Riley’s Smile

Today is going to be a good day. That’s what Riley thought to himself as he woke up that Thursday morning.

As he sat up in bed, he stretched, a subtle smile on his lips. This facial expression was quite peculiar for Riley, a normally downtrodden boy. After his parents’ divorce and an admittedly bitter custody battle, his childhood happiness left him along with his father. Today, however, a smile remained on his face as he ate breakfast, got dressed, brushed his teeth, and walked out of his front door.

As his mother drove him to school, she seemed to notice Riley’s cheerful disposition, did a quick double-take, and smiled.

“Hey, honey. Why are you so cheerful today?” Riley’s mother questioned. “I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time.”

Riley turned to his mother and replied, “Oh, nothing, really. We’re watching a movie in English Lit class. That’s about it.” His smile faltered slightly.

“Ah. What movie?” his mother asked, curious.

“‘The Road’,” Riley replied. “It stars Viggo Mortenson, and it revolves around the relationship as well as the trials and tribulations of a father and his son as they traverse through a post-apocalyptic world.”

“Hmm. Doesn’t sound like a happy movie to me.”

“I know. It isn’t. I’ve just been wanting to see it for years. The book was incredible.”

“Hmm,” his mother nodded in understanding, returning her attention to the road.

The rest of the car ride was spent in silence. All the while, Riley’s peculiar smile remained plastered on his face.

Pulling up to the school, Riley gazed out of the car window, noticing a plethora of kids, most of whom he knew well. As he observed his classmates from the car, Riley felt the car suddenly halt; it was time to get out.

After a quick trade of “I love you”s and “see you later”s, Riley turned and began walking. He noticed a certain, very special group of kids as he made his way to the entrance. The popular kids. His smile grew ever so slightly.

He couldn’t wait to talk to the popular kids during lunch hour. He was sure they would hear him out.

First, second, and third period went by like usual: boring. Fourth-period English Lit was a little more interesting. While watching “The Road”, Riley began thinking about the popular group again, their names racing through his mind as his stomach fluttered.

Robert McReedy, Coraline Jones, Michael Anderson, Mary Richards, and, last but not least, Trent Halloway. Meadow High School’s elite. The Meadow High Five. The best of the best. The ones everyone longed for. The ones everyone wanted to be friends with. The ones everyone wanted to be.

Riley shivered as he thought of Meadow High School’s royalty. Anticipation coursed through him, fermenting in his bones.

Fourth period ended with the conclusion of the movie. The credits and tears simultaneously rolled down the screen and Riley’s pale, thin face, respectively. He rubbed his puffy, tear-ravaged eyes with his jacket sleeve just as the bell rang.

“Beautiful..,” he whispered, making his way out of the classroom. Slowly, the tears evaporated as he found his next destination: the bathroom.

Looking at himself in the mirror, his eyes lingered on his body. He wasn’t a bad-looking kid: tall, had glasses, thin, yet toned.

Then, his eyes fell on the scars. The bruises. The healing black eye. He felt around his ribs, wincing from the pain. Then, he felt his chest. Riley’s smile grew as he exited the bathroom.

Walking down the hallway leading to the cafeteria, his mind raced. Robert. Mary. Coraline. Michael.

Punches. Kicks. Leers. Jabs. Insults. Pain… Pain. Tears. Laughter.


Pushing open the cafeteria doors, the smell of mediocre food inundated Riley’s nostrils. The sound of asinine conversation flooded his ears.

They filled his field of vision.

The sound of the doors locking behind him made Riley grin more. Once the lunch staff felt that kids have had enough time to enter the cafeteria, they would lock the doors from the inside. This kept students from causing any trouble in the school while no adults were around. This school’s security protocol has always been rather… lacking. “Pathetic,” Riley muttered under his breath.

Riley began walking over to the group, each of his movements seemingly in slow-motion. Waltzing. Swaggering. Sashaying. Thoughts continued to bang around in his head. Scars. Bruises. Pain. Laughter. Taunts. Punches. Shoves. Kicks. Tears.

Inching closer to them, they didn’t even notice him.

Thoughts began to melt into one another, becoming singular, compound thoughts. Robert… Kicks. Mary… Taunts. Coraline… Leers. Michael… Punches and shoves. Pain… Hatred.

Riley’s hand raised, grazing his chest, near the inner pocket.

Closer. He was getting closer.

Pain. Tears. Help me. Cries.

Them… Them… Them…

His conscience began speaking to him. Them… They’re the ones. They did this to me. They made me suffer. This pain… I’d never felt this kind of pain before I met them. Why? Why me?

The torture was endless. The abuse was never-ending.




Them them them.

Almost there.












Riley’s smile grew. His finger began to slide down the zipper of his jacket. It kept getting stuck.

Robert. Kicks. Mary. Taunts.

The zipper got stuck.

Riley grasped his chest.

Coraline. Leers. Michael. Punches. Shoves.


Sweat glided down Riley’s body, getting trapped within the fabric of his underwear.

Trent… Hatred.


It grew.


And grew.


And grew!

Hate! Hate! Hate!


Finally, Riley was there, standing right behind Trent.

Michael, finally noticing Riley, sneered, opening his mouth to make an insult. He stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes widening.

Riley—his jacket fully unzipped—reached into his jacket, clutching a lump in the inner pocket.

It was cold.

Riley tapped on Trent’s shoulder—tap tap tap—then removed his hand from his jacket, extending his arm toward Trent.

Confused, Trent pivoted his body, coming face-to-face with a cold piece of metal, his eyes level with the hole in the middle.

Looking up at Riley, Trent witnessed something much more horrifying: Riley’s smile widened, his face contorting into a Cheshire grin. His eyes were wide… Crazed. Trent opened his mouth to say something, but words failed him.

The look of horror on Trent’s followers’ faces admittedly exhilarated Riley. However, Trent’s petrified expression is what hurtled Riley over the edge, sending a shiver of gratification down his spine that then proliferated across his entire body. A wet stain appeared on the front of his pants as he visibly quivered, a clear sign of his delight. His eyes rolled backward, and he breathed out a small noise before regaining his composure.

“Beautiful,” he whispered. His finger squeezed the trigger five times, one bullet for each of the Meadow High Five.

Today is going to be a good day… Yes. A good day, indeed.

  • Christie

    Yay! I saw this on Quotev and recommended the app. I’m so happy to see it on here, as well as Scapegoat. So well written, I hope you continue to publish works!

    • AngryGuy2

      Hi, Christie! Thank you for the website recommendation. This is a great website for those looking for a place where they can submit their works and have them read by a plethora of people. 😀 I will be returning to Quotev in about a week. I just needed to take a bit of time off from writing so I could focus on other things. 🙂 Thank you for the continued love and support, my friend. You’re one of the reasons why I continue to write so much. ^_^

  • Katelyn Patton

    This was very well written, I had hopes Riley would kill. I’m very glad he did?

    • AngryGuy2

      I’m glad you enjoyed my story. It means a lot! Thank you for the wonderful comment! ^_^

  • Creepyguy999

    A very disturbing story but yet so good and so well written. I applaud the writer for this story.

    • AngryGuy2

      Thank you for the compliments, my friend! I’m so happy that you liked this story. It means a lot!^_^ Disturbing stuff is quite fun to write about, if I’m being completely honest. One of my biggest horror inspirations is Stephen King, and his works are usually quite horrific. He is who I reference when people ask me where my thought processes about writing horror come from. 🙂

      • Creepyguy999

        I love Stephen King. I just bought the book End of Watch. When I do my little bit of writing that’s kinda where I get some of my inspiration because he is basically brilliant at writing horror novels.

        • AngryGuy2

          I completely agree with you, my friend. Stephen King is a genius. 🙂 They don’t call him the “Master of Horror” for nothing, I guess. xD

  • Brandon Barrett

    How did I know didn’t even need to read the story to know it was ending with a school shooting. I won’t lie I didn’t care much for the story.

    • AngryGuy2

      I’m sorry to hear that my story wasn’t to your liking. :/ I must admit that I’m curious as to what your specific grievances with the story are. I’m also open to suggestions as to how I could’ve made the story more enjoyable for you. Constructive criticism is both welcome and encouraged. 🙂

  • Zomm B.

    I’m not sure what disturbed me more; the relevance to current events or the fact that I loved getting to know the point of view of a disturbed (teenager?) instead of the victims or third party of the victims (friends, family, etc).

    Not particularly satisfied with the writing style but that’s not to say the story itself wasn’t extremely capable of pulling you in. Regardless of “knowing what is going to happen”, it’s very compelling to know the thoughts Riley is having through his actions.

    • AngryGuy2

      (You’re correct, my friend. Riley is a teenager. ^_^)

      On the topic of the writing style, I assure you that it isn’t my typical writing style. xD I used the incredibly choppy syntax later on in the story to mimic Riley’s thoughts going from being complete and complex to being singular and simple. In a nutshell, it was supposed to show that Riley’s mental state was degrading with each step he took. It was an experimental endeavor, and I honestly didn’t like it the first time I proofread it; it grew on me as time went on, though. Despite that, I haven’t used that syntax since. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your comment. Constructive criticism is a great way for people to grow in their respective fields. It is always welcomed and encouraged. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the story! I really appreciate it. 😀

  • AngryGuy2


    Just kidding, my friend. I’m happy that my writing and my story were able to inspire you! It means so much to me to know that you loved my story that much. ^_^

  • Alexmcg122

    I already knew what was going to happen, but great story! It was very well written, im excited to see what stuff you write in the future

    • AngryGuy2

      Thank you for the compliments! I really appreciate it, my friend! ^_^ I’ve written another story on here called, “Scapegoat.” I recommend it if you enjoy my work and if you enjoy twist endings. 🙂 I’ve also submitted another story for review. I’m excited for it to be uploaded. :]

      • Alexmcg122

        Ok! Ill be sure to check it out!

  • Filia

    This was a pretty good read. The buildup to the shooting was nicely written.