Emo Kid awoke with his nostrils full of the fragrance of decay and his mouth full of mud. He spat delicately and rubbed a hand over his eyes, streaking eyeliner and what appeared to be ketchup across his cheek. “I hate you,” he informed the air. “I despise you. I loathe you. I wish you to die an excruciating death at the claws of a rabid ursine. Preferably an agonizingly cute one such as a giant panda, for maximum humiliation. I wish you would–”
“Reciting poetry?” came a cheerful, mocking, and horribly familiar voice. Emo Kid heaved a sigh filled with the soul-crushing weariness usually displayed by a child who has been sentenced to ten minutes in the corner. “While your steadfast devotion to me could be considered complimentary, I find it rather disturbing,” he informed his nemesis.
“Don’t flatter yourself,” the quarterback drawled. “I don’t have anything better to do.”
“Homework?” suggested Emo Kid, struggling to a sitting position. The guffaws that drifted down to him grated against his ears like a fork on a ceramic plate. His head throbbed and he winced, putting up a hand and gingerly feeling around for any injuries. He pulled a soggy noodle out of his hair and gazed at it distastefully.
“Is there even the slightest chance of me climbing out of here without being set upon?” he inquired politely.
“You’ll be set upon and sat upon,” the Jock replied, cackling at his own wit. Emo Kid attempted a slow clap, but the rhythmic squelching he produced didn’t properly convey his sarcasm. His narrow chest heaved in another sigh.
“It’s just,” he said pathetically, “there are–I hesitate to call them “food items”–in here that are beyond senescence and approaching sentience. I hardly think this is a suitable environment for–you’re not listening to me, are you?”
“I usually just tune you out when you start talking like a dictionary,” replied his captor, sounding bored.
“Your aversion to intelligence is disturbing,” Emo Kid muttered, attempting to swipe a gooey banana peel off his jeans without actually touching it.
He pondered whether to cry softly or become existential. After an attempt at a gentle weep produced an unpleasant stickiness on his cheeks, he decided on the latter. He pulled his knees up to his chest, gazed vaguely in the direction of the storm drain’s opening, and pressed a balled-up fist to his lips.
He sat like that for about 5 seconds before removing his fist in disgust and swiping his knuckles over the cleanest part of his Panic at the Disco t-shirt. Opting instead to let his hands hang limply by his sides, wrists upwards, as if he was too weak to move, he attempted to muse upon his life. His normally philosophical brain, however, refused to supply him with any thoughts other than variations upon the themes of “Why me?” and “How much longer?”, with an occasional sprinkling of “What is this in my hair?”
It’s just no good, Emo Kid thought. Putrid garbage must be the thinking soul’s kryptonite. He wondered if he should try to formulate an escape plan instead. When he climbed to his feet, hunching over to avoid hitting his head, and looked out at the street, his enemy was still there, stretched out casually with his head on Emo Kid’s backpack and a Game Boy Advance in his hands. Emo Kid peered at it suspiciously. There was a skull-shaped sticker on the back, and he thought he recognized the faint tinkling of the Zelda theme…
“Hey! That’s my Game Boy!” he shrieked, forgetting all plans of escape. The Jock glanced at him and grinned, waving the game console in a friendly manner. “Thanks for giving me something to entertain myself with,” he smirked.
“Don’t end sentences with a preposition,” Emo Kid said automatically. Then, cuttingly, “You are a disgrace to the name of Zelda.”
“Zelda’s the hot chick on the box, right?” the Jock asked, once again distracted by the game. “I can’t tell which of these little blobs is her, though. They all look the same. By the way, I saved over your game.”
“You are infuriating.” Emo Kid started to grind his teeth, then winced as a fang scraped his gum. He settled for a poisonous glare.
The Jock glanced his way again. “And you,” he said happily, “look retarded. Is that mayonnaise in your hair, or one of your faggy hair products?”
Emo Kid huffed in indignation and dropped out of sight, squatting on his heels and pondering what to do next. His scuffed converse, not made for navigating such squishy terrain, slipped in some unnamed substance, and he fell to one side.
Throwing one black-nailed hand out to catch himself, Emo Kid made the best discovery of his life. There was a removable grate in the wall. Behind it was a tunnel, probably leading to another storm drain.
“Freedom!” Emo Kid cackled, yanking the grate off the wall and tossing it behind him with a soggy thump.
“So long, you wretched cretin!” he called over his shoulder. He faintly heard the Jock’s baffled inquiry (“What, are you hallucinating now?”) as he threw himself to the ground, now heedless of the trash strewn over it, and wriggled into the hole.
The raccoon coming the opposite way did not share his enthusiasm.