It’s a while since I’ve read a Van Pelt story, and was initially pleased with the opening, especially “(the town) was much longer than wide, contained in its mountain valley. Houses ran up the slopes a short way, like weathered lumber and cracked brick waves lapping at the cliffs”.
The main protagonist is a young teen with a grudge, and the means by which he can wreak his revenge on those at school who are bullying him. And this is where the story doesn’t quite work for me, as I just wasn’t quite willing to make the necessary stretch to accept that premise (SPOILER : he’s got an (almost) tame raptor, who he’s able to set in the bullies). And I’d also take exception to the editor putting after the final half page of the story a a half page illustration against a poem called Tea Rex, with said illustration featuring a T Rex lifting a tea bag out of a cup of tea. Rather spoilt any chance of going with the drama of the closing paragraphs of the story, which felt just a little like a (not very good) teen movie from the 1980s, or a modern movie spoofing that kind of 80s movie.