Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 90,556,237 Issue: 160 | 1st day of Collecting, Y6
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A Punchbag Named Sid


by shadowcristal

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"Take a break now, the next battledomer will be here soon," the announcer told Sid. However, the ill-beaten punchbag wasn't listening. He was looking into the distance in the BD arena, and his face looked somewhat wistful.

     This life… This lot… It just wasn't fair! Sid's straw lips curled up to form a cold frown as he snarled in whispers.

     "I hate you, Bob!"

     Going back in time…

     "Alive! My second creation!" the Scorchio Scientist shouted. He was holding a big punchbag in his hands. The mad Hatten waved with the stuffed, oversized toy.

     "A brother?" A figure asked demurely from the shadows. It looked the same as the doll that Hatten the Scientist had waved around with.

     "Oh yes! Tell me his name!" Hatten cried out.

     "Oh… Not Bob. That's mine," the person said quietly. It was Punchbag Bob, but he looked younger and filled with life, yet gray and dim.

     "Well… B and D. BD… The Battledome!" the Scientist bellowed, "It'll end with a D!"

     "Don't make it like mine," Bob pleaded as he faded into the shadows.

     "Not Dod… Then… Did? No… Bid… NO! No more of that annoying Wocky! Kid? Too much neopet-like. Of course! Sid!" the Scorchio waved the punchbag frantically.

     "A punchbag named Sid, eh? Well, I'll try to be a good brother and example," Bob said.

     "It's alive!" Hatten shouted again.

     -

     "Let's play today!" the bigger punchbag shouted. Bob was holding a ball, and he was tossing it around.

     "Nah," said the smaller one. Sid shook his head as he flipped the pages restlessly. This was the last book in the Scientist's library, and he wanted to read more.

     "Always your books… Nothing interesting!" Bob said as he kicked the soccer ball high into the sky.

     "We are supposed to be hiding, Bob!" Sid whispered as he saw Hatten come around the corner.

     "And?" Bob sneered.

     "You'll get in trouble," the smaller punchbag said, "That's what the books say."

     "You and your books!" Bob snorted as he kicked the ball even higher. By now, the Scorchio had seen the both of them.

     "Very good, Bob!" he said as he came running. Hatten took a small ball and handed it to Bob.

     "What's going on?" Sid asked with confusion.

     "Drop your books and just play, Sid!" the Scientist called out as he grabbed the punchbag's arm.

     It was a ball game, of course. Bob excelled at all activities concerning sports. The three would send the ball flying to each other. Each time that Sid missed, the Scientist would reprimand him. But when Bob missed the ball, which was very rare, Hatten didn't say anything at all. Sid felt a surge of disappointment and hurt every time that he tripped. Bob laughed. The Scorchio didn't say anything.

     It was the fifteenth time that got it. As Sid kicked the ball away and fell onto the grass, Bob laughed so hard so he also missed.

     "Concentration, Bob!" the Scientist shouted, running after the ball.

     "Why do you laugh?" Sid asked Bob. That annoying feeling in his stomach just wouldn't disappear, and he needed some answers.

     "You… look… so… funny!" the bigger punchbag exclaimed as he laughed again.

     It was a merry, good-natured laugh, but Sid heard it differently. In his ears, Bob's voice was a thousand echoes and all those laughs plucked strings in his heart, just like a harp. They burst one by one, as no one said or did anything.

     The game went on. For Sid, it wasn't a game anymore. It was something different. Each time he had to send the ball to Bob, he kicked it as hard as he could. Sometimes Bob would be hit and yell, "Ouch!"

     When the Scientist left for his lab, the punchbag brothers had a little chat.

     "Why did you do that?" Bob asked, rubbing his straw-filled arms.

     "What?" Sid said.

     "Hit me."

     "Nothing."

     "Because I'm the favorite?" the bigger punchbag asked as he stared at Sid.

     "What's favorite?" Sid asked, having a prickly feeling in his spine. The answer wasn't going to be pleasant.

     "You've seen it. Preferred. Does that answer your question?" Bob said with an angry tone and walked away.

     Sid just stood there, letting the information sink in. Favorite… Being special. The bitter taste of losing spread in the punchbag's mouth as he walked off to the house.

     The big, nice house that they lived in. But Sid had never really felt like it was his home. And definitely not now. What was a home, really? The little punchbag wandered as he pondered over the questions.

     A punchbag named Sid learned what injustice was.

     -

     "Reading books again?" Bob raised his eyebrow as he looked at Sid.

     "Yeah," the little punchbag replied as he stared intently at the page. This was a wonderful story, about Hannah in the Pirate Caves. She was so daring, so brave and quite sneaky. It was so exciting.

     His vision blurred as he grasped for the book. Bob had taken it and he was waving around with it, just like the Scientist when he had done a great discovery.

     "Let's see here… Eek! A fairytale! Grow up, Sid!" Bob said as he threw the book in Sid's lap. Sid looked at his book, with some pages torn out by Bob's brusque actions. A sudden anger flared up inside him. When had he walked into Bob's life and ruined something?

     Then again, everything that Bob owned was about fighting. Little slingshots, arrows and other trinkets were in his room.

     "Are books good for anything?" Sid wondered as he tried to piece the pages together. Bad Bob, ruining the book. Fury made him do it on impulse.

     Sid whacked Bob. More pages flew from the book as it hit the punchbag's head with a loud noise.

     "Ow! What did you do that for?" Bob asked.

     "Fair is fair," Sid replied, "At least that's what books say."

     "We're supposed to fight! But not with books! With items!" Bob held up a Pumpkin Stick and shoved it into Sid's hand.

     "What are we for?" Sid asked, surprised by the turn of events.

     "I don't know. Obey the Scientist and you'll be fine," Bob replied as he glared at the younger punchbag.

     "Don't you want to know?" Sid asked, staring back.

     "No," Bob replied flatly, "Why? We're just punchbags. Punchbags don't have brains, they just have stuffing. Punchbags are made to fight, that's what Doctor Hatten said the first day."

     "Well, I don't want to fight! And I happen to like my brain just fine!" Sid argued.

     "You won't have a brain if all your stuffing is knocked out," Bob said coldly, "Obey and rise. Or stand up and fall." He turned around and walked away.

     "Why, Bob? Why?" Sid shouted desperately after his brother.

     "I don't want trouble," was the last thing that Bob said when he left through the door.

     "Bob?" The meek little sound made the bigger punchbag stop.

     "I'll tell you one thing. Soon I'll be out of here and you'll have the whole house to yourself. Happy?" Bob walked away as he hung his head. It had been fun, and it was good to obey. He had gotten strong, and his HP was way more than any pet's. Bob was proud, and he was kind of sad to leave this house, his home. Then again, his future waited for him. In the Battledome.

     "Bob!" Sid shouted as the other punchbag left through the big, white double-doors.

     "I hate you, Bob!" Sid hissed as he turned around and ran to his room.

     "We aren't supposed to be stupid! We don't have to obey! We have the same rights as other pets, don't we? Why didn't you do anything? Why did you take sides? Were you afraid? We could've done it, could've rebelled together! Instead, you left me…" Sid's thoughts were a mess as he hit the floor.

     The loud thudding noise told the older punchbag that it was over. Sid may not have accepted it, but he would learn. In time.

     "I'm sorry, little brother," the wind chased those words spoken from Punchbag Bob.

     Back to the present…

     "Bob? You always taught me the best, but then you left me alone. Alone to fend for myself. I never really did understand Doctor Hatten. Were you right? Was blind obedience the only way?" Sid looked contemplative as he just stood there.

     "No! Bob… I'll never truly understand you." Sid turned around.

     "Excuse me, Mr. Punchbag, but can we battle?" a Baby Kacheek asked quietly.

     "Prepare to battle!"

The End

 
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