Billy wiped the tears from his eyes. He stared at the thick black streaks on his eyes and cheeks. His left eye was already beginning to swell, but it wasn’t the back of his father’s hand that stung. “You little faggot!” he’d yelled and it was those words that bit into Billy like the fangs of a vicious beast, refusing to let him go.
His mother’s mascara was thick now where his father had held him down and smeared it. No longer the mark of innocent curiosity, it was a badge of dishonor to be worn as a reminder of his father’s bigoted rage. Carefully, he reached up and spread the black evenly into a mask, and paused to consider it in the mirror.
What was he going to say about the black eye? How could he tell Tyler or Jeff? “My dad hit me cuz he caught me playing in my mom’s makeup.” The teasing would be merciless. Something brave needed to be invented. Raccoon’s always wash their food. Maybe he could tell them. Maybe the raccoon was the answer.