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STICKS AND STONES WON'T BREAK MY BONES
BUT NAMES WILL ALWAYS HURT ME
by Craig H. Rettig

It was another one of those days. Clarence Wittenger was walking home from work. He didn't like his job, but his condition didn't allow for much of anything else. Clarence had a mental condition which prevented him from vocalizing properly. Apparently, it was some odd form of mental retardation, as Clarence did very well on standardized and written tests. However, his inability to speak properly really hurt him in interviews and had cost him much in the ways of jobs.

Then there was his Omega.

Clarence didn't like to talk about it. In fact, only a very few people knew about it. Clarence often wondered if his mental condition and the Omega were related at all, possibly as an exchange of one for the other. It didn't matter really when he came down to it, though.

His Omega really wasn't the issue he worried about most. His dead-end job lifting boxes for UPS was what really bothered him in life. Clarence could tell by the way his manager treated him that his manager had only hired him to fill a quota or two. This is what upset Clarence the most.

Clarence did his job and did it well—possibly even better than the other men doing the same job as he. He had never missed a day of work, never called in sick, and always showed up five to ten minutes early every day. What really upset him was the fact his manager treated him as an idiot, while his co-workers were treated as normal human beings, even getting a "Good work" or similar compliment every now and again.

As Clarence passed the alleyway in front of his house, he heard something coming from inside. Clarence knew better, but he decided to take a look anyway.

Inside, there was a group of three Bloods sharing a burning crack pipe. They looked up at Clarence as he walked in. They were not in a courteous mood.

"What the @#$* are you looking at?"

Oops, sorry, Clarence thought to himself. "Oo...." is what came out though.

"Heh," another one laughed. "Looks like we got one of those freakin' retards, boys. Let's have some fun..."

Before Clarence could react, the Bloods were on top of him. As they started pounding on him, they became aware of his Omega.

When Clarence had triggered, he became completely invunerable. He didn't even feel pain from injuries. However, this did not take away from the emotional pain he felt inside at the complete uselessness of his Omega.

While the Bloods freaked out at first, realizing their prey wasn't bleeding at all, they quickly regained their composure when they realized Clarence couldn't hurt them either, being too naive at fighting and too much of a pacifist to hit them back. Then it became a blast for them.

First, they settled merely what they could hit him with. Then they started bouncing things like cement blocks and garbage cans off of him. Then they threw him against the wall a few times. All the time, they laughed at his feeble attempts to either fight back or run away. Finally, however, they got bored. As they were leaving, one pulled out a handgun and richocheted a bullet off Clarence's temple. They walked out of the alley joking to themselves and laughing at Clarence's impotence.

After they left, Clarence moved to a sitting position and put his hands to his forehead. Then he cried.

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