The dancing flames in the fireplace were the only thing he could look at without the threat of tears.
When he was with them, the rules were different. He felt smaller here. Insignificant.
"I *know* you saw her! I found--"
"I told you, it meant *nothing*! We just--"
"Don't tell me it was nothing! I know--"
"You don't know *shit*!"
Dingo... or 'Timothy' when he was with his family, kept his back firmly towards his squabbling parents. He watched the flames, trying to ignore their fighting and the pressure of his building tears.
"You're fucking her! I know it!"
Though he was eleven years old, this was the first ever vacation taken as a family, the first time they've ever left the city together. Renting a cabin in the woods. How had he thought this would have been fun?
"Don't think that I don't know about *that*, either!"
Dingo lowered his head, dropping his gaze from the flames and squeezing his eyes shut. What were the others doing now? Laughing and drinking and stuff, he bet. Even though (for now) he was just a junior member of the gang, Dingo was never ignored when he was with them.
"Shut up! Shut the fuck up! I'm sick of hearing your voice!"
Muscles twisted in his back, between his shoulders. His chest tightened. Getting air to move in and out of him was becoming an effort. Tears threatened. He could go -- the thought occurred to him out of no where. He could just walk out the door and (somehow) get back to the city. And when he did, he'd never go back home again. His parents wouldn't even notice that he was gone.
...But the city's pretty far away. How would he get back? He couldn't drive.
"Yeah? Then why don't you go see *her*! Or are you tired of her, too? Going to find someone else?"
"That's it!" His father's yell. "That's it! I'm not spending the weekend here with you!"
Dingo lifted his head, eyes opening and snapping towards his father. This was his way out! He turned and stepped towards them, opening his mouth twice before getting the words to come out and interrupt their argument. "I'd like to go, too," how'd his voice get so soft? He hadn't meant it to be so lacking in force.
Both of the adults turned on him, remembering him and blaming him. Both parents yelled at once, and neither stopped even once they heard the other already replying.
"I'm not taking you anywhere! You're staying here with your mother!"
"You're not going anywhere! You're staying right here, and we're going to *enjoy* this vacation!"
Dingo's shoulders sagged as he turned back to the fire place. He hated being away from the city, and he hated being outdoors. He promised himself that he'd never, ever leave Celadon again. Ever.
500 words, based on a younger version of a RPG character. 'Dingo' is his street name. About seven years after this story, he ends up in prison.
Totally un-beta'ed, written and edited in about 30 minutes (with two work calls coming in and handled within that time).