on you!”

“Just as you wish. We’ll see about it.”

“Oh yeah, we will see that!”

Together, they freed the colored balls from the inside of the table and put them into the bag. Ducky took the bag while Sascha reached out for the queue.

Side by side, they walked to the gate. He opened the small door and held it open for Ducky. When they left the barn, they said goodbye to each other with a short nod. Sascha gave her the wooden stick, and both set off in two different directions.

While Vincenza D’Amico went over to the old farmhouse, where she and her grandparents have rented a room on the second floor, Sascha returned to the newly built apartment building to explore his parents’ dinner plans.

Love
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About the Creator

Christian Bass

An author, who writes tales of human encounters with nature and wildlife. I dive into the depths of the human psyche, offering an insights into our connection with the world around us, inviting us on a journeys.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (5)

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  • real Jema5 months ago

    Hi, let's subscribe to each other

  • Daphsam5 months ago

    Wonderful story! Keep it up! Congrats on TS!

  • Margaret Brennan5 months ago

    excellent. love it.

  • Kendall Defoe 5 months ago

    This feels so familiar to me... Excellent work, sir!

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