I didn't realize until I adulthood that my brothers and I had been the bullies of our neighborhood. Actually, it was when I was retelling the following story that I realized we were bullies. *Some names changed to protect the guilty.
My step-dad built a go-cart for my brothers and me. It had no motor or anything. It was wood board with a wood box on the back to support your back and a wooden hand break but no real steering to speak of. The nice bit was the carpet samples glued down that made it a comfy ride. It was powered by either pushing or going down the big hill to our neighborhood. My oldest brother being the king of us all and usually the leader in any of our mischief was the one who got pushed around in it mostly. The rest of us got to use it sometimes but no one would want to push so we'd mostly just speed downhill.
Well, my brother Bill came up with what I thought was the coolest weapon (at least cooler than the home-made ninja stars we had tried to make). You took a straw and taped a rubber band halfway up on it. Insert a shish-kabob stick and use the rubber band to launch it through the straw. Bill attached one to the hand break of the go-cart. Yes, not only was the go-cart the coolest thing on the block, it was now armed!
Donna's little sister, Kelly, had a defiant streak in her. Not a good thing to have around the neighborhood bullies. I don't remember what prompted it, but I think she may have been trying to get David to let her on the go-cart. He threatened her in some way with the shish-kabob launcher and she dared him to shoot her with it, thinking that he wouldn't for fear of getting in trouble. I guess she didn't know how much our parents didn't care about us kids beating each other up (though we hadn't branched out into beating up neighborhood kids so we had no idea how they'd respond to that). Bill really wasn't at all worried about using the weapon.
He loaded a wooden shish-kabob stick into the launcher and Kelly just sat there, sure he would stop. He gave her one more chance; asking "Are you sure?" and raising a single eyebrow which made him look cool and adult-like. "Yeah!" he said. He let the stick go.
People talk about time slowing down when something stupid is about to happen but in this instance, it seemed to speed up. One second the stick was vaulting from its drinking-straw chamber; the next second it had embedded itself into Kelly's forehead. It stuck out at an angle like a unicorn horn. It took a second before she realized what had happened and she started to bawl.
It was decided it would be best not to remove the stick, lest there be a serious hole it was plugging up - who knew, her brains might come out! We sent my youngest brother, Kurt, to walk her home (who Kelly had a crush on anyhow). Once he was around the corner, about a house away from their house, I became racked with fear that I would never see Donna, my best friend, ever again. I feared her mom would hate us so much I'd never get to spend time with her. So I sprinted to catch up. When I got there, Donna was sitting on the grass with her sister and Jason standing above the both of them. Kelly was crying into Donna's arms without the stick in her forehead. Just a tiny red dot where the stick had been (it fell out as she walked home - it hadn't been in nearly as deep as our childish minds led us to believe).
I tried to tell Donna it hadn't been my fault but she just glared at me. I slouched my way back home, thankful Donna's mom hadn't been home but figuring I'd lost my best friend anyhow.