The Red Door: The Thirteenth Boy
The Demon Series Part 1
Fairfield, California, 1962
“Did I say you could walk here?”
Max stopped short, as someone reached a leg out and rested their boot on the seat of the desk across the aisle, blocking the way. “Didn’t realize I needed to ask permission.”
“What did you say to me?” The boy took his foot from the desk and placed it in the middle of the aisle. Standing, he was mere inches from Max.
Max shook his head. “Look, whatever you’re going to do just do it now and get it over with, so I can get to my seat.”
The boy pulled himself up to the full six feet of his stature, where he stood eye to eye with Max. “What are you, thick or something? Do you know who you’re talking to?”
Max met the boy’s gaze, the only thing blacker than the boy’s eyes being the black hair now falling into them. “No. But I’m sure you’re going to tell me.”
The dark-haired boy smirked and swatted a blond-haired boy, sitting on the top of a desk, with the back of his hand. The smile fell from the dark-haired boy’s face, and he pressed his fingertips upon Max’s chest. “I’ll tell you who.”
He gave Max a shove. There was something behind Max and he fell, his books flying out onto the tile floor with a loud smack.
All eyes in the classroom turned upon Max; conversations now replaced with titters and guffaws.
The dark-haired boy kneeled next to him. Leaning over Max, he poked a finger into Max’s chest. “Jimmy Davidson. That’s who. And don’t you forget it.”
Once more, Max met his gaze. “No worries. I won’t.”
Jimmy chuckled to himself, and slapping Max lightly on the face, he then offered him his hand.
Max eyed Jimmy’s hand. “You don’t actually expect me to take that, do you?”
“What? You don’t trust me?” Jimmy’s expression took on an exaggerated pout. “I think I’m hurt.” The surrounding four boys laughed, as they gathered around Max. “You’re going to have to start trusting me some time. It may as well be now.”
Max sat forward and collected his books. “Must it be?” Again they all laughed.
“You know what? I think I’m beginning to like this guy.” He swatted Max on the chest with the back of his hand, much as he had the boy on the desk a moment earlier. “Tell you what, considering you’ve been such a good sport about this whole thing, I’m going to give you a second chance.”
A grin spread across Jimmy’s face, and he stood. “This guy cracks me up.”
“Nice to know you consider me good for something.”
Jimmy nodded. “Not bad, for your first day…?”
“Max Jensen.” Max climbed to his feet.
“Well, Max Jensen, if you want to make it up to me, meet me out back of the gym after school.”
“Make it…Make what up to you? What is it I am supposed to have done, other than let you make a fool of me?”
“I can’t have anyone disrespecting me. You know how it is.”
“Yeah, I do, as a matter of fact.” Max brushed his hand over his pant leg.
“Good. As long as we understand each other.”
“More than you know.”