It all began with a rock.
When Cyrus was four, he and his two best friends broke into their babysitter’s husband’s rifle cabinet with a rock wrapped in a hankie. Cyrus stood lookout while the other two faced off the cabinet the way people did when playing chicken out in the creek, and when all was clear, the rock sailed through the frosted glass window panes. They’d done already stolen some ammunition to go with it. Twenty minutes later, Cyrus had blasted a whole right through the hallway and into the master bedroom with the shiny Winchester. Of course he got in loads of trouble; couldn’t sit right for weeks. But he learned something very important about himself.
Turns out, he was pretty good at destroying things.
By the time he was eleven, Cyrus, who was a sweet-faced boy with shiny hair, had built quite a reputation for himself. He smoked his uncle’s cigarettes during recess and after school, while his uncle worked graveyard at the factory, sneaked whiskeys from his neighbor’s. She drank so much she never noticed. That year he was bit in the chest, right over the heart, by a brown recluse while he lay sleeping.
The spider died, and Cyrus lived.
Still, the three-week long fight for life had caused some to grow less craven towards him. Bully, they called him. Heartless freak, they called him. Of course, “they” were a very few, after he took the Wayland boy out back of the school with a leash and his heavy boots. Cyrus had knocked him down, strapped him to the bottom of the playground fence with his belt, then put one boot on the belt and the other to the boy until he was stomped senseless.